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  • #1680740
    Avatar photoCork All Star
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    It is a student night at Wolverhampton tonight. It looks like there is a large crowd there.

    More racecourses should consider student days. They are quite common in Ireland. Maybe some of the students are mainly there for a few drinks and a good time but at least they are seeing some racing. Who knows, it might spark an interest.

    At least the young people at Wolverhampton tonight are clearly not hostile to racing. The sport does need to encourage this audience.

    #1680774
    Tizaaards Cider
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    There’s a company at the minute doing the rounds of the universities that basically hoover up hundreds of students, shuttle them over to racecourse X, usher them into the Best mate stand/family enclosure or other part of the track which is miles away from the general race goer and allows them to run amok for 6 hours whilst getting absolutely rat arsed.

    Believe me, plenty of race courses have been very welcoming of this idea.

    And it’s one that I actually don’t mind. I despise millennials so if they’re penned in somewhere far from me and they’re out of sight/earshot for the most part even better.

    If there was an option to upgrade my ticket to an option which allows me to throw petrol bombs into their enclosure I’d also consider that a fantastic opportunity for race goer interaction and customer journey experience.

    #1680775
    Avatar photoIanDavies
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    Simply not going racing at all ticks more boxes for me seemingly by the day.

    Money saved on travelling there and back.

    Money saved on admission costs.

    Money saved on food and drink.

    The legion benefits of not being in the same postal district as the modern racegoer who is typically: drunk, resembles a refugee from extras casting for Peaky Blinders and talks like a Mockney Barrow Boy Minder tribute act.

    Newbury is a but a half-hour drive from me and now participates in the R4R scheme so I could have obtained a free ticket for a meeting I attended in 1984, 1988 and 2013.

    I’d have found a trip to the dentist for root canal treatment preferable.

    Takes all sorts and each to their own, though.

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    #1680779
    Avatar photobroadsword
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    My daughter is at uni and she’s booked in for a student trip to Haydock next Saturday.

    I’ve no doubt she’ll enjoy the social side of the day, but she’s looking forward to the racing too – she’s already been in touch to ask for some tips.

    We’re always saying the sport should do more to attract the next generation of racing fans. As CAS says, days like this might just spark a lasting interest among some of the attendees.

    #1680781
    Richard88
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    ‘I despise millennials so if they’re penned in somewhere far from me and they’re out of sight/earshot for the most part even better.

    If there was an option to upgrade my ticket to an option which allows me to throw petrol bombs into their enclosure I’d also consider that a fantastic opportunity for race goer interaction and customer journey experience.’

    Believe me I’m sure they’d be delighted to be as far away from you as possible too, as would I.

    #1680782
    Avatar photoIanDavies
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    All joking aside, and in all seriousness, I have no objection to student racedays.

    I’m no longer at an age where I want to be around revelry at the races (or anywhere) so it’s best I self exclude so the revellers can just get on with it.

    As I said to someone only this evening, I haven’t actually got any fixed plans to go racing this year – there’s a quiet day in October I went to last year and quite enjoyed that I might repeat if the weather’s nice and that’s about it so far.

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    #1680786
    Richard88
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    It’s not actually particularly hard to avoid those ghastly millennials and students altogether. Racing takes place on at least 360 days of the year, only slightly over 100 of which are on weekends or bank holidays. The simple solution is go to a weekday meeting on one of the 250+ days a year that they take place. Even some of the weekend meetings can be quieter affairs, particularly Sunday.

    Yes, I know the Saturdays and festivals with the best racing attract the Peaky Blinders cokeheads and other assorted undesirables but I have to say I’ve never let it spoil my day. I’ve been to Cheltenham Tuesday and Aintree Thursday a few times in recent years and neither had much in the way of problems that I saw.

    #1680787
    Avatar photoIanDavies
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    Fair comment, as always, from you, Richard.

    The day I was alluding to was Kempton Jumps one Sunday last October.

    It was a lovely sunny autumnal day, it wasn’t too crowded and the quality of the racing was quite good (Rubaud won the main event).

    I enjoyed it and might go again this year if the weather is nice.

    I wouldn’t go on a Saturday, to a Festival, a meeting with live music after racing or a themed day or evening (Ladies Day or whatever) but that still leaves plenty of quieter midweek or even Sunday days to choose from.

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    #1680791
    Richard88
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    Exactly, nobody can go racing every day. It is possible to appeal to a broader range of people. If some students want a cheap night out at Wolvo getting lagered up and having a few quid on a horse whose name they like or whatever then where’s the problem? As Cork says, some may even get the bug and start taking it more seriously. It’s certainly a better strategy than getting the seemingly ubiquitous Jermaine Jenas to try to talk people into it.

