By Hans Ebert
Golf balls might be whacked around in tournaments, the first E Prix took place here over the weekend where a good time was had by all despite the winner being disqualified, but despite most not growing up around horses or anywhere near a farm, there’s nothing that wakes up Hong Kong with a buzz of excitement than horse racing, in particular, the week of the annual Longines Hong Kong International Races.
Yesterday was the usual photo opps for the media featuring the various visiting jockeys and the stunning international ambassadresses.
Brazilian model Dayanne Souhait representing- who else?- Brazil, below with those three famous boys from Brazil- Joao Moreira, Sylvestre de Sousa and the new riding sensation Leandro Henrique being declared the winner by many keen observers of form. And shoes.
There was also- hello- this very strange photograph. Any captions for it will win nothing at all- not even a box lunch at the Beer Garden- but it’s all part of another Happy Wednesday.
Tonight, it’s all action and entertainment at the truly unique Happy Valley Racecourse and its regulars and international visitors for a Happy Wednesday.
The aperitif tonight before the Main Event on Sunday at Sha Tin? The star studded lineup for the International Jockeys Championship.
Who will score the most points in the four designated races and win? Hughie? Ryan? By the way, below is one of the few photos around of Ryan Moore actually smiling. It’s one for the scrapbooks.
The early favourite according to some is Frenchman Pierre-Charles Boudot who looks to have the strongest book of rides. But as everyone knows, anything can happen on this extremely idiosyncratic track where barrier draws, any possible track bias and experience in riding the city track all come into play.
One would think that this would favour the Hong Kong based riders. Not necessarily. If drawn no-hopers in their various races, well, other than trying not to look like no-hopers, they’ll be doing their best not to let the home side down. Their chances tonight? Slim shady.
Winners are hard to find on the night and it’s all a bit of pot luck, but we keep being told to wait for the last race and box Marvel Hero (2), The Golden Age (7) and Rickfield (12) in quinellas.
Away from the racing, there’ll be ‘live’ music at the Beer Garden featuring the excellent Jennifer Palor and her band with Kat Coetzee making a cameo appearance by leaping around the stage to “We Will Rock You”.
There’ll also be our resident on-course French fashionista Maguelene on the lookout for more Happy Wednesday Fashionistas and Fashionistos.
At Adrenaline, Carnivale will have everyone dancing to their Latino rhythms led by their very own answer to Cee Lo Greene.
And apart from being able to see all the racing heroes up close and personal, there’s always the chance of running into local racing personalities like “Huge” Andrew Le Jeune, “Breathless” Brett Davis and “Touch Screen” Paul Lally- The Three Amigos of Hong Kong racing.
There’s also an extremely good chance of running into many from the Melbourne racing fraternity. Of course, if from Melbourne, this won’t be that big of a deal.
After the fireworks display, there’ll be more fireworks, this time at Adrenaline. This is when there’ll be an exclusive after-race party with more ‘live’ music, some unique dance moves by some and there always being the possibility of someone grabbing the mic and not letting go of it. A good time will be had by all. Promise.
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