THW: PCSO Special Maiden Race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 13 April 2011, Wednesday

PCSO Special Maiden Race

Can Wanna Change change the 3YO game?

Tarlac congressman Jeci Aquino Lapus’ colt won the March 29 trial race of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Open Maiden race for 3YO.

The son of prolific sire Heza Gone West out of Regal Kingdom, Wanna Change posted 1:18 under Rey-ann Camanero. Rosenda Ann Ocampo’s Gold Field came in second, Honorato Neri’s Beau Erin third, Augusto Benedicto Santos’s Sparkler fourth, Andre Angelo Santos’s Sunshine fifth, and Herminio Esguerra’s Aduana came in last.

The actual race runs on April 17, Sunday, over 1,200 meters at Santa Ana Park.

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Contrary to some kibitzers’ perception that the racing and breeding industry is moribund, there are outsiders who have expressed interest in participating in the scene. One such potential new player is entrepreneur Romy Sia, of Healthy Options and Wine Story fame.

An intense visionary, who brings focused energy to everything he does, from business to hobbies, he sees much potential growth in the industry.

Sia used to bet on horses decades ago, using a Dividendazo racing program, but since then the thought of racing had not crossed his mind until recently, when he saw the movie “Secretariat”.

He has also observed how the racing industry works in the United Kingdom, where he resided for several years. Romy has many terrific ideas on how to market and promote the sport as a sport, downplaying the betting aspect.

I’ve put him in touch with horseowner and breeder Mandaluyong mayor Benhur Abalos, who kindly accommodated my request for an opportunity to introduce them to each other.

Let’s hope that we will one day welcome Romy Sia into the industry as a participant or partner, in whatever role he chooses to take.

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Which bring me to a point I’ve made several times before. The betting aspect is both essential and incidental to the sport. One may enjoy racing for itself as a sport, reveling in the performance of horses, those most magnificent of animals. Seeing their powerful legs pumping, the muscles under their hide rippling from shoulder to flank, one is transported to a world where speed and power and strategy determine victory.

The vibrant colors of jockeys’ silks, the snorting and neighing of horses as they take to the track, the flick of a whip and a jockey’s smile as he parades on his mount in the paddock – racing is a feast for the eyes, a cacophony of sound, an experience like no other that takes down, lifts up, and transports and transforms, each and every time the starting gate opens.

Should the industry’s movers and shakers take more effective steps towards showing this aspect of racing to the mainstream public, I believe that we will see more interest in the sport from sectors that as of now have not even heard of racing.  ***

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