NOT MUSIC TO OUR EARS
(Source: Dazzle Junction)
For years, we have brought up the similarities between the music and racing industries- the ominous similarities as we all know that the music industry has gone down the crapper through arrogance and refusing to see that the natives aka as music fans were not just getting restless, these lunatics had taken over the asylum and more than one had flown over the cuckoo’s nest.
(Source: The Right Of Reply)
What went wrong? Especially when technology took over, most music companies focused on new hires- many times, wrong hires from the digital world who were allowed to sit there for years, keep their heads down, produce nothing and yet, were not just kept on, but were actually promoted for their incompetence.
(Source: Cartoon Stock)
Racing clubs and music companies both suffer from this disease of often terrible hires, an old boys network notorious for feathering their own nests at the top of the heap and an inability to be in sync with today’s new generation of consumers.
Both try to embrace social media today because everyone else does despite knowing all their “social media” efforts have all the impact of a flea trying to have sex with an elephant.
Social media and the effective use of it has to do with being a good marketing person. With no understanding of traditional Marketing 101, and social media is just twittering in an SEO flap and pissing in the dark.
(Source: Digital Trends)
But what’s “trending” today- and far more dangerous to the image of horse racing- are anonymous whistleblowers.
(Source: Risk Management Monitor)
The music industry has, of course, gone through its share of whistleblowers who huffed and puffed and brought the house down on payola paid to disc-jockeys to play certain records.
They also put an end to CD manufacturing plants secretly financed by music executives when music cassettes were about to be eased out as new hardware was introduced, revealed under the table money made by television executives plus fake and rigged awards and talent shows and the exorbitant spending on useless meetings held at 5-star hotels, plus flooding cheaply manufactured records from places like Malaysia into Europe to make up their numbers.
(Source: The Daily Omnivore)
All this helped- to an extent- clean up -and scare an industry that needed cleaning up- and executives needing to be held responsible for their P&L, quarterly sales results and lavish spending.
Just ask Guy Hands, the private equity buffoon who went from refurbishing toilets on the Autobahn to purchasing EMI Music- and going bankrupt in the process.
Having said this, the industry has also had its share of trouble-making whistleblowers with only empty air accusations, various axes to grind and busy being annoying just out to waste everyone’s time with no proof in their souped up jealous puddings.
As someone far smarter than us always says, jealousy is something that needs to be earned.
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The latest racing jurisdiction to be hit by a whistleblower is Western Australia – an anonymous whistleblower, but aren’t they all?- and where five jockeys have been accused of alleged race fixing and working in cahoots with a betting syndicate made up of “Eastsiders.”
(Source: Cartoon Stock)
Listening to Richard Burt, Chief Executive of RWWA, being interviewed on Perth’s Racing Radio’s The Big Breakfast, he wasn’t a happy camper- and why should he be?
After all, now begins all the work in the name of Integrity to see if there’s fire where there’s smoke or if this is another wild goose chase strictly for the birds.
However, in his position, Richard Burt, who appears to handle himself very well, knows there is a need to err on the side of caution as the integrity of racing in WA is at stake.
Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise as Burt has an opportunity to clean house once and for all as WA racing has been dogged by dark shadows stretching to Singapore and Malaysia for way too long.
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With everything else that has unraveled over the past few weeks in the UK and Oz and played out in public like that Don Henley song about Dirty Laundry- and everything that has not made the news- racing, in general, needs this latest controversy like a hole in the head- but WA racing, especially, needs to tackle this problem head on.
(Source: Ink Cinct)
The irritating point is jumping at shadows and following up on Chinese Whispers means needing to go running after every piece of gossip or innuendo thrown one’s way.
Perhaps, this is where common sense must prevail and where some things need to be thought about twice to ensure it doesn’t result in any time wasting knee-jerk reactions and protracted investigations.
Either that, or put two and two together, crack email URLs, name these ankle biters, drag them in and get it over with quickly- one way or another.
No one needs a Lance Armstrong cloud hanging about like a bad smell that refuses to go away.
(Source: Toon Pool)
Again, the music industry learnt about time wasting the hard way when lawyers took over music companies and Sue The Bastards became the only solution for way too many years to new media “enemies” like Napster.
Napster could have been the industry’s greatest ally, but blinkered thinking and old-fashioned arrogance took over instead of thinking things through and re-reading The Art Of War.
Today, the online music world is grey and no matter what highly-paid entertainment lawyers might say, there are no laws and it’s all about commonsense coming into play- and calling those corporate bluffs.
(Source: Tomasino Web)
Threats, veiled or not, are challenged today by music fans and artists. They know that the genie popped outta the bottle almost ten years ago and legal u-turns are long gone. It’s all become a mess as commonsense did not prevail.
(Source: Sowetan Live)
The racing industry can learn from all this and re-look at laws and rules such as jockeys not being able to bet- but their families can.
