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 MAGNET THAT IS HONG KONG RACING

By Hans Ebert
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In the end, it’s always about the money. And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s nothing personal, it’s only business, though we now know this to be just a tag line and how, as Dylan once sang, “Even the President of the United States must sometimes stand naked.” Now there’s an awful visual.

Getting back to money, it’s what drives every business. At least today it is. Even the business of love and marriage. And horse racing. What’s the business model to horse racing? Create a race or races between a group of horses- a game of chance and consequences, where there’s big money up for grabs…if one wins. And there are various ways of winning. Some, not so obvious.

How one tries to get a slice of the winning pie is a form of business because there’s work involved. Even hobbies can become businesses. It’s about the money money money and millennials and oldsters and hipsters and more money money money and entitlement. And it works in different ways for different customer demographics. It involves the entire racing industry. Some racing clubs can be The Good Ship Lollipop. Others are The Titanic.

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HONG KONG RACING: KEEPING THE HONG KONG DREAM ALIVE

By Hans Ebert
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Some people just can’t help being LOUD. And at the Champagne Bar of the Grand Hyatt, it was where many LOUD people congregated during HKIR week. Many from overseas. It was tough to take.

On Sunday, after the last race at Sha Tin had been run and horse racing’s “Woodstock Generation” was heading home came a booming voice how Hong Kong racing had “found its mojo again.” Maybe it had. Maybe it was just hiding. Often, it’s all about timing. Whatever.

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WILL IT BE A HAPPY ZACDAY TONIGHT?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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“When they asked for his support, he almost always turned them down because he had better options. Now when it’s coming to the end of the season and there are many tired horses going around and some good new ones, and he needs good rides, many won’t or can’t support him.” Oh what a tangled web we weave.

A friend in the Chinese racing media was trying to explain the sudden shift away from the usually much in-demand Joao Moreira and many trainers throwing their support behind Zac Purton as this season’s Hong Kong Jockeys Premiership comes down to a two horse race between two superb athletes.

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THE UPS, DOWNS AND THE LUCK OF THE IRISH IN HONG KONG RACING…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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When owners get involved in giving trainers and jockeys instructions on how to ride their horses, especially in a big Group race, the odds are that things are going to go horribly wrong. And which is what happened in the running of the Chairman’s Trophy at Sha Tin last Sunday. Too many cooks spoil the broth and all that other puff pastry stuff.

The moment one saw Karis Teetan bustling Fifty Fifty out and trying to get the usual back marker to lead at all costs, one just sat back and watched a comedy of errors take place. Forget the oddity of seeing stayer Time Warp starting the 2 to 1 favourite and the usual backing by the loyalists of Pakistan Star.

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HORSE RACING’S EASTER PARADE. ALL IT WAS CRACKED UP TO BE?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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For those who attended Sheikh Mo’s annual garden party in Dubai on Saturday or who watched the coverage of the races on television, well, it went according to script. The Sheikh’s Godolphin brand was to the fore all night, especially when their Thunder Snow won the Group 1 World Cup thanks to another brilliant ride by Christophe Soumillon and quite a phenomenal training effort by miracle man Saeed bin Suroor. It was an upset win? Really? It was absolutely flying! Godolphin was flying with five winners on the night.

There was the win on the dirt of the Aiden O’Brien trained Mendelssohn ridden by that man Ryan Moore and the quite extraordinary win of Mind Your Biscuits that had many choking on their kebabs.

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