(Source: GR Assets)
What pisses off many Asians are foreigners who land in the region on expat terms and packages- usually, those who would be too expensive to fire and so Head Office sends them this way where they and their wives wear pith helmets, Wellington boots and try and re-live the life and Days Of The Raj.
(Source: Cartoon Stock)
The multi-faced Singapore which we still love to visit for its nightlife and cuisine at places like Sammy’s and a good Fish Head Curry at any banana leaf restaurant has taken over from Hong Kong in being an expat package haven where one is suddenly living in a bungalow with a swimming pool, becoming members of every private club, having domestic helpers, chauffeur-driven cars, a mistress on the side and other perks. Like back-handers. Power corrupts.
(Source: International Nabers)
Expat packages and “hardship postings” to this region unravel when the male of the species comes down with severe cases of yellow and brown fever and leave the wife with her Pilates classes to stretch and paint her toenails while going ballistic about being a woman scorned on Facebook.
(Source: Empower Network)
This is when things get messy, Pandora’s box is opened, marriages bite the dust and, like a Don Henley song, Dirty Laundry is aired for all to hear.
Of course, things like this have happened everywhere but, especially in Singapore, Sarong Party Girls aka SPGs who target those in the media spotlight, are relentless in their pursuits as often- very often- they are on the payrolls of a well-planned betting syndicate sting.
(Source: The Atlantic Wire)
We are not saying that any of this has had anything to do with the recent abrupt terminations with no reasons given of the riding licenses in Singapore of, first, Stephen Baster and, last week, Steven King, below, whose decision to ride in Singapore at his age was a tad mystifying in the first place.
(Source: Daily Telegraph)
What happens at the Singapore Turf Club stays with the Singapore Turf Club, and, oh, to be a fly on the wall to know the real reasons for these immediate reversal of fortunes of these jockeys.
Baster was doing incredibly well whereas King was said to be struggling with something like four winners from 144 rides.
Still, there are a number of foreign jocks struggling in Singapore but yet hanging in there so this immediate “banishment” of an experienced jockey like Steven King has many raising their eyebrows with many jocks wondering if packing up to move to Singapore on a permanent basis is worth the hassle.
Of course, Stephen Baster has returned to Oz and is riding better than ever and Steven King will start making his cameo appearances in Victoria.
Still what seems to be suddenly plaguing racing in Singapore- Chinese Whispers and expressions like, “He tipped the wrong horse to the wrong person” and “He trusted the wrong woman with all his secrets”- is rather disconcerting as it seems to have taken the Club- a good club with good facilities- seem to have become insular, slowing down and taking ten steps back.
That momentum around five years ago is no longer there and a great jockey like South African Felix Coetzee leaving and mentioning how he simply didn’t enjoy riding there, hasn’t helped.
(Source: Global Times)
We expect this from Malaysia which, like Mauritius is bookie-infested whereas no one is really what they seem in Macau except for Gary Moore.
But Malaysia is in a Class 6 all its own and where certain well-known Aussie jockeys have been shot at and had to take that Last Train To Georgia from Penang to avoid having their heads served to Mustafa with an apple in their mouths.
(Source: Pro Group Racing)
What’s happening with racing in Singapore is intriguing, interesting and with certain things seemingly brushed under the carpet.
It’s like the city itself where, on the surface, everything is squeaky clean, but dig deeper and there is a far more dark, sinister city with racing playing a tiny role compared to many other things that go bump in the night on there. It’s far more than silly talk about being publicly flogged for chewing gum.
Let’s not forget that Singapore is still home to Dan Tan, below, named a few months ago as the global Mr Fixit when it comes to soccer matches and with the opening of casinos seeing elaborate Oceans 11 type of scams being successfully pulled off with inside help playing a major role.
(Source: BBC Img)
Eight years ago, racing in Singapore was five years behind Hong Kong and new players flowed to the Lion City to be part of the satay rush.
(Source: English Asase Condation)
Recently? Despite the sizable pools held on Singapore races in Australia, something seems way off.
Sure, Singaporean influences and even ownership of horses in Oz racing are well-know, especially the tentacles- and this includes Malaysia- that reach and is said to have quite a say in racing in Western Australia. But is this a good thing?
(Source: Who Killed Bambi)
We love Singapore as a city to visit and wish to see the Singapore Turf Club do well. It has some very good executives making some good decisions and the marquee value of the great Joao Moreira.
But The Magic Man cannot carry the entire load. Plus, how much longer before he is in Hong Kong doing battle with Douglas Whyte?
(Source: Punters Paradise)
Perhaps it’s the appearances of Singapore racing’s Mata Hari’s and who they are working for, but there are also some other cracks appearing which seem to have an anti-Aussie slant.
Aussie jockeys and trainers have long been viewed suspiciously in Asia going all the way back to jockey Peter Miers and his comrade in arms in trainer Bob Burns who “organized” Hong Kong racing during the Sixties and Seventies with a colorful cast of bit players on their team including, over the years, David Brosnan, Billy Burnett, Leon Fox, Ray Setches, trainer Roy Edwards and everything coming a-cropper with the naming of the so-called Shanghai Syndicate, the kinda stupid businessman YL Yang and then Champion Jockey Gary Moore, below, turning Crown’s Witness.
(Source: Racing Memories)
Even today, this prejudice exists. It’s something handed down from generation to racing generation and very definitely in the minds and DNA of the local racing media.
Simply put, despite the winners they have ridden, certain Aussie jockeys will never ever be considered “clean”. Same with Aussie trainers.
As for Singapore, the very similar cases involving what is, basically, the immediate firing of Stephen Baster and Steven King might shock and awe those in Oz, but we very much doubt any of it worries the Singapore Turf Club.
Aussie Corey Brown arrives there next and we’ll see how his few months there works out before he starts his riding stint in France.
The Club seems to be cleaning house and, from what we hear, even some trainers are being watched as to who they mix with, if these might be the usual posse of Sarong Party Girls and just how many “trade secrets” might be being leaked in the heat of the moment.
(Source: Movie Poster)