HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS STUNTING THE GROWTH OF HORSE RACING

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Recently, more and more people following the world of horse racing are taking sabbaticals from social media, mainly Twitter. Some never come back, Why? In order to return to the real world. Even with all its faults, it’s somewhere with small pockets of beauty and intelligence and the chance to escape from relentless stupidity, triviality and where the terminally needy have found somewhere to belong. Twitter is like an old Barbra Streisand song about people needing people. The difference is that it’s an often irrelevant world that doesn’t really exist nor brings us human beings closer together.

The problem with whether being on Twitter or Facebook is that many of these people who are part of this social media community- and usually hiding behind pseudonyms thinking they can’t be found out, and authorities on everything and everyone and damned be if one were to disagree with them- appear on your timeline, meaning one cannot help but read their Wikipedia knowledge and self obsessed tripe. This creates a chain reaction of negativity.

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HORSE RACING; WHO AND WHAT’S NEXT ON THE HORIZON? ANYTHING MIND BLOWING?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

No one can always win though there are always the Walter Mitty characters in horse racing who claim they do and then, at least these days, take to Facebook to show them #winning with lots of BOOMS and BANGS. But as someone relatively new to the sport innocently asked the other day, “Do you think they’ve past their Use By date?” Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.

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WHEN IS HORSE RACING GOING TO REALLY GO GLOBAL (AND LEARN FROM THE CLUTTER HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD)?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

When lost, one takes a scattergun approach hoping for the best. We’re buried today in hashtags, clutter, transparent hypocrisy, and sanctimonious bollocks which is bought without questioning.

Here and now “righteous” indignation has become a trend before being swallowed up by whatever will trend next. Trending is another word for hype and social media is the rallying call for the herd mentality to follow like sheep.

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THE AUSTRALIA-HONG KONG IMPASSE (AND THE ROARING SILENCE)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s a roaring silence amongst the racing media in the land Down Under surrounding the “temporary” suspension of exporting horses from Australia to Hong Kong- and vice versa- and what this really means and where it can lead. If one didn’t know better, we’d think the story has been purposely headed off at the pass. Surely not?

It’s a problem and a subject written at great length, especially by the knowledge racing writer Alan Aitken for Hong Kong’s Racing Post. All roads lead to an unfortunate decision made in October 2017 by Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) that revolves around the “Equine Disease Free Zone” status of the exclusion zone surrounding, and transport to and from the HKJC’s new training centre at Conghua in Mainland China. That’s a mouthful.

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HERE COMES THE CHAN MAN- JOCKEY ALFRED CHAN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

In recent seasons, we have seen local apprentices return to Hong Kong, and, like some racing scribes have been known to do- along with the HKJC- where there’s almost a desperation to find new racing heroes, some have suffered from premature ejaculation and jumped aboard The Hype Bandwagon. Who mentioned that “viral sensation” Pakistan Star?

Then, remember the hype that greeted female apprentice Kei Chiong and The Poon Train? Voted The Most Popular Jockey In Hong Kong during her first season of riding here, the injury that has kept Kei sidelined this season might have been the reason which prompted her announce her retirement from the sport. On Instagram. Some in Hong Kong expressed shock at the announcement. But why? Surely it’s been on the cards for months?

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BUTCH AND SUNDANCE AND JOAO MOREIRA, GAME CHANGER

It was reminiscent of the sheriff who had decided to hang up his guns for a while to stare at the cacti against the purple sky of the prairie deciding that, aw shucks, it’s time to return to Dodge City.

And so it was that with a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders John Size walked back into town and showed who’s boss and that Size always matter.

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Posted in Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing | 1 Comment

RB ISSUE 1

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

WIN A LIMITED EDITION 2017 LONGINES HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL JOCKEYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AUTOGRAPHED POSTER BY ALL JOCKEYS WHO PARTICIPATED

Simply tell us who won this season’s HKIJC at Happy Valley Racecourse in December 2017.

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GOODBYE RACINGB*TCH, HELLO, RB

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It seemed like a good idea at the time: If the UK had a newsletter for the music industry called Popbitch, why not a gonzo newsletter about horse racing called Racingbitch?

After all, this was probably going to just be a one-off blog before even knowing what a blog was- a blog roll?- naming the 20 most overrated jockeys at the time. If starting out today, we would probably compile a list of the most likeable racing personalities. It would be a very short list. A list of The Most Unlikeable People In Racing would take too long to compile. Especially in this socially media driven world, no one is who they say they are, there’s zero trust, and there’s a need to always sit with one’s back to the wall. It’s often a toxic environment.

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HORSE RACING AND THE DEEP IMPACT OF A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE AIR

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“Princes on steeples and all the pretty people laughing and thinking that they’ve got it made.” Bob Dylan wrote that line in “Like A Rolling Stone.” Talking about this track the other night with a few friends in advertising and the use of music in marketing sparked off a series of What If moments.

What if, for example, Dylan wrote about horse racing. What might he have said? After all, he had leapt to the defence of boxer Ruben “Hurricane” Carter in song and must have read Dr Hunter S Thompson’s whacked out gonzo day at the Kentucky Derby.

What If? Probably something along the lines of “thundering hooves are galloping through my head/They’re taking me on a journey of mystery/Modern day Knights of The Roundtable/Riding tall on their flying charges/Creating fleeting moments of history.” Something like that…

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Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RACING TO WIN: THE REVIEW

It opens with a montage of graphics that recall such great television moments as “Thunderbirds Are Go” and “Knight Rider” over what sounds like a James Last version of “Band On The Run” before host Andrew Le Jeune, below. appears as usual to let audiences know what’s in store if one is Racing To Win, the HKJC production that just won’t go away. It’s been in Hong Kong for almost four decades and since when that doyen of horse racing Jim McGrath was a young pup.

It’s a tried and true format in television programming for horse racing, and if the wheel ain’t broke, why send it to the glue factory? Plus, new hosts and panels can always make a world of vive le difference.

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