Interesting look at Hong Kong racing from another side—theirs.
Hong Kong racing seems to put the magnifying glass on everything – particularly jockeys, trainers and race tactics – but nowhere does horse temperament matter more in terms of racetrack success.
You see them every week in the imposing parade rings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley – horses trained up to the minute, but looking more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
The monotony of training here and the lack of space leave many horses a shell of what they could be.
When a trainer here says his horse will get a break or spell, he doesn’t mean it is headed to the equivalent of a luxuriously appointed horse day spa, galloping and gallivanting through lush meadows. There are no lush meadows.
Trainers don’t really mean a “spell” as it is understood in other jurisdictions, places that have paddocks – and, even if there were the facilities to do it, it might not happen anyway. The trainers probably want to give their horses a well-deserved break, but pressure from uneducated owners and constant threat of stable transfers mean he keeps the horse in work. Maybe a week of swimming, at best, to freshen up, or a few weeks off work standing in their box.
Read the entire story here.