By almost any measurement – whether it’s turnover, attendance, media coverage, or just plain public interest - the Asia/Pacific region is the healthiest in world racing at the moment and, even without the immense possibilities of China, the one with the greatest potential for expansion. In an international climate in which the greatest sport is under constant siege from alternative entertainments ranging from trick skateboarding to the latest brain-corroding video game, the bookmaker-free models of Japan and Hong Kong provide inspirational templates for racing’s future.
So, too, would Australia if we judged the country only in terms of enthusiasm for the sport. Although the spectre of British corporate bookmaking is beginning to loom over what the Aussies themselves love to think of as “The Lucky Country.” New Zealand, also a traditional hotbed of enthusiasm for racing, is a country without that particular cloud on its horizon, but one in which the sport faces its own challenges, as does Singapore where in the last few years racing has found itself confronted by a new rival in the form of legalised casinos.
Throughout the region, racing finds itself in a state of flux as well as of exciting growth, and Thoroughbred Racing Commentary has just the correspondents to provide penetrative analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, and above all, thrilling development.
Naohiro Goda is one of Japan's leading racing writers and TV presenters. He is also an authority on every branch of the industry, and a recognised expert and consultant on bloodstock. He has travelled extensively and is a familiar figure at major race meetings and sales the world over.
Hong Kong contributors include Roy Li, a native Chinese speaker, and correspondent for the Oriental News; and Lawrence Wadey, once of the Racing Post, a former racing editor of the South China Morning Post,and a presenter on Hong Kong TV before moving on to become a racehorse owner in Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as a respected racing consultant in Hong Kong.
Our man in Singapore, Australian Graeme Carey, has been actively involved in the sport as an owner for many years, racing horses in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Currently a regular correspondent and contributor to Singapore’s The New Paper and the Singapore Turf Club’s publication Winning Post, as well as to KranjiRacing.com, he is a form analyst, breeding enthusiast and, on his own admission, an inveterate Tweeter on all things racing.
In Australia our contributors include the accomplished Stephen Moran who has worked as a racing journalist for 35 years, in print, radio, and television. His roles have ranged from racing editor of Melbourne's Sunday Age newspaper to host of a daily, prime-time radio program dedicated to horse racing. Largely Melbourne-based, Moran has regularly travelled to the world's major meetings in Europe, Asia, the UK and the United States. Steve shares Australian duties with British racehorse trainer John Berry, who learned his craft in Australia and continues to follow the Australian racing scene so closely that he writes regularly for various Australian racing publications.
Bruce Sherwin is a New Zealand journalist, race caller, commentator, owner, and breeder who had a share in Shamrocker, heroine of the AJC Derby and Guineas as well as the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, among other top class performers, and has bred several more G1 winners at Raffles Farm, of which he is part owner.