January 24, 2021 at 18:31 #1519404
Clearly, the continuing absence of crowds, hopsitality etc, is having a serious impact on our racing. The support for prize money from the Levy Board reserve funds is unlikely to last beyond the currently published race program, but even with that, the rewards for everyday NH races are back at levels not seen for many years.
As I see it, anything that can stretch the available money a little further and at the same time, provide incentives for owners, has to be considered.
Last year, Irish trained runners took home £517,000 from the handicap races at the Cheltenham Festival. And let’s face it, most of that money comes from British racegoers and punters. In this emergency situation, I’d like to see all handicaps run in this country for the remainder of 2021, both NH and flat, closed to horses trained overseas.
As well as the money kept in the hands of local owners and trainers, it would also mean more spots at the big meetings for their horses, providing an incentive to keep horses in training.
And no doubt the Irish would still take home far more than half a million quid from the Graded and Group races!January 24, 2021 at 19:12 #1519406
Wouldn’t the Irish simply impose the same restriction on English runners at Leopardstown and Punchestown etc?
Would English trainers be collectively any better off?January 24, 2021 at 19:49 #1519410
Just imagine this being mentioned at the sales…. You wouldn’t sale a single horseJanuary 24, 2021 at 20:21 #1519412greenasgrassParticipant
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No, I don’t think economic protectionism is the way foward. At a stroke you would severely annoy:
– any of the Great British Punters who already have nice prices on Irish trained horses for the festival and the Grand National
– connections of Irish trained horses who have already qualified for the Pertemps and those who have skipped other races to go to qualifiers
– anyone who likes a bet on the festival leading trainer/jockey/Prestbury Cup- it would be a farce, might as well hand it to Hendo/Nico now
– connections of Irish horses targeted towards the Grand National. The top 4 in the betting are: Tiger Roll, the people’s darling- imagine poor Ed having to tell the ITV viewers that Tiger isn’t allowed to go in case he wins any money; Burrows Saint who has been targeted at this for 2 years and is owned by a man who pours money into the sport; Magic of Light whose trainer regularly spends money and effort sending horses to England, including Silver Sheen in a Pertemps qualifier this week; and Any Second Now, owned by a man who props up a host of small trainers in both countries and who loves the festival and the Grand National and trained by a man who is a pundit and won’t be shy about voicing dissatisfaction using his public platform- and although more circumspect, I doubt his pundit son will be singing praises either.
It would create a huge amount of ill will.January 24, 2021 at 21:42 #1519420
How many British horses run in handicaps in Ireland – almost none. Apart from the impossibility of winning Irish handicaps off English handicap marks, apart from two races at Galway, they don’t offer the sort of prize money that attracts overseas runners.
How would this make any difference at the sales?
We have to do something, anybody got any better ideas?January 24, 2021 at 22:06 #1519422
Your answer presupposes the Irish would simply impose like-for-like protectionism.
It could be worse.
In any event, I do not think it is the way forward.
I don’t much care who it would upset, or even the ante-post bets involved.
But a Cheltenham Festival with restrictions on the Irish would be like a Football World Cup without the South American nations.
Numerous people attribute the much greater Festival success of the Irish in recent years – especially in Handicaps – to a lack of integrity over there.
That may or may not be true, but I think a significant factor is the Exchange Rate.
The Pound is weaker against the Euro than it once was and that has had a knock-on effect for both Flat and NH racing.January 24, 2021 at 23:03 #1519437
If you’re horse is banned from certain races, like handicaps, why would you bother buying it? Most of them end up running in handicaps and as greenasgrass pointed out, what would you tell JP if his Irish horses wouldn’t be eligible to run in such races?
I think it would destroy parts of the industry, if you restricting participation by any means.January 24, 2021 at 23:13 #1519439TankParticipant
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An interesting thread. Very thought-provoking.January 24, 2021 at 23:27 #1519442sporting samParticipant
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Lots of factors emerging Ap which would suggest it would be a better idea to maintain the status quo. Better still, look for ways to enhance and further develop things with some of the best supporters of national hunt racing we have from across the water.
I don’t see how anybody could be legally prevented from entering races they are entitled to enter. Restraint of trade.January 25, 2021 at 09:08 #1519635
The status quo is the road to bankruptcy. But to misquote Noel Coward:
“Don’t let’s be beastly to the Irish …..”
And actually you can restrict entry to races. The French don’t let you into their handicaps until you’ve qualified for a mark on their terms by running regularly in France. They certainly don’t let you run in the races that are restricted to horses bred and trained in France. And they don’t pay out their lucrative owners and breeders premiums to foreigners!
Reality is no money left in the bank and very little money coming in with betting shops and courses closed. It’s also, imo, a stone cold certainty that the courses won’t be open to normal sized crowds this year, and I’d bet that will still be the case for the likes of Cheltenham and Ascot in 2022.January 25, 2021 at 09:23 #1519636sporting samParticipant
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Massive changes are inevitable. Course closures will be part of that. Worrying about the Irish coming over and nicking your prize money is surely a minor distraction.
What is to stop horses ( and trainers) going the other way.
Plenty of horses going over by way of sale and winning at Dundalk. Flylikeaneagle last Friday.January 25, 2021 at 09:56 #1519637yeatsParticipant
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The big race at Taunton on Saturday was worth almost 3 times more last year. Has there been a bigger prize money reduction, in percentage terms in the last 12 months?
Prize money has fell through the floor while training fees can only go upwards.
I have owned parts of horses in the past but have zero interest in doing it now, with or without the foreign runners.January 25, 2021 at 11:57 #1519647DroneParticipant
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Three or four meetings a day has long struck me as somewhat more than adequate when the coffers are bulging and the courses are thronging, so in these leanest of times wouldn’t a rather less contentious way of preserving wedge be to simply reduce the number of meetings
Or, equivalently, continue with three or four a day but have couple of blank days per week. A 5-day ‘racing week’ Tuesday-Saturday for example
Forbidding Irish runners (French, whoever too?) will, other than the almost certain tit-for-tat reciprocation, also lead to a lingering resentment I reckonJanuary 25, 2021 at 13:31 #1519654
Must say I often find myself missing the days of two midweek meetings, both six-race cards, and races every 15 minutes.
Seemed perfectly adequate in the winter months.
All this talk of financial crisis in racing but the industry has been expanded and bloated for years.
The harsh fact is it’s doesn’t need as much racing, as many horses, as many breeders, trainers or jockeys.
It’s become a great big self-entitled gravy train for many who work in it.
Losing a chunk of owners and having to restructure would end a fair few careers, but it certainly wouldn’t spell the demise of the whole industry.January 25, 2021 at 16:17 #1519688
Agree with Drone about having just five racing days a week. Don’t need Southwell (AW) on a Sunday for instance.
Plus the need of a different approach to handicap ratings. Why not having three handicappers from GB, FR and IRE at least assessing the Class 3 and above races? Perhaps it might not work, though if there is an European Breeders Fund and a system to determine the status of Group/Graded races, why shouldn’t this work for handicaps as well?
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