20 May 2013
It has been a very hectic past 24 hours. The Singapore Turf Club’s Gala Dinner was a thoroughly enjoyable event, with the Te Akau team occupying two tables.
The formalities began with about 15 minutes of a sand artist featuring his riveting work. I’ll try and describe what he actually did – it’s hard to put into words. But I can tell you that you could have heard a pin drop in the room of probably 500-600 guests.
The artist was standing on stage shrouded in darkness with his “work table” in front of him. Everything that he did on this table was then projected on to two enrmous screens on either side of the stage. He poured dark and light sand on the table and then with his fingers proceeded to draw the most amazing pictures of horses – themed as wild horses, race horses, horses with jockeys, foals – everything you can imagine. Each image took roughly 20-30 seconds to create and once complete, he would wipe his palm across that image and erase it – and then commence the new one. It was breath taking artistry.
It was good to also catch up with Mark and Julia Walker who joined us, and we also had some time with NZRB CEO Chris Bayliss and Martin Saunders who were representing the New Zealand Racing Board.
Sunday started quietly for most with everyone doing their own thing – we took the opportunity to have brunch with our godchildren Zavier and Alexis Walker – that was very special!
Then we met up at 2pm to travel to Kranji for the second race meeting. It was fun to have Matt Cameron along for the ride to Kranji and Matt has had a great experience riding in Singapore for the first time. No luck on Sunday but OM was a “certainty beaten” after being denied racing room twice in the straight. It was also great to catch up with Gus Clutterbuck when he was able to briefly join the team.
We headed back to the hotel after the last race – around 10pm and then some of the young ones hit the town. I did observe a very subdued daughter this morning!
So today is our final day in Singapore – most of us head home tonight – but some of our team are travelling to London, some to Paris and other destinations. Some of us have to work tomorrow – smile! Thanks to Mark and Julia Walker for making the trip so memorable – everyone I know really enjoyed the time they were able to spend with them. Te Akau Racing in Singapore is continuing to go from strength to strength and undoubtedly has exciting times ahead.
It has been a marvellous experience again this year – plenty of laughs, lots of fun, new experiences and of course – friendships made and continued.