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Racecourse commentators

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  • #810
    Wallace
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    How is the selection and allocation of racecourse commentators administrated?

    Is there a web site with information on commentators and the rota for the coming weeks? <br>

    #37834
    graysonscolumngraysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6940

    Hi Wallace,

    The allocation of commentators is an involved process, but the condensed version is that Racetech has aorund 20 callers on its books, each with an allocation of up to 80 days’ work per annum.

    Which callers get as many as the maximum total, and where they are deployed, is at least in part (if not in whole) decided by the results of feedback forms / "wish lists" submitted by each racecourse.

    No course gets entirely its own way, otherwise you’d suspect Richard Hoiles or Simon Holt or John Hunt would call 150 times a year and / or need cloning, but a "best fit" practice is adopted as widely as possible.

    Some degree of geographical practicality is applied also: hence Holt gets many calls on the South Coast, Doug Fraser many of the Scottish ones, and Stewart Machin lots of Midlands gigs.

    Appropriateness for a given meeting is also factored in to a limited extent, particularly with Iain Mackenzie, who as well as being first choice at Cartmel and the only jumps-only caller on the roster nowadays, is deployed at many of the all hunter-chase meetings and also the cards at Ludlow and Fakenham where there is at least one such race taking place.

    The Racetech roster is, as far as I can make out, not for public consumption except when Racetech sees fit to report who is added to or taken off the roster. I would love the 2007 planner (plus those of previous years) to be made publicly available, but I’m not too optimistic having asked on a few occasions previously.

    Maybe any of the commentators resident on TRF could shed some further light on any of the above?

    Jeremy<br>(graysonscolumn)<br>

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

    #37835
    Wallace
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    Jeremy, many thanks for a comprehensive reply.

    I think Racetech should open up the details to the public and accept feedback from the paying punters.  We have a small number of top class callers (including the ones you name) another group of good reliable types and far too many error prone, cliché ridden ego merchants.  I’m sure some of the best commentators don’t get their fair share of the work.<br>

    #37836
    yeatsyeats
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2921

    You’ve got to wonder why courses would request certain commentators and why they are retained year after year.<br>I certainly think the scheduled commentator should appear on the racecard in the Racing Post as it is an important consideration as to whether or not to go to a meeting.

    #37837
    Wallace
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    Yes we want the vote!!!

    As someone on ATR said recently their dreaded phrase in racing is "over the Derek".

    #37838
    jonny33
    Member
    • Total Posts 51

    i absouloutely agree wallace the man is a complete idiot and should not be allowed within fifty miles of a racecourse

    #37839
    Leemac
    Participant
    • Total Posts 74

    Hi Jeremy – in answer to your question, I don’t suppose we can join in this thread to any great degree because, as would normally be the case, contracted employees can’t discuss internal matters. Nothing sinister about that, just routine procedure. But, on a more general level, I’m sure you’ll find us happy to chat to any forumites and listen to your views whenever you see us at the racecourse.<br>Lee McKenzie

    #37840
    graysonscolumngraysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6940

    Heh, thought that might be the case, Lee, but I don’t suppose it ever does any harm to have it reaffirmed. Hope all is well. When are you engaged next?

    gc<br>

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

    #37841
    Leemac
    Participant
    • Total Posts 74

    My next gig is Taunton next Tuesday, which I don’t think is classified information! In the meantime, I’ve added a post to the other commentators’ thread currently running. By the way, you obviously have very good contacts, Jeremy!

    #37842
    graysonscolumngraysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6940

    Good contacts? No, not really, other than one or two former colleagues of mine at the Sportsman who knew a bit about the inner workings of the Racetech roster… plus there have been a couple of as-revealing-as-they-could-have-been features on the subject in the Post over the years.

    Had the Sportsman survived a bit longer I was all for approaching Racetech with a view to interviewing them on the make-up of the roster, allocation / dropping of commentators, etc. in greater detail, although there would of course have been no guarantee they’d have met my request in any case. Maybe in the next life! :)

    Jeremy<br>(graysonscolumn)

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

    #37843
    SirHarryLewisSirHarryLewis
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1194

    Am I the only one who finds the Irish commentators very competent yet extremely uncharismatic.  Tony O Heir, the guy who would lend a hand for the grand national is a case in point.

    SHL

    #37844
    Grimes
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1891

    Imo, the Irish commentators tend to be better. They report what’s on the screen – and do so impressively – rather than anticipate what might happen in 2 to 4 seconds time.

    I like O’Heir. I don’t want the shouting and screaming. Imo, Tommo comes comes in for a lot of flak unjustifiably, but one thing that drives me up the wall is that cry of total exultation he sends up at the finish.

    I mean that would be fine if we were all won on the winner, but a majority of us are not likely to!!! If I’m on the winner, of course, I don’t care tuppence, but when I’m not, and I don’t even think he is, I’m half maddened and half baffled.

    It’s often obvious when the commentator had a bob on the winner, and I’m normally happy for him, even if I wasn’t – provided the decibel level isn’t completely barmy.

    But for crying out loud, isn’t the racing exciting enough. I often have to take a heart tablet, just to listen!

    (Edited by Grimes at 5:20 pm on Feb. 15, 2007)

    #37845
    ratpack
    Member
    • Total Posts 96

    The Irish commentators, with the exception of Jerry Hannon, are dross.

    Tony "er um the favourite was actually a faller 2 fences ago" o’hehir and Des "i have called the wrong horse home again" Scahill are past it. Peter wouldn’t know how to get excited unlike Jerry Hannon who makes a run of the mill race sound as exciting as the Gold Cup over the last!

    #37846
    Richard Hoiles
    Member
    • Total Posts 197

    In the interests of International Relations I feel the need to remind people that whilst I am ratpack on the BF forum I am clearly not on here !

    #37847
    FlatSeasonLoverFlatSeasonLover
    Member
    • Total Posts 2065

    Quote: from Richard Hoiles on 8:09 pm on Feb. 15, 2007[br]In the interests of International Relations I feel the need to remind people that whilst I am ratpack on the BF forum I am clearly not on here !

    :biggrin: The potential for amusement was there for a little while when the "dross" Irish commentators next met up with you!

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