(Courtesy of http://www.fasttrack.hk)
THE SAD BALLAD OF THE HKJC, SIR PAUL AND GOVT RED TAPE.
The heart is willing but the body is not- or something like that.
Though being Hong Kong’s biggest tax payer and its Charities division having almost paid for a better Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is still shackled by various Government restraints such as Land Lease issues, various Terms and Conditions as to what it can and cannot do at its two racecourses etc.
One of those things that could have happened recently was the HKJC wishing to say Yeah Yeah Yeah to the first ever concert in Hong Kong by Sir Paul McCartney later this year at its racecourse in Shatin.
Apart from AsiaWorld at the other end of Hong Kong, two of the city’s best- and largest- and only- venues are the racecourses in Happy Valley and Shatin.
Many have wondered for decades why, on non-race days, these cannot be used, especially, for concerts.
Well, there are sound ordinances and there are are reams and reams of typical governmental No, Minister bollocks that have killed this and many ideas out.
Who’s the loser? Hong Kong.
Who does Hong Kong ALWAYS lose out to when it comes to concerts? Singapore?
What do organizations like the HKTA, InvestHK and the invisible CreateHK do about this? Nothing.
What can the HKJC do about it?
Well, apart from reviewing its current Terms and Conditions when it comes to how and when its two racecourses can be used and reaching a new compromise, it’s really up to the public to tell the government to wake up, smell the dim sum and realize that one-time “Swingabore” is attracting many of Hong Kong’s creative talent along with being the regional hub for the International media and where something as simple as holding an outdoor concert isn’t attacked by The Day Of The Locusts.
Apart from Singapore, Hong Kong is losing out to Macau in the concert business- and, from what we hear- where the Macau Jockey Club will soon be a venue for concerts.
The Boss at Taipa? Could well be.
CASPAR COUNTS HIS LUCKY NINES.
Michael Cox of the SCMP wrote an excellent piece this week on the brilliant- and tactical- rides last Sunday by Tommy Berry on Designs Of Rome and Brett Prebble on Lucky Nine which would be pointless for us to trudge through again.
Adding to the Cox man’s piece, what we’d like to mention is the role of trainer Caspar Fownes in the win of Lucky Nine.
If he weren’t married to his childhood sweetheart, Alix, we’d swear he sleeps with Lucky Nine.
Cas, to many, one of the good guys in racing and The Man Of A Thousand “Nearly Fine” Voices, has done a remarkable job with his favorite galloper.
When we saw it starting at 5.8 on Sunday, we gulped. Lucky Nine, we thought- at 5.8??? Hello??? Sterling City at 1.7??? More hellos. And when we heard from many around us that Lucky Nine was “past it”, well, we just put that down to swallowing too many dumbnuts.
Here is a galloper who is all heart- and probably gets mighty pissed off if it doesn’t proudly strut back to the winners enclosure with his team- Brett Prebble, his owners and Caspar.
On Sunday, seeing the Fownes family- and it was great to see Lawrie Fownes at the track- with this pretty incredible horse and a personality in its own right- well, it was one of those moments that makes one proud to be part of horse racing as it gives the sport much more than being an outlet for bogans and which makes some see you as a full-time mug.
It gives horse racing, a heart and soul.
And Amen to that.
THE BRIAN BRYCE STORY: TO BLOW THE LID OFF THE TAIPANS OF HONG KONG- AND THE EARLY DAYS OF HK RACING.
It’s a few years off, but, to borrow a phrase from Aussie racing pundit nehru Ritchie “The Tipping Point” Callander, you read it here first: Watch out for a movie or TV series based on the life and times of the late hotelier Bryan Bryce which will blow the lid off the world of big business, Hong Kong in the Sixties and Seventies, some of the biggest names in horse racing from yesterday’s Hong Kong such as Stanley Ho and Sir Michael Sandberg, below, with it all centering around this charismatic Aussie who arrived in Hong Kong with nothing, became the worldwide head of Hyatt International Hotel, squired and bonked some of the world’s most beautiful women including a harem of Chinese actresses and then saw his world implode.
We recently found a quote from boxing promoter Don King describing Bryce as, “The only white nigga I trust.”
A high complement indeed and a story that is a combination of James Clavell’s Taipan, Mad Men and The Wolf Of Wall Street.
TIPS FOR HAPPY WEDNESDAY FROM FAST TRACK.
TIPS FOR TONIGHT AT THE HAPPY VALLEY (FROM THIRD DIVIDEND)
Happy Valley (HKG)
#HValley Night Races @HKJC_Racing
Turf (“C” Course-Worked Back)
Weather: It will be cold. Cloudy with a few rain patches at first. Bright later in the afternoon. The maximum temperature will be around 11 degrees. Fresh to strong northerly winds.
Outlook: Remaining cold in the next couple of days. Fine and dry on Thursday. Temperatures will rise over the weekend.
