Thinking Out Loud

Time for some more random musings.

Drunken racegoers have been in the headlines again in recent weeks, with some unsavoury incidents at Sandown and Newmarket.

There are those who say the drunken antics at racecourses only reflect what is happening in most High Street’s most evenings, almost as if it is a justification for what is happening. It is not and I have to say racecourses are doing little to prevent problems.

Both Sandown and Newmarket had mobile vendors actively approaching racegoers, encouraging them to purchase alcohol. Of course they will do this as far more profit is made from sales of alcohol than on gate receipts.

However is this responsible behaviour from the courses? Of course not.  Racecourses are subject to the same licensing conditions as pubs and clubs as far as the sale of alcohol is concerned. If they do not adhere to the licence conditions they should have their licences removed. If the threat of losing a substantial income stream is hanging over the courses they will very soon start selling alcohol more responsibly.

There should also be stronger action taken against those who act aggressively at courses be they sober or drunk. Banning orders are effectively used in football, they should also be applied to racegoers who act in an aggressive manner.


The BBC’s Panorama program had another go at racing last Wednesday. I have to say it ended up as a dam squib as far as I am concerned. There was very little new with 2/3 of the program being dedicated to re-hashing what had been stated at the failed Old Bailey corruption trial and even then some of what was presented was mis-represented in the program.

There was a time when Panorama was taken seriously as the flagship current affairs program at the BBC, based on last weeks effort it has become sensationalist tabloid journalism.

For those who are close to racing there was nothing new, for those who think racing is institutionally corrupt the program just added to their prejudices.  

What a complete waste of licence payers money.


For those who wonder why you never see a poor bookmaker let me tell you a story that almost embarrasses me.

Last week my parents came to stay for the week and on Thursday I took my father racing. He is what I call a typical “mug punter”.

His strategy for betting goes something like this.

He only backs horses who have a colour in their name.

He won’t back a horse if the jockey is wearing yellow silks.

And he wonders why he doesn’t make any money betting.

Yet when I had five winners on the card he turns round and tells me I’m just lucky!!!



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