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Horseracing Losing The Big One

It must surely be time to do away with token programs?

Racing is busy losing its all-time most important tussle, the race against time to keep the sport from fading into obscurity, suggests Leon Smuts.

This is a race that can and must be won given the significance of racing as an economic provider for so many, and the potential as a growing and extended source of employment in years to come.

People often ask why I am involved in trying to find solutions for racing, when then are so many other more lucrative forms of wagering that I could be spending time on.

This is a valid question if my reason for getting involved was purely economic and if my love for the sport, its people and creatures could be discarded.

Seeing horses run and the fantastic emotion it creates in everyone involved is something that begs to be preserved for future generations.

It is simply a thing of astounding beauty with great presence and natural poise and the most epic drama imaginable playing out in front of us daily.

Such a pity that the dilemma in racing has come down to a balancing act of having to match a love for horses with economic expectations and the difficulty that this has presented, especially over the last 20 to 30 years.

There is an on-going tug of war between the purists in the sport and those exclusively seeking profit from its existence, and with the expectation gap becoming too big, is causing a widening rift between the different stakeholders.

The growing discontent is there for all to see with a few recent initiatives to try and grasp control back from the empire.

If ever there was a need to work together to find solutions that will satisfy both sides, it is right now. Unity is strength and together, with a dedicated effort, it would be possible to satisfy the needs of the majority involved in racing.

Why is this so hard for the powers that be to recognise and support?

Whilst betting operators have to factor in the bottom line in all decisions that they make it does not unburden them from campaigning for the best results for all, which must include searching for and finding lasting solutions for racing.

What could their results look like if they successfully championed a racing revival?

There is simply no excuse for turning a blind eye to racing’s needs whilst longer term solutions are available.

Why do I still believe in racing’s ability to be profitable given its many detractors and clear and continued evidence of sub-economic performance?

Three things stand out and should not be ignored by betting operators:

  • From a content perspective racing has no peers with quality material available almost 24/7 year round
  • Races has a far more differentiated outcome potential than most other sport which from a wagering perspective presents a high quality dividend and betting opportunity
  • As a game of skill racing produces long term annuity income that is second to none and the average age of punters attest to this as skilled players seldom leave the game

The above points suggest an exceptional business opportunity, that if correctly approached will provide meaningful bottom line performance and growing economic returns.

The only thing that has stood and is standing between racing and making loads of money is a chronic, self-inflicted inability to market the sport effectively to new players.

Until operators make a clear distinction between turnover growth and customer growth in its objectives the sport will always come up short of its still considerable potential.

From a marketing perspective operators show a frustrating lack of understanding and/or desire in terms of promoting racing as a medium for economic gains.

Every marketing initiative focuses almost exclusively on getting people to the race track and despite great success in doing this on big race days the conversion rate of the crowd into customers remains at almost zero.

This is to be expected, as despite our love for the game, racing will never be a true spectator sport comparable with other mainstream sport like football, cricket, tennis or rugby. A minute to two minutes of action in between long periods of inactivity puts paid to any notion of successfully promoting racing as a vibrant crowd puller.

This reality should be accepted and be the catalyst for a redefined marketing effort focussing on promoting racing as an activity ahead of the unsuccessful efforts to market it as an attraction.

Marketing the big race days should be continued as large crowds are a good advertisement, but getting people to play must take centre stage in any promotional exercise.

Once people participate by playing or owning a horse, races provide considerable spectator value.

So what then is needed to market racing successfully?

Most importantly, a more creative set of products that have been specifically designed to provide both players and operators with advantages which are clear and tangible.

It is a fallacy to believe that what is good for the one will naturally be bad for the other as it is plausible to design and offer products packed with mutual benefits.

What would players and specifically inexperienced novices want to see?

  • More entertaining involvement
  • Greater affordability and value for money
  • Games producing more winners
  • More opportunities per game to win
  • Opportunities to win big on occasion
  • Games that are ultimately fair to players
  • To be competitive
  • Vibrant social interaction
  • Easier access and modern technology
  • Data and useful information
  • Educational self-help programs
  • Value add services

What do operators want from new games?