Race 1: FANLING HCP CL5
1 – Flying Keeper (10)
2 – Shangjai Pioneer (6)
3 – All Times Lucky (7)
4 – Novel Start (5)
Race 2: KWAI CHUNG HCP CL5
1 – Infinite Courage (10)
2 – Mr Marfach (5)
3 – Starlit Warrior (11)
4 – Mizzen Grey (1)
Race 3: SAI KUNG HCP CL4
1 – Gentilis (3)
2 – Call Me Acheiver (5)
3 – Seasons Star (1)
4 – Glory Horse (4)
Race 4: SHA TIN HCP CL4
1 – Fire Starter (4)
2 – Friends Of Yan Oi (11)
3 – Key Witness (5)
4 – Victory General (7)
Race 5 (Q1): TAI PO HCP CL4
1 – Step High (2)
2 – Ambitous Treasure (10)
3 – Sure Champ (7)
4 – Good Thinker (8)
Race 6 (Q2): TIN SHUI WAI HCP CL3
1 – Getaway Guy (4)
2 – You Read My Mind (7)
3 – Highest Acclaim (3)
4 – Victorious (2)
Race 7 (Q3): THE ROTARY CENTENARY CHALLENGE CUP HCP CL3
1 – Jazzy Feeling (4)
2 – Calling With Love (6)
3 – Ka Ying Kid (5)
4 – Enthusuasm (1)
Race 8 (Q4): TSUEN WAN HCP CL2
1 – Pleasure Gains (2)
2 – Sunny Ying (3)
3 – Jolly Victor (9)
4 – Bubble Chic (7)
Race 3: Gentilis (3)
Race 7: Jazzy Feeling (4)
Race 2: Infinite Courage (10) – Currently, $6.50/$2.30
Race 8: Bubble Chic (7) – Currently, $12.00/$2.80
Quaddie ($100 gets you 39%)
SELECTIONS FROM THE BIG APPLE (@SW064351)
Jockey Challenge, D Whyte
Full book of rides and finishes the night strongly. Value at $3.
Race 8, No. 3 Sunny Ying
Rock hard fit and racing well. Take catching again.
Race 7, No. 3 Emperor Claudius
Lack of pace and should be prominent at the end. Each-way.
Race 3, No. 5 Call Me Achiever
Hasn’t won in a long while and won’t get any peace up front.
2,10,11 / 3,4,7 / 3,4,6 / 2,3,7,9. $50 for 46.29%.
THE FAST TRACKER TURNS WHYTE AT THE VALLEY.
After last Wednesday’s bloodbath at Happy Valley where some of the results left many dazed and confused, tonight’s races have almost a shiny happy glow to them with even the Triple Trio looking gettable.
The jockey to follow? Though after a few days of fighting off bronchitis, The Zac Attack will be at his lethal best, I’m banking on Dougie Whyte having a big day though Joao Moreira will, as always, be popping up all over the place tonight- his last day before starting a three-day suspension- and with the next three Happy Wednesdays seeing Magic coming to the Valley.
R1 ALL TIMES LUCKY/FLYING KEEPER/SLEDGE HAMMER
R2 INFINITE COURAGE/HUMONGUS/STARLIT WARRIOR/VIVA GUY
R3 GENTILLS/CALL ME ACHIEVER
Yes, after Collagen and the poverty-stricken Peniaphobia, we have that combination of genitals and Gentiles racing here in Gentills with The Zac Attack aboard and looking as if he only has The Magic Man to beat.
R4 FIRE STARTER/KEY WITNESS
R5 STEP HIGH/AMBITIOUS TREASURE/OWNER’S GLORY/SURE CHAMP
I will say, Step High, below,won’t win this, but being the middle pin of the TT and the leg which can easily cause an upset, gawd knows who it might be???
Owner’s Glory with Dickie Lui up, who delivered for me with Approve last week, would be a banker- at odds- and it’s good to see various trainers giving him more and more rides with real winning chances.
R6 YOU READ MY MIND/HIGHEST ACCLAIM/GETAWAY GUY
Getaway Guy has been my horse to follow since its last run when drawn wide, and with a good draw tonight, should, at least, place. Am backing it to win with Dougie Whyte sticking with it and not jumping ship.
R7 JAZZY FEELING/CALLING WITH LOVE
Well, if celebrity Aaron Kwok shows up- and the darling of so many appears at even the opening of an envelope- to lead in his horse Calling With Love, back it to run in the first three? Can it win? Hmmmm. I have a Jazzy Feeling, it won’t.
R8 LUCKY FOREVER/BULLISH BOY/SUNNY YING/JOLLY VICTOR/PERFECT CHEERS
The toughest race of the night and which just might end with some Perfect Cheers for trainer Caspar Fownes. The horse loves Happy Valley and has a habit of popping up at good odds.
BEST BET RACE 6 GETAWAY GUY
NEXT BEST RACE 4 FIRE STARTER
LONGSHOT RACE 8 PERFECT CHEERS
SARIKA’S SIX UP