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Are you reading this Silvoir

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  • #11511
    Seagull
    Member
    • Total Posts 1708

    There is another blantant exampe today of what is wrong with racing.

    Today Brighton (owned by the council but run on a lease by Northern Racing)
    face another meeting at the same time being run by Arena Leisure 34 miles away.
    (Its 34 miles by A.A. routeplanner but shorter if one goes via Haywards Heath and Ditchling)

    So whilst there was not a meeting within 50 miles of London on the last Bank Holiday today any one living in the south who fancies a day at the races has to choose between two meetings being run a short distance apart.

    Not only will both tracks lose custom but for trainers such as Gary Moore who runs his horses at both tracks also face logistical problems it just adds to the madness of it all.

    Bookmakers who stand at both tracks such as B. Dennis also lose out as he has to pay to staff at the track he has chosen not to attend.

    I know that racetracks are bidding for meetings but are the spoiling tactics of Arena Leisure good for business and for racing?

    Why is there not a minnimum distance rule applied whan staging meetings?

    We dont need to hear about the mythical Ben or Brians when things such as this suggest racing is run by the DICK heads.

    #230409
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3329

    The meeting at Lingfield was originally scheduled for Great Leighs, so this clash is hardly the damning example you seem to believe. In order to meet the criteria for the number of meetings, the fixture was put up for auction and Lingfield were probably the only bidders.

    Not ideal, but not something deliberately planned by Ben, Brian or Dick.

    And it makes no odds to Barry D, as he’d have been at both meetings anyway!

    #230411
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Why is there not a minnimum distance rule applied whan staging meetings?

    Seagull – this one cannot be put at the door of the BHA.

    The scrapping of the 50 mile rule came about as the result of an OFT ruling that it was anti-competitive.

    I think anyone involved in racing would agree it was an absolutely stupid decison but not a lot can be done about it.

    Even more absurd is when Windsor and Kempton race the same time.

    #230413
    Seagull
    Member
    • Total Posts 1708

    I did mention that tracks can bid for meetings.

    The question still remains that once Lingfield management bid for the meeting they knew that there was another meeting being staged within a short distance and that as most of the Brighton crowd tend to come from London and the suburbs that that also would be where the majority of the Lingfield crowd would come from.

    Would Arena have bid for the meeting if they also run Brighton?
    I very much doubt it.

    Despite the OFT ruling ther still could be some gentlemens agreement that tracks did not bid for meetings when there was another already grnated within a certain distance.

    Bottom line is still both tracks will be competing for the same pound in an age where there are not that many pounds to go round.

    Anyway its raining and windy in Brighton today so they lose out even more.

    Last bank holiday Monday there was not a meeting within 50 miles of London again bad planning.

    #230418
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    Last bank holiday Monday there was not a meeting within 50 miles of London again bad planning.

    Once again it would be difficult to lay the blame at the door of the BHA since the likely reason for there being no meeting close to London is that none of the ‘London’ courses put in a bid for a meeting.

    Rob

    #230423
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    Not sure whehter this helps for this thread or if it just muddies the waters, but the following passages were taken from the Raceourse Association Website. They at least give some clue as to how fixtures are allocated.

    Fixture

    These fall into four categories:
    a. Racecourse Fixtures – These comprise 1,203 fixtures in Racecourse ownership prior to 2002. These fixtures will not need to be bid for, the race programme can be determined by the Racecourse and the fixture offers a greater security of tenure and generally superior positioning in the fixture list. However, funding is dependent on the fixture criteria.
    b. Leasehold Fixtures – These will be awarded on a leasehold basis ranging from 1 to 3 years and will be awarded to the highest bidder. Fixture composition and race programme to be decided in consultation with the BHA Racing Department.
    c. Self-Funded Fixtures – These are currently only granted in exceptional circumstances. These fixtures will receive no funding from the HBLB (i.e. no BDRs or integrity funding).
    d. Enterprise Fixtures – Introduced in 2008 in order that more commercially attractive slots were available to racecourses. These fixtures are surplus to the fixture criteria and will receive no funding in the first year, but could become fully funded in the future. Total prize money for each fixture should be at least £40,000 for Flat and £30,000 for Jump fixtures.