  • Strong customer growth
  • Large and active customer base
  • Rapid pool growth
  • Greater pool liquidity
  • Churn supportive formats
  • Games that promote regular and longer term involvement
  • High yield opportunities
  • Lower cost structure

Closely matching these wants and needs in new formats, will provide a highly marketable product, and would make it a fairly simple exercise to build a new customer base for the benefit of both racing and the operator’s bottom line.

Without new customers no business can thrive and no business model that ignores this very important function could ever be optimal. There is an interesting correlation between skill and the level of wagering per player.

As skill develops there are exponential gains for the operator in terms of the contribution received per player.

This is because skilled players are likely to play regularly and place more meaningful wagers as their confidence grows and with more frequent wins obtained.

This suggests that even though capacity building will take time, the end result holds a lot of promise and will make it a very worthy and profitable exercise.

Overcoming the learning curve hurdle is the single biggest challenge that any new product must address to make customer acquisition a realistic pursuit.

Operators should accept that new customers will not make an immediate impact to their bottom line but that as skill develops they will gain exponentially and ultimately have access to years of annuity income.

This is why capacity building must be treated as a perpetual exercise and should not be neglected in growth strategies. Racing has already lost two or three generations of players because of complacency but there is still time to rectify this if acting now.

As far as product design is concerned nothing is more important than players and the playing experience as the bottom line will gain naturally if this is taken care of.

Well-designed game formats will include inflation hedge components to ensure that individual games remain profitable long after customer growth has started slowing down.

I am appalled at the lack of marketing support that racing receives from operators as it has so much to offer them with a dedicated approach.

It must surely be time to do away with token programs that re-enforces the belief in racing’s failings and rather invest these funds in programs researched and designed to succeed.

Impressive results could be obtained within a two to five year period and will lay an effective foundation for long term gains in both customers and revenue.

Hong Kong is always touted as the racing model to aspire to but it is a difficult one to replicate elsewhere. This should not stop other jurisdictions from finding their own racing solutions as it would greatly enhance any operator’s reputation, standing and bottom line if they supported and succeeded at this vital function.

At the moment there are very few creative and committed participants sporting racing’s colours, but those willing to run this very important race to the finish will come out most impressive and enviable winners.

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25 comments on “Horseracing Losing The Big One”

  1. Racing in South Africa has become an extension of power from the board rooms of commerce. It is all about greed and control. Purists by their very nature are not aggressive and they are easily rolled over. Until there are more purists that band together to save the game, very little of a positive nature can or will be done to right the ship.

    1. As always Mr Irwin’s comments are
      thought provoking and as usual lopsided as to what might suit him at any point in his racing life, apart from his admirable stance on medication. Mr Irwin is a breeder, percentage share holder owner and syndicate manager along with being a fine judge of horseflesh. But he knows the worth of the dollar and the true market value of a thoroughbred particularly when there is a feeding frenzy around certain horses as the market may appear to dictate. Unraced horses are like paintings, they are either your personal cup of tea or not. People will only pay for them what they think they’re worth, something known as choice, corporate or not. Except of course if the horse just happens to be a Team Valour bred. I am lucky enough to train for what Mr Irwin alludes to, derogatorily, one of those corporates. Insulting I know. Mr Irwin is quite happy to throw a bit of mud around when it suits and a bit of publicity might be advantageous to a certain cause, his own! Now Barry has done some great things for racing and penned some wonderful articles and picked some great race horses and I’m sure knows the American racing industry inside out. Now South Africa might have corporates that are busy saving our industry after years of neglect and being run by shysters and irresponsible idiots, usually running racing like their golf club, except with a turnover of billions. This has been in the not to distant past, along with a badly guarded pot of gold. At last racing has to be accountable and stand on its own two feet and yes believe it or not make a profit. These people should be applauded for what they have done not derided. Racing is still for everybody and working man’s price racehorses and yearlings are still out there by the shed load. And yes so are the good ones amongst that bunch just as much as they are among the sales toppers. Mr Irwin in the past, you used to go out put in the leg work and the hours and that gifted amazing eye of yours and find them. These days you just can’t be bothered as I’m sure you have moved on to bigger and better things and adventures. Now just because the climate has changed, which of course it must because it is known as something called evolution and racing cannot be exempt from this process. These so called corporates have had the foresight, generosity and money to do this or we would be standing on a precipice just as American racing was 10 years ago before the word Racinos came to the fore and saved it’s bacon. Racing in America has had to tighten its belt cut down on its racecourses and take a good hard look at its bottom line. They’re lucky enough to possess an intelligent government with foresight and that knows racing is a huge employer and source of tax from many avenues, something that South Africa is not blessed with. South Africa is headed by a government of crooks, thieves and the intelligence and foresight that makes a sea urchin look the equivalent of Stephen Hawking. My 60 odd staff and the many thousands of people that are employed by racing and its subsidiaries will not share your view Mr Irwin but ultimately we were both in the same boat needing a savior. The only difference is you got a sustainable one and we didn’t and knockers like you (when suits) from your far off lands and 1% interest rates will ultimately scare off any investment whatsoever whether it be corporate or just a plain man in the street. Will justice then be served according to the world of Barry Irwin?

