INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP ~ MORE THAN RACING!
Dec 19, 2017
Investing into an International racehorse with ATB is more than just racing, it becomes a journey that can take you around the world.
Previous star gallopers Dandino, Jakkalberry, Tac de Boistron and Heartbreak City have opened up experiences for owners that included visiting France, Great Britain, Ireland, USA and Dubai.
Last week I was fortunate enough to join Tiberian's owners (Aussie & French) in Hong Kong for the International Race Day at Sha Tin.
If anyone had suggested to me one month ago that I would be spending the first week of December roaming the streets of Hong Kong, I would have laughed at them.
The same can be said for the Tiberian owners who had only just got over the thrill of his tough but exciting unplaced effort in the Melbourne Cup.
An invitation to run at Sha Tin in the International Vase opened up the doors to experience a beautiful country filled with welcoming people.
Joining this tour with the owners was an experience of a lifetime.
The hospitality of the Hong Kong Jockey Club mixed in with some sight-seeing made for an exciting five or six days.
While Tiberian was below his best on race day, the rest of the time was sensational. Thankfully he was fine after the race and is now having a well earned spell back home.
One win we did have was best presented horse in the mounting yard, a reward for his track-rider and loyal companion Manu (below).
We were made to feel like Kings and Queens on race day at Sha Tin - a beautifully set racecourse with mountains one side and the hysteria of local race goers the other.
The locals live for their racing and it was evident with 110,000 flocking to the track.
Our young lady chaperone made us all feel special, especially when escorted to the parade ring with the eyes of thousands cast on us.
Looking up from the ring in what was a Colosseum like amphitheatre really got the nerves rolling before the race.
But it was a special feeling and one the club made every endeavour for you to feel that way.
Like any race when the result doesn't go your way it is flattening, but as a group after a quiet hour of summary we regrouped to enjoy the rest of the day.
I haven't mentioned the food yet - wow!
Anything and everything - the crayfish my favourite!
Another highlight was the Gala Ball on the Friday where all owners that had a horse in any of the four Group One races were invited and given a night out on the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
And all I can say is what an event!
No expense was spared and it certainly opened our eyes to how seriously they respected the owners that had brought a horse to race on their big day.
And for service, it was impeccable - if there were 1000 guests, there were 500 food attendants.
The room was enormous and the entertainment, speeches and presentations matched it.
Aside from race day we had plenty of time for sight-seeing.
Each day kicked off with breakfast at the Sha Tin track which was a 30 minute trip via a courtesy bus from the splendid digs of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
While many hours were 'soaked' at various bars within the Hotel we did manage to explore beautiful Hong Kong.
Walks around the markets and a Saturday afternoon junk cruise to Stanley were very relaxing and opened our eyes to another way of life.
One thing that struck me was how 'old' buildings blended in beautifully with 'new' buildings.
You could walk the city centre and look at modern high rise buildings for as far as the eye took you and then beside them was apartments with washing hanging from the tiny balconies.
The cruise on the 'junk' was a very relaxing part of the week. It was lovely looking at all parts of Hong Kong from the harbour - in total three hours on the water, with a couple of hours at Stanley.
These group events certainly helped everyone get to know each other better and a bond was definitely building.
Generally our schedule was reasonably hectic, but the cruise certainly enabled everyone to sit back and relax while taking in the beauty of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was a wonderful experience, with wonderful local people that made you feel welcome!
Best of all I was able to share a once in a lifetime experience with people I knew as owners, but now call friends!
Meeting one of my favourite jockeys summed up Hong Kong nicely!
Thank you Darren & Liz!
If you would like to get involved in an International racehorse with ATB you can call Darren 0417 616 666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Article: Peter Morganti
Photos: Peter Morganti & Tracey Stevens