    Fixture Criteria

    The Criteria is based on the requirements of the off-course betting industry. Criteria fixtures fill necessary gaps in the Fixture List and receive the full Basic Daily Rate payment for that day. The 2008 Fixture Criteria is as follows:
    • 2 afternoon fixtures on Monday and Tuesday.
    • 3 afternoon fixtures from Wednesday to Friday and Sunday.
    • 4 afternoon fixtures on Saturdays and Bank Holidays.
    • 2 evening fixtures from Monday to Saturday during the period mid-April to end of August.
    • Maximum of 5 fixtures on any day from Monday to Friday (of which no more than 3 be afternoon fixtures).
    • No afternoon criteria break.
    • During September to May inclusive, reserve criteria status to 3rd afternoon fixtures on Monday and Tuesday and for 4 AWT fixtures during Christmas week.
    • 1 evening fixture (Floodlit AWT) from Wednesday to Saturday starting from 1 January to start Turf season and from 1 September to end of December.

    Non-criteria fixtures only receive 50% of the Basic Daily Rate funding as these are surplus to requirements and only applies to historic Bank Holiday fixtures. Evening fixtures do not generate as much turnover as midweek afternoons and thus receive only 80% funding from the Basic Daily Rate.

    …and, in case you are having trouble sleeping, the OFTs report and subsequent agreement with the then BHB can be found at:

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/ca98_public_register/consultations/bhb.pdf

    Rob

    #230498
    Silvoir
    Participant
    • Total Posts 270

    Rob, Paul and Alan are all spot on and have put on here some of the info I would have done.

    Fixtures that go up for auction (BHB fixtures available on 1, 2 or 3 year leases) go to the highest bidder, and in the case of today’s fixture at Lingfield, they were the highest bidder.

    The OFT findings effectively ended the old ’50’ mile rule so there is precious little that us Dicks can do about it, as has been widely reported over the last few years.

    On the issue of Bank Holidays it is one we are trying to address by encouraging courses in areas with no current fixture to race.

    #230507
    Neil Watson
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1376

    Would have thought a Bank Holiday meeting at Brighton would be a godsend as the place would be heaving.

    Look at Friday with afternoon racing at Hamilton then Musselburgh in the evening.

    September has Haydock and Chester on the same day.

    Bank Hol just gone had Cartmel and Carlisle on the same day.

    Please Silvoir can you make surew that the fixture compilers have a basic knowledge of Geography or at the least an A-Z.

    #230512
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    Neil

    If you read back through the Fixture allocation notes on my previous post and Silvoir’s post you will see that his knowledge of geography and possession of an A-Z is basically irrelevant given the straitjacket that the OFT ruling puts on the BHA. I’m sure that Silvoir is only too aware of British and the matter of clashing fixtures, but under the bidding process it’s a difficult problem to circumvent without crossing the OFT.

    If you have any alternative suggestions for planning, given the constraints applying, then I’m sure they would be welcomed. Just to have a snipe on the basis of a perceived lack of ‘georaphical knowledge’ serves no purpose.

    However, I do have one question for silvoir and that is why do Perth get turned down when they attempt to secure a two-day weekend fixture? Sam Morshead has said that the BHA approach him to bid for Bank Holiday fixtures, but the Holidays up here vary from area to area, so what’s a holiday in the sotuh isn’t a holiday up here. Ironically my company is Manchester based so we work to English bank Holidays anyway. I’d welcome a Bank Holiday fixture in Scotland!

    Rob

    #230514
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6964

    whilst there was not a meeting within 50 miles of London on the last Bank Holiday

    Indeed there wasn’t, but there is a bit of history behind that which is worth reiterating.

    This coming Thursday we have the big evening Flat meeting at Sandown. It was rightly hailed last year by several on this forum as possbily the greatest-quality evening Flat meeting they’d ever seen (a thread to that end exists), and tomorrow’s renewal isn’t looking too shabby, either.

    This has been the culmination of several years’ worth of Sandown boiling down the three meetings it used to hold on the last week in May – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday – to just the single, top-class meeting on the Thursday night.

    In 2007 it still raced on the Tuesday night of this week, but it had been looking to offload / swap that fixture for a while before finally managing to do so.

    Additionally, the Carlisle meeting on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon was actually one of Sandown’s as well until 2006, but this too was given up because – if memory serves – good horses, good crowds and good prizemoney were being spread a bit too thinly over three meetings inside four days for the course executive’s liking.