      1. “These people should be applauded for what they have done not derided”
        So there we have it.South African horse racing is in good hands and is out of ICU and recovering well.
        Could we have names put to “These people” who should be applauding,Mr. Ramsden.

      2. Mr Ramsden

        Thank You for putting a different spin on this. Much appreciated. I trust Mr Irwin will have the opportunity to respond . These types of debates are what we require to express our opinions.

        My two cents – I agree with you saying quote “South Africa is headed by a government of crooks, thieves and the intelligence and foresight that makes a sea urchin look the equivalent of Stephen Hawking. ” – that is where the majority of the problems lies.

        With the exception that I would replace or add the Word “Government” with “Racing Operators” – We need to clean up the Racing Operators as there to many people with to many fingers in the pies . They do not have the respect that is required , their track records are shocking in the eyes of the public .

        This is causing the spot light to shine bright – giving the impression that the Corporates are in control and giving instruction . I am sure we all are greatly appreciative of the Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd , the van Niekerk’s, the Kantors and many others of the world and the vision they are bringing .

        We would be foolish not to appreciate this.

        However it is the Army Ants that are bringing the house down. Their reputations and history as I say cannot demand respect.

        An example I found recently – when reading the Annual Report of the RA of the Minutes of the Meeting held in 2015 .

        In summary , a question was raised correctly by notice – by a member of the Racing Association – all in accordance .

        Question : –

        8. Why is a not-for-profit company like the RA, which is pledged to uphold the sport of horseracing and the owners’ interests, doing this?

        Answer – It is

        Does that kind of an answer deserve respect . Absolutely no .

        I use this example as these types of actions and what some might see as bullying – Somehow points the spot light to the Corporate Boardroom – Just human nature from the actions of the past.

        I leave you this thought

        Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; – for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

        George Washington

  2. Yadda, yadda yadda. It’s dead. Hastened by boring Tellytrack, results that beggar belief, and no live racing from Ulan Bator, Mongolia.And seeing Mayfair Speculators colours, day in and out.

  3. Until the “Powers That Be” are replaced by new fresh thinking people that are not dedicated to blowing smoke up the preverbial of the modern day “Kings” of the sport, we cannot hope for change. In its current format and under the current management that is allowed to continually fail at projects and waste money with no accountability it remains a Mugs Game.

  4. A good and thought provoking article.

    Horseracing today is about a few that will do anything to keep control. They have failed horseracing but not themselves.Over the past decade and more, there has been some serious proponents calling for change in horseracing over the past decade. Unfortunately, the sound of their voices has been drowned by those in control.The sport of horseracing has become a lost cause for the purists. The business of horseracing rules the day. There is very little chance of the sport being improved by business, unless government intervenes.

  5. I had a lovely laugh at the misguided rant and unneeded attack by Joey Ramsden of Barry Irwin. Either Joey has missed the plot or he was blotto when he penned his offensive piece. I think an apology is in order. Joey has been a trainer since 1995. He, like Barry is a foreigner to our soil. Both men have egos bigger than themselves. The problem with Joey is that he cannot take criticism and has no diplomacy skills. Why did he have to deride Barry? Think about it. There was no need. Barry expressed his views without mentioning any names. With the gutter response by Joey, I now know that he does not like change except change that he wants.

    It is easy for certain trainers to buy million rand horses at sales that they cannot afford and to do deals with their biggest clients so the horses go through the ring so they are not seen as buy backs and are ripe and ready to benefit from running in major league money races of the sales house. SARS has obviously not done its job. These horses are usually transferred back to the team players of the coterie in control. The breeder who is usually part of the coterie.

