Man of the moment Riccardo Tisci's dark, sensual designs for Givenchy come straight from the heart, writes Jing Zhang.
Intellectualstride: The horse that bit back
While Hong Kong performers often look West to further their...
Yahoo has agreed to pay USUS$1.1 billion to buy blogging...
With so many groups seeking funds, it can be tough figuring...
Island holidays are usually about relaxing, departing from...
It may be a luxury leather goods company steeped in...
Whether he was hungry, angry, or both – or an anti-whips campaigner in disguise – Intellectualstride became “the horse that bit back” at the Valley last night – nearly taking a chunk out of a stunned Tim Clark in the best mid-race lash-out since Maxime Guyon’s impetuous brain snap in January.
Of course, Guyon should have known better when he gave fellow rider Keith Yeung Ming-lun a couple of lashes across the back at Sha Tin, an act of unprovoked violence seemingly the result of frustration at some pretty average efforts in the saddle – but where on earth did Intellectualstride’s Guyon-esque effort emanate from?
However enlightening they are to poor performances of horses and humans, stewards reports can be pretty dry reading. As a pastime, reading them ranks alongside calling call centres just to listen to the on-hold music and they are a sure-fire cure for insomnia. But last night’s post-race report for race five was spiced up when it revealed Clark, riding Hong Kong Fat, accidentally made contact with Intellectualstride’s face with his whip with 150 metres to run.
What happened next can be seen clearly on the front-on patrol footage as Clark got more than he bargained for whenIntellectualstride lurched towards him like he hadn’t been fed in a week – still galloping at full speed – making like Jaws as he went at the Australian jockey’s forearm, only just failing to sink his teeth in.
A shocked Clark, by now out of contention, stopped riding as he tried to comprehend what had happened and Intellectualstride proceeded to throw his legs everywhere, giving the impression he had broken down when in fact he was, as one official succinctly put it, “pissed”.
The bizarre footwork did have a touch of Gangnam Style about it – versions of which had been keeping the masses entertained in the Beer Garden all night. Some of the performers wore boxes over their heads: smart move as the dance is about to go the way of Mitt Romney.
Perhaps, Intellectualstride was frustrated he couldn’t be part of the Oktoberfest celebrations in the bustling Beer Garden – which, in a cunning marketing ploy has become November-fest and may just become December-fest, too. It’s not like anyone in that warm and fuzzy mass cares what day, let alone month, it is anyway, especially after about 9pm. They might as well be in Munich.
More than 23,000 surprisingly well-behaved patrons packed into the course last night. We say surprisingly, as the Beer Garden’s idea of “responsible service of alcohol” appears to be “not spilling any” and delivering beer in a timely fashion to each punter’s two-litre stein. Mini kegs are compulsory for any group of two or more males and beersculling contests are still de rigueur and are displayed on the big screen (with no betting allowed unfortunately).
Yet, despite the apparent excess, there is isn’t a hint of the uncouth behaviour seen at the Melbourne Cup carnival this week. It really is Happy Wednesday – not a hint of violence, except for cranky horses.
The claim that Intellectualstride was hungry gains credence when you realise he had just gone past the McDonald’s at the top of the straight, and he may have caught a whiff of some of the bratwurst on a bun, or the less presentable – but equally delectable – “meat on a stick” at the concession stand and got the munchies.
Horses have been banned for being bad-tempered in the past – the first on record in Britain is Vigilence. He was warned off by order of the stewards of the Jockey Club in 1912.
Intellectualstride has been given a reprieve. After all, he did get hit in the head with a whip and he had showed no violent tendencies in the past, but you can bet Clark will be giving him a wide berth in the future.