    In essence, then, the absence of racing in or around the capital on Whit Monday is a relatively recent issue, and not one that has been borne out of any belief that it

    can’t

    work – it just hadn’t suited Sandown’s particular needs well enough for a while before cessation.

    The Cartmel / Carlisle "clash" isn’t the most heinous one could imagine, as they are at least operating under different codes of racing. It’s the likes of Market Rasen and Southwell holding jumps cards on the same afternoon that puzzles rather more.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #230522
    Silvoir
    Participant
    • Total Posts 270

    Neil
    However, I do have one question for silvoir and that is why do Perth get turned down when they attempt to secure a two-day weekend fixture? Sam Morshead has said that the BHA approach him to bid for Bank Holiday fixtures, but the Holidays up here vary from area to area, so what’s a holiday in the sotuh isn’t a holiday up here. Ironically my company is Manchester based so we work to English bank Holidays anyway. I’d welcome a Bank Holiday fixture in Scotland!
    Rob

    Sam has indeed asked for a Saturday fixture but if we granted Saturday fixtures to everyone who asked we’d have no racing midweek and 20 fixtures on a Saturday! Scottish racecourses have been invited to apply for fixtures on their respective Bank Holidays so hopefully 2010 will see something in place.

    #230525
    dprp
    Member
    • Total Posts 175

    [quote="Silvoir

    Sam has indeed asked for a Saturday fixture but if we granted Saturday fixtures to everyone who asked we’d have no racing midweek and 20 fixtures on a Saturday!

    Before we blast past that throwaway comment…would that be so bad?!

    Ok, it is an extreme but would racing be any the worse for having Monday & Tuesday off with a better concentration of fixtures Weds thru Sunday?

    #230526
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    In terms of contributions through the levy, I’d say yes, it most certainly would dprp.

    #230527
    rory
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2685

    "dprp":1f74m8ci wrote:

    Before we blast past that throwaway comment…would that be so bad?!

    Ok, it is an extreme but would racing be any the worse for having Monday & Tuesday off with a better concentration of fixtures Weds thru Sunday?

    Racing would go to the wall in a matter of weeks if that’s the structure it chose. We need to remember that off course betting turnover is the single most important factor in keeping the game afloat. Perhaps in an ideal world that wouldn’t be the case, but it is.

    #230529
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    If there were 20 fixtures on a Saturday costs and overheads would increase dramatically.

    You would need at least 20 starters, 20 judges, 20 commentators.

    Extra sets of stalls and extra stalls teams. Extra broadcast equipment to cover that number of meetings.

    Trainers would not be able to get runners to more than two or three different meetings.

    Remember the days when there used to be fourteen meetings on Easter Monday – nearly all the "minor" cards had an average of about five or six runners per race and even the main cards did well to reach double figure races.

    In terms of levy most punters only have a finite amount of money to "invest" all that will happen is the current betting pound will be spent more thinly.

    Can you also imaging the daily papers giving space for 20 cards.

    Totally unworkable and a logistic nightmare.

    #230532
    dprp
    Member
    • Total Posts 175

    To be fair Paul, I didnt say 20 on a Saturday…that was in the original comment along with no racing midweek at all.

    What I said was none on Mon/Tue & a better concentration Weds thru Sunday.

    Typically that would involve spreading about 8 meetings normally run Mon/Tues over the remaining 5 days, ie 1 or 2 extra per day.

    #230539
    Venusian
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1665

    …the following passages were taken from the Raceourse Association Website…

    …The Criteria is [sic] based on the requirements of the off-course betting industry.

    Criteria fixtures fill necessary gaps in the Fixture List and receive the full Basic Daily Rate payment for that day.

    The first sentence, incompetently constructed though it is, really encapsulates why we have such an unholy mess of a fixtures list, OFT or no OFT. For nearly 50 years, racing has been beholden to off-course bookmakers, and must obey their commands without question, especially with regard to numbers and timing of fixtures. Until this problem is solved, and I have little expectation of this happening in the foreseeable future, little improvement is likely.

    The second sentence makes no sense at all. What is it supposed to mean? If there are "necessary" gaps in the fixture list, why do they need to be filled?!

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