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Article Of The Year So Far

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  • #12478
    Cav
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4825

    Superb article from "Sir" Greg Wood in today’s Guardian.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/20 … on-punters

    Nail on the head imo.

    #245657
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Not exactly what I would call a balanced article and peppered with petty prejudices – not one of Mr Wood’s better opus’s – but what would one expect from The Guarniad?

    #245658
    betlarge
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2789

    Spot on, and emphasises the point I was trying to make in the "Lead a horse to water" post that attracting on-course out-for-a-good-time occasional racegoers is fairly straightforward. Converting people to a lifetime of punting isn’t.

    Unsurprisingly, Wood expresses it better than I did.

    Mike

    #245665
    Maxilon 5
    Member
    • Total Posts 2432

    Agree with Paul.

    What has happened to British racing journalists!? Or racing writers in general?

    Is there an occultist on the board who could resurrect Baerlin through some arcane ritual? The sparse vodka philosopher Jeffery Barnard? The unparalleled Sir Clement? Even a debauched soak like Charles Benson could spin an enthralling article about drinking chilled Lanson and playing backgammon with Sangster on the way to Chester races. Middle period Paul "Zorro" Haigh too; the Kurosawa-influenced Master Punter, though he doesn’t need resurrecting – only reinstating.

    "Now is the time to bet like men…"

    I watched Wood and Lee on ATR two sundays hence and they both came across like chartered accountants in need of a psychotherapist. Every time I read one of their apocalyptic dirges, I need to see a psychotherapist.

    #245686
    guskennedy
    Member
    • Total Posts 759

    not one of Mr Wood’s better opus’s – but what would one expect from The Guarniad?

    What is that supposed to mean?

    At least the journalists on that paper know how to use an apostrophe.

    #245689
    bluechariot
    Participant
    • Total Posts 570

    I think Greg Wood is one of the better racing journalists. Don’t see anything wrong with his article.

    #245691
    aaronizneez
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1747

    On my way to the Ebor festival last week I popped in for a bit of lunch at my good friend Sir Peregrine Ghillie Brogues BPB,OAP, Jockey Club retired. He popped open a bottle of 1787 vintage Sauternes from Chateau Yquem he bought for a snip at £55,000 last week and accompanied this delightful tipple with a fine foie gras and regaled me with a tale of his acquiring a similar produce from China called Zhu Xiong Gan. I protested that the thought of eating part of poor old Chi Chi was unthinkable but he said what was good for the goose was good for the Panda. Anyway I digress, the reason for visiting my esteemed acquaintance was to canvass his views with regard to the current situation in the sport of Kings. "I’m shocked quite frankly" he said. "What the hell do the BHA think they’re doing going out and asking all and sundry for questions about how horse racing is run ? Poor old Bertie from Hunt, Lunt, Bunt and Cunningham is worried sick about losing his £200,000 consultancy fee over this. Heaven forbid they might even get questions from people who don’t know their Arces from their Elgars. The common man for heavens sake, having the opportunity to question how we run the sport. Where will it all end ? They’ll want a position on the board you know ! And another thing that really sticks in my gullet is that for hundreds of years we have put on all this racing for them and get royalty, peers of the realm and some jolly decent fellows from all over the world to fund and organise the whole shebang and what thanks do we get ? Without the owners and the sports governors, there would be no sport." I was beginning to wish I hadn’t asked but I managed to make my excuses and left, not before I hasten to add, sampling a rather nice Petrus 1961 he’d opened that morning. After Brigands had found our parking space who should be the first person that I bumped in to but that most jovial of trainers John Markston. "Good afternoon sir" I said extending my hand for him to shake. "Do you have a fancy today I should know about ?" "I have a fancy all right! I fancy the BHA are on the verge of letting THEM ", with this he pointed at a crowd wearing blue and pink co-ordinated outfits, "influence the way forward for our great sport." "Furthermore" he added "I hope the BHA remember that first and foremost we are a sport and that is what we should put ALL our efforts in to promoting." "Nothing in the 2.50 then " I enquired but he had turned on his heels and disappeared in to the Members bar to shout disparaging remarks to both teams at The Oval.