    Joey you may be outspoken but its time that others speak out. Put that in your pipe and smoke it while sipping your Ben Riach and contemplating your new shrine website for Mayfair speculators.

  6. Well said Joey,true racing people will applaud your comments and be thankful for people like Marcus and other massive business investors.Racing would be very dull without them and there would be many families without breadwinners.

  7. Well said Joey, I always find it so entertaining listening to these self-righteous liberals drive their “well thought out opinions” home (Trump great example) but never seem to want to get their hands dirty. Criticizing others that are trying to make a difference , by pointing out their short-comings is very helpful to the situation but all it really does is to help boost their own self-importance. BS, its all about the $/R, you are either doing well or criticizing. Childish really.

  8. The health of racing is in trouble in more places than not. In the few places where it is thriving, there is one common denominator–punters have confidence in the game and they bet a lot of money.

    Where racing is in trouble, wagering is shrinking, and the institutions, participants and number of horses in training are contracting.

    Punters that feel good about the sport freely support it. Punters that do not have a positive view of the game are pulling in their horns or walking away.

    Horseplayers in Hong Kong and Australia feel good about their sport.

    Horseplayers in North America and South Africa are shrinking in numbers.

    The reason racing is contracting in America is debatable, but certainly the reliance of many trainers on drugs (both legal and illegal) must be at the top of the list. The dominance of certain trainers and owners has driven many owners out of the game as well.

    I humbly submit to you that one of the main reasons racing is not thriving as it could in South Africa is because of the dominance of certain owners and trainers.

    In order for racing to prosper, the game should be bigger and more expansive than any small group of participants. The goal of racing should be to become as all-inclusive and expansive as possible. It should not be reduced to a game played among a small group of people.

    1. Absolutely agree! Bring back the owner/trainer lisence encouraging families to get involved like the institution of longstanding famous racing families that started out in adversity,the hard way, and with sheer horsemanship and tenacity became successful,passing the baton to the next generations.In CT we had amateur racing which was the nursery school for many of our top trainers…that enthusiasm/horsemanship is diminishing rapidly with no more Cape Hunt racing .There are six big yards in CT who dominate the fields and results by sheer numbers and yes,the smaller owner feels marginalised and voiceless. Give them a look in as the diversity of bread and butter owners,punters their connections are who will keep racing going.What if one of the big owners decide one morning,they have had enough of racing and sell up?..it has happend before,many times,leaving trainers and their dependants in dire finacial straights.Look after the little guys as well and they will see that racing flourishes

      1. Going forward in a very different and financially difficult world I believe Turf Club or NAH syndicates allowing enthustists can have a share for as little as R500 pm. Similar to Hong Kong Jockey Club control.

  9. Mr Ramsden, for what its worth I think you are a really good trainer and a great racing personality but you have failed yourself as an ambassador for racing with your personal attack on Mr Irwin.
    Protecting the corporate model is admirable but out of place given the shortcomings of the current model. What they have done for racing ticks many if not most boxes, but the crucial one’s which is a passion for the sport and expanding the racing customer base is very blank indeed. Any model that seeks remedies that exclude an active search for racing solutions clearly introduces risks for everyone involved in the sport.
    The corporate’s business acumen has never been in doubt, only their long term intent and how this will impact on the future of racing. I am truly happy to see them succeeding in their many ventures but would love for them to also work together with all the stakeholders to expand racing along with other diversified interests.
    The task is not an easy one as seen by the global struggles of our sport, but the best solution will most definitely not be found outside of racing, which is why criticism is justified as long as its balanced, factual and not malicious.
    Racing needs someone to champion its cause and preferably people who actually care for the sport and would love to see it returning to greatness.
    I am equally thankful for the likes of Mr Jooste, van Niekerk and Adams and their considerable influence on the quality of our horse population but racing needs its smaller owners, trainers and punters to remain relevant to the public at large.
    To be content with the current state of affairs is not something that I can do as I see huge gains for racing with the right projects, but not with what is being done at the moment.

