THE “LIFE IS A BUFFET” ISSUE

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Hype is a dangerous thing. We have seen how it is used in politics- especially in American politics and where everyone tries so hard to be squeaky clean, tries to be MORE than sincere and with all the men looking like a Ken Doll- accept Obama, of course- and talking absolute bollocks. It’s all showbiz and it’s all hype.

Jeez, and we thought Sarah Palin was dumb! WAKE UP, AMERICA!

Hype is also there in music and which is why the world is awash in Gagas and Biebers and where “musicians” and “singers” are far more interested in hyping various products.

In a much smaller way, hype takes place in horse racing and because the sports key customer base is still a small one, the hype comes out sounding like even more bullshit when it spurts out from the mouths of babes and old farts.

When we read trainer John Moore actually telling the media that Happy Zero could win the Manikato Stakes, we almost gagged. When we saw it plod home seventh of eighth to the brilliance of Sepoy, we actually felt embarrassed for Moore.

John Moore is a very good trainer. He does not have to resort to hype. He should let his horses speak for themselves. On the track and at the races. Then again, the Moores have always had a habit of blowing their own trumpets.

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George Sr had all the ammunition to blow tunes from his arse as he was a legend. John Moore, Gary Moore and now George Jr, well, sorry, they are not in the same league. And which brings us to two quiet achievers of Hong Kong racing: Trainers John Size and Tony Millard.

On the subject of Size, it’s interesting to see how Joe Pride, below, his one-time assistant and now a very good young trainer in his right handles himself- which is well and allows his results speak for themselves. Same, of course, with”Sir” Bart.

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On Saturday in Hong Kong, after fifteen months off the scene, John Size produced the horse named Entrapment. He gave it a good chance and said so to the media, but didn’t leap about and use a plethora of redundant superlatives. He said only what he had to.

Same with his Robin to his Batman- jockey Douglas Whyte. All he told us was that the horse would appreciate any give in the track and that, yeah, with his book of rides, he could have a decent day at the office.

Entrapment ended up winning the Shatin Sprint and when Whyte pumped his fist- but not one of those over-the-top sweeping gestures- it was a restrained, “You fucking beaut” and a point to the grandstands, no doubt to say, “You did it, Sizey!”

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When he returned to the winning enclosure and after all the obligatory photos had been taken, it was interesting to watch Whyte and Size have a quick chat amongst themselves. It was dignified professionalism and great teamwork.

When Size was also asked by the media about his four horses entered for the National Cup, he was unequivocally candid: “I’d be surprised if any of them wins”, he said. “They’re pretty fit, but they’ll come on for their runs.”

They did not win and our minds thought what some other trainers might have said if asked the same question: They’d give each one a “GREAT chance of winning.”

Hype, you see, can turn around and bite them on their arses.

Knowing Hip from Hype is a great trait to have and John Size has it- he actually reminds us of horse racing’s answer to Clint Eastwood- and so does Tony Millard.

Millard trained the winner of the National Cup- the absolutely brilliant Ambitious Dragon.

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Ridden by Whyte, it made a very good group of horses look ordinary. They might have needed the run, perhaps Ambitious Dragon had maintained its form better, but it just gobbled them up and spat them out. It was a totally awesome display by a horse.

In fact, the next day,we scanned the Hong Kong racing pages and online racing sites to read what Millard had to say about the horse. There wasn’t a word from him.

It was left to Dougie Whyte to say how this was one of the best horses he has ridden, how he had let go of four John Size runners to ride the horse and how he hoped he would be able to keep the ride as the horse DOES have some very successful history with the gifted young French whizz kid Maxime Guyon- and Guyon will be back in Hong Kong when the European racing season ends.

Whyte also lavished praise on Millard and his wife- Beverley- a fine horse woman who, with Assistant Trainer Carol Yu, is a VERY vital part of Team Millard and who ALWAYS have their horses looking brilliant. Whyte, took pains to mention how Beverly Millard has always done a great deal of work on Ambitious Dragon- and all of the stable’s other runners- and winners.

It’s a great team and with each having a role to play though Carol Yu’s need to tweet and Facebook those who cross her and the stable have been silenced. Too bad: We LOVED her taking social media into the horse racing ranks and this is a subject we’ll tackle another day.

