Not to sound corny or come across as if alien fairies abducted me to visit Never Never Land before returning me to Planet Earth, but after a somewhat low key start to this racing season in Hong Kong, it’s suddenly blossomed into a field of dreams happening in the real world.
While Adele once lamented how “we could have had it all”, someone’s suddenly pressed the On button and the show has begun in earnest with almost every meeting over the past few months giving racing fans something new to cheer about.
While many in Hong Kong and his fans overseas wait with bated breath to see which Pakistan Star will show up at Sha Tin this afternoon for the Hong Kong Gold Cup- and try their luck at getting even part of a whopping Triple Trio jackpot that will be close to HK$30 million- those given the job of leading horse racing in Australia are tackling the problem of yet another shoe having dropped earlier this week robbing the country of even more confidence in the integrity of the sport.
Watching things unfold, very telling are the different communications paths taken by Victoria’s Racing Minister Martin Pakula and Racing New South Wales’ man of the people Peter V’landys. Yes, they both have beards and smiles that aren’t really convincing.
It was a horror day for most punters in the land down under yesterday where many “good things” declared by racing pundits were rocked and rolled.
The biggest upset win came from a galloper well known to many in Hong Kong named Redkirk Warrior. He’s still known as Redkirk Warrior, but he’s gone through a personality change. While being trained to be a stayer here as he had been in the UK over 2000 metres, the team of Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig has turned him into an outstanding sprinter.
Two days earlier, a key player in sports entertainment, but with little or no interest in horse racing was offering their thoughts on the future of the sport- the main point being that the format has to change, or else there needs to be more options other than what’s offered today. This might sound sacrilegious to the old school and hardcore racing crowd, but his first thought was that there will be the day when there might be less races in a meeting without the thirty minute intervals. Of course, this is something asked by many who are new to a day at the races: Why can’t there be less time between races?
He next asked if a race meeting could “mix it up more” by having some races where only female riders competed against each other and other races where they would ride against their male counterparts. He wasn’t being sexist. Just thinking that this might have sponsorship appeal and create more on-course interest. There were other ideas, but ideas remain ideas unless being able to jump over various rules firmly in place, ignoring the joys of over-thinking and that refusal to change.
In how many awards shows do the best actually win? How many Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes and Emmys have got it all wrong with awards going to the wrong people and others being snubbed? How many times was the brilliant Al Pacino passed over for an Oscar before receiving one almost as an apology for hitover-the-top performance in “The Scent Of A Woman”? In this #MeToo year, the Academy Awards have decided to pass on actor James Franco.
Arrogate being named this week as Longines World’s Best Racehorse Horse by being the highest rated racehorse have many up in arms. But what’s done is done and who’ll remember any of this tomorrow? Anyone remember Oprah’s #TimesUp speech at the Golden Globes that trended for around six hours last week?