    I think you get to a point where all the flowery prose deflects the reader from what is potentially a serious point. What you need is a straight to the point bit of journalism. I happen to think the article hit that nail on the head regardless of any petty prejudices. I don’t remember many of Peter O’Sullevan’s articles disappearing off on a tangent when there was a serious point to make. FWIW, IMO the sooner the powers to be accept the fact that gambling is integral to the sport and in doing so is prepared to consider marketing as such the better. You won’t get many people willing to spend £100 on a day out to witness 10 minutes of action on a wet and windy day at Folkestone unless they have the chance to get the buzz of a successful bet, not to start with at least.

    #245692
    Gerald
    Member
    • Total Posts 4293

    not one of Mr Wood’s better opus’s – but what would one expect from The Guarniad?

    What is that supposed to mean?

    At least the journalists on that paper know how to use an apostrophe.

    If opera is the plural of opus, and if I go to one more than one opera, do I go to two opera or two operas?

    #245708
    robert99
    Participant
    • Total Posts 899

    Amazing how these articles which agree with a poster’s viewpoint are rated to be "superb".

    This particular article of non-sequiters was poorly written, poorly structured, rambling and incoherent. No data was given to back up any claim. Otherwise, truly excellent.

    How exactly does "Betfair’s plans to expand into the US show gambling central to UK racing’s future" ?

    How exactly was Betfair shareholders enrichment going to enrich racing? (Huge tax take for the Treasury though).

    Exactly how has horseracing been at the core of Betfair’s growth?

    A gross training fee income of £72,000 is not the tiny net training income but revealing that would spoil the innuendo that the trainer was another fat cat remote from the hoi polloi.

    What exactly do today’s administrators not already understand about maximising the betting levy? Racing is wall to wall and scheduled to maximise winnings going straight back into bets.

    If a new punter can be recruited to racing and ventures through all the hieroglyphics of racecards, interminable meaningless clichés from the commentators, missing and incorrect information etc he/she then has to get to grips with the Betfair betting interface.

    Otherwise, a "superb" article.

    #245711
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6964

    not one of Mr Wood’s better opus’s – but what would one expect from The Guarniad?

    What is that supposed to mean?

    Seconded. What’s so

    Guardianesque

    about it?

    gc

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

    #245719
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    not one of Mr Wood’s better opus’s – but what would one expect from The Guarniad?

    What is that supposed to mean?

    Seconded. What’s so

    Guardianesque

    about it?

    gc

    To be fair to many of the bigger owners in particular, the end of the drive is probably a 10-minute car ride away.

    [/color:zgacdtt3]

    Typical sort of class ridden comment one would expect from The Guardian

    #245724
    clivexx
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2215

    Now that he has been brown bread a while now, can i safely say that I thought Freud was nothing special at all? Often a bit boring frankly. Not a patch on Bernard

    #245733
    ReasonoverFaith
    Member
    • Total Posts 346

    I’m certainly of the view that as a punter I’m considered by some within the sport to be a gatecrasher at their own private ‘do.’

    However, I agree with Robert’s comments. The article veers from topic to topic without really doing justice to any of them.

    Sometimes I like Greg Wood and sometimes I read his articles like the one on Karl Burke and shake my head.

    #245749
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    This isn’t one of Greg Wood’s better efforts imo. I’m not quite sure how the Betfair flotation story relates to what Mark Johnston is saying.

    Betfair is big and is now worth so much, yet it pays just circa 7.5 million to Racing a year. This would reinforce rather than detract from Mark Johnston’s view imo

    #245954
    Zorro
    Member
    • Total Posts 472

    Greg is an excellent journalist. But any debater of racing’s ills who fails to mention that they nearly all stem from the fact that off-course bookmaking is legal in this country and Ireland – and nowhere else! – is either deliberately or accidentally missing the point.

    #245965
    Venusian
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1665

    Deliberate, I think.

    His remark about Johnston grossing 72k a week from training fees, without bothering to mention the number of horses he trains or the costs he incurs, was disingenuous and cheap. No doubt put in to impress his other ex-public school cvhums at the Guardian – "look I’m all right really, I’m a bit left-wing too don’t you know".

    While Johnston may have overstated his case, Wood doesn’t try to explain if horse racing is supposed to be first and foremost all about betting (as Wood postures to believe), then how it can possibly survive at all, given that the cost of putting on a whole year of cartoon racing must be less than that of staging a single proper race meeting? Racing is a mixture of equestrian sport and gambling, you’d think he’d understand that, wouldn’t you?

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