September 11, 2002 at 14:31 #4217apracingParticipant
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Next Monday, Warwick stage a 0-60 handicap over 1m 3f. There are 101 entries for the race and only 20 are actually going to be able to run. It almost certainly won’t be divided as the BHB always give preference to maiden races when it allocates the money for divided races.
I’m au fait with all this as one of the entries is a horse I part own, called Democracy. He has a current rating of 47 and will probably need about 15 – 20 horses above him to drop out to have a chance of a run.
In mid summer on turf and mid winter on the AW, this class of horse is essential in order to fill all the races with enough runners, but for the rest of the year, it’s always difficult to find an appropriate race.
Are we wasting our time owning a horse of this level of ability. Well, we don’t think so, as he’s won two races for us (off 46 and 49, the latter at Goodwod) and given his small group of owners a great deal of pleasure. He’s a favourite of the staff in the yard and one of his regular riders, the amateur Sara Moore, would miss him at least as much as we would. We can’t run him over hurdles as he had leg problems two years ago and we aren’t willing to take the risk.
The entries for the race at Warwick mean that 81 sets of owners are going to be disappointed and most will struggle to find a race of any sort for their horses before December.
Does the BHB care? Does the Racehorse Owners Association care? Not much evidence that either body is interested in the owners of moderate horses and if Mark Johnston had his way, we’d be even less able to run our horse in a race that gives him a chance.
You’ll notice that I’m not asking for more prize money – in fact, I’d be happy to run for less money if only I could be sure of a run and I suspect most owners in a similar position would agree. But the ROA are spending all their efforts on maoning about minimum values. Well let me tell them that it’s no use having every race worth at least five grand, if thousands of horses in training can never get a run.
If the authorities don’t want horses below a certain level in training, they should make it clear to owners and trainers. All we ask is a fair chance – it costs just as much to feed Democracy as it does to feed Rock of Gibraltar!September 11, 2002 at 16:10 #100232robgommMember
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<br>Mark Johnston’s ideas are not convincing. He has said that owners should aspire to own better horses and compete in better races. But hang on a minute Mr Johnston!
I owned a part-share in a horse for one year. He ran in sellers and small handicaps. I enjoyed seeing his name in the paper and watching him race. I liked meeting him at the stables, seeing him gallop and patting him on the neck. He had problems getting into races because he was balloted out.
Why should i aspire to own a better horse than him? Yeah, it must be nice owning a horse that can win you Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£15,000 instead Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£1,500 but to be honest, I wouldn’t have swaped my year owning that horse for owning a classier animal.
Mr Johnston doesn’t seem to have a grasp on what all owners want. I don’t either, but then, i don’t go around saying that people shouldn’t be owning the likes of Democracy.
The field sizes of rated stakes are not at all convincing. Generally, races over 10 furlongs seem to consist of about 6 or so runners. So you get a silly pace and possibly a false result to go with it. How is this better for racing?
I would suggest that TRF members could consider ways of improving racing, as the BHB are very interested. This is a subject that will undoubtedly pop up again as TRF own Amelia, a sprint handicapper.September 11, 2002 at 18:14 #100233David HowardMember
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Taken from the Racing Post website :
THE BHB indicated on Tuesday that it was open to any constructive suggestions on the future of horseracing as it invited opinions from anyone with an interest in the sport to contribute to its major review. <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Chief executive Greg Nichols said a review panel, which is chaired by BHB chief Peter Savill, was looking for innovative ideas that could help shape the sport in the coming years. <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Nichols added that ideas were welcome not just from those who draw a living from racing but from the wider public aswell. <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â An advertisement, placed in the Racing Post on Saturday, invited views from punters, racegoers, racing professionals or any other interested parties to tell the BHB what is good or bad about horse racing and how they would change it. <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â <br> Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â They have until September 30 to respond.