Freedom of speech and libel or “defamatory remarks” in the online world CANNOT be policed as there ARE no laws in cyberspace. Just ask any music company lawyer.

As for Tony Millard, he doesn’t  punch the air and tell the world his plans for the horse, how he plans to take it here, there and everywhere and suffers from a massive attack of verbal diarrhea? It’s not his style.

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Forget the hot pants he wears to track work. Look at the SUITS the man wears on race-days. It’s all class. He is a quiet achiever, he is not a knob and Ambitious Dragon is one helluva horse.

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One only hopes that the Hong Kong racing media does not suffer from premature ejaculation and starts calling it “world class”. Let the horse do what it has to and have the results speak for themselves.

We are reminded of singer Norah Jones. When she started being hyped by her music label and which started to air commercials calling her the greatest thing since mustard on rye, she got so pissed she ordered that ALL marketing everywhere in the world for her record be stopped or she would stop recording as Norah Jones and totally fuck up her recording deal- and which was with Norah Jones.

She wanted her music to sell itself. As she put it, “My fans know what I can do and if people hear my music and like it, fine. I am not interested in being marketed like Britney Spears.”

Like Lola, whatever Nora wants, Nora gets and she got her wish.

Still on the subject of knowing hip from hype, Douglas Whyte ended up riding four winners on Saturday- three of them in a row and for three different trainers. “It was an awesome day” was all he said.

He might have punched the air once, but overall, it was that dignified and subdued enthusiasm we personally like mixed with a total lack of bullshit.

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THE FUTURE OF HORSE RACING AS WE STILL DON’T KNOW IT.

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We have an aversion to printing press releases. Usually, they are more corporate bollocks and written by people who write it ‘cos it’s a job. There’s little “soul” or even honesty to them.

So, we read the release below with some trepidation and titled “Looking at future of horse racing from a 360-degree perspective.”

You know what? Though our jury is out on what Stephen Moran from Best Bets in Oz had to say- it read like waffle- everything else said should be applauded.

Two other areas we would have tackled would have been the hiring process of many racing clubs and their need to go to the same well one too many times and dragging out those whose time was up decades ago.

These hires offer nothing new and actually become road blocks as they refuse to see the forest for the trees and cannot take the blinkers off and see Change.

Same with horse racing and its coverage on television: It’s dreadful.

Those “producing” horse racing programes need to realize that it cannot continue to be talking heads and races still being filmed from the same boring angles.

The entire concept- and execution- of these broadcasts must change if horse racing is going to appeal to a consumer base other than the captive audience it has. One might even need to have an alternative channel- and on the web.

Let’s never forget that MTV was once the hippest, coolest channel on television. Look at it today. Well, no one does and it’s certainly not a music channel anymore. 

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Looking at future of horse racing from a 360-degree perspective

05/10/2011

Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO and IFHA vice-chairman Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges on Monday, in Paris, chaired a discussion on the “Future Challenges of Racing” at the 45th conference of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.Chairing at this important plenary session, Engelbrecht-Bresges spoke of the importance of “understanding the racing customer’s needs” as he introduced US Jockey Club President Jim Gagliano who outlined the current state and prospective future of thoroughbred breeding and racing in North America and then called on journalists from England, the USA and Australia to offer a media perspective on the future of racing.“We need to customize our product and service offerings by customer segments so as to make racing more relevant and more competitive,” said Engelbrecht-Bresges who also told the audiences that the Hong Kong Jockey Club has already done a comprehensive study to better understand customers’ behaviour and needs.He added that the key goal of the session was “to discuss further what racing can do to sustain its future, from a more holistic or 360-degree perspective.”Jim Gagliano started the session to talk about what proactive measures the US Jockey Club will undertake after unveiling a comprehensive economic study titled ‘Building sustainable growth for thoroughbred racing and breeding’. America is losing fans at a rate of 4% a year and by 2020, at this rate, the fan base will only be 64% of the 2010 figure.“You will agree therefore that ‘standing still’ is not an option. A clear message from the two studies is that racing must be more outside-in than inside-out when examining our issues and future options,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.Gagliano detailed the findings of their report which highlighted several factors including increased competition, brand perception and poor amenities which had led to a decrease in six major racing economic indicators in the period 2005 – 2010.“Importantly we have identified nine key initiatives which we believe can reverse those negative trends. We have already made significant and tangible progress on several of the initiatives including an agreement in principle with a major network to televise a series of races in the spring that leads to the Triple Crown,” Gagliano said.

