Kate Winslet presented the winner of the Hong Kong International Races, jockey Matthew Chadwick who steered California Memory to victory, with souvenir watches from Longines, the sponsor of the grand event. (First prize also gets US$1.6 million.) Winslet, an ambassador for the Swiss watch brand, attended the races with boyfriend Neil Rocknroll (he changed his name from Ned Abel Smith), who is the nephew of Sir Richard Branson. Remember, Winslet did rescue his aunt Eve from a burning building during Hurricane Irene.
Hollywood legend Omar Sharif was also in Hong Kong to watch his thoroughbred Don Bosco race in the Mile, but the actor’s horse was overtaken for the prize places in the final straight. (Sharif too changed his name, from Michel Demitri Shalhoub.) Sharif is one of only six performers who have won a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture Drama without being nominated for an Oscar for the same role (his for Doctor Zhivago, 1965). One of the others is Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, 2008. Everybody’s California Memory isn’t as good as Chadwick’s.