<br>You can write your complaints to the BHB via their website : http://www.bhb.co.uk or emailing them [firstname.lastname@example.org]email@example.com[/email]<br>September 11, 2002 at 18:24 #100235phunterMember
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I have never been lucky enough to own a horse or even a share in a horse,but i feel Mark Johnstons comments are a bit OTT when he started out did he have the top horses in training no he didn’t and i doubt if he would be saying this if he hadn’t been successful,obviously everyone would love to own a top class horse but this is the real world and there has to be a place for every horse in training no matter it’s rating but what incentive can there be for prospective owners if the case that David has made out occurs more often than not something has to be done but unfortunately i can’t think of anything off the top of my head .September 11, 2002 at 19:43 #100237
I wrote a similar letter for the Raceform update a few months back apracing but it either falls on deaf ears or ignorant ears. There are so many horses in training that are rated below 55 and will struggle to get a run throughout the year. The Amelia syndicate have been lucky in all reality as we’ve had some good advice and been lucky getting into about 50% of the races that have been selected but it has meant running her on conditions that we would not have if we could have been picky!
A good example of this farce to bolster apracings argument is that Amelia was entered Saturday night for a 0-60 at Wolverhampton and the lowest handicap weight was 8-10 and we were set to carry 8-5 so we missed by a fair few when balloted out, there were 51 entries I think and only 13 runners allowed in the race so 38 owners like us go another month with one or no races in their horse. She is in really good form and looks really well and had we actually got into that race we would have had a good chance so what next for us? We have 2 options and 2 options only for the forseeable future:<br> 1. The Ayr Silver Cup where we are set to carry 5-4, which unless it goes close to being abandoned we have no chance of running.<br> 2. A 0-60 fillies only handicap on the same day at Nottingham, we are lucky that she is a filly as you have less horses to get past to get into the race. We will still struggle to get into this race despite she’s ran solid all season she has gone down 3Lbs since her win (off 44).
There are simply no where near enough races for horses rated 50 or under, as you correctly state I’m sure we pay as much as a group horse in training fees but we are small fry because we don’t risk millions on a top class horse when buying. What other options are there, well we can run her in races where we risk losing her, like claimers & sellers or we can let some kid ruin her confidence in an apprentice race – no thanks, we just want to be able to run in D or E handicaps on a stiff 6 furlongs. Sounds easy eh! There are no options this month or were there last month that we would have got into!
When the BHB spout their smelly stuff about how good it all is they should listen to the ‘small fry’ as these horses make up well over 35% of the horses in training, they encourage ANYBODY to become an owner as apparently it’s accessable to all working class people. Shame they forget to tell you once you’ve spent hundreds on registering everything at Weatherbys and thousands on trainers fees that there won’t be any races for you to run your average horse in!
Like A P Racing, forget the prize money as that’s not the issue, put extra races (handicaps) on for the average horse and this will actually get your proirities in the correct order.
As for Mark Johnston, he should remember what rating were the horses that got him there in the first place and maybe not upset too many owners of low class horses as he’ll be relying on them on his way down! <br>September 11, 2002 at 23:11 #100239VenusianParticipant
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Only 30 years ago it would have been virtually impossible for a horse rated 50 or below to win even the feeblest selling handicap, never mind having races specially framed for it to compete in.
I don’t have a problem with having races for bad horses, but why should they be subsidised? Such horses should be competing at the flat race equivalent of point-to-point meetings (or ‘picnic’ meetings like they have in some parts of Australia), where gate money, on-course tote take and entry fees provide the revenues for prize money.September 12, 2002 at 06:33 #100243Tony25Member
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An alternative would be to offer more regional meetings that are not covered by Television……….similiar to point to points,in countries such has France,Italy,Germany many of the horses start off at these provincial meetings before they race on the more prominent courses (Ability allowing)….make these mainly weekends and you will recieve a good crowd which in effect will help cover the prizemoney…………bookmakers pitch fees will cover the remainder.
The racingpost could show the runners and riders and form sheets could be produced locally…….other than that normal rules apply.September 12, 2002 at 07:39 #100246raymondoMember
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I think the future for the lower rated horse may lie on the all weather.<br>They could perhaps lay on 12 or so race cards starting at about 11.00am the people who own and train these horses would’nt complain about the start time, would just be pleased at getting a chance to run.<br>also make the whole card for horses rated 40-60 or so, it may not be "Top Class" but all concerned would be given a chance to compete on a level-ish playing field.<br>And if Mr johnston does’nt want to see it he does’nt have to watch!<br>These meetings could run 3 times or so a week through the winter if neccessary, just give them a chance to run!<br>RaySeptember 17, 2002 at 18:48 #100247September 17, 2002 at 18:59 #100250Tony25Member
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Daylight…….Am i right in assuming you think they will be uncompetitive because of too few entries:o :o :o
Maybe they could build wider tracks and let them all have a go………flip starts would suffice:biggrin: :biggrin:
Seriously……..i see your point…….can you see things improving?…….do you think someone will listen?September 17, 2002 at 19:10 #100253tootingMember
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venusian, these useless horses cost just as much to train as the greats – we pay our fees and just want Amelia to be able to run.