Howard Wright, from the Racing Post, and Stephen Moran, from Best Bets Australia, both called on the industry world-wide to establish better relationships with the key personnel in mainstream media organisations to ensure that racing had coverage beyond the sports pages and could pursue greater free-to-air television exposure. Wright also emphasised the need to make “new media” work for racing.

The theme of Moran’s presentation was to re-invent how racing was presented; to re-engage the customers who are attracted to the track on major racedays and to re-establish racing in the mainstream psyche of ‘the man in the street’ via the major newspapers and television.

Steven Crist, Editor of the US Daily Racing Form argued that, “virtually every aspect of our sport can be improved by a more customer-centric approach” with a focus on the racing product, the wagering experience and horse welfare.”

Engelbrecht-Bresges summarised the theme of the discussions when he said that “racing would with a more outside-in perspective be better able to truly understand and differentiate our customers and be better able to create offerings that attract, retain and grow them.”

3 OF THE GREATEST HORSE RACING ROCK SONGS EVER!

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 ARE THE MACAU JOCKEY CLUB’S DAYS FINALLY  UP?

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Some of our favourite people are doing the best they can by trying to deal with the knobs running the MJC.

Why do they bother? What are the options?

Their kids are going to school there; they enjoy the lifestyle; they return home and to what? To train cripples at Stoney Creek?

To take a retainer and maybe take a bullet to ride in Malaysia?

So, they do the best they can with what they have and where they are. But from everything we know, the curtain is about to fall on the MJC: The Macau Government wants the land on which the Club hobbles together its race meetings- this land is said to be worth billions- made up of hobbled horses, hobbled owners and, mostly, hobbled jockeys and trainers who, apparently, do what is asked and told by those knobs mentioned earlier.

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It’s called survival and part of playing the game is to not rock the boat. Just do what is required, stash away as much money as possible and then leave.

Once, it was Okay to say one was a Member of the MJC or had horses running there.

Admitting this today is about as embarrassing as shaking someone’s hand and saying, “Hello, I have the clap”.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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OZ JOCKEYS NEED ANOTHER COLD SHOWER

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 Australian jockeys need to be given a crash course in ambush marketing and another in the implications on racing industry revenue streams if open season is declared on their individual sponsorship agreements which would make racing industry and individual race club sponsorships completely redundant and useless in monetary terms.

And perhaps while we are reaching for our packs of Kleenex tissues to dry our moist eyes from the sorrow we feel for the plight of our “big name jockeys”, we can pass the hat around and compensate them for the sponsorship dollars that they are going to miss out on.

https://i0.wp.com/www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/rbo/lowres/rbon534l.jpg The reality is that jockeys can and do enter into sponsorship, marketing and promotional agreements with a range of companies and commercial organizations.

They endorse products through advertising and merchandise and negotiate commercial contra arrangements, for example. with top of the range motor vehicles.

What they should not and cannot do is enter into sponsorship agreements to overtly promote or endorse products through their racing apparel or while they are visible in the mounting yard or at race meetings where sponsorship arrangements are in place with race clubs or with the governing body or with their own Australian Jockeys Association or State affiliate.

It is a workable and reasonable arrangement and one which you would expect even a simpleton to understand.

So it came somewhat from left field to read in the Sydney Morning Herald that some high profile jockeys were threatening to “revolt” against a Racing Victoria directive not to wear sponsored undershirts during the spring racing carnival, and in particular skivvies promoting the Tab owned Sky Channel.

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Revolting jockeys?

The directive from Stewards- quite obviously- was to protect the industry owned broadcaster TVN being ambushed by rival Sky Channel when jockeys are interviewed post race or during the meeting by TVN. It’s a more than reasonable directive.

Imagine jockeys wearing a Jetstar undershirt on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day or one bearing a Mercedes Benz logo on BMW Caulfield Cup day, or for that matter a William Inglis undershirt on Magic Millions day?

