Barry Pang

Hello everyone

I recently sat down with one of Fiorente’s owners, a bloke named Barry Pang. He is Bruce Lee’s cousin, and the man who introduced Kung Fu to Australia. He is also the major owner of a good horse named Pornichet which is about to return to racing in Sydney.

Have a watch of this video, then please have a read of the below interview. It is a cracker!

  1. With a few minutes of internet research, one can discover that you are listed as a ‘Chinese Australian.’ But with a name like Barry, it seems fair to assume that perhaps you are a born and bred Australian with Chinese parents. Do you have any idea why your parents moved to Australia? Were you in fact born in Australia?

Yes I was most definitely born in Australia. Both my parents are from Canton, which is a province in Southern China. Back when my parents lived there (just before WWII) there was very limited opportunity throughout the villages. Australia was known to the Chinese at the time as ‘the big gold mountain,’ based on the stories of those who had returned from the gold rush during the mid-19th century. It was the land of opportunity and my parents made their way down to seek a better life.

  1. Growing up during the height of the Cold War (China of course being a relatively hard line Communist nation during the 20th century), how did the other kids at primary school take to a boy that looked a little different?

At the start I was a little bit intimidated, but in the end, I was just one of plenty who had to injure an initiation of sorts. I was perhaps lucky, because while I looked different and was certainly the only Chinese boy at my school, there were plenty of Jewish kids from Poland, Hungary and other European nations. It was quite a multicultural school and eventually we all had our groups of friends. Football and cricket ruled the school yard as they still do today and participation was the key. You earned respect from your school mates based on your performance at lunchtime! Before too long the other kids had no problem with me being the only Chinese student. I actually have a couple of school reunions coming up soon. I certainly don’t have any racially related emotional scars from my time at school in Australia.

  1. During your young days, it is hard to imagine that the bullies and the ignorant people would have made a distinction between a Chinese boy and a Japanese boy, despite the fact that China and Japan were World War II enemies. Did growing up after World War II in a nation that had fought doggedly against Japan add to any racial vilification you may have experienced?

Yes. Most Australians could not tell the difference between the Japanese, the Koreas and the Chinese. It was mostly in the street and not at school, but yes I did experience little bit of the ‘nip nip nip’ calls from strangers (mostly adults), but again the kids generally welcomed me for who I was rather than how I looked. At the time, you are right, the Chinese had just fought a fierce set of battles with Japan as Australia did. Just because both nations were made up of Asian people that looked similar, it does not mean they were the same in terms of ideology, political views or anything really. Japan and China were mortal enemies in WWII.

  1. Of all the people I have interviewed, you are definitely the first to have been related to the legendary Bruce Lee! Can you explain your family’s connection with the iconic film star?

Canton was full of hundreds of little villages. Clan villages. The surnames that you still hear today like Lee, Chan, Wong and so on made up the clans and thus the villages. Bruce Lee’s father grew up two doors down from my mother. Lee’s father and my mother were also second cousins (my mother was a member of the Lee clan). So we have a neighbourhood relationship and a family connection. Bruce Lee was an inspiration to all Chinese people, especially those who left China for the United States and Australia.

  1. Apart from being a Melbourne Cup winning owner, you are probably best known throughout Australia as a martial arts expert. Can you tell us how you got into martial arts, what branch you specialise in and a little about your business?

In the 1960s all our Chinese heroes in our children’s comic books specialised in Kung Fu. Then there were the Bond movies. While there were plenty of fast cars, leggy woman and gun fights, there also were a lot of hand to hand Kung Fu fighting scenes. As a young boy, this is how I gathered an interest in the sport. Once I finished University, I came back from Hong Kong and had no employment. A friend said I should teach Kung Fu. Now please let me clarify. Kung Fu is Chinese for ‘Martial Arts.’ There are therefore many different styles and facets of Kung Fu. The Japanese martial arts all have independent names, but the Chinese wanted to keep their styles secret especially from the Japanese. I just wanted to practice when I returned from Hong Kong, but I was persuaded to start teaching and because of the secrecy that surrounds Kung Fu, a few of the Chinese elders were no happy that I was ‘spreading the word.’ I was promised 30 students, and only four turned up for the first class. However over time, it just grew and grew and grew and became quite popular. Bruce Lee had to hear about his supposed ‘revealing of the secrets’ when he first emerged in the United States. However as he showed, the sky is the limit with Kung Fu; you can do anything with it. Much the same as racing.

