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Horse racing and what’s the price it places on Loyalty?…


 

It’s apparently about supposed staff cutbacks and how this, apparently, was the reason given for the end of writer Matt Stewart’s time with RSN in Melbourne. 


 

When on Tuesday morning, Hong Kong time, presenter Michael Felgate casually mentioned on the dead people’s racing and sports radio station in Melbourne that Matt Stewart would be leaving due to “cost cutting measures”, one would be lying to say that this was groundbreaking news. 

 

Maybe it’s big news to some at X or the Twitterverse of the Australian horse racing world, but there have been rumours about the financial solvency and demise of the radio station- and its television partner racing.com-for over two years. 

 

Note: How many at the HKJC are aware that last night’s racing at Shatin was being advertised on RSN as being held at Happy Valley?


 

As for word that Matt Stewart would be leaving his workplace was buzzing like tsetse flies feasting on elephant dung for around three weeks. 


Some found it amusing that a married man with a family should lose their job.


The man might not be everyone’s cuppa java, but he has always had an OPINION- about Winx, pop-up races, the game of thrones played out for too many boring years by King Canut of Racing New South Wales etc. 


His was an outspokenness not associated with the rather timid horse racing media where it’s almost always been about singing 

from the same corporate songbook and not stepping on any big toes. 


It’s always being about being gnats and survival.


Matt Stewart might have had listeners grimace at what he sometimes said, but he was a passionate and loyal racing man at a time when there is a subservient and bland racing media that probably fell apart much longer than those in horse racing would care to admit.

 

 

Today’s racing media has zero bite, and it doesn’t exactly have visionaries and strategists guiding its 2024 business model.


The horse racing workplace is where many usually suffer from shrinkage when put in front of village elders who rarely place a premium on loyalty.


Most are second rate corporate bullies who bring squat to what is a gambling driven business model feeding on greed and something that desperately needs a complete overhaul if it’s to ever become truly accepted by governments looking for new answers and sustainable solutions and options.

 



 

By keeping on with no change, what those running horse racing should ask itself is whether this business model has already run its race?


What today’s mainstream audience and exciting and savvy business partners and sponsors are seeing is a very old boys club that’s plodding along fuelled by old school corporate politics, mediocre hires and leaders with a lack of vision and a product with no signs of a likeable brand personality.


At Shatin last night, despite a jockey looking to have had a sickening fall from his horse during the last race, the cameras were on the singing and dancing goon squad of laughing winners of the horse that won the race.


No one “won” anything. There was a jockey down on the turf and no one knowing anything about the horse that fell.


It was another sickening example of apathy and greed and the straight faced hypocrisy by some knee deep in the pastime nattering to the media about the “emotional connection” associated with horse racing.


Merde.


Where are multi dimensional game changers like Steve Jobs or Simon Fuller or Sir Lucian Grainge and the way David Beckham and other sports heroes have evolved to become new entrepreneurs?


 

For decades, there were those who wondered why the Hong Kong Jockey Club didn’t put the Macau Jockey Club out of its misery by buying the club and manage the racing. 


Maybe it wasn’t the right time. 


During these post pandemic days, however, and where everything has changed, some of us we are wondering why Hong Kong, neighbouring Macau- and China- can’t come together and create something we have been writing about for the past few months.


Like what?


Like something where the new entertainment fare in Macau- the restaurants, hotels like The Londoner, below, casinos, upcoming concerts by international artists like Bruno Mars, and arts and culture- come together with Hong Kong to create an amazing and different entertainment and sports experience. 

 



With a percentage of profits from gambling driven business areas going to charity- or even having these profits be the springboard to launch new ventures other than the rather pompous sounding Institute Of Philanthropy, here’s something that, with a far more consumer friendly and experienced mainstream communications group working alongside, can sidestep the gambling albatross and create something that’s branded as the Monte Carlo of the Orient.


As for things like the Asian Racing Federation and other one trick ponies catering to a dwindling racing population in a down economy, they’ve had years to turn things around. 


Have they? 


Other than making a song and dance about dress codes and other fluff, the time for change- real change- is now.


We’re tipping a new multi media conglomerate will come into play and change how everything old can become new again. 


And if this old school wishes to continue with its head buried in the sand, that’s fine.


Progress cannot happen when carrying dead weight.




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