Sure they would go down well with the Sponsors who would have paid big dollars for naming rights for these valuable and sought after sponsorships.

And it’s also a tad rich for the jockeys to moan about non-payment for the post-race interviews they give TVN, which, according to them, is done in good faith.

That may be so, but jockeys would be well reminded that biting the hand that feeds them and the rest of the racing industry is hardly what racing needs.

https://i0.wp.com/www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/vsh0053l.jpg Jockeys like most other professional sportsman are given quite a bit of latitude and opportunity by the Governing Bodies and Race Clubs to maximize their income from individual sponsorship arrangements. They are quite justifiably restrained when these arrangements breach those which have been negotiated by the Race Clubs and Governing Bodies.

Race Club sponsorships are a vital source of revenue for racing at a time when the income from sponsorship of horse racing is at an all time low.

Jockeys and all licensed persons have an obligation to the racing industry to ensure that these sponsorships are not threatened by their self-interest and attempt to be too clever by half in indulging in ambush marketing.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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DRUG RUMOURS KEEP SURFACING

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 Some ill-judged comments by Victorian Chief Steward Terry Bailey and his CEO Rob Hines and headline- grabbing Sydney Radio shock jock Alan Jones have again delivered some unwanted headlines to the racing industry.

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“And for my next shocker…”

What appears to be the coincidental and distressing and sudden deaths of three or four high profile Victorian racehorses have set tongues wagging as to the causes of their untimely and sudden demise. Racing being racing, it is a cesspool of rumours and innuendos, and, so often, all baseless.

But when you have the State’s Chief law enforcer making off the cuff comments suggesting that the deaths could be more than just coincidental – it is “manna” to the racing media and piranha like shock jocks who descend on the scraps thrown their way like a pack of hyenas in the African jungle.

http://bigeyedeer.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/vultures.jpgTo be fair to Bailey, the comments were off the cuff and hardly would have been intended to cast a sinister slur on the integrity of the trainers of the unfortunate horses.

As would be expected, autopsies have been conducted on these horses – but that hardly signals or suggests anything untoward.

Racing is often its own enemy when it comes to feeding the negative perceptions about its own integrity.

A simple statement that normal routine autopsies were being conducted and it would be unwise to comment until results are known would have sufficed.

Why provide a commentary or promote speculation that the causes the sudden deaths of these horses may not have been natural? All of them, after all collapsed, and died at the track after completing routine training gallops.  

From what we have heard and observed of Bailey, he is a good steward, performing his duties diligently and dedicated to the task of eradicating the use of performance enhancing and prohibited drugs in racing.

But he also has a habit of being extremely gung ho when carrying out his duties and with some of the comments which have been attributed to him bordering on naive jingoism.

https://i0.wp.com/www.arvidland.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/gungho.jpegHe needs to make certain that he does not suffer permanently from the foot in the mouth disease which affects many who venture outside their comfort zone when they are cornered by the media.

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Terry Bailey speaks to the media???

Alan Jones’ commentary should surprise no one. Headlines and Alan Jones could not be separated at birth. He follows a well trodden path popularized by John Laws and others, where sensational editorials bring out the basic insecurities of the audience into daylight and whips callers into a frenzy.

But Alan Jones also has a strong racing connection being one of John Messara’s breeding partners, and a shareholder in the mighty Redoute’s Choice.

He is part and parcel of NSW’s racing and breeding establishment and one wonders what really pushed his buttons into buying into and stoking a controversy over the border?

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Moody rightly refused to dignify the comments by responding to them.

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“Kiss my arse, you jealous twats”. Moody gets, well, moody.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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AVDULLA COMES OF AGE

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 Young Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla is steadily climbing up the Sydney riding ranks, and Saturday’s Epsom Handicap win on Secret Admirer won him more fans.

It was a ride of patience, timing and confidence, giving the mare plenty of time to settle down in one of Australia’s premier mile handicaps, before letting her down and steering her home to give Avdulla his third Group One win.

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Avdulla who was first apprenticed in Melbourne but moved to Sydney in search of better opportunities, is acknowledged in Sydney as a very good reader of a race and an equally good analyst of a horses’ performance.