  1. Gai and Barry. How did you get involved with the Lady Trainer? What was your first horse that Gai trained?

My wife Anne and Gai get along like a house on fire. They are both the best at what they do (Anne may well be the best female Martial Artist on earth) and it seemed just perfect that they became friends. We have had horses for a long time, but it was not until June a few years back when we got involved with Gai. I was punting with Tom Waterhouse who put me in touch with Gai after I showed an interest in racing again. I was invited by Rob and Gai to dinner in Sydney and Gai went through the horses she had left for sale. It was after the major sales and most of the Magic Millions yearlings had been sold and there were only a couple of Easter yearlings remaining. We bought into four yearlings that included Landing and Tohunga. And that was that. We have not looked back; Gai does it better with her owners than any other trainer I have ever been racing with. I remember in the ‘80s, it was roughly $100 per day for a horse in training. Gai now only charges slightly more than that despite it being over 30 years later. Also, Gai finds horses that are usually quite affordable; the price for yearlings has not really gone up for a long time, but prize money has increased six-fold. Gai is the best at getting the most out of every horse she trains.

  1. How would you describe your relationship with Gai? She certainly has an ability to know even the smallest insignificant details about her owners. Maybe Gai might enjoy a Kung Fu lesson?

My relationship with Gai is fantastic. Just the other day I was overseas and I text messaged Gai for her birthday. It must have been around 0130am in Australia. Well Gai fired a text straight back saying thankyou and was immediately talking racing. All this at 0130am! Gai would be fantastic at Kung Fu. She certainly has the discipline, the will to win and she strives to be the absolute best she can be at everything she does.

  1. Can you describe the feeling you experienced at around the 400m when Oliver moved Fiorente out and had a lap full of horse? It was from here that he looked the horse to beat in the 2013 Melbourne Cup?

Although there was still two furlongs to run, it did indeed look like Fiorente was the one to beat at that stage. I can’t really explain the feeling. It is hard to even talk about to anyone who has not experienced it. It is like you are floating on cloud nine. No matter what anyone says, winning this race is different to winning any other race, maybe on earth. Fiorente hit the  lead and we all floated as one. I guarantee you it was not silent (screams galore) but it was almost as if I was floating in a still position while watching this striking son of Monsun hit the lead and win. It is the best feeling in racing. That is for sure.

  1. Is racing to you a hobby or an investment opportunity?

It is a hobby first and foremost, but if you are lucky and very dedicated it can become an investment opportunity. When you buy a share (a stock), any share, you can look on the computer screen and follow the company’s progress, but it is hardly fun! It can of course be very profitable, but it is nothing compared to socialising with Gai and her team and watching and betting on your favourite horses. I would sum up racing as a gateway to so many other great things. You gain this gateway while having the time of your life and yes you can make money out of it. A perfect situation in my opinion.

  1. Is China opening up in regards to gambling? If 1 in every 56 Chinese people had a bet on the Melbourne Cup, it would be equivalent to everyone single man, woman and child in Australia betting on the race. Australian racing seems to have a huge opportunity with China being both so close geographically and a huge trading partner.

It was looking good, but the Chinese Prime Minister has done a major backflip in regards to gambling. There were some race meetings held in China recently, but the crowds were very low because there was no gambling. But this is not the worst thing for Australian racing. China has plenty of billionaires and many millionaires that live in huge cities where they are anonymous. Some have created wealth through large holdings of rural property or manufacturing but have lacked education and social status which they try to seek in the west. What better way than through the sport of Kings! They can send their kids to the best school, have 10 luxury cars, but if they own the winner of the Ascot Gold Cup, they would be presented the trophy by Queen Elizabeth. This is how you get status in China and can eventually promote your business / businesses using this status. I think that the Chinese will end up being like those from Dubai and the Arab Emirates. They will send good horses out of their country, to Australia in the hope of success. If a billionaire buys 100 horses, at least some should be ok, and it is not about the prize money. It is about the prestige and the status that comes with winning the biggest races in the world. Plenty of wealthy Chinese citizens are looking towards Australian racing and the Melbourne Cup as a way to gain status and as a way to spend some money in the hope of some great fun. Back to the Chinese Prime Minister, I think it will be ten years before the thought of racing with punting is revisited, especially if this Prime Minister holds on for ten years, as he most likely will. The China Horse Club gave the country a big hope recently and I would think more and more organisations like this one will pop up over the next few years.

