There’s something else riding on the Hong Kong International Races succeeding this year for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It’s an intangible something that is more than trotting out wagering numbers, world class competitive racing, the usual giveaways, a guest performer at Shatin in veteran Canto Popster Hacken Lee, below, and the usual banging of tribal drums.
A performance by Hacken Lee might not exactly be Megan Thee Stallion or Shakira/J-Lo at a Super Bowl halftime show, but, apparently, there’s a marketing objective in place to attract more of the city’s mature “racing uncles” and aunties back to Hong Kong racetracks.
During HKIR week, and personally speaking and someone with an opinion, there should also be the objective for Hong Kong to be seen by a global audience as a city continuing to open its doors, welcoming normalcy, and with this, international tourism.
Marketing Hong Kong by everyone doing anything possible to get the city back on track needed.
This is needed to keep the momentum going after the success a few months ago of the HSBC/Cathay Pacific HK Rugby Sevens.
Though an “abridged” version of the global party that it once was, it at least happened. The event was attended by over thirty thousand happy people including a cameo appearance by Chief Executive John Lee.
All this combined to provide the city with positive coverage by the worldwide media.
Following the sinking of the iconic Jumbo Restaurant and a giant LED screen falling at a concert by the extremely popular boy Canto Pop band Mirror and seriously injuring a backup dancer, the return of the iconic Rugby Sevens after a couple of years of cancellations was the good news needed for the city to tell the world that “Hong Kong Is Back!”
Coming up in Hong Kong next year: Korean K-Pop group Blackpink and music festival Clockenflap.
It was worked along with being a good public relations exercise for the Hong Kong Rugby Union Chairman Robbie McRobbie when the Chief Executive and his party arrived for the last day of the Sevens dressed casually and smiling- and none of them wearing masks.
Unless living in still masked up Hong Kong, it might be difficult to understand the significance of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong attending any event, let alone a sporting event, without a mask, smiling and mixing it up with thousands of other people at the Hong Kong Stadium.
The big song and dance for the HKIR is on December 11 at Shatin with four Group 1 races.
Though having to thwart the banzai attack by the usual brilliant runners from The Land Of The Rising Sun, this year, Hong Kong has a very strong hand of rising to the occasion and repelling the army of overseas challengers.
For Team Hong Kong, there is Golden Sixty, below, the very exciting Romantic Warrior, Lucky Sweynesse and Wellington.
At the warmup event on the Wednesday night of HKIR week- the Longines Hong Kong International Jockeys Competition- sure, many will be looking forward to seeing Jamie Kah and Hollie Doyle match wits and talents.
For mainstream news appeal, however, nothing would be better than having the two true Made In Hong Kong riding talent representing their home- Matthew Chadwick, below, and Vincent Ho- win this event over their more illustrious global superstar riders.
Just as many see the successes of Hong Kong born world champion swimmer and gold medalist Siobhan Haughey as a victory for the city and someone who offers hope and inspires many of the seven million Hong Kong Belongers to stay motivated, there’s a need for true Hong Kong heroes in every aspect of life to be celebrated.
With the changing of the guard that might have started at Buckingham Palace with the end of an era, changes are now taking place every day everywhere around the world.
Just look at some of the results at the World Cup being played at Qatar.
We, each and every one of us appear to be in the midst of a massive paradigm shift- and which might impact anything and everything that’s come before. Maybe this is for the good.
It’s all pretty surreal and karmic, but then so is the new abnormal that we find ourselves in today.
What’s best is to welcome what lies ahead and go for the ride.
Expect the unexpected and accept the curve balls thrown your way WITHOUT FEAR as many of these might be worth celebrating as they have to do with real life priorities.
Enough of the Woke Generation , the cancel culture, pettiness, politics, jealousy, selfishness etc etc.
Time to get back to life and making it the best one can- for everyone.