Horse welfare is paramount ...

It's a muggy old day

Thursday, 24 April 2014

"The more side roads you stop to explore, the less likely that life will pass you by."

Robert Brault.

My Guardian Angel and Astrovirtue

It’s a muggy morning, with no wind. The forecast is for some rain over the weekend, which I hope does come, as it will clear the air. We had a two canter morning with most of the horses, and a walk through the stalls with the ones that haven’t run yet. 

Blue Bounty, Astrodiamond, Toptempo

I see the new prospective all-weather tracks at Newcastle and now the Chelmsford City (Great Leighs), are putting in for fixtures. It will be interesting to see what the BHA decide, at their board meeting today, on this matter. As you know all Newmarket trainers like the track at Great Leighs, but the facilities were poor and the ownership was pretty clouded. I am not sure about Newcastle either, as it is a famous old track, and with the addition of an all-weather straight, it will have lost its history in one fell swoop. It would have been much better to have improved the facilities and prize money, which would have attracted better horses from all over the county, rather than go the downward spiral and dumb down once again. All this all-weather racing does, is reduce the interest in the racing product and the only people it suits is the racecourse, cheap to put on, and the bookmaker, with unpredictable results in low grade racing and the ability to keep their shops open all day long, so that people can lose money on the machines. 

I read an article this morning which stated many racing nations are sustained by betting duty of anywhere between 12% & 17.5%, with a worldwide average of 7.7%. The UK stands at 2.5% and Ireland stands at 1%. This says it all and it just goes to show how little, despite all their disclaimers, the betting industry contributes to our industry, which keeps them going. The UK gambling industry gets 64% of its annual betting turnover from horseracing, 17% from greyhound racing, 13% from soccer and 7% from other sports. We need to keep pushing these figures forward.

Winding their way back home

Don’t forget, it’s not too late to enter our five to follow competition, which has a great prize on offer. Make your selection and send them through to us. After all, you have to be in it to win it.