• Thu
  • Oct 30, 2014
  • Updated: 5:11am
On The Rails
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 3:12am

(Lack of) info from Mongolia leaves everyone in the dark

A news blackout for 'China's richest ever race' isn't doing the history-making event any good


Alan Aitken has worked in all facets of the media and was the master of the famous AJC Punters Podium at Sydney racecourses for many years. He was one of Australia's most respected racing journalists over almost two decades with The Sydney Morning Herald before joining SCMP in 2001. Alan also has extensive magazine and radio experience and is a respected racing form analyst.

For months, we have all been hearing, ad nauseam, about Hohhot, Inner Mongolia and "China's richest ever race day" - just a query, who runs second in that particular "richest ever" contest? - and cold showers have been the order of the day as the big moment approaches this Saturday.

According to the website of the China Horse Club (now that is actually the mob from Tianjin Horse City, but they couldn't run the race meeting 500 kilometres away in Tianjin because, well, the track isn't finished), it features "the inaugural running of the National Cup meeting. Record purses will be offered across the entire programme with the highlight by [sic] the running of the RMB$1,000,000 National Cup." According to the site "There has never been a more spectacular club than the CHC."

You can imagine our excitement. OMG. We haven't been this excited since we saw Miley Cyrus walking onto the construction site for a foam factory.

As with most 'events', one expected the publicity machine behind this spectacular club to pick up speed as we got closer to the day but the opposite seems to have happened, with no website posts since mid-August under their "news" section.

Not a peep anywhere about the outcome of the recent auction sale of horses from Australia, Ireland, France or Mars. Not a word from the in-house spin doctors to combat the, let's say, less than complimentary mentions the operation has been generating in some bloodstock circles.

At last, we noticed on Sunday that the website had posted something new, dated September 15, and we could only assume this to be what we sought.

It turned out to be nothing more than a gleeful winner's photo with words, trumpeting the easy win in Singapore of one of the club's racehorses.

So there is someone working there - someone apparently without sufficient security clearance to publicly push along the barrow of the long-awaited, once in a lifetime China racing breakthrough this weekend, the turning point in world racing history.

Days away and the crickets are chirruping?

Is it too much to hope for sectional times and stewards' reports?


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive


This article is now closed to comments

Hello Alan. We have started broadcasting live European racing in Mainland China on paoma.com now. I think there is a lot of hope that horse racing will start to become popular in 2014 Year of the Horse. Sadly we do not have any coverage of last weekends races in Hohhot.


SCMP.com Account