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Too much racing?

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  • #12302
    no idea
    Member
    • Total Posts 684

    Does anybody agree that there is far too much racing in the summer with 5,6,7 and sometimes 8 meetings a day.

    Haing to work for a living I just cannot manage to look at even half the meetings and I have to confess I have lost interest a bit.

    The racing quality a lot of the time is poor to say the least.

    I am looking forward to the NH season when there is less racing generally and so more time to study the form which tends to stand up better that the flat anyway.

    As an aside, people have posted about racing having big crowds and people queueing to get in. I would imagine those people are going for the concerts afterwards and not at all interested in the racing. A survey by the BHA would be interesting.

    #242685
    Zorro
    Member
    • Total Posts 472

    Devaluation, playing into the hands of those big bookmakers who want to see racing turned into a ‘flutter’ rather than a game of calculation.

    #242703
    ClareF
    Member
    • Total Posts 14

    Why didn’t the BHA take advantage of the closure of Great Leighs to reduce the fixture list? You don’t need all this all weather racing in the summer?

    #242712
    Neil Watson
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1376

    Why didn’t the BHA take advantage of the closure of Great Leighs to reduce the fixture list? You don’t need all this all weather racing in the summer?

    Well with the Ayr and Catterick situation it is a good tool to have ready.

    Their is far to much on the flat with low quality horses but the owners are happy to have runners and winners as they know getting Black Type probably wont happen and if the courses get good crowds then thats a good thing.

    #242723
    ClareF
    Member
    • Total Posts 14

    Yes, I understand why all weathers have to be on stand-by during the summer, but that’s what they should be; on standby. Its not as if, say, if Worcester is abandoned, everyone can box up and charge over to Southwell to see if they can get in the 5.35.
    "Replacement" fixtures in any code are always arranged at short notice, so there is no need to have so many all weathers racing routinely between May and August. Sometimes even during the winter they have struggled to "fill" some all weather races, and as I understand it, bookmakers’ contributions to single races reduce by more than 50% in fact if there are less than 8 runners in a race. So it has to be in some sectors’ interests to are down the number of fixtures and try to keep runner per race up, pro rata. That of course would reduce some peoples’ chance of winning a race, which is of course highly undesirable from the owners and trainers’ perspective, but there would be some very small satisfaction in seeing the bookies pay their fair whack per race!

    #242724
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3326

    Clare,

    On other threads here, you seem exercised about the welfare issues of the sport.

    As an owner that regularly runs horses on the AW tracks, I do so in part because they provide a reliable and consistent surface that is safer for the horses than over watered turf tracks.

    #242728
    aaronizneez
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1747

    Why didn’t the BHA take advantage of the closure of Great Leighs to reduce the fixture list? You don’t need all this all weather racing in the summer?

    Why not ?

    Why can’t you view a race at Southwell or Wolverhampton the same as Folkestone or Catterick. Its a horse race meeting just with a different going description which has to be said is more consistent and less affected by changes of weather mid meeting. By all means complain about the number of meetings during the summer ( though it seems to me like a simple case of supply and demand) but why bring extra criticism on the AW tracks ?

    #242731
    Cav
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4825

    The betting public only have so much money to bet with so IMO the number of races per day should make no difference to bookies takings.

    Disagree there. You only have to see what happens to levy returns during the snow and frost in January and February. Betting shop SP punters don’t wait 30 minutes to bet more per race on the 1 remaining meeting, they put it into the machines instead. Racing loses. Downsizing for the sake of downsizing not the way forward imo.

    #242736
    ClareF
    Member
    • Total Posts 14

    In answer to separate points:
    Yes, I am exercised about welfare. I am worried about horses AFTER they leave the industry and a horse should not be doped irrespective of whether he’s running on a silken carpet or a load of cobblestones. I don’t think this having these views is incompatible with feeling there’s too much racing on the all weather and especially on the all weather during the summer. It is absolutely true that all weather can guarantee a consistent surface when weather extremes happens, as they seem to more with global warming etc etc etc, but if you were to follow that argumental to its extreme conclusion, in the interests of horse soundess all flat racing should hypothetically migrate to all weather – and I am sure no-one would want to see that happen.
    Regarding bookmakers, I meant the sums the bookies pay direct to each racecourse for the rights to show their races in the betting shops. Racecourses get up to £4,000 per race but it drops right down to £2,000 or even less if too many races on a particular card have eight or less runners. This is a fact, not guesswork.

    #242740
    indocine
    Member
    • Total Posts 489

    Can someone explain in detail from a punter’s perspective who’d like the flat calender trimmed substantially — what exactly is in it for him as a punter by supporting this viewpoint.

    #242749
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6220

    I just concentrate on restricted groups of races:

    National Hunt

    Handicap Hurdles and Chases 0-130 and better, and other Handicap Chases at Northern + Scottish courses. The former group gives me a chacne to back decent horses that I can rely on. The latter group allows me to concentrate no a group of horses I see running regularly and that I am familiar with.

    Flat

    Class 2 Handicaps
    Claimers

    That gives me some days where I have no races to check out. Maximum action will be 8-10 races on even the busiest of days which is a commitment I can cope with comfortably. That’s my choice and we are all able to make that choice if we wish.