He is going places in the Sydney riding ranks which is high on quality at the very top end but soft in the middle and lower ranks.

Riding against the likes of Corey Brown, Hugh Bowman, Nash Rawiller and Glyn Schofield won’t do him any harm and his return to Melbourne for the spring carnival will help him hone his skills even further.

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“MUNZSTER” SPREADS HIS HORSES AROUND

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We’ve often described Melbourne Jonathan “the Munzster” Munz, as one of the most unsuccessful owners in Australia, for the size of his racing and breeding team and the millions he has splurged on horses at the yearling sales in search of those elusive Group One horses and champions.

The “Munzster” who is also head honcho of the Victorian Owners Association, has previously had a succession of private trainers and invested a small fortune in building his own private training complex outside Melbourne.

While he still has a large team of horses with his current private trainer Jim Conlan, it appears “the Munzster” is now sending some of his team to other trainers. The familiar red and white strip colours have appeared on a number of horses trained by the likes of Gai Waterhouse and Paul Messara, and David Payne has also been given a horse to train.

In Melbourne John McArdle and David Hayes are also training horses for “the Munzster”, and there could be others yet to race in different stables.

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SEPOY: JESUS CHRIST, A SUPERSTAR!

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 He is one of the best sprinting three year old colts to have stepped out on a racetrack for along time. His two year old career was exceptional bagging both of Australia’s two year old Group One classics – the Blue Diamond in Melbourne and the Golden Slipper in Sydney, with the blemish of one defeat on a rain affected track at Rosehill in the Slipper lead up.

His Melbourne campaign this spring has been meticulously planned by Darley trainer Peter Snowden and Sepoy has delivered in spades, winning all three starts including last Friday night’s Group One classic – the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley taking on and thrashing his older rivals who included Australia’s second best mare – More Joyous.

After a tardy start and being used up to get up to the lead and doing lots of hard work in the early and middle stages, Sepoy demonstrated his champion qualities kicking away in the home straight to post a victory which you would only associate with champion racehorses.

Full credit must go to trainer Peter Snowden who has established himself in the elite of Australian training ranks, since taking over the Ingham yard from John Hawkes and then continuing to demonstrate his training prowess when Sheikh Mo made Bob Ingham an offer he couldn’t refuse.

https://i0.wp.com/images.smh.com.au/2011/02/27/2205623/art_kerrinmcevoy-420x0.jpgThere were many knockers in the early days who predicted Snowden would find it difficult to follow in the footsteps of John Hawkes and later in the demanding role as Darley’s private trainer, but he has proven his doubters wrong. Snowden comes across as someone who is actually enjoying his job, unlike many of his whining and winging counterparts.

His horses race as if they are in their own happy comfort zone and he places his horses astutely.

Snowden is always at the races and doesn’t seek the sanctuary of his living room on race days to watch his horses go around on his big flat screen TV.

Sepoy meanwhile will progress to the Group One Coolmore Classic on derby day where he will race in the presence of Sheikh Mo.

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“Peter, who are all these infidels?”

His next start may be in the northern hemisphere where the son of Elusive Quality may be set for Royal ascot and a showdown with Black Caviar next June. And that is a clash worth waiting for.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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MR WALLY LANDS IN HONG KONG!

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Those who follow UK racing will know Wally Pyrah. There is no middle ground with The Wally: One either likes him or thinks of him as being a waffler. And now he is in Hong Kong and with a nice comfy gig with the HKJC.

Doing exactly what, we’re not that sure but we hear it has to do with the Racing Club- the very good initiative setup to attract new racegoers and, more importantly, new- and young- race horse owners. And in the middle of it all is The Wally.

We found this piece which we found online about the old boy with the  “punch line” being so idiotic and showing why so many in the Western media are geographically challenged and need to get out more.

“The talk of racing Wally Pyrah, the doyen of racing and betting PR and most recently the public voice and (if we’re desperate) face of the Racing Post The Racing Post is a British daily horse racing, greyhound racing and sports betting newspaper. It is owned by Sheikh Mohammed and published under a 10 year lease by Trinity Mirror is upping sticks and preparing for a new job with the Hong Kong Jockey Club The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC, Traditional Chinese: 香港賽馬會) is one of the oldest institutions in Hong Kong, founded in 1884 to promote horse racing.