  1. Bart and Dato now Gai and Barry? You surely are the first man of Chinese decent to have won the Melbourne Cup (Dato is Malaysian); do they know this in China? Rumour has it, that there a new book of Australian accomplishments by Chinese Australians being sent to Beijing as we speak?

There is a book called 2013 Yearbook of Chinese in Australia, which showcases local Chinese contribution to Australian society over the past 200 years. This book is being launched as we speak and will be sent to China very soon where it will be presented to the Chinese Prime Minister. Three members of my family including me are in the book. Men like Dr. Victor Chan are in the book. Of course Dr Chan accomplished much more than I have, but it is such an honour to be thought of and I think it will be great for those in China to read about Fiorente.

  1. Sticking with the staying horses for the minute. What other staying prospects do you have with Gai? Which ones are you the most excited about?

Just to name three; Bonfire (Manduro x Night Frolic) who hopefully will win a nice race over the spring, Greatwood (Manduro x Gaze) who will be back for the Sydney Cup next year, but the one I am the most excited about is the new import Porchinet. He will create a lot of excitement in Australia.

  1. Growing up in Melbourne you must have an AFL team?

The Mighty Demons. They were great when I was growing up, but it has been a little lean of late!

  1. Leave the imported stayers aside, do you have any other young horses with Gai?

Three that I am very excited about are Bay Rock (Fastnet Rock x Legally Bay), Mali Rose (Medaglia D’oro X Mysterious Light) and Mr Boomsday (Domesday X Cashcade). Mr Boomsday! Wow! I can’t wait for this horse to get back to the races. Anne and I are just so glad we went with Bruce Slade (Round Table Racing) and purchased a share in this horse. He is flying; he trialled beautifully and the sky is the limit with him.

  1. What is it you like most about being involved with Gai and the entire stable?

Generally racing people are quiet, don’t like socialising too much and are completely dedicated to the horses. Well Gai’s staff are definitely dedicated to the horses, but they are so open and friendly and always up for a chat. The office staff, the foreman, the racing managers and everyone else are sensational to deal with. I have no doubt that Gai drags you all along with her. Gai has the perfect balance to fun and professionalism and she leaves no stone unturned in her search of success. It is always great to know that Gai wants to win the races just as much as the owners do if not more! She makes you feel a huge part of it and she wants you as an owner with her as a part of the team when the races are won. The social side is fantastic, but the openness and the information I can get about my horses at any time is the reason I will keep coming back. Gai makes everything come true. Horse of the Year awards, tickets to the Cup, anything. Gai with the help of her team gets things done and makes racing as enjoyable as it possibly can be. In all forms of business, operations prosper when they have good people involved. Gai is the master, but her team definitely hold her aloft and together they make for a great stable that is a pleasure to be involved with.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Hello everyone

Today my mate Sir Patrick Hogan (type his name into the A Turf Fascination search box to read the biggest and best interview he has ever done… oh yeah it was with A Turf Fascination!) led into the sales ring at Karaka the last ever Zabeel that will ever go through the sales. The room erupted with applause as the bloody should have because Zabeel has been the greatest stallion of our life time. That is of course if you like winning Melbourn e Cups, Oaks races, Derby’s, Cox Plates and Caulfield Cups instead of wfa 1200m sprints.

Once every now-and-then a stallion comes along that defines a generation of thoroughbreds. Zabeel was such a stallion. Discussing Zabeel’s all-time stats is slightly difficult, because while he has been retired from stud duties, he still is producing winners and even Group One winners. At the time of print, Zabeel has produced 44 individual Group One winners that have won a total of 85 Group One races. All this from a horse that won just seven races himself, none of which were in Sydney or even at Caulfield. Zabeel’s greatest successes on the track were at Flemington and Moonee Valley. The super sire won the Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington and two other Group Two races at Moonee Valley. However, like Sir Patrick Hogan has detailed on this very website, the stallion’s results were secondary to the blood that flowed through his veins courtesy of his sire the great Sir Tristram. Zabeel was destined for a life a stud from the moment he showed he could gallop.

