A short post, sharing my immense gratitude and happiness at receiving the scholarship offer from the Godolphin Flying Start Program, which I have accepted. The two-year course will commence on August 14 in Ireland, with placements including America, Australia, Dubai, Ireland and England. I will continue to photograph and document […]
Set in the backyard of Liverpool, Aintree is home to the world’s most famous chase in shape of the annual Grand National. For the first time I got to soak up the terrific atmosphere on course, blending in with the generously (spray) tanned crowd showing […]
Sunday 26 February 2017, Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup & Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup Day at Sha Tin racecourse. Hong Kong’s International Group 1 stars were out en masse, providing the crowd with racing action at the highest level. Fortunate enough to be in Hong Kong in association with the Hong Kong International Sale horses, I made full use of my break and made my way to the Sha Tin straight to watch the day unfold.
The legendary Able Friend suffered a notable three-quarters of a length defeat in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup by five-year old stablemate Helene Paragon. However, trainer Moore is confident the beast from the east will be back in better shape and over a mile. Dual Group 1 winner Helene Paragon will now be aimed at the Gr. 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin on 7 May.
The day’s other feature found reigning Horse of the Year Werther having to put on a fight to secure his third win over course and distance from previously having dominated the BMW Hong Kong Derby in March followed by the G1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup held in April. Defeating the Tony Cruz trained Blazing Speed by a short head, Werther gained Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup honours, earning him a ticket to the Dubai World Cup Meeting. However, his owners have decided to keep the Tavistock gelding on home soil, targeting the local features instead.
One of my favourite aspects of photographing runners in Hong Kong, where it be at Happy Valley or Sha Tin Racecourse, is the colourful gear they sport. Blinkers, hoods, bridles: it all corresponds with the owner’s or trainer’s colours; Beauty Only looks very smart in his baby pink Cantonese printed race hood. It probably wouldn’t resonate well in England or even in Europe, but then again, Hong Kong racing culture stands on its own.
Last but not least: make sure to tune in for the 2017 renewal of the BMW Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin on Sunday March 19. It is Hong Kong’s most coveted local Group 1, and also boasts the second most valued prize pot of all the Derbys in the world; this year’s 140th renewal offers a grand total of HK $18 million. Restricted to four-year-olds only, trainers and owners are out to immortalise their galloper by achieving Derby glory. Having been associated with one of the main contenders, Pakistan Star, a 2016 HKIS graduate and viral superstar, I am completely biased and will be cheering him home until my voice goes.
Talking about future stars, this year’s HKIS is just around the corner: March 17, whereby the glamorous affair starts at 6.30PM, hosted under the roof of Sha Tin’s parade ring.
I believe that if you have found something that you are so enthusiastic about, an industry so desperate to be a part of, you should keep trying until your opportunity arises. Because it will happen. Having completed a BSc Psychology & Media Communication with First […]
Traditions, especially those involving any new year’s resolutions, have never appealed much to me. Performing an act for the sole reason of its long-standing past, isn’t a good enough argument to persuade me. However, that doesn’t mean certain customs can’t bear a positive meaning.
Perhaps I do agree with the customary retrospective features, as found gracing (social) media during the final days of 2016. For instance, who doesn’t enjoy reading the Racing Post articles on the best moments of the year, including top racehorses and performances?
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this year’s Classic generation, with the likes of Galileo Gold, The Gurkha, Minding, Almanzor and Harzand, to name a few, lighting up the racecourse(s). Or Found’s much deserved win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, after all her consistent efforts at the highest level during the year. And Japanese contender A Shin Hikari, demolishing the field in the Prix d’Ispahan. This little list doesn’t include other top class acts in for example Australia, by Winx, and America by Arrogate, to name a few! I am pretty certain that a long list of outstanding and memorable moments can be conceived.
Arrival in Hong Kong will excite even the most timid: a world-class horse racing meeting, embedded in generous hospitality, hosted in Asia’s version of New York. Tradition meets modern class in a jungle that never sleeps. Cruising along after a long haul flight, with the […]
For the last three weeks a select group of yearling sale participants have been travelling across Europe; from Ireland to England, to Chantilly and back, there have been thoroughbred sales aplenty. The European bloodstock stage is renowned for sourcing superstars, and attracts buyers from across the globe. So what is it like at the sales? What happens, how does ‘it’ work and why do buyers pay more money for a yearling than the majority of people will ever put down for a house?
First of all, the thoroughbreds are there to be sold. An important phrase and motto of the auctioneering house as well as the vendors, frequently repeated across the sale complex. However, those couple of nerve-wrecking minutes in the ring are only a small aspect of the sale traject, with preparation starting from birth.
Today marks the first day of the Ladbrokes St Leger festival at Doncaster, featuring England’s oldest Classic: the St Leger (1m6f) . Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend as I will be travelling home (the joy!). However, I do believe it is a perfect […]