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I will say it again, prize money needs to be increased ...

An absolutely glorious morning

Monday, 19 March 2012

“Try a little harder to be a little better.”

Gordon B. Hinckley.

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Cantering up Warren Hill

It is an absolutely glorious morning with clear blue sky, no wind and bright sunshine. After quite a sharp frost first thing, it is now one of those mornings that make you feel good to be alive. Out on Newmarket Heath with the horses all looking and moving well, what more could one want? It is forecast to be dry all week according to the Countryfile programme last night, which certainly won’t help us in trying to do fast work on the grass. But at least with the artificial tracks we have got an alternative.

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Comrade Bond (Wajid) Five Hearts (Lauren)

There are two major items on the front of the Racing Post this morning, starting with Corals moving their online operation offshore to Gibraltar; they are joining Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred in paying zero UK tax. With the budget this week which sees Mr Osborne trying to get every bit of income that he can to boost the economy, he must come up with an idea to keep the British racing industry alive. In my opinion the only way is to change the tax regime, get rid of the levy and bring in a betting tax on every race. It could be done on course, over the counter, or by electronic means. He must do this with all urgency as the industry is losing so much income.

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Astromagick (Robbie) Battery Power (Rhea) Toptempo (Hannah)

The other thing that has happened is that the BBC has seen fit to drop any involvement with racing - very similar to their loss of the cricket. They seem to think that people want to watch tennis and grand prix racing which in my opinion are two of the most boring things in this world. There does not appear to be even one person at the top of the BBC sports department who has any interest in racing. It is so disappointing, and I think in the long run will be detrimental to the sport. The Grand National is a world-wide phenomenon and along with The Derby and Royal Ascot was covered brilliantly by the BBC.

Channel 4 does a marvellous job and I am sure will continue to do so.  It will be fascinating to see how they evolve their coverage of these flagship events in the future. A few personnel should find their way from one company to the other, and should make sure that the coverage is not as boring as it currently is on both of the racing channels. Newcomers to the sport are inspired by watching these events and would soon be put off horse racing for life if the current way of showing it continues. Let’s hope for the future that the right decisions have been made. In the meantime I will be sitting firmly on the fence.

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Steve untacking Shomberg