By Hans Ebert
Let’s face it, throughout the world, those presentation ceremonies at every race meeting are stiff, dour affairs that are photo opportunities for the media and interesting to only those involved. The racing fans, meanwhile, have scattered and are already working out who might win the next race. If they were busy doing this at Shatin on Sunday when nothing went according to plan and tips and advice from the pundits crashed and burned, they must be still banging their heads on the wall. They would have been better off watching the presentation ceremonies and taking some bets on whether the female emcee might actually veer from the script and not ask everyone for a “happy photo”. Are we back in kindergarten? Seriously.
Yet, these presentation ceremonies continue year in and year out with some police band striking up a brassy outta tune interpretation of something like Queen’s “We Are The Champions” just to prove that Freddie is really dead.
With the Hong Kong International Races next month bringing together a fantastic array of equine and human riding talent, and what promises to be some brilliant horse racing, all this will be halted for around ten minutes after each major race for those mannequin-like ceremonies accompanied by a band wheezing through various national anthems. And though we would dearly love to see Hong Kong win at least one of these trophies, the thought of hearing a brassy version of the Chinese national anthem- not the most melodic of musical pieces- will have people like us running for cover and away from an attack of angry birds.
Humour us for a while and think what it might be like if every winning horse and jockey of one of these Group 1 races had their own theme song- and which is played during these trophy presentation ceremonies. If music is the soundtrack to our lives, why not?
With this in mind, we give you our idea of the HKIR Top Ten- a song for some of the key players involved.
IfIf Brett Prebble were to win on Lucky Bubbles, why not have the song below come wafting through the air on what promises to be a memorable Shatin afternoon? It might make the afternoon more memorable. And bubbly.
If the Japanese raiders were to steamroll over everyone else, we can’t think of anything better than the old hit by The Vapors called “We’re Turning Japanese”.
The original song choices for Ryan Moore were “Smile” and “You Talk Too Much”, because of the brilliant rider’s zany sense of humour. But in the end, and with his penchant for winning and winning and winning, we turned to that old dear Britney Spears and her smasheroo, “Hit Me Baby One Moore Time”.
So many songs would be apt for Joao Moreira, the Magic Man, but we narrowed down the choices to two: “Do You Believe In Magic?”- the answer is Yes! Yeeee Haaaaa!- and “24k Magic” by Bruno Mars.
Well, when he loses, which isn’t often, his theme song could be “Highway To Hell” whereas picking “Down Under” by Men At Work is too obvious. But being dubbed “The Postman”, because he always delivers- and he delivered four times last Sunday- we had to go with the rather fawning, “Please, Mister Postman”.
The thought process for a song to represent The Durban Demon went from “Whiter Shade Of Pale” to “White Wedding” before settling on this one. Makes sense to us, especially after his win on the weekend in the Group 1 Railway Stakes in Perth.
The original choice for Japan’s mighty Maurice was “Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller with its reference to “Mo- Reees”, but in the end we went for something more apt from Earth, Wind and Fire. Perhaps the HKJC should consider using this track to promote Hong Kong’s rising and shining equine stars?
For this magnificent animal, there can be nothing more appropriate than that soul ballad by Marvin Gaye called “Ain’t Nothing Like The Highland Reel Thing”.
The French community in Hong Kong is not only growing, many are Happy Wednesday regulars. If Mickael Barzalona wins the Hong Kong International Jockeys’ Championship, there’s a need for something extremely French and very anthemic. This would be parfait, mes amis.
There’s no reason why Mirco Demuro can’t race away with the Hong Kong International Jockeys’ Championship for Italy. He knows how to ride the tight Happy Valley track and he’s ridden against most of his rivals. And if he does win the HKIJC, there’s no reason why the band shouldn’t strike up this oldie but goodie.
Any other song choices are most welcome. Anything to add a little zing to those presentation ceremonies!