The genial flesh-presser will need to ensure a crash course in Cantonese is top of his priorities when he arrives in Hong Kong judging by what happened when he was over there for his interview.

Pyrah was taken out to a swanky dinner with his soon-to-be-colleagues but, flummoxed by an unfamiliar menu, played the old “I’ll have the same as him” card when it came to ordering. Halfway through the main course our Wal inquired from the man in whose palate he had put his trust what they were eating as he didn’t recognise the meat dish.

“It’s parrot,” came the reply. Cue sudden choking noises.”

Sigh. Corny is as corny always was and such Ye Old School naivety. Haw, haw, haw.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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MUTANT TELEVISION: ATV SIMULCASTS

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While watching the simulcast of the Arc and five other races from Longchamp, we could not help but wonder what The Wally thought about the presentation of the production.

It really was dreadful and where nothing worked and many have written to us asking why things were so disjointed.

Well, work with ATV, a second-rate Hong Kong terrestrial television channel and this is what one gets: Crappy production values and staff with no interests in when and where they cut for a commercial break or to show the news. Damn the races!

Therefore, unless one had ATV HD, no one saw the first three races from Longchamp. Instead, one got replays of this though the results were already known online and the videos of the races were uploaded onto Google and YouTube- instantaneously.

As we have said many times, television as it was once know is dead, dead, dead and also dead, dead, dead is the way horse racing continues to be presented on television!

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It’s fucking old-fashioned, irrelevant, boring and “fun” and “interesting” for a very niche group of hardcore punters. Others can take it or leave it- and most choose to leave it.

Who CARES what the “television pundits” have to say? They’re wrong most of the time, anyway.

Video killed the radio star and the online world has killed television.

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The whole simulcast from Longchamp was a waste of time and money and, frankly, we were not listening to any one of the hosts.

The often very good Jerry Greene was speaking so quickly and interrupting everyone we didn’t even know what the hell he was rabbiting on about.

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Jerry Greene?

One can only suspect that the “producer” was hurrying him up. He seemed to have been slipped some Bolivian marching powder or else was suffering from sleep deprivation. It was uncomfortable to hear and watch. It made us twitch nervously.

Clint Hutchison seemed to only know about So You Think and seemed half-asleep or just fed up with the entire “production” and having to look like a knob on television.

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Clint Hutchison?

And then there was The Wally with his tips and pontificating very slowly. He sounded like he was auditioning for the lead role in “Hamlet” in some local theatre production while everything around him was moving like whirly birds on speed.

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Wally Pyrah?

Nothing worked. And from what our Chinese friends tell us, it didn’t work in Chinese either with the local hosts not understanding what those from France were on about,  lack of knowledge of Northern hemisphere racing and with their ad-libbing and translations being laughable.

Sounded like a job for Inspector Clouseau.

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“Hmmmmm, wuz eez zeez green walleeee, he talks about?”

For us, we were just happy for German jockey Andrasch Starke, yet anther jockey who has battled his personal demons and, hopefully, has outrun the hounds from hell.

He also had one GORGEOUS girlfriend around four years ago. We are tipping Starke- a very likeable guy- will be in Hong Kong in December for the International Jockeys Challenge.

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His win aboard the Peter Schiergen-trained and Volz family-owned Danedream to win the Prix de Arc de L’Arc Triomphe was incredible and the consummate EASE of the win made all the chat before the race become just white noise.

Unglaublich!!! Und: Achtet auf Andrasch, was für ein genialer Ritt. Echt was zum geniessen. Diesen Riesenerfolg gönne ich Ihm echt!

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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JAPAN’S SPRINTERS STAKES BECOMES A KEYSTONE COPS EVENT!

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 The Sprinters Stake in Japan turned out to be more farcical than a Keystone Cops movie. First of all, the Japanese racing officials seemed clueless and even Clouseau-less as what to do with B.B.Gulden when the horse dumped its rider and galloped and galloped and galloped for over ten minute before getting tired and saying to itself, “Fuck this, I’m going home ‘cos no one is bothering to even catch me.”

