HONG KONG RACING: THE GOOD, THE WEIRD AND THE GOOFY

By Hans Ebert
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Though the last couple of meetings were a bit like Superman being struck down by kryptonite, at least looking at his book rides, January 1, 2019 looks to be the day when The Magic Returns and Joao Moreira wins back his flock. Please, no more kryptonite!

Last Wednesday, two of the favourites he was on- sizzling hot favourites that many refused to believe could be beaten were. One was going off at $1.4.

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THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF HONG KONG RACING’S BUTCH AND SUNDANCE…

By Hans Ebert
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A few years ago, many of us in Hong Kong would look at the race card and draw a line over whatever it was that Douglas Whyte was riding. He seemed to be thrown some scraps and just going around for the hell of it and probably far more interested in having the opportunity to ride a winner in Perth. And which he did until the HKJC correctly changed the Rules about Hong Kong based jockeys making those often fruitless overseas flying visits.

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THE HKJC COMES UP WITH A BEAUTY…

By Hans Ebert
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Rightly or wrongly, the word “malaise” was used by me recently to describe the state of horse racing. Horse racing everywhere.

This had nothing to do with the exploits of Winx, Enable, Cracksman, Beauty Generation, the brilliantly produced Cox Plate Day presentation for overseas consumption and the derring do in the saddle of riders like James McDonald, Tim Clark, Brenton Avdulla, Hugh Bowman, Kerrin McEvoy, John Allen, Ben Thompson, Damien Oliver, Craig Williams etc and outside of Australia, Frankie Dettori, Oisin Murphy, William Buick, Ryan Moore, Zac Purton, Joao Moreira and Christophe Lemaire.

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YOU HEARD RIGHT: THERE’S A SOUTH AFRICAN NIEKERK IN TOWN

By Hans Ebert
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It’s really all about reading the mood of the city. Any city. Who’s prioritising what and trying to figure out where you fit in. In Hong Kong, restaurants, shops and clubs are opening and closing. Consumers demands are forcing them to make their decisions. The old business mantra of “We’re breaking even” makes no sense. Why work to “break even”?

As has been written here many times before, horse racing twice a week is more than enough. It’s an affordable pastime or hobby. A weekend and mid-week break from a city that’s constantly changing. That’s always on the move even when standing still to catch its breath.

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AAAAAAAND THEY’RE OFFFFFFFFF! THIS SUNDAY!

By Hans Ebert
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“Sir, this Sunday. Your day. Finally “. It was the Manager of the apartments where I live reminding me that the new Hong Kong racing season starts up again on Sunday. I didn’t need reminding. Almost two months without horse racing in this city is like being celibate for three years. It’s tough going if stuck inside this dumpling with some wontons.

It’s more tough going when you’ve been internalizing far more important things going on in your life and seeing all the ills wreaked on the world.

Horse racing? It’s a pleasant enough distraction. It’s not all-consuming. I don’t get paid enough for horse racing to take over my life. Only the love of a good woman can do that. That’s the stress buster needed.

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THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE AND DAYS OF FUTURE PAST OF HONG KONG RACING

By Hans Ebert
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Someone was mentioning how and what made the dragon wake up. It wasn’t a dragon so much as the Durban Demon- South African Douglas Whyte, the champion Hong Kong jockey for a record breaking thirteen consecutive seasons.

This reign, made even more remarkable as the Aussie’s support system included mainly rides from two stables, that of Dennis Yip, who somewhat surprisingly won the trainer’s championship that season, and Caspar Fownes, ended during the 2013/14 racing season when after five years of absorbing it all and fighting all the time for everything that’s not come easily since arriving in Hong Kong in 2007, Zac Purton decided that enough is enough and brought the curtain down on this phenomenal winning run.

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