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More website enhancements to start the new season
2 September 2010
Earlier today my web team colleagues hosted a press conference at Sha Tin Racecourse, introducing to the media the latest web enhancements we're launching for our racing fans this season. These improvements form an integral part of our ongoing plan to uplift the online experience for our web users, and are something I've been eagerly looking forward to for a long time.

As you may be aware, we began the current web upgrade in May, when we introduced a number of enhancements to the horse racing pages. This time, we've given the Racecourses and Entertainment pages a facelift, and also integrated them into a single section. This means that our customers now have one-stop access to all the information they need about our racecourse facilities, on-course events and special promotions.

To welcome the new season, we're also launching a new feature called Racing Smart Form, which makes it more convenient for our racing fans to study the runners' form. By simply clicking on a horse name on our racecard pages, you can now access a profile of that horse and its current racing information, as well as its performances on the same course and distance over the past three seasons. 

If you're a betting account holder, you may already have tried out a new login method that we introduced on a trial basis two months ago. With the increasing number of customers using Apple Mac and other browser such as Safari and Firefox, the new login method now support all these browsers, eventually provide them with better convenience and flexibility for accessing our online services.

The change in login method was also our effort to respond to the change of customers’ behaviour. With many of them now using more than one computer, changing computer to computer, and having computer access anywhere when needed, this new login method will also give our online betting account users higher mobility and portability.

I'm pleased that many of you have given us valuable feedback on this new system.  We've responded promptly to some of your suggestions by making modifications to the latest version, which has also gone live this week.  I welcome you all to continue sharing your thoughts with us, so that we can make further improvements or reconfigurations if needed.

To help our eWin customers understand and get the most out of these latest adjustments, we will arrange demonstration sessions at three of our major Off-Course Betting Branches in Mong Kok, Wan Chai and Sha Tin.  So in addition to calling our Club Hotline or making enquiries through the website, you can get the latest information on these new enhancements and services from my colleagues, or get assistance from them there. I am sure they will be endeavouring to offer you the best service and assistance. 

I hope you all will find these latest updates useful, and will make good use of the new one-stop services in the new season.
 

Speedy relief for hostage victims
27 August 2010
It's been a very sad time for everybody in Hong Kong over the past few days, as Monday’s bus hostage saga in Manila claimed the lives of eight Hong Kong citizens and left seven others injured. I felt as saddened and aggrieved by the tragedy as I'm sure many of you did.  On behalf of all of us at the Jockey Club, I should like to express our condolences to those families who lost their loved ones, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
 
Through the Jockey Club Emergency Relief Fund set up earlier this year, we have offered immediate financial relief to the families of the deceased and the injured to tide them through this difficult period. As an organisation that has always been dedicated to charitable giving, we realise how important it is that families struck by tragedy don't have financial worries to add to their burden. I hope they can overcome their grief and start to rebuild their lives as quickly as possible.
 
Though it’s been difficult to focus on horse racing in the past few days, our preparation work for the new season has to go on. This year we've had a relatively shorter summer break, which means that our working team began getting ready for the new season almost as soon as the old one ended.
 
Earlier today, we unveiled the new series of TV programmes that will be produced for our racing fans this season, in which we will introduce new elements and supply different types of information before, during and after the racing action.  For instance, those fans who like to focus on horses’ pre-race preparation in their race studies can keep an eye on our pre-race programme, where we will provide in-depth analysis of the runners' form and trackwork performances, show useful racing statistics and replay some relevant key races. In our post-race programmes, we will use a new technology called “Highlighter” to better illustrate race incidents and the performances of certain horses during the races.
 
Those of you joining the Pre-season Carnival at Sha Tin Racecourse tomorrow will have the opportunity to take a look at our newly-extended Diamond Vision screen, located closer to the public stand. The larger screen allows us to show more comprehensive racing and betting information during the races, which we hope will further enhance our customers' racecourse experience in the new season.
 
These changes all reflect the more customer-centric approach we are adopting from this season onwards. I hope our racing fans will enjoy these service enhancements and find them useful.
 
