The Longines Hong Kong International Races photobomber has been found, with 37-year-old Australian Kelly Doobs owning up to what he calls “a little bit of Aussie fun humour”.
Doobs came forward as the mystery man who was photographed with Longines Hong Kong Cup winner Glorious Forever on the track at Sha Tin last Sunday, sending a video that shows him high-fiving members of Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s stables.
“I was actually on Glorious Forever on the punt and I celebrated it home and carried on a bit and was lucky enough to get a photo with it,” Doobs said.
“When I turned around and gave a big high-five, that’s when I walked off the track and let them have their own celebration. I wasn’t escorted off or anything like that.
“If I’ve offended anybody I apologise. I didn’t mean anything of it and I’m going to contact the stable and let them know that there was definitely no malice. It was just a little bit of Aussie fun humour, that’s all it was.”
Doobs, who lives in Ballarat, Victoria, said that watching races at Sha Tin “was an absolute dream” and explained that he ended up on the track after a friendly wager.
“Five of us went over for our bucket list trip to the Hong Kong races. We went to Happy Valley, then Macau, then Sha Tin,” he said.
“We were sitting there having dinner in the Champion Circle and I said to the guys, I wouldn’t mind getting down there and maybe getting a photo with one of the horses in the Group races.
“One of them made a comment that he would put a wager on of A$1,000 (HK$5,600) that I wouldn’t get within 10 metres of the grass.
“So after checking myself through five different checkpoints by showing my badge to the Champion Circle, they eventually let me in and must have thought I was some sort of connection.”
All’s well that ends well, as they say, and it seems that in this instance, it was very much just a case of good, harmless fun.