Apparently, there’s another simultaneous broadcast this Saturday, this time when racing fans can watch and bet on the New Zealand Derby- and, very quickly- our tip to win it is Puccini which be ridden by the very underrated Michael Walker who rode in Hong Kong for a short time.
Then again, with Hong Kong racing on the same day, we really cannot see a stampede to bet on, well, the New Zealand Derby.
Can you? Seriously?
All these simultaneous broadcasts are fine and dandy with especially co-mingling/commingling in mind which WILL happen, in, what we understand to be baby step stages- and importantly, in ensuring that the big-spending Chinese punters have something of a crash course in understanding the overseas equine, riding and training talent.
After all, only a bloody fool will bet big with zero idea of who’s who and what’s what, right? Hmmm.
As for these simultaneous broadcasts, from what we know, many in Hong Kong have no idea about them- nor really care about them.
Today is Wednesday and where’s there anything about the New Zealand Derby?
With Waldo and Carmen Santiago?
How many Chinese punters, for example, knew about the broadcasts last Saturday on seven races from Caulfield and a few bunged in for some obscure reason from wherever they were racing in Sydney?
Apart from this weird buffet presented with all the finesse of a large dim sum hall, these broadcasts are simply not effectively marketed- and, in many ways, clash with the Hong Kong often taking place the next day and with much homework to be done.
Still, as turnover on the Aussie races on Saturday being very healthy- over HK$104 million on the Melbourne races and almost $20 million on the two Sydney races- baffling to us as it’s all a bit like What If They Gave A War And No One Came- But Someone Did-one guesses, no one cares.
Someone SHOULD care as it’s only get messier out there with, seemingly, no one in charge and what is looking increasingly like a botched up serving of haggis with various bibs and bobs popping up like zits on a teenager’s ass.
As pointed out to some at the HKJC and Bruce Mann, head of TVN, anyone outside of Australia and New Zealand can download the AUSracing app for FREE and watch EVERY major race meeting from Oz, every day of the week and minus any commercial breaks.
Apart from being able to watch every race, what this means is being able to hear some very revealing conversations taking place by presenters not realizing that their microphones are open during these commercial breaks.
Before the big races, one also gets to hear the views of form analysts, videos of trackwork etc.
With this app plus sling boxes available for HK$2k from Mongkok, the hardened racing fan who already knows their Australian racing, don’t need to watch broadcasts shown on- groan- ATV.
What for? What extra information does one get? Where’s the beef? Who cares about some tips from Patrick Payne or whoever that’s shown on a piece of cardboard?
Do these broadcasts on ATV really help wagering and, if so, how- and why? And from where?
Why not look at things from a long-term point of view and start by having an experienced host like Jo McKinnon, below, have a chat ‘live’ on Skype with whatever these overseas races are taking place so viewers are as close to being “there right then and there” as possible?
And why not have an HKJC correspondent at wherever these races are taking place and tighter co-productions to go with simultaneous broadcasts?
Anything, please, except yet another racing program with three talking heads nervously listening in with their earpieces and at the mercy of a local production crew running around like Basil Fawlty after a cluckload of headless chickens.
As for those who have no idea about Australian racing or any other International races, where do they go to learn more about the riders, the horses and the form?
If the answer is the HKJC website, why not also have ‘live’ streaming of these races on it instead of punters running from here to there and having to suffer the boffins at ATV World, the worst terrestrial station- and channel- in Hong Kong with the lowest viewership?
How much the HKJC pays ATV to carry its content, we have no idea, but even being charged nothing is too much.
To put it bluntly, it’s a crap deal and part of some very dated formats and production work that hasn’t changed since the days of Tung Biu, Lawrence Wadey and Robin Parke- and even before that, the days of Jim McGrath.