  10. I am an admirer of both Barry and Joey and have found their respective views stimulated by Leon Smuts’ great piece fascinating. As an academic I can tell you that open and frank debate is the vital route to the truth. Both have valid points to make and it is great that SP provides the space for them to be aired. As a humble scholar I am not a big player in this game but I have played it at most levels. From course tote operator, barman and handler in my student days to assistant trainer, breeder and a workrider for Basil Cooper the ultimate purist about whom I have written in this paper. A few years ago I was chosen by an unbacked colt for whom I paid nothing. I backed and trained him myself (literally the first ot sit on him). I then put together a partnership of first time owners and raced him with Doug Campbell who is seldom blessed with expensive horses, but enough of an old school purist to take on what became affectionately known as The Dargle Donkey. In fact he was a King of Kings who took me into my first time in the winners enclosure as an owner who never even had to pay training fees and gave away shares to friends who could afford to play.

    Despite the power of buying power of big business, racing does have real Cinderella stories like Seabiscuit and Talk to the Stars. I am working on another horse racing essay based on “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” an essay included in the book The Interpretation of Cultures by anthropologist Clifford Geertz. Considered the most seminal work of Geertz, the essay addresses the meaning of cockfighting in Balinese culture. The essay describes how cocks are taken to stand in for powerful men in the villages, and notes that even the double-entendre sense of the word “cock” exists in the Balinese language as much as in English. The last half of the essay describes the rituals of betting and concludes that the cockfight is the Balinese comment on themselves, as it embodies the network of social relationships in kin and village that govern traditional Balinese life.

    The title of the essay is explained as a concept of British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), who defines “deep play” as a game with stakes so high that no rational person would engage in it. The amounts of money and status involved in the very brief cockfights make Balinese cockfighting “deep play”. As Mick Goss has oft pointed out, the Sport of Kings is a Robin Hood game. So we should be grateful that big business invests in irrational wholesome Deep Play that creates employment in our rural hinterlands. Sometimes they spend the money abroad bringing in horses from down under with not unsubtle names like The Conglomerate and others disguised as local treasures like Igugu.

    The fact that we are debating these matters over Christmas shows that we love the game and that the racing world is one big family that rallies around one another in times of need like Alistair Cohen at the moment. So back to Joey and Barry, let’s avoid ad hominem argument. Let’s play the ball not the man. But in polo I learnt that playing the man is often more important than the ball so all is fair in love, war and horseracing. Have a wonderful Christmas and in the seasonal spirit of generosity let’s admit that one another have valid observations that make the composite picture.

  11. Marketing is similar to Philosophy. The latter deals with theories that may not be correct while the former deals with promoting issues that may not end up achieving an end result. Both work on logic. In doing so a marketer like a philosopher must have a starting point and an end game. When it comes to horse racing the principles of logic and practicality from philosophy and marketing should be used hand in hand. It no use to reach a solution or to achieve a goal for horse racing without understanding and appreciating the foundation which binds together all aspects of horse racing. The central players are owners, trainers, punters, operators and the nhra. They bind horse racing. We should not be looking outside horse racing to fix any problems without first repairing the deep wounds already inflicted by the different parties in different forms within horse racing. As an illustration, punters complain about payouts and owners complain about stakes.

    Operators must understand that they need to communicate with owners, trainers and punters and deal with their concerns.You know that there is a serious management and marketing problem in horse racing when a listed company and a non profit company both having over R 1 billion turnover annually do not have a dedicated team of personnel that deal with complaints and have the authority to resolve them quickly and efficiently. The Operators run a business. Owners, trainers and punters are an integral part of their business. When a customer does not enjoy the service or is deeply unsatisfied and his complaints or concerns cannot be directed to anyone or they fall on deaf ears, it is a matter of time before the customer is lost.

    1. Much prefer joey’s articles that are a bit tongue in cheek but really cut to the chase .In his letter he comes across as a really cross ,arrogant “come well” remittance man . All good in the colony ,we(some) are doing An outstanding job leave us be.🎩

  12. Good point BFL. Marketing a game where there is one winner and a dozen or more behind the first one is challenging. There are likely to be a lot of complaints from sore losers. Also the gambling aspect makes it suspect for some like Brandhouse who pulled J&B from the Met since their code of ethics dictates that their already problematic products should not be associated with gambling.

