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And just like that, the Macau Jockey Club gives everyone the flick.

Updated: Mar 4

With a headline in the SCMP screaming out “‘Frightened’ and ‘distressed’ group in Macau closure” about the upcoming end of horse in Macau and no signs of any compensation, there was a nonchalant response by the MJC how “owners should have had a clear indication of the club’s financial position and conducted their own risk assessments before deciding to make any purchases or investments”.

However way it’s worded- and this read like sheer arrogance- it’s not a good ‘look’ for the image of horse racing, especially in the region.

Next door neighbour Hong Kong would certainly be taking on board what’s happening and not happening in Macau as quite a number of horse owners have horses racing in the city or else are amigos with many of those associated with racing next door.

What’s happening in Macau will also have many thinking twice about investing in what some are calling a “sunset industry” whereas none of this will be going unnoticed by the governments in China and Hong Kong. 

With the Macau Jockey Club officially closing its doors on- of all days April 1- we understand that facing an alarming jockey shortage for the next few meetings, riding boys and retired jockeys have been cajoled into making up the numbers until the fat lady sings.

Said one owner, “The MJC never gave us any indication that the racing will be closing down. Some with the club even encouraged us to purchase new horses which means that we are now with horses that won’t be able to race and the MJC unwilling to compensate us”.

Dig deeper and there are more than a few similarities to the announcement of horse racing in Singapore suddenly being forced by the government to close down.

What’s happened in Macau, however, is a new low in having “face” by being part of the racing game.

Also, don’t think that being members of ARF- Asian Racing Federation- means anything to those running the MJC. They couldn’t care less.

With the mild mannered coup d’etat last week in Victoria looking rather embarrassing with the Munzter putting on a brave front despite falling on his own sword, whereas things are not exactly coming up roses in New South Wales for Toffee Tongue and the planned sale of Rosehill, unless having a breeding industry, power bases are eroding very quickly every day.

Where’s Pete these days?

He’s no fool, no doubt knows what’s coming down the pike and is living the high life in Las Vegas where he’s busy pumping up the tires of the NRL and pumping hands with some big names in showbiz and politics in the US.

Not wishing to go down with the ship or look like doddering old fools, we know quite a few racing executives looking at ways of bowing out with their heads held high.

Either that, or making nice to get a gig with the Sheik Yermoneymakers in the supposed new land of milk and honey that’s Qatar.

But is it? Really?

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