Racings "C" Words

Racing is blighted by the “C” word or, to be more accurate, two “C” words - committees and consensus.

Sadly, in the current climate, racing needs neither.

Visit the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) web site and hidden amongst all the information is a list of committees within the BHA – it is a big list.

I’ll swear, somewhere, in the spiders web of committees there is a committee to manage the other committees.

Of course the BHA do try and take us off the scent by calling the grander committees “working groups” but they are just the same.

The trouble with committees is they make any reasonable decision making almost impossible. They take time and, by their very nature, result in compromise and consensus.

There are many who will make the point that consensus should be the target, something for everyone they will say.

The other side of the coin is you end up with the lowest common denominator, nothing for anybody.

There is also the risk that having formed a working group they then have to, somehow, justify their existence.

This has been particularly evident with the review group set up after the 2011 Grand National.   

After months of deliberation they produce a glossy report with thirty recommendations – haven’t we been busy?

Actually no they haven’t.

The review document is a classic example of spin over substance.

“But we have come up with 30 recommendations?”

Maybe they have but most of them are actually meaningless or come under the “stating the bleeding obvious” category.

Yet another example of spin over substance.


Little else has changed in the racing world, the tiresome whip mass debate continues, the flawed Levy has reached an agreement, of sorts, hopefully for the final time before a proper commercial agreement is negotiated - did anybody else just see that pig fly past?.

We may even, finally, get the 2012 fixture list next week which, guess what, will show little change from the 2011 fixture list – so racing will still continue with a bloated fixture list and the owners will still complain about poor prize money, be prepared for more yawns.


The flat season finished with a second jockeys championship for Paul Hanagan, well done to Paul and well done, also to Silvestre de Sousa who fought Hanagan all the way to the line.


With the end of the turf flat season comes the beginning of the National Hunt season proper and with it comes National Hunt weather and yesterday at Huntingdon was a typical afternoon of jumping weather, dreak, wet and cold but it did not deter the hardcore racegoers.

From my point of view the biggest problem with wet weather is the soggy note syndrome. There is nothing worse that attempting to make paddock notes and for you well prepared race card to turn into an illegible papier maché.  I have even tried laminating the racecard and using a permanent marker, all to no avail.

Then yesterday I found the answer to my problems as the judge, David Hicks, came and stood next to me carrying a clipboard with a hood, meaning you can write your notes whilst keeping them dry. Needless to say I am ordering one today.


Finally this month is now known as Movember as tens of thousands of men grow moustaches to highlight the silent killers of prostrate and testicular cancer. I am one of those acquiring an addition to my top lip, although rest assured come 1st December it will be disappearing again because, as I feared,  my tache seems to have more grey hairs than dark.

However if you have not already sponsored anybody for this worthy cause then please consider sponsoring me at thank you.    


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