Zabeel has sired many champions including Hall of Fame members Octagonal and Might And Power and Hong Kong immortal Vengeance of Rain. From Octagonal came Lonhro and from Lonhro came Pierro. We are yet to see what comes from Pierro, but the odds are stack heavily in favour of at least a champion or two coming from the glamour colt. Along with the two above-mentioned immortal champions, Zabeel has also brought us Efficient, the only horse apart from Phar Lap to win the VRC Derby, then the Melbourne Cup in the following year. Jezabeel joins Might And Power and Efficient as a Melbourne Cup winner that was sired by Zabeel. As well as Might And Power, Zabeel also sired Caulfield Cup winners Sky Heights and Railings; again as well as Might And Power and Octagonal, the great stallion brought us Cox Plate winners Savabeel and Maldivian.

The 44 individual Group One winners that Zabeel has sired include three Gai Waterhouse (she is my boss remember!) trained horses that have won a total of four Group One races for the Lady Trainer. The gun filly Zacheline won the South Australian Oaks and the Queensland Oaks for Gai in 1998. Dress Circle gave Gai her 6th Metropolitan Handicap (she now has 8!) and Shower of Roses won the then Arrowfield Stakes over 2000m in 2003.

One of the most consistent mares to come through Tulloch Lodge in recent times was a daughter of Zabeel named Winning Belle. Winning Belle never won a Group One race, but her career achievements more than make up for this. Consider; the filly was a Listed winner at two over 1400m, before winning the Queensland Guineas at three. In this 2004 winter campaign, the then filly also ran 3rd in the QLD Oaks and 4th in the QLD Derby. As a mare, Winning Belle won the Group Three Canterbury Cup, but perhaps her greatest achievement occurred when she didn’t win, but rather ran second. In the 2005 Australian Cup over the famous 10 furlongs at Flemington (2000m), Winning Belle was a $14 outsider. This is not surprising considering the field contained the likes of Elvstroem, Lad of the Manor and Makybe Diva. It was a star studded affair and despite doing her absolute best, Winning Belle was eventually run down and beaten just under a length by the immortal Makybe Diva. This race was not only the fastest Australian Cup ever, but it still remains the fastest 2000m ever run at Australia’s home of racing, Flemington. It took a champion in course record time to beat Winning Belle on this day, but that is what we have come to expect from this Zabeel breed.

It is not often published, but Gai is the second most successful trainer of Zabeel’s ever, and with several Zabeel’s in work, Gai has a chance to become the greatest trainer ever of the generation defining breed. Including the three Group One winners, Gai has trained (at this stage) 39 individual Zabeel winners that have won a total of 105 races. The Lady Trainer just needs the likes of Tohunga and the jumper Valediction to string together a few races and she may end up the most successful all-time trainer of Zabeel’s. 73.6% of Gai’s Zabeel’s that have run have won. This is by far the best winners to runners percentage of the trainers that have trained over 100 Zabeel sired winners. There is also a filly named Adrift that Gai trains that is by Zabeel. She might just be a Sydney Oaks filly, but keep that quiet.

Sir Tristram – Zabeel – Octagonal – Lonhro – Pierro. There may not be a stronger bloodline in Australian racing. Zabeel is already in the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. He sits in there with the likes of Rising Fast, Tulloch, Phar Lap, Carbine and Redcraze despite having won just a single Group One race. This demonstrates just what this stallion has done for racing worldwide. Zabeel will live out his days as the happiest and most cared for of thoroughbreds in a perfectly groomed paddock at Cambridge Stud never too far from his adoring owner and best mate Sir Patrick Hogan. The champion has sired a generation of champions and his sons and grandsons continue to renew the bloodline and will do for many years to come.

Good luck and stay tuned.


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Aussie Day long weekend

Hello everyone

Straight into the punt this week. Two day to cover…


Moonee Valley

5.4. Valediction. Getting ready for Oakbank and Warrnambool and the jumps, but should be hard to beat here on the flat. Won well last start.

7.1. Dissident. One of the worst fields ever in a Group race. All Dissident has to do is finish and he should be right there.


2.1. Meursault. Good last start and will no doubt have improved and will take a stack of beating.

7.1. Spurtonic. If this boy is back to his best, as the stable suspect, then $9 is overs. But if his win on the Gold Coast has taken anything at all out of him at all, he might need this in preparation for the mile next start. But $9 is generous and worth an each way bet. Also have a little saver on 6. She’s Clean.