    It’s easy to believe that young people now are mostly puritans who don’t drink, think racing is cruel and glue themselves to roads in their spare time but is that really the case? Of course not.

    #1680795
    griff11
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    There’s a fairly broad spectrum of people on here that obviously have an interest in horse racing.

    How many times a year do you go now and how does that compare to perhaps 20 or 30 years ago?

    #1680806
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    There is a balance to be struck. On the one hand, I think racing could look after its existing customers better sometimes. On the other hand, the sport has to attract new blood. Otherwise it has no future.

    I don’t particularly enjoy being in large, noisy crowds, especially if the cokehead brigade is out in force. Hence I seldom go racing at the weekend nowadays. However, based on what I could see and hear on SSR last night, it sounded all right at Wolverhampton. The students were obviously enjoying their evening and cheering home the winners but it did not sound like an intimidating atmosphere.

    I have been at Wolverhampton on a Monday afternoon when the crowd has been about 200. It was nice to see the old place full last night. I hope all the students enjoyed it and maybe backed a winner or two. If it encourages them to go back or even try another track, then job done.

    “It’s easy to believe that young people now are mostly puritans who don’t drink, think racing is cruel and glue themselves to roads in their spare time but is that really the case? Of course not”

    That is really why I started the thread. I fall into that trap myself sometimes. But it is clear there are plenty of young people out there who are not hostile to racing. The sport needs to get them on board. Most of the people who post here are middle aged or older. We will not be around forever!

    “How many times a year do you go now and how does that compare to perhaps 20 or 30 years ago?”

    Not as often as I used to attend but I still manage one or two meetings a month on average. I went to Doncaster and Warwick in January. Both were midweek and had crowds of about 1,000, so the quiet days are easy to find. The biggest day I attend is the Aintree Thursday.

    #1680819
    Richard88
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    ‘There is a balance to be struck. On the one hand, I think racing could look after its existing customers better sometimes. On the other hand, the sport has to attract new blood. Otherwise it has no future.’

    Yes I know it’s a difficult balance and that those in charge often make a complete hash of things but as you say, the future has to come from somewhere.

    A lot of younger people probably see it as a bit old fashioned more than thinking it’s cruel, they probably picture their grandad putting his lucky 15s on at the bookies. Show them the reality of an actual day/evening at the races and maybe some will stick around.

    As for how often I go, a few times a year on average over the last 15 years or so. Anything from Bangor on Dee on a weekday to The Festival™. I will always shout from the rooftops with Cork about Aintree Thursday too.

    #1680846
    Avatar photoIanDavies
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    I go a lot less nowadays, griff, even though I can frequently go free with R4R.

    The reasons….

    – The cost of travel is often a bigger expense than the admission

    – I am 61 now and less keen to be around younger revellers (and I was never that keen in the first place when younger)

    – I’m not as much a Peter Pan as outright infantile. I historically have done things until I’m sick of them and if I go racing all the time I know I’ll soon never ever want to go again

    – I have meetings I like but I even tire of those if I go every year – Epsom’s City & Suburban Day is getting the swerve this year after a few years on the spin

    – The opportunity to enjoy betting and watching off course has never been better plus I can mute the sound on the live pictures but I can’t mute the tannoy when at the track

    Sandown Classic Trial Day on a Friday, the Henry II Stakes evening there and Kempton’s Sunday October Jumps meeting have all been pleasant and not too crowded in recent years, but I am only planning on going to the latter at the moment and that’s not until October.

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    #1680935
    Richard88
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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/68269254

    “It was superb,” said Lacey. “There were 3,500 students there from Exeter and Plymouth – and I think many of them had put their £2.50 each way on him as he was such a big price.

    “There was a big celebration from them. I believe one bookmaker paid out £70,000 in small bets.”

    That’s one way to do it!

    #1680938
    Avatar photorobnorth
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    Best part of 4,000 spectators in at Musselburgh on Sunday February 4th, would have been no more than half of that without it being Student Raceday. Good atmosphere, everybody having a good time, reasonable knowledge from many of the students, bookies were taking bets down to £1 (and a lot by card) and apparently as busy a meeting as they have had at ‘The Links’ for a while. Plenty of tweed on view with the St Andrews and Edinburgh students in the house!

    From my point of view some decent class racing and these days subsidise my course membership!

    #1680939
    Avatar photoEx RubyLight
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    I guess it’s another Student’s day at Plumpton today. Before the start of the 2:45 Simon Holt explained the racegoers what the first number of the odds (“your profit”) and the second number (“your stake”) mean…..

    #1680940
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    I wondered why Richard Hoiles was explaining the difference between the water jump and an open ditch at Exeter yesterday.

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