Making every All Weather day a winning day
For so many, today heralds the start of a festival that epitomises why they are in love with the sport of kings. For me, if I were to draw parallels, I see Cheltenham in the same way as I see the collection box for uncured diseases where I am expected to empty my pockets so a multi-billion pound corporation can research with my money and come up with a cure that my local health trust will later deny me on the grounds of cost, or a host of extremely rich celebrities asking me to empty my pockets repeatedly on ‘Red Nose Day’.
With all the offers flooding my mail box each day, the bookmaking fraternity would have me believe they are charitable organisations! For the past 11 months every bookmaker from A-Z has slowly ramped up the volume in the hope of drawing me in with special deals and concessions in the hope they can disguise the reality that Cheltenham is a bookmakers benefit, ably assisted by the media in all its forms with its 361 day countdown.
If you have ever asked yourself what can be done to improve horse racing in the UK, top of the list has to be the media’s blinkered view. Centreing continually on 4 or 5 events each season, as they load the stalls from Perth to Newton Abbott, from Ffos Las to Great Yarmouth we have a pundit talking about a race taking place in 6 months’ time, 5 months’ time, but so rarely the here and now!
With monotonous certainty we can guarantee that in five days time the cycle will begin all over again. Having to relive every yard of every race for a couple of months until the focus changes to next years festival for the remaining 10 months.
Today we also have two meetings covered by At The Races on the All Weather, Southwell and Wolverhampton. Where will their focus be? Cheltenham, which they won’t even be screening! God forbid Southwell having a delay causing a commentary clash.
There is no denying that Cheltenham is a great spectacle, but a gambling medium, not for me.
The most important race in my horse racing calendar is the race in which I have my next bet, which wont ne at Cheltenham. I just keep hoping that whoever is televising the coverage of my race will do it justice and not treat it with the usual distain because the surface isnt green!