What was Monday all about – maidens made up the majority of the racing – who on earth in racing is in favour of that? And when all these poor maidens get handicap marks, what are they going to run in exactly?September 17, 2002 at 20:54 #100254
Tony,<br>I cannot see things ever changing whilst there are the elitist attitudes with voices like Mark Johnston. Rated handicaps would make it even harder for us ‘bad horse’ owners, this has been tried I’m told in the 70’s with very little sucess with seldom a competative race ever being run. Is it really better to have a 60-70 handicap with 6 runners and the favorite being 1/2 or a 0-70 with a maximum field with the favorite going off at 6/1, no contest to me as a punter!
These ‘bad horses’ make racing avalible to the industry on weekdays and bring in their fair share of revenue despite being treated so badly due to a pathetic fixtures list as it costs the same to keep a 50 rated horse in training as a +100 horse! I hope these lower rated horses do branch off for a kind of point-to-point as they are not getting the respect they deserve, if you believe the BHB bull about ownership being avalible to all then you are in for a shock as it’s slmost false advertising as they neglect to tell you that through their very poor planning you won’t able to race your horse! But should you be so desperate to enter your horse in all possibilities you’ll pay a fortune in entries as the ground is going to go against you many a time and if you actually get lucky in 2 entries close together you can either run your horse into the ground or get a fine! It’s win, win and win for the BHB and lose, lose and lose for us.September 17, 2002 at 21:59 #100256michaelMember
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If we have summer jump racing for the so called bad horses why cant we have winter flat racing on turf for the so called bad horses. I’m sure there are many trainers with low rated horses would love the chance to race their low rated horses on turf in winter. It would also benefit horses that like soft going. There are many tracks that race under both codes so I dont see any problems if they are putting on a NH card or a flat racing card.September 17, 2002 at 22:13 #100259VenusianParticipant
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Daylight, you’ll find that a 20-odd runner sprint handicap will have a much higher overround, maybe 140 per cent or more, than an 8 to 12 runner race (illogical though that may be). So where’s the value for the punter?
Tooting, it’s true that low grade horses entered in handicaps up to a mile often find it very difficult to get a run, but that isn’t normally the case for middle distance and especially staying horses. The trouble is, there are too many poor short runners (I hesitate to call them ‘sprinters’) being produced by the bloodstock industry which seem to find ready buyers at the yearling sales, but have little to offer in the longer term after their early 2-y-o exploits show them to have no talent.
Who wants to pay money to see these animals running in races which are little more than very profitable equine bingo for the bookmakers? Who would want whole race programmes full of them? Do we want our racing to become like America’s, with an endless diet of 6 furlong rubbish?September 18, 2002 at 11:02 #100261robgommMember
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People will watch average horses race. A lot of people aren’t interested in what kind of horse they watch, as long as it provides them with some entertainment.
Look at the success of evening racing at Wolverhampton. People can go there to watch some racing, eat in a restaurent and watch some tribute band or win "best dressed lady" (not for me that last one…).
Racing is a popular sport for the social aspect as much as the racing itself. Royal Ascot shows that.
The problem with rated stakes is the possibility of plenty of small field races. Prize Winner won one of these races not so long ago at Ascot. The pace was steady and it was not worth watching as a spectacle.
Venusian, i certainly don’t want to watch countless claimers run over 6 – 8 furlongs. It’s not very interesting and it’s purely for the betting man. I don’t believe British racing will go that way because we have a different attitude to America. We want people to come racing, the Americans seem to prefer to just race and bet at the smaller meetings.
If the only place to bet is with the Tote, i can promise you that racing in this country will go down hill. Which is why we need on course bookmakers…they bring people racing.
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