THE MANY DIFFERENT FACES OF HORSE RACING AND DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It’s basic psychology: When good things happen to good people there’s a feeling of happiness that’s contagious. It’s been mentioned here many times: It’s The Likability Factor.

So when popular Italian jockey Alberto Sanna won the first race of the Happy Wednesday Goes Korean night- his tenth winner during his short term riding stint in Hong Kong, which has now rightfully seen his license extended until the end of this season- we cheered him on. The Italian girls in the Beer Garden screamed loudest for “Mambo Italiano”. He seems a good man, grateful to be here and knowing there’s always room for improvement.

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MARKETING THE LIKABILITY OF HORSE RACING

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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By now, some of us look at racing at Happy Valley as one big party- ‘live’ music, food, beer, and eight horse races every half hour and where one might wave to champion jockey Joao Moreira, but seldom, if ever, follow him at the idiosyncratic city track.

Forget what the professional tipsters say. Even magic men need some time to chill. And with Happy Valley very seldom being his happy hunting grounds, one lost count of the favourites on which Moreira didn’t even run in the top two on Happy Wednesday. Maybe not even in the top three. But Joao Moreira is likeable and likability is a major asset in success or failure in Hong Kong. One doubts it’s something not lost on horse racing’s new kid on the block- Alberto Sanna.

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WHY IT’S GOT TO BE MUCH MORE THAN SOME SONGS AND LOOKING AT THE CHINA ENTERTAINMENT MARKET WITH THOSE WHO REALLY KNOW IT

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Writing this with a repeat of Britain’s Got Talent flickering in the background and some random Spotify Playlist playing what could be described as “coffee shop music” while thinking about one particular well-known name dropping music blogger who is clueless about the world outside of America writing incessantly about embracing new technology and The New, but then goes on and on about the need for artists to tour and how touring gave the Grateful Dead their loyal Deadheads shows just how unfocused, hypocritical and confusing trying to make a career out of music has become. All the excitement and enthusiasm seems to have been sucked out and replaced with bland clutter and speaking in the vagaries of circles.

Trying to make a livelihood out of music today is almost an impossibility. Or so it seems. To those who’ve worked in music companies run as successful businesses by visionaries like Ahmet Ertegun and Chris Blackwell and grown up watching, and even getting to know, unknown artists become legends, it’s easy to come across being know-it-all windbags and dreadful bores in the process.

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HONG KONG RACING AND THE MEDIUMS FOR THE TRILINGUAL MESSAGES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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What many following Hong Kong racing from overseas often forget, or perhaps don’t even know, is that this is a bilingual and, more and more, a trilingual market made up of Cantonese, Putonghua and English.

Trying to explain this to musicians not in this region has always been an uphill task- the different tastes of music fans in Taiwan compared to those in Mainland China, how Chinese don’t consider themselves Asians, and just how irrelevant Hong Kong is these days as a music market other than being a celebration to narcissism, navels and kitsch.

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THE HKJC AND ITS FIELD(S) OF DREAMS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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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.

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HORSE RACING, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

It was a tweet sent out from here recently and after the races at Sha Tin half in jest. But also in all seriousness. It was about how horse racing needs a Roger Federer if it’s ever going to be more than what it is today.

Today is an important word, because today isn’t yesterday and nothing can afford to be stuck in the past as there’s so much of everything today and easy access to a buffet of choices called-wait for it- competition. So much competition for the same consumer dollar. Often, many in horse racing seem to think they’re the only game in town and not having really thought through what it takes to be in the game.

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I MISSED OUT ON GETTING LAID BECAUSE OF HORSE RACING

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

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?

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