Monday, 15 July 2013





'Racing is shooting itself in the foot'

Lee Mottershead and Jon Lees

"YORK chairman Teddy Grimthorpe yesterday described Saturday's congested schedule of high- quality races as ridiculous, as he and Great British Racing chief executive Rod Street joined leading trainers, bookmakeres and Channel 4 in expressing concern at a logjam caused by Newmarket's decision to move the July Cup from its former midweek slot.


Grimthorpe argued racing is "shooting itself in the foot" after the July Cup was held on the same afternoon as one of the season's biggest handicaps, the John Smith's Cup, and Ascot's Group 2 Summer Mile, an event in the reckoning for a Group 1 upgrade. These were among five races all worth at least £100,000 that took place in less than two hours.


"Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani and William Haggas have bemoaned their local course's decision to stage the July festival from Thursday to Saturday, a move Haggas described as "nonsence".


"Earlier in the week BHA director Mark Johnston described the repositioning of the meeting ... -orchestrated by former managing director Stephen Wallis - as "very wrong" , while Channel 4, which broadcast ten live races, from  three tracks  on Saturday, is understood to have requested a rethink from Newmarket's owner, Jockey Club Racecourses.


"The frustration felt by Channel 4 and other critics of a Saturday July Cup is heightened by the lack of sparkle being offered to racing fans and punters this Saturday, when the program is highlighted by Newbury's Weatherbys Super Sprint and a summer jumping card from Market Rasin, albeit a lucrative one. 


"Grimthorpe, also racing manager to Khalid Abdullah (Frankel's Owner) said: "I think it's ridiculous. John Smith's have been sponsoring with us for over 50 years and a crowd of nearly 40,000 shows its enduring popularity. There were 12,000 at Newmarket, but it makes no difference (to the crowd)  whether they have it through the week or not.


"For me the July meeting had worked really well as a midweek meeting. Racing seems to be shooting itself in the foot. It's good people are going but we are not spreading it very well."


"The same reservation was expressed by Street, who, wearing his hat as chief executive of the British Champion Saries, (Qipco) also has an interest in the scheduling of the July Cup.

Street said "A congested weekend that could be improved" .
" The weekend we've just had is not ideal," he said. "We understand how it has come around, with Newmarket wishing to stage a Group 1 on a Saturday, but every time this weekend it reviewed everyone conceded it is overly strong, particularly in relation to the weekend that follows.
A total of 12,011 watched Team Cox, 
Lethal Force win the July Cup

The July Festival Crowds info makes interesting reading.
2013 crowd number  36,185.
2012 crowd number  34,071
2011 crowd number  34,592
2010 crowd number  32,219
2009 crowd number 28,773

Still time to address overload of quality for 2014 insists BHA
Lee Mottershead


"THE BHA last night said time had not run out to address the quality overload that resulted in Newmarket, York and Ascot staging major television fixtures last Saturday that were all arguably superior to any the sport had to offer this Saturday.

Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams said: "Neither bookmakers nor punters want feast or famine and on Saturday we had a feast. It doesn't work and the problem is next Saturday we go to famine.
"A punter who normally takes £50 into a betting shop on a Saturday does not suddenly take £80 because there are more good races.
"Saturday is always the biggest betting day of the week but moving July Cup day to a Saturday has not greatly increased betting compared to when it was staged midweek."

"Echoing those sentiments , Levy Board chief executive Alan Delmonte, suggested the organisation  would prefer a more "efficient" solution.


"He said: 'Saturday was a brilliant day day's racing but three or four of the races got lost, whereas they would have stood out on another day.


"The main two Channel 4 fixtures always dominate on a Saturday, which makes other fixtures less attractive to punters, even when they offer quality television action.


"The question  we at the Levy Board must ask is: can we provide more of an incentive for one of the racecourses to think about moving their fixture to another day?"


And he's off!
Graham Green
"Starter of 25 years quits in row over reimbursement of £55

"BRITISH racing has lost one of its most flamboyant officials after the decision of part-time starter Chris Stubbs to quit the post following a dispute with the BHA over a reimbursement worth £55.

"Stubbs, 65, who was well known for his colourful dress sense and habitually wore a bow-tie when on racecourse duty, made his final appearance on the rostrum at Uttoxeter last Tuesday evening after a quarter of century in the job when the dispute came to a head.


"Stubbs, who runs a wholesale and retail butcher's business and also owns and breeds racehorses, incurred the costs when recruiting a local person to help him when working at Hexham on Derby Day last month after discovering at the last minute that both his regular assistants  were unavailable . However this was seen as a breach of procedure by his superiors as the individual was not on the rota of part-time and casual employees.


"I was told I should have contacted my bosses but they were all at the Derby and I didn't want to bother them at such short notice," said Stubbs.


"I phoned human resources at the BHA to explain what had happened, only to be told they couldn't pay the man as he wasn't on the rota, so they couldn't reimburse me.


"I tried to phone again and was informed someone would come and see me at Uttoxeter, where I was told there was no point me keeping phoning because I was not going to get any recompense, so I said I'd start the last two races and then I was finishing.


"It wasn't about the money, it was a matter of principle. I was trying to think on my feet and didn't want to bother anybody; I just wanted things to run smoothly , but there you go."

J Margaret Clarke Turfcall Comment
Protest disrupts slavery service.

A Service in Westminster Abbey
Tuesday 27 March 2007
 to Celebrate the Abolition of the Slave Trade
How are British governments getting away with fobbing the British people off with a service like this?

"Security scare as slavery protester is just 10ft from the Queen

"Toyin Agbetu a shaven-headed man, brought service proceedings to a halt when he ran in front of the altar at Westminster Abbey saying: " This service is a disgrace. It is an insult to Africa."
"The lone demonstrator spent several seconds unchallenged in front of her before police and security staff restrained him.

"The protest momentarily startled the Queen and dramatically disrupted the Westminster Abbey slave trade abolition service, which she and Prince Philip were attending alongside VIPs including Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. "

Rip - Off -Britain
It is estimated that at present there are 70 per cent of people living in Rip-Off-Britain who are being treated like slaves by this government.
The Animal Kingdom  who cares about them? Certainly not government, not the British horseracing authority government not the Jockey Club, that's for sure.



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