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It was a joke- a bad one- to see officials run onto the track and towards the horse only when it had literally run its course- and then give the thumbs up as if they has achieved the impossible.

Never EVER will we bag the barrier attendants in Doomben!

Meanwhile, the horses for the race were milling around the barriers for almost 15 minutes. And being in a sprint, surely this took the mental edge off many.

As the gates finally opened and the Japanese horses went like the clappers, we could see that Singapore’s Rocket Man was just not the horse he is. It was probably bored shitless and not even the urgings of the great Felix Coetzee could get him to give more than he was giving. He looked strangely very ordinary.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Lucky Nine received a nasty check, it should have placed, but the Japanese have their rules and they stick to them. Or do they?

If one followed their logic and thought Lucky Nine had not been impeded for a run on the inside, then it made the suspension Tye Angland copped for his ride on Green Birdie- and which was relegated- the last time it ran in Japan and fell foul of the Japanese Stewards even more ludicrous. And clueless.

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As our friends at http://www.fasttrack.hk wrote, the whole race was more of a “DISG-race” than anything else and the JRA should hang their heads in shame and apologise to its foreign visitors.

We would forget this DISG-race ever took place and pay no attention to the results- something to be well and truly forgotten as this form will never hold.

The 4-year-old filly Curren Chan won the race and two other Japanese horses came first and second- the latter one certainly costing Lucky Nine a placing . We didn’t hang about to find out their names. We were too disgusted with this so-called “Group 1 race”.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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TONY CRUZ, THE ELEPHANT MAN????

We stopped in our tracks when we saw this photograph of trainer and former champion jockey Tony Cruz on the HKJC website.

What the hell has gone wrong with his face?!!!

Like many who have sent in this same photo in, we completely missed seeing him giving the thumbs up and which gives the impression that “Puta Man” was suffering from a severe toothache or had contacted mumps.

Of course, Tony has regaled many of us over many dinners about a horrific fall he had when riding in Europe and how the doctors literally took his face off, re-constructed it and put it back on again.

Listening to him say, “Man, you should have seen my EYEBALLS!” has had many of us quickly leaving the table and running to the loo.

Looking at this photograph, we had to wonder if his face might be “melting.” After all, he has told us many-a-time that his face is “fragile” and how “the bones can move.”

Yes, we are still looking at this picture and with some smart arses saying he has just been bitch-slapped or has gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson or else had been kicked by one of his horses.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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BITCHES AND PIECES

As most of know by now, the winner of the Arc- Danedream- was purchased for 9000 Euros as a yearling.

Fortunately, the Japanese breeder- Teruya Yoshida- who only recently bought a half-share in the horse. So, all was nearly fine.

All this reminds us of an old and odd bloke named Eric Kronfeld. “Crustry” and “cranky” are two words that spring to mind when hearing his name. He’s seen it all, he’s heard it all and he knows it all- business, music, politics, horses, jockeys blah blah blah. He is an acquired taste at dinners.

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Krusty The Klown aka Eric Kronfeld

Once a lawyer with PolyGram Music, he got shown the door when saying something to the effect that all Black rappers were hoods.

Since then, he’s been doing this, doing that and selling a yearling for US$60,000 to his good mate Jerry Moss- the M in A&M Records- and was named after the third album by a “new band” he had signed up called The Police.

http://seeker401.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/police-album-zenyattamondatta.jpgThis yearling turned out to be Zenyatta and “Crusty The Klown” neverever set foot onto a racetrack whenever the Champion ran- and won and won and won.

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Visit the racing page at http://www.fasttrack.hk

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FRANKIE IS PAST IT? REALLY?

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Anyone who might be thinking that Frankie Dettori is “past it”, well, if you can watch his ride on Dabirsim at Longchamp last week.

He had the horse settled last, he knew what he was sitting on and, turning for home, one would be thinking, there goes my dosh. But then, there went Yo! Frankie.

The horse picked up ground, motored down the inside and registered this brilliant jockeys 500th GROUP winner.

That’s FIVE HUNDRED big ones, baby!

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Visit http://www.fasttrack.hk

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STEVE JOBS IS DEAD AT 56.

A VERY SAD DAY FOR MANY OF US.

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