By Hans Ebert


It’s been one helluva week. In his first nine days as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has not only turned his own country upside down, but the rest of the world along with it. If Barack Obama was, to some, a “showbiz president”, surely we’re seeing an ongoing reality series hosted by Citizen Bane mixed with The Dark Knight Rises unveiling before our eyes?


Thank goodness for the Australian Open and the phenomenal displays of determination, passion, athleticism and inspiration from, especially, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It shows how much sport can shake off draining mental fatigue and take us to where much-needed positivity lives, even if it’s for a few hours with, in this instance, two incredible players giving their all.


What Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal did last night on centre court was up the ante on life. It helped some of us forget the tiresome tweeting of Trump, the constant attempts to bully, but then look lost and confused when suddenly confronted with the real world, and having to play the new role of trying to be a diplomat.

Federer and Nadal- and the Williams sisters- stayed true to who and what they are: great athletes who inspire. Who manage to touch that often neglected emotional quotient in us. Who are here to inspire the generations to come by being outstanding role models.




Donald Trump is showing the world what happens when any country or industry stumbles and allows in poor leadership and gives them the power to bend the truth, create polarisation, and lead a divisive country into a giant abyss.


Does horse racing have its own version of Donald Trump. Of course, it does. There might be a few. But the most well-known is in the land Down Under, and recently had his contract renewed. “Caligula” also has his media enablers to ensure that the emperor keeps his new robes on, and performs escape acts that would have even baffled Houdini.


In the other State, there’s no leadership- only racing’s version of Monty Python’s Flying Circus comprising all those with various high flying titles, but many wondering what they actually do.


This is why things are allowed to unravel with no one wishing to take a leadership role and put Humpty Dumpty together again by saying something and offering a glimmer of hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. But maybe this is a shrewd tactical move: Take all the potshots knowing they’re only rubber bullets and that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.


Then again, is this a strategy or a shallow game of playing for time waiting for the golden handshakes to come around? And though a believer in freedom of speech, it’s really hard to stomach the illiterate gibbering of an intellectual midget like the twitterer below who has a problem with everything and everyone in the sport. Does horse racing really need a supporter and “defender of the truth” like this? This is what happens when leadership goes walkies.

Horse racing can learn much from the Williams’ sisters and the two heroes involved in that memorable men’s final.


Yes, never forget our equine heroes, but let’s applaud the human factor behind the sport and the athletes and the teamwork involved.


Often, they’re ignored. Too often, many of us get too involved in focusing on what are human mistakes. It’s way too easy to sit back and judge and talk through one’s pockets. It’s way too easy to see what’s wrong than what’s right.

It really doesn’t have to be like this. But only we can change this by leading through example.



This entry was posted in Australian horse racing industry, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, Marketing of horse racing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. If you want to comment at length on politics go to a politics blog or twitter away with the rest of them . Your dumps on Trump do you no credit as a racing blog , completely boorish .

    • James Mathers says:

      I partly understand your sentiment however it would seem that the world is going to change dramatically with Trump at the helm. I’m not prepared to be a Trump knocker at this point; he deserves some time. However I believe his style of communication will permeate many parts of our life including the world of racing.

  2. James Mathers says:

    For me the big lesson to be learned is that it is the centre stage which matters most. Perhaps racing needs to concentrate more on the centre stage rather than a multitude of peripheral issues.

    Racing down under should take note of what we actually experienced on centre court last night. Both Federer and Nadal putting on a magnificent display of tennis while at the same time being involved in an amazing contest. One could say lots of things about the game but what really impressed me most was the respect that was clearly evident between both players, the officials, the administrators and everyone involved.

    I don’t read much media about the game of tennis however up until recently it seems there has been little negative comment about the game and in fact the only negative comment currently relates to the administrators, an inquiry into the conduct of one of the directors and an ugly defamation action between two others.

    So racing down under needs a good splash of the refinement, good grace, humility, dignity and respect which is a very clear trademark of both Federer and Nadal, both champions.

    Racing down under needs to be urgently refreshed. New leadership, new faces, new ideas, no sacred cows, a new agenda and better breeding!

  3. eljay says:

    In the year of The Rooster Racing Bitch’s blog appears more like the sporadic jumping related to year of The Monkey.
    In fairness no-one can reel off continuous A+ articles but on this occasion not so.
    Have no defined views on politics as it’s an untenable debate but from what has happened in the UK and the USA and what is likely in the Australian state of Queensland your viewpoints suggests one of 2 options.
    1.The people are wrong ?.
    2.The people were misinformed soooo much that they were transfixed like a mossie to a mossie-zapper that they voted wrongly ?.
    As for the correlation to the Tennis champs, no one could argue that Federer is the G.O.A.T. and that the Williams sisters set unfathomable heights however, it’s a game;A game that at the finish the victor display’s the qualities of humbleness(as has been witnessed by countless previous winners.)
    I’m not convinced about the title given to sport’s heroes after all many of the world’s finest human achievements have come from people who have openly stated.
    Sport?…I have no interest in it…period.

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