    Also, as cock fighting reflects the social structure of Bali so does horse racing in South Africa. We have the highest Gini coefficient in the world which means we are the most unequal society in the world. The USA comes 63rd. On a 2000 acre ranch in Montana where I recently stayed and helped with a difficult horse, the owner has one hired hand and his horses are the other workers paid in grain. The minimum wage in the UK and the USA is 5 times higher than SA and training fees follow a similar ratio which is why many choose to test horses here and take them abroad once proven despite the time and money involved with quarantine.

    A disincentive for foreign investment is unstable labour conditions. Groom strikes can cripple our racing and reached crisis proportions around the 2013 Met. This holiday season’s racing has gone ahead smoothly but our trainers in the winning box acknowledge the difficulties of working through this period. The fittest I have ever been was during a holiday season strike and had to almost singlehandedly work the yard. Now we have the bonus scheme and grooms are given cheques when their charges win big features. Joey has a staff of 60 to manage and gives shares in some horses to some of his staff, and for that is revolutionary, even though they are not the big guns of his yard and don’t often have their names registered as owners. He can only afford to do this since he has owners like Marcus Jooste. Still, the NHRA should waive such fees so that the grooms and work riders can afford to have their names on the card.

    Our next challenge is to get Cyril Ramaphosa into horse racing he is worth $50 million more than Marcus Jooste. He likes trout fishing and whiskey. The Sport of Kings should appeal to him.

  13. The difference between the 2 gentlemen is one puts his money where his mouth is the other does not. What they do both have in common though is LONG after they both gone SA racing will still exist…..

  14. Leon champions to have more winners is the answer. I don’t buy that making exotic bets easier to win or have more winners is the answer. The soccer13 on Boxing Day paid 830 Swedish Kronar to 18085 correct tickets. The same results on fixed odds basis would have returned about 40 times that. The 10 correct and 11 correct result yielded no return as the dividend was a pittance and the svenkskaspel guys hang onto the cash till they add it to a pool. I have no doubt that if a bet as difficult as the soccer 13 pays small dividends regularly it will fail.

  15. EVH. much of what you say is correct but product design is about much more than just slapping something together. Combining elements and introducing new one’s in a way that supports marketing objectives whilst taking care of players and their playing experience is vital.and an art.
    Winning is absolutely crucial in the most misunderstood stage of a racing involvement which is the skills acquisition phase that all players have to complete before they will become long term customers. During this phase winning or believing that you can win is often the difference between grinding it out or quitting and even starting or not starting.
    Products can deliver on both regular pay outs and large payments if put together creatively.
    Although you are right in pointing out that I am in favour of creating more winners i am even more adamant about the need for more entertaining products that offer a value for money racing experience and greater social interaction to show racing in a more positive light and to make it much more marketable.
    If operators are serious about growing the sport, tailor made acquisition products is a must and the long term benefits will be advantageous for everyone in the industry, and would ultimately promote the much spoken of bottom line.
    Operators buy-in into fundamentally new acquisition products have not been forthcoming as these would take longer to make an impact than buying out the opposition, co-mingling pools or adding another churn supportive product to squeeze the already stretched and declining racing customer base.
    The racing industry needs a passionate marketing program to expand the sport beyond merely looking after it and this is a function that is not being given the support it deserves.

  16. Leon the operators are not showing interest in your products, you have toiled long and hard, and your regular opinion pieces have had no impact in changing their perceived lack of interest in growing the sport. Perhaps it’s time to go it alone, apply for a license, pay the dues and get the ball rolling, who knows maybe they buy you out at some future date?

    Have the operators given you a reason why they are so anti your suggestions, assuming you have given them the full blown details, or at least a little more than the ideologies touched on.

    1. EVH, thanks, you have summed it up well. The lack of interest is mainly because of an agenda in which racing is not seen as a prolific growth provider and I don’t believe features prominently in their longer term expansion plans.
      Going it alone is a definite consideration and over the last few years have been up there as an option. The alternative is to continue developing concepts and to acquire the necessary IP protection to gain exclusivity for a future launch which is the route I am busy taking.
      One of my developed products looks all set for an introduction this year in Australia and this could set the ball rolling for further markets.
      It’s a hard industry in which to get a break and the expenses of going it alone is considerable, especially the licence fee.
      I am in it for the long haul though as I have a strong belief in racing and are not phased by setbacks and hurdles in getting there.
      It is disappointing that those who are well set to get the biggest benefit from new ideas are the least likely to get involved.

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