(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
Over the past year, what we have found- sometimes in ways that might be goofy to many- is that so many who are new to racing and wish to get far more involved in the sport are still in the dark about many aspects of how it all works.
As The Temptations mashed up with the Stones put it, it’s a ball of Rolling Confusion to them.
Despite the apps, the tipping shows, other gimmicks, many of us are running while they lag behind as those trying to bring these new converts to the church of racing are simply so close to the product they cannot or refuse to see the forest for the trees.
(Source: Z Cache)
This is where a glossy, creatively laid out magazine like Gallop can help along with very cool advertisers being part of the mix along with merchandising that can help make the sport sexier. Who said KROOP shades?
(Source: Gallop Magazine)
This is also where a venue like Adrenaline at Happy Valley Racecourse is doing a great job with its Racing Specialists whereas Gallery has the fun of the Race Simulator.
Still, what’s missing is that elusive something that speaks to them in a voice, style and tone with which they can identify.
To them, racing shows are for their uncles.
Studying form is for the birdie num nums and what they are looking for like a U2 song is something simple and requires the least amount of “work” and offers them more Think Time.
(Source: Dead Red Art)
This Think Time needed is something missed by many at racing clubs.
We have seen newbies get in a huddle, rush to make their choices, get confused with the over-supply of information made available- and this MUST be simplified- then finally figure out what the outlay will be. By then, the horse has bolted.
Those 25 minutes between races was and is actually not enough time- NOT to the newbie and which is why they need SOMETHING on race day that’s conveniently available and readies them for their day at the track.
Where will this lead? Very possibly to more answers but what’s needed is a solid creative platform and not more pieces of paper to add to the clutter and confusion.
(Source: Jima 828)
In the meantime, below are a collection of answers to frequently asked questions by newbies to racing of jockeys, trainers, seasoned punters and us.
They might seem silly to some, but very pertinent to those doing the asking.
From the mouths of babes can come some startling new ideas and New Thinking.
* The same horses don’t run in every race.
If they did, they’d be racing on their tummies by even the second race. So a horse running eight to ten races in a row? Poor horsey.
(Source: Graphics 99)
* Those colorful tops jockeys wear are called silks- not blouses. They sport the colors of the racehorse owner and it’s their design.
(Source: Scopic Software)
In Australia, for example, the most well-known colors or silks were carried by Black Caviar.
(Source: Black Caviar)
In Hong Kong, the most famous colors were carried by now-retired champion sprinter Silent Witness.
Other horses owned by the owner of Silent Witness carry the same green and black colors.
(Source: Aha Share)
* Jockeys don’t have the same numbers in every races. These numbers are based on the weights horses carry.
For example, number 1 for the horse carrying the heaviest weight and number 14 for the horse carrying the lightest weight IF there are 14 runners in the race.
(Source: Demo Cratic Underground)
* The maximum number of horses in a race at SHATIN is 14. The most number of horses running in a race at HAPPY VALLEY is 12.
* The five most popular jockeys riding in Hong Kong full-time are Douglas Whyte, Zac Purton, Matthew Chadwick, below, Brett Prebble and Olivier Doleuze.
* The five leading trainers are Dennis Yip, Tony Cruz, John Size, Caspar Fownes and John Moore, below.
* Most tipsters are the same- they might have one good day and ten bum days.
If you find a tipster that helps you win consistently, stick with them. If not, go with your own intuition and listen to the hints and suggestions- NOT TIPS- in our Straight From The Horse’s Mouth blog.
* Unlike the UK and Australia, there are no female jockeys riding in Hong Kong.
There once were, but we hear they were not strong enough and unpopular with the very chauvinistic male local punter.
Compared to, for example, Australia, girls in Hong King don’t grow up with horses and racing families and wanting to be jockeys.
They’d rather be Hello Kitty singing muppets in the K-Pop mould. It’s easier that way. Just look cutesy and smile a lot.
(Souorce: Mixr Media)
IF they choose racing as a career, they become apprentice jockeys late in life and which is why they can never compare to top female Aussie jockeys who can match it with any male jockey in a race, the best right now being Jamie Kah, below, Kathy O’Hara, Michelle Payne, Karla Nisbit, Claire Lindop and the Schmidt sisters- Cassandra and Priscilla.
To be continued- and continued- and continued….