Puhleese, folks, does this make sense in 2013 and does anyone with a brain believe that this rule is not broken wherever there is a race?
Perhaps- just perhaps- changing or “massaging” an old rule in racing like this just might help the image of racing from a long-term point of view and rid the sport of a problem that keeps popping up like a zit.
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WHY RACING NEEDS A SIR ALEX.
(Source: Business Insider)
Sure he has his detractors who fob him off as a “good manager and not a “visionary”, but the incredible outpouring of disappointment at the news of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as the Manager of Manchester United- and the Man U brand- at the end of July goes beyond the world of football and football fans.
It shows how the world- sporting and non-sporting- respects men with character- men with huge balls who stand up for their beliefs and always support team players perhaps even in spite of themselves.
It’s to do with going with gut instincts and realizing that no one is perfect.
(Source: Channel New Asia)
It’s like the respect we have for the very few leaders of racing clubs- one?- who is leading the racing world out of the twentieth century.
This is by realizing that the hardcore punter is an endangered species with the need for new ways to entice those standing on the sidelines, watching and wondering if they should jump in with both feet and commit to the sport like their parents, aunts and uncles have done- or if there are better ways of spending their time investing in the new buffet table of opportunities placed before them.
Especially in Asia, these are VERY cash-rich men and women in their Thirties and Forties who always want added value for their business investments- and, to them, horse racing is a hobby and an investment.
Even when attracted and committed to horse racing, they need to be constantly pampered through new venues, ease in betting facilities and being around and inter-acting with those who share their interests.
Watching a race for a few minutes every half hour is not enough for this Milenia Generation that needs to have something to interest them every nanu second.
Serve them the same dish all the time and you’ll be lucky to see them twice a year and which is why the marriage of racing clubs and sponsors must never be taken for granted. Sponsors stray if they feel they’re not getting enough bangs for their buck.
Apart from working with sponsors, mentoring his young players and being there to build up the Man U brand, Sir Alex is an extremely staunch horse racing fan who has had long friendships with the likes of the late, great horse trainer Ivan Allen, the legendary Lester Piggott and Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the HKJC.
The friendship between Ivan Allan and Sir Alex must have been a fascinating one. Both were and are men’s men who wouldn’t suffer fool’s gladly and, yes, they could be described as bullies. But when armed with the courage of one’s convictions, there is a time and place for “bullies” who know they are being stopped from soaring with the eagles by being surrounded by turkeys.
(Source: Racing Memories)
Just as Sir Alex could see a football player who had potential that was yet to be realized- someone who would one day learn to Bend It Like Beckham- Ivan Allen could see raw talent in a jockey- and support it- even one as mercurial and difficult as the ever-so-gifted Eric Saint Martin who could have been anything but was bogged down with a huge chip on his shoulder.
And though Eric The Terrible would shrug his shoulders and walk away from other trainers with a mumble of merdes, he always stopped and listened to Mr Allen. We all did. He commanded respect.
In any sport, in any industry, leaders might not win any popularity stakes or go out of their ways to be liked, but they are respected for their results in this results-driven world.
Ivan Allen and Sir Alex Ferguson always delivered. They were respected even by their enemies, they are and will be missed, but they have inspired many.
Those in the racing world who knew both men have learnt much being in their company- the pressures that come with the territory, whom to trust, when to dig one’s heels in with zero tolerance and in the case of Sir Alex, building a brand as global as Man U.
Mentors like these don’t come around every day.
Thank you, Sir Alex.
(Source: The Sun)
GOOD GUYS DON’T ALWAYS COME LAST.
When local trainer Peter Ng retires at the end of this season, Hong Kong will lose one of the real gentlemen of the turf who has always gone about his business in a truly professional manner.
Ironically, this, his last as a trainer as he has reached the compulsory retirement age, has been one of his best in many years and even gaining new runners to his stable.
(Source: Apple Daily)
Perhaps it’s suddenly dawned on many everything Peter Ng achieved with champion galloper Quicken Away, a regular ride for the very good New Zealand jockey Nigel Tiley.
(Source: Racing Memories)
Today, the HKJC is said to be raising the bar when it comes to granting trainers licenses.
This is to be applauded when one thinks of bona fide trainers like John Size, Richard Gibson, John Moore, Tony Cruz, Caspar Fownes, Dennis Yip, Tony Millard and the rest.
Sure, there have been the hard luck stories that have affected some trainers, but life is not fair.
It’s the luck of the draw and, bluntly put, there are those with trainers licenses who might be lovely people with whom to have a Tsingtao, but who are battlers clinging to their gigs and when they do train a winner, punters go through a brain freeze.
It’s a bit like, Who WAS that masked man?
(source: Johnny Deep Web)
We have no idea where all this might lead, but we just want Peter Ng remembered for his great service to Hong Kong racing and his mighty successes with the great Quicken Away.