Last week, the Hong Kong Jockey Club unveiled what is known as I B U.

What is it? An inter-active board which offers those ne and experienced to horse racing a new world of opportunities to play the game and discover one’s own “systems” in order to win.

The board itself looks like a cross between “Tommy’s” pinball machine and the spaceship from “Close Encounters.”

If Steven Speilberg saw it, he’d want to make a movie based around it.

So, we decided to beat him to it- starting with a story.

The below was not written under the influence of anything.

Just imagination taking us wherever it wanted to take us .and s happy to go this ride and happy to be there. And here. Or wherever.






Forget UFOs. I was just escorted into another world through an I B U.

Of course, I wasn’t expecting to board the I B U, but as the night got foggier and the club called Adrenaline became more crowded, I became strangely drawn towards this lit up board which seemed to speak to me in a series of different voices.

It wasn’t like the man-eating plant in “The Little Shop Of Horrors”, but, instead, it was more like the spaceship which landed in “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.”

In fact, I swear I heard those notes which composer John Williams wrote as the theme to the movies.

Not knowing much about horse racing and all the things which I have heard in passing from friends about odds and sods and handicaps and winning and losing, I really wanted to understand this world of horse racing which I have never been privy to enter before.

And now, here I was being drawn into this portal and world of I B U.

If this world of I B U was music, it would be Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” and “Helter Skelter” alongside America’s “A Horse With No Name”, Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” and Pink Floyd’s “Money.” But, mostly, it was “A Horse With No Name” and how it felt “good to be out of the rain” and “in the desert fun and by a river bed.”

To quote the Beatles, this my “ticket to ride” was a Smart Card. No filling out “Immigration Cards,” no need for any “Arrival” or “Departure” cards. I was swept away and taken on this Magical Mystery Tour and felt a sudden urge take me through Sleepy Hollow. I was Alice entering Wonderland or a kid in chocolate factory like Gustav in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Speaking of which, were Willy Wonka and The Mad Hatter the same person? Think about it.

As I rolled through and into this world, different images flashed before my eyes before I landed on a green field. As I looked up, slightly dazed and confused, I could hear the sounds of horses galloping. In the distance, I could see a group of horses approaching- and fast. I rolled myself over to the side and away from harm’s way as thundering hooves and men screaming out to each other passed by me. I watched them ride off into what seemed like a never ending path as the Doors’ “Riders In The Storm” played and I watched Jim Morrison dance as he sang, “Girl, you’ve gotta love your man.” He then danced again.

Where the hell was I? Or was it heaven? There was suddenly a calm- but not like a calm before the storm. I felt exhilarated as I picked myself up and walked around. No, wait: I wasn’t walking around. Someone seemed to be guiding me to where they wanted to take me. I didn’t mind. I was ready to take the trip of my life. Tommy, The Pinball Wizard had nothing on me.

I was moved from one area of this world made up of facts, figures and icons. Then, they moved me from there to somewhere else. They moved me this way and that way. In the end, I was placed on a huge Number 8. I had heard John Lennon whisper about “Number 9″, but I had not really thought of Number 8.

It seemed like days that I was in this world- days in a world where there was no time and where the sky changed to every colour of the rainbow.

I was moved from Number 8 to other numbers, but kept coming back to Number 8.

As I looked around, others had also found refuge in the same place- others who were also new to this world.

Did I want to leave?

Did I want to return “upstairs”- and wherever “upstairs” was?

I was in two minds.

And then I met her.

(to be continued)