6.2. Langridge Street. In form and over the odds.

8.1. Creance. Lost at $1.50 last start. We get $10 this time.


3.4. Anna Lizzie. Promising type.

7.1. Miss Longstocking. Should have too much class for her rivals here, but she has the weight to go with it.

8.8. Mr Jetset. Best of the day.



1.4. Tanby. No comment

2.2 Shamal Wind. Sandown will suit and loves a fresh run.

4.1. Fontition. Blue Diamond favourite that will take plenty of beating in this race.

5.3. Tried and Tied. Lack of opposition and a class edge.

Sunshine Coast

4.1. Rocky King. The claim will see this by being the best of the day on Monday.


2.1. Another Al. A big fitness edge which is required over the 1950m.

Good luck and stay tuned.



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It ain’t all bad


Ahoy world. The computer is back and there will be a full dose of wisdom and tips coming tonight. In the meantime have a read of this and get pumped up.

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

An up and down day on the punt yesterday, but that is not what I am writing about today. I thought why not pen a feel good article that talks about Australia, horses, racing and the legend of a champion. Enjoy…

The thoroughbred has always had a unique place in Australian history. There are several theories about how the breed came to be in Australia, but most historical fact points to some British Captains who swung by South Africa among other places and brought thoroughbred stallions to Australia to sire horses to help with day to day life Down Under. The British influence is still around today with the names of our races; the Derby, the Oaks, the St. Leger, the Queen Elizabeth are all synonymous with the Old Dart. Archer won the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 and the second in 1862. However Archer was not our…

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The Golden Day


Computer still stuffed so enjoy the wisdom from this reblog. The tips probably on’t do you much good as they are from Slipper day 2013, but the wisdom is still relevant.

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone.

Straight into the wisdom this week which again comes from an anonymous source who clearly knows his or hers stuff. A big thank you to this boy or girl.


Smart money and market movers.

Where ever you turn, somebody is always sprucing the market movers prior to a race and the term “smart money” often used post race.

The concept of the market mover, in that when any horse shortens, either a lot of people have the opinion that runner will win, so everybody should jump on the band wagon, or a lot of smart people have selected a runner, possibly even an unlikely winner on form and again everyone should jump on that band wagon also.

There is some truth in it, however with most things in racing, it’s not necessarily a one size fits all.

Lets start with tote pools. If the pool is small, for…

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Still not quite right

Hello everyone

The old A Turf Fascination computer is still at the mechanics so another abbreviated set of tips for the weekend is in order. In fact, at the computer shop this morning, they told me that it will be another two weeks before a particular part even arrives? Does this sound right? How hard to it be to get a computer part for a common computer to a computer workshop?



2.2. Spanish Love. And not just because of recent travels!

7.2. Lord of the Sky. Oh how I have waited for this boy to get to 1400m. He will settle, he will lead, and he will take a power of beating. Best of the day and will start close enough to double figures hopefully.


3.5. Pinchme. Is going really well and looks to have exceptional talented.

4.10. Specific Choice. Last time this goat was out to 2000m for the first time in a prep he won like Tulloch. Hopefully he can do it again, but don’r hold your breath.

6.7. Mardi. Just going through the grades nicely. Maybe have $5 on her for the Doncaster at 200-1 also.

Sunshine Coast

3.3 Loveitt. Should be unbeaten this prep. She is very versatile and should just win. Second best of the day.

7.1. Excellantes. The Hall of Famer is ready to win. Was exceptional last week and the big track will suit.

Good luck and stay tuned.





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Unfortunate luck for the kiwis


G’day A Turf Fasdcinators. After a holiday, and jet-lad, the old computer has now packed it in. We all know I have no idea how to post stories from an iPhone or ipad, so in the meantime (while the computer is getting fixed), please enjoy this great reblog

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

Here is part two in our ‘stupidity by administration’ series.

In 1953 in New Zealand a horse named Rising Fast was beaten in the Te Awamuta Cup as the short priced favourite. Yes it was a disappointing run, but horses are not robots and they sometimes run badly. The week later Rising Fast came out and won the Queen Elizabeth Plate. It was a huge form turn around but nothing too out of the ordinary. But at the track after the win the punters were not happy. In the Te Awamuta Cup, Rising Fast was beaten as the odds on favourite and as such, a week later in the Queen Elizabeth Plate he jumped at double figure odds. After he won the Queen Elizabeth Plate, the punters went mad. Back in the day people did not have websites to complain on or forums or anything else really. If…

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