Many people have helped me in producing this memoir – The Star & I. To all of you: please accept this expression of my gratitude. However, one in particular I must single out for mention – my sister Christine. Her lifelong love affair with the printed word has proved invaluable to one from whom that passion was withheld.

But for Christine’s disciplined approach, inspiration and guidance this memoir may never have seen the light of day.

Christine has joined with me in this venture to pay tribute to the person who has done most to shape our young lives – our beloved Mother, Ling Tsui. It is our opportunity to acknowledge Mother’s insatiable desire for education in all life’s aspects, together with her passion for horses and racing. I would also like to thank my mother for writing the introduction of this book and the part on Urban Sea on my behalf. At that time I was too young to fully understand the events which took place. I thought she would be able to be more precise when it comes to details. She was the one who had firsthand experience when it comes to acquiring the best mare in the world and therefore I would like my readers to get to know my mother through the way she recounted her predestined entrance into the horse world.

We also hope to give the lie to Kipling’s dictum: ‘Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the Twain shall meet.’ That day is surely done. As young Hong Kong Chinese we see the world as our oyster. Far from wanting to reinvent the world, we simply want to share our world with others of all classes, creeds and none.

Mother contends that the future of our planet is in the hands of the young, open-minded, technologically-proficient people, with whom she wishes older people to cooperate in making the world a better place for all. As to the sanctity of the family unit – by which Mother places such great store – she believes that parenting is not a teaching process as much as a mutual learning curve.

To those to whom the world of horses and horse racing has been a closed book, we extend this invitation to come on our roller-coaster ride of hopes and dreams, triumphs and disasters, laughter and tears. Horse racing is a giant, global circus, a dream factory, a competitive crucible in which that noblest of God’s creatures transcends mere mortal rivalries to claim his kingdom.

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