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A Disgraceful Time

It’s disgraceful how it’s been handled and how we have been handled

Everyone’s an expert and we all know exactly what’s wrong with racing.  Now that is rubbish and we can put it behind us.  But I believe strongly that we, the racing public, have a legitimate complaint to make about Sectional Timing.

Just where the hell is it?

It’s disgraceful how it’s been handled and how we have been handled.

As much as this is a cliche there is no other way to put it.

It’s just a disgrace.

I fell in love with horseracing at a time when it was completely inaccessible to me.  I was a kid and had never been to a race track.

It was before IGN, I don’t remember being able to call for commentary and I wasn’t able to go to totes or bookmakers rooms.

My interaction with racing was a racecard, the 10c jackpot, the results on Radio Goodhope and the very first edition of any newspaper which showed the dividends.

I fell hard for racing and now many years later I’ve had my picture taken with Lester, I was close up for Millard’s magic, patted Empress Club and Jet Master, Horse Chestnut and Dynasty, met Michael Roberts, owned and bred some horses, and handicapped and gambled on both sides of the counter.

Racing had a burst of energy from about the 90’s.

We discovered that every stallion did not have to be an import.

We nationalised the tote and discovered international racing.

We corporatised the industry.

We decided to change how we handicapped and saw Betfair flicker the burst into existence.

And for a moment we almost got sectional timing off the ground.  Maybe someone even has a copy of the redesigned racecard that incorporated the sectional timing for that brief time.

FrankelFrankel – the best!

Frankel is the best horse I have ever seen, and as you watched the pictures from overseas you knew it was once in a lifetime.

It was impossible to miss Frankel, or Black Caviar, and also the sectional timing that came attached.

Once you saw the times explained with Frankel as the star, you just knew it was only a matter of time for us.

But now all we really have is a public relations disgrace.

Measure work

We know from rumours and internet gossip that sectional timing is on the table.

It’s been franked by credible comments from standup trainers and witnesses.

But it goes on and on as a disappearing act which is really a strategic disaster with no leadership in sight to rescue the thing.

Everyone is concerned that racing’s current aging enthusiasts all come from the time before cell phones when gambling on horses was the only game in town.

Yet the sectional timing, which is how the digital generation will understand racing, is not being given the chance to build up the years of exposure that it will need?

Please, can anyone explain how this is possible?



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8 comments on “A Disgraceful Time”

  1. I called for sectional timing 25 years ago. It makes racing control much more effective but nothing has materialised.

    1. Mr Jayes, Take a peek at the jockey iorns.. I see JockeyB. Abercombie (am i correct) riding with the femur parallel to the ground. Good enough for Bert is good for me. Sectional timing will be of use to the industry, me thinks. Best wishes, Kenneth

  2. I think sectional times will make it clear to all punters that there exists a race within a race. And with this deeper understanding coupled with racing styles, certain bookies might not reap the financial benefits as before. Just my two cents worth. Regards.

  3. Mr Editor, please tell us who wrote this article. I ask because virually every comment of indignation has merit and is commendable. Phumelela, Kenilworth Racing and Gold Circle treat poorly and could not give two hoots about us. The only time they will consider us is when we on mass no longer spend our hard earned salaries on racing.

    Any way I am told that the sectional timing are at an end or close to an end. The twist in the tale is about to be let out the bag. If puntets want the use of sectional timing they will have to pay for it. Nothing is free to us.

    What peeves me off is that the NHA has allowed sectional timing testing without regulating it. Devices have been used and information gleaned from them. Statistics have been prepared but webthe ordinary folk and owners are not given details. For months on end the sectional timing tests have been secretly used by those in control to benefit themselves. They know who they are.

    The NHA needs to tell us what it has donevand will do about regulating sectional timing. The longer tbey take certain people are getting an unfair advantage.

    We need openness and not the current nonsense.

  4. the swiss invented the watch but africa keeps the time . please dont complicate the system more ,wrong race results are posted before all clear, starting stalls malfunctions,horses win on objections that finish 2lengths back i can go on and on who is going to monitor fractional time keeping upgrading system that alls in working order? not this 3rd world country at this moment sorry to say

  5. One needs to keep in mind punter’s will be better equipped to make money with sectional timing. So it is best that we punters are kept in the dark

  6. “Give that man a case of Bells” is my thought on this article. Not only sectional timing, but also the barrier trials.
    In Hong Kong it is impossible for trainers and jockey’s to hide away good first timers because of barrier trials.
    Even if they don’t try to hard, all can see.
    For years in South Africa the racing public have been given the mushroom principle and in any other industry would be classed as insider trading and banned for life with huge penalties paid.
    Yet here it continues week after week with trainers ” not pulling up horses ” but giving horses easy runs to “educate” horses on raceday.
    That’s what training tracks and barrier trial are for, education.
    Many people have placed bets on these horses, which have no hope of winning. The racing clubs don’t mind them being cheated out of their cash. They still reap there percentage and that’s all that matters to them.
    Its about time that South African racing gets cleaned up.
    Trainers duck and dive to refrain from giving any info and blatantly lie often telling the whole world their horse are not trying but ” out for a run”, and then only when cornered.
    The story of trainers and owners being entitled to withhold this information because they are the ones who feed and pay the horses cost, is the biggest load of bullshit ever.
    The punter pay their salary because all stakes come from the percentage extracted from punters bets.

    Our wonderful tellytrack on course presenters keep congratulating trainers and jockeys and reminding us of what good a jockey and trainer is.
    Brown nosing week in and week out, instead of asking the questions that matter.
    Can someone please tell these “geniuses” that a good trainer or jockey is the one with the good horse.
    ANY jockey or trainer can win with a champion and NONE can win with a horse that’s not good enough.
    Trainers duck and dive to refrain from giving any info and blatantly lie often telling the whole world their horse are not trying but ” out for a run”, and then only when cornered.
    Investigative type journalism is what is needed in an industry that is probably the least transparent of all racing around the world, with its public being ripped off in favour of the elitists who consider, racing their own and the punter their donors.

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