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The debate rumbles on

Monday, 18 April 2016

"Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts – it’s what you do with what you have left."

Hubert Humphrey.

Topalova canting in the sunshine

It started off very bright and sunny, but it very quickly got overcast and it looked at one stage that we were going to get really soaked, but thank goodness we didn’t. Southfields Round has been the exercise of the morning and apart from one loose one in the yard, we have got on very well. All the horses seem very bright, healthy and full of beans, but with the ground like it is a present, we will be having very few runners in the next 10 days.

Regal Galaxy on Southfields Round

I see there is a double page spread today in the Racing Post about the future of the Tote and when the Betfred monopoly licence ends in 2018. It looks to me like the racecourses will try and run their own Tote, which must be a good thing if they can get everything working correctly. I think there has been plenty of work going on behind the scenes in this direction and communication with oversea jurisdictions, like Australia, America and South Africa taking part. Betfred have improved the payment to the industry from the Tote during their ownership, but it always seems to me that they have not developed it as much as they should. I suppose knowing full well that it would become a free for all in 2018 and then their investment could be lost. I hope the whole of the industry works together on this one as it could be a very good income stream for the future. We have been so short-sighted in the past and need to really think 50 years ahead, rather than 6 months.

It's come over all black

The Chris Humbleby ‘Newmarket drugs, drink, sex and gambling” article debate rumbles on with people coming out on either side. This is an old chestnut as I said at the weekend and will blow over very quickly. If we still used newspapers for chips, it would soon be used up. We have a great and very efficient army of people in Newmarket who work behind the scenes doing a great job in this respect and our industry is one of the best at dealing with its own problems. We are an industry that looks after each other and can sort out any problem that occurs. It is not a Newmarket problem, it is a culture which has crept upon us in a changing media world.

Authorized ex Four Miracles

There was a fantastic article in The Sun on Sunday which I hope all Sheffield Wednesday fans saw. Ian Reddington the Coronations Street actor, Vernon to those who know him, is a Wednesday fan and when asked why he is a Wednesday fan his reply was top class. “My late dad was a Sheffield United’ite and took me to Bramall Lane, but obviously your brain develops! And when it does you support Wednesday”. Whilst I am on the Sheffield theme, congratulations must go to our Masters golfer Danny Willet. Sheffield is a hot spot of top sportsmen at the moment, Joe Root, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Michael Vaughan and numerous boxers and snooker players. It must be something in the water.