THE GREAT DEBATE
The hot topics this week in racing were the slightly controversial comments made by Mark Johnston on Monday regarding the new ITV racing coverage. Mark and many others currently feel that TV coverage is too Betting orientated and going forward should be cut drastically.
It is fact, that whilst we have horse racing we will have bookmakers and betting. It is also fair to state that whilst the current levy situation is far from ideal, racing would suffer massive financial consequences if bookmakers reduced their sponsorship of racing. It is all too easy to say racing would not survive without bookmakers, racing would also not survive without owners, stable lads and various other subsidiaries. All the individual sectors co-exist and rely upon each other to prosper.
Unfortunately, at times there is a distinct lack of harmony between the different factions and working towards goals for the greater good of racing seems to be limited, with self- interest often taking precedence.
I would love to see future TV coverage have more “back stories”. There are some great stories behind horses and this is not just limited to the high profile. Giving TV viewers a real insight behind the scenes, would only enthral. A weekly visit to a yard, training centre, veterinary hospital, swimming pool - the list is endless - would be a great feature.
In my opinion Betting has to be and should be covered, everyone connects horse racing to betting and I see no reason why coverage should not continue. However, a more balanced program that could engage a wider audience, would be welcome.
Captain Felix ran well at Lingfield last week, and heads to Redcar for a similar race. Blue Jean Baby ran a huge race to finish third on debut at Nottingham today, in what was a competative looking race. Sent to me in the Spring, by a new owner to the yard, Mrs Helena Burns, who's husband Paddy runs Lodge Park Stud in Ireland, we will now be looking for that all important win for the filly.