    I do go to meetings where I have very little or no betting interest, but that’s because I enjoy the sport as a spectacle. In the main the five courses in my immediate area, Ayr, Hamilton, Musselburgh, Perth and Kelso offer decent competitive racing with meetings at a sustainable frequency.

    No one is required to bet in all races. Many see fit to bet regardless of the quality of racing, and while this continues then the current level of action will continue to be supported by the Levy. Funding may change, but exactly how that affects racing will inevitably be dictated by whoever ‘pays the piper’.

    Rob

    #242761
    dave jay
    Member
    • Total Posts 3386

    I think there’s far too much racing compared to what we had 10 years ago and you can understand why the public would get sick of wall to wall offal everyday.

    For example, newpapers simply don’t have the space to give a decent write up on the racing and include all of the race cards .. so the proper coverage it deserves during the week is no where near the quality it was 10 years ago.

    All of this racing isn’t there for racings sake, it’s there to keep the shops open all hours to keep the FOTBs rolling .. end of story.

    #242767
    robert99
    Participant
    • Total Posts 899

    Can someone explain in detail from a punter’s perspective who’d like the flat calender trimmed substantially — what exactly is in it for him as a punter by supporting this viewpoint.

    If as many full timer players do and just ignore whole swathes of racing then it (wall to wall racing) makes things profitwise easier. You are only betting in a few worthwhile betting races against people chasing every race going.

    People who might be tempted into betting racing though are put off by wall to wall racing. It now takes hours of scarce leisure time up for zero profit. So they take up other sports and the percentage of racing turnover continues to plummet. As the related levy falls, then crookedness and cheating increase. Missing out whole sections of racing kills the overall interest in the game – no time to build up heroes etc and no looking forward to any particular race anymore. I might be interested in one or no races at certain meetings so won’t ever waste a day going racing anymore. So it is a sustainability /enjoyment issue which even though I have followed racing since a kid gets harder to stomach every year.

    #242768
    wordfromthewise
    Participant
    • Total Posts 467

    Can someone explain in detail from a punter’s perspective who’d like the flat calender trimmed substantially — what exactly is in it for him as a punter by supporting this viewpoint.

    Obviously it is a matter of opinion but one of the arguments surely goes like this:

    If there was less ‘betting shop fodder racing’ the prizemoney could be better for the remaining races,those races are more likely to be therefore run on their merits i.e horses trying to win the prizemoney rather than just protect handicap marks or prepare coups etc, more people would be attracted to going racing or having a bet not least because the standard would be higher and you can try and make it pay if you know it is more likely to be straight etc.

    Personally I find myself not even looking at the majority of racecards inbetween ‘festivals’ because the racing is so dire and these days there are so many better offers in terms of sports and events to bet on ,obviously there has to be some racing in the intervening time between the Goodwoods Yorks and Ascots but it needs to be less and of a better quality to keep people interested.

    #242772
    douginho
    Member
    • Total Posts 1046

    I think this is the first summer where I have felt there is too much racing. I am not sure why I suddenly feel this way, as I am sure there are not that many more/less fixtures than last year. Perhaps its because both today and tomorrow there are 6 fixtures! Thats a lot of racing.

    I think one of the reasons many people prefer the jumping season is because you get max 3 meetings a day with maybe the odd all weather evening meet at Kempton or Wolverhampton thrown into the mix.

    I dont think there is too much racing per se, I just think it needs to be structured better. So in the summer we should have 4 meetings a day, 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening. Outwith summer evening racing there should be 3 meetings a day. In order to ensure there are enough races to satisfy demand each of those meetings could be run with 8 races.

    Example:-

    Today there are 6 meetings, 3 afternoon, 3 evening. In the afternoon there are 18 races and in the evening there are 18 races. So total number of races is 36.

    If instead of having 6 meetings the BHA stages 4 meetings of 8 races (2 afternoon, 2 evening) then that equates to 32 races but 2 less meetings. It will make things feel less cluttered and might help ensure those races have decent numbers of runners rather than the many 6 – 8 runner races there are today. What do other people think? Or is this no good for betting levy??

    #242773
    Cav
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4825

    If there was less ‘betting shop fodder racing’ the prizemoney could be better for the remaining races,

    The "betting shop fodder" provide the prizemoney in the first place (bangs head against wall)

    What do you mean by "remaining" races?

    You’ve being banging on about "betting shop fodder" and little else. Some facts, figures, statistics, meaningul data would be helpful to back up your argument.

    #242778
    indocine
    Member
    • Total Posts 489

    [quote="Bob Wharton

    …those races are more likely to be therefore run on their merits i.e horses trying to win the prizemoney rather than just protect handicap marks or prepare coups etc, more people would be attracted to going racing or having a bet not least because the standard would be higher and you can try and make it pay if you know it is more likely to be straight etc.

    If you are concerned about the integrity of handicap racing with regard to it’s systemic weakness; the in-built incentive to cheat (to lose) in order to manipuilate/control handicap marks for exploitation another day, then why not move to a claiming system like America. Cheating to win is more difficult than cheating to lose, if we have to have it at all.

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