Incidentally, I was encouraged to see that all admission tickets for the Pre-season Carnival were sold out several days ago, which shows the high level of public interest in the new season. So if you are one of the lucky ticket holders, please come early so that you can enjoy the many special horse-related activities we are organising, before watching the day’s highlight event, the Jockeys’ Sprint, then the pre-season barrier trials on the Sha Tin turf. I hope you all have an enjoyable afternoon and look forward to seeing you there!

No cooling off this summer
14 August 2010
It's been a while since I posted my last blog here. I hope you've all been keeping well in these midsummer days. 

I’m currently in France, along with Club’s Executive Director of Racing William Nader. Later today, we'll be heading for Deauville Racecourse, which is hosting a special Hong Kong Jockey Club raceday. This is part of reciprocal arrangement the Club has had with France Galop over the past two seasons, under which we, in turn, host "Le French May" race meeting at Happy Valley.

Once again this year, there will be two races named after our Club: the Prix du Jockey Club de Hong Kong, a handicap race, and the Group 3 event Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club. The latter race, run over 2000m, should be quite eye-catching as Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup winner Vision d’Etat will be making his first appearance since the Dubai World Cup in March. I will definitely be interested to see how he performs in this feature event.

France Galop has kindly invited us to attend tomorrow's Deauville race meeting, too. This should be another exciting afternoon as European supermare Goldikova will take part in the day's feature race - the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois.  She will be seeking to create new history on the Deauville turf by capturing the 11th Group One victory of her career.

Although there has been no racing in Hong Kong over the past few weeks, my daily work does not seem to have lessened. On the contrary, it's been busier than ever recently, as my Club colleagues and I have been taking the opportunity of the summer break to review our performances and experiences over the past season and map out our direction of development for the coming term. It's our aim to provide our customers with more convenient and effective services than ever.

I can tell you that among the aspects we've touched on, quite some time has been spent on discussing the implementation of our further web enhancement programmes next season. Personally, I view the Club’s website as being one of the most important platforms for communicating with our different customers, as we have hundreds of thousands of people surfing the site every day. 

As you might rightly expect, we will be launching several web enhancement features very soon. These include a new eWin login system featuring a dual authentication process, which offers more betting convenience and mobility to our account holders, as they can now use any Internet-connected computer to login, instead of being restricted to a designated computer with the P-Cert installed. 

We will also look after the needs of other racing fans. Some of you may notice that we’ve already offered a preview, with a facelift of the pages on racecourse entertainment. These pages now sport a new design and layout, and some of the content has been regrouped. I hope that our racegoers, tourists and other customers can more easily locate the racecourse information they need from this visually-improved web section.

In fact, the first stage of our website revamp took place in May, primarily with the enhancement of the football section and the availability of multi-browser support for all web users. I’m pleased to hear from our online customers that they are generally satisfied with these enhancements. Some have been very helpful in giving us their feedback and suggestions on the changes; while there are others who have commented that it has become more difficult to scroll through the screens and search for the information and web pages they need.

Let me take this opportunity to clarify that actually the entry points of some key pages can be easily found in the top navigation bar, while other entry points have been assigned to a comprehensive directory at the bottom of the home page. We feel this provides a clearer structure and alignment of entry points on the main page, which will make easier for racing fans to locate the information they need in the long run.

I do understand that it will take people some time to adapt to the changes in layout and registration procedures. That’s why we introduced some of the changes and provided previews during off-season, to allow our customers more time to learn and get used to the new navigation. This is all part of our continuing efforts to upgrade and improve the Club's services, and provide you with enhanced online experiences. We will announce more details of these website enhancements and special features very soon, so please stay tuned to the site for further updates. Thank you again for your support, and I hope you will find the website more user-friendly in the long run.


MESSAGE TO CEO
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I enjoy living in Hong Kong which is dynamic, competitive and has a can-do spirit. I am lucky to combine my hobbies, horse racing and football in my job. In this blog I will share with you periodically my thoughts on my work and life in Hong Kong. Your views are welcome but I may not be able to respond to every one of them.
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