In a rather sombre video to create an almost film noire mood for the upcoming Hong Kong Longines International Jockeys Championships, over what sounds like the soundtrack to “Taxi Driver”, appear the words, “Champions collide while darkness falls”. Easy chaps. And lighten up. One hopes no one collides with anyone. It could get a tad messy.
What’s interesting about this evening’s races, other than trying to snag a couple of the huge jackpots up for grabs, is wondering who will fill that last berth to represent Hong Kong in the “darkness”. Chad Schofield or Douglas Whyte?
He’s good for horse racing. Always has been. Even when he was staring into that abyss of life. It showed how all of us are attracted to kryptonite. That none of us are invulnerable. Not even Lanfranco Dettori. Son of Italian jockey Gianfranco Dettori from Sardenia. Better known as Frankie Dettori. Even better known as Yo! Frankie.
The man whose life has been one giant see saw ride. Up. Down. Down. Up. Sideways. Loses his way. Loses his job with Godolphin. Gets off the canvas. Dusts himself off. Starts all over again.
While reading the SCMP’s chief racing writer Tom Biddington put forward his question as to why or when James McDonald isn’t or might possibly ride in Hong Kong, the talented young New Zealander was busy arguing his case after the running of the Ladbrokes Coongy Cup. This was yesterday on Caulfield Cup Day.
It's been called a dead heat between Best of Days and Mask of Time.
Originally called a dead heat between The Big Mac ridden and Godolphin owned Best Of Days and the Kerrin McEvoy ridden Mask Of Time, the latter fired in a protest. It was a justifiable one. As the protest dragged on, it didn’t look good for the connections of Best Of Days. The galloper seemed to slightly shift in on the other dead heater. James McDonald’s oratory skills must match his prowess in the saddle. The protest was finally overthrown.
It’s tough out there these days. It seems like there’s no room for error. In every aspect of life. Like jockey James Doyle being criticised in many quarters for coming second on the Hong Kong owned Sea Of Class in the Arc at Longchamp despite others believing it was one of the best rides seen in a long time. And making time to look at matters closer to home base.
This World Gone Very Wrong and just what a tough audience to please no matter what one’s career might be was something brought home recently. This was when watching my friend Maricel perform at the Champagne Bar of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Hong Kong. It’s thinking just what a tough gig it is.