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Tellytrack Drivel

The time has arrived to up your game

The plethora of negative observations about our noble sport appear to be reaching a crescendo, writes Ralph Fell in the Sporting Post Mailbag.

Permit me to add mine, as having to endure the drivel uttered by the presenters finds me in the throes of seeking a more relaxing outlet for my few gambling clams.

On Sunday 11 March, on two occasions Sheldon Peters stated, five minutes prior to the running of the particular races, that the horses concerned were paying quote unquote ‘only 80 cents a place’ and ‘only 70 cents a place.’

Sheldon has been around a decade and more yet constantly serves up drivel. Might I add he is not alone. This fixation with stating what selected horses are paying win/place three to seven minutes prior to the ‘off’ is disingenuous at best and utter rubbish at worst.

Yet I sense there is an agenda to encourage punters to bet with the tote as opposed to bookmakers. Do we long suffering punters need to be told the various pools for arbitrary races whilst the pools are ‘climbing all the while?’

My message to the instigators of this patronising manure is simple.

Treat punters as individuals who are knowledgeable, passionate and yearn for a high quality presentation.

The time has arrived to up your game.

Have Your Say

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21 comments on “Tellytrack Drivel


    I agree with you, Mr. Fell

    1. jc lee ching says:

      Tellytrack must be the worst managed Sport Channel on air. They have such a golden opportunity to promote Horse Racing but dish up a load of @#$%

  2. Vikingking says:

    Its called a Mute button on your remote.

  3. Chad says:

    With respect to previous comment, we pay good money to watch a professional channel, we want commentary and dialogue from professional announcers, the quality we are subjected to from a presenters point of view is downright amateurish, I have watch programmes presented internationally and the presenters are professionals and knowledgeable on their subject and are a pleasure to listen to

  4. Ian Jayes says:

    It needs a serious overhaul. The comments are mostly puerile and the tipping on the exotics leaves a lot to be desired. They proffer perms costing thousands and are very seldom if ever correct.

  5. Michael Jacobs says:

    Tellytrack management should keep a performance log of their presenters tips, and possibly look at removing the poorest presenters at the end of season. Alternately salary increases and /or bonuses should be linked to performance regarding tipping. On Saturday Dominic Zaki selected the first and second favourites throughout his Turffontein PA! How much thought went into that? These presenters are taking the punters for a joke, I’m sure their real exotics are significantly different to what they tip! But overall Tellytrack is just a very poor racing channel. We certainly miss Shaheen Shaw!

    1. Kenn says:

      AGREE – race after race they tip junk. Please stop them.

  6. Philip Goldberg says:

    Shaheen Shaw was different class.A man that fully understood his target market.He just had a sense of a bad result, and never uttered a word to upset punters even more. Not like some presenters who will remind you that the morning tipster had mentioned it, probably as his seventh choice, and should be included included in perms 50k or more.
    Trust me, tipping is not easy.Poor Dom got rolled first leg p.a. with Trip to Heaven (evens). Every day I see these short priced horses not hitting the board. How can you blame the tipster.They on a hiding to nothing.
    And if any of them really knew what was going on, and could forecast winners, they would not need to work at Tellytrack.
    The results are killing the game. Not the tipsters.

    1. Graham Hurlstone-jones says:

      Completely agree….tote favs go missing with regularity and the worst part is we get no feedback on what happened only some smiling winners who are not sure how that happened. I love the way they change tote favs as the race goes off, usually the long time fav gets changed and the news fav runs no where. That happens a lot. …..Our MR or form guide is wrong because it is now a lottery……..a guessing game with fields instead of a choice. The constant carry overs show this pattern ( unless we are being taken for a ride !! )……did you pick the two outsiders in Natal on Sunday ? impossible to put in on form but if it is lottery then you must put in the odd 20/1 shot so now we are chasing 1% exotics….not worth it any more…..it was never like this…you always had a chance now its a guess. I dont blame non punters not joining in……why would you ?

  7. Michael Jacobs says:

    Trip to Heaven was never a banker in the PA as one had to consider a number of factors- first run since a tough campaign in Cape Town, often slow away no matter who the jockey is and probably a pipe-owner for the Computaform Sprint later in the JHB autumn season. Why could a “professional” tipster not figure that out? I had a good bet on Romi’ s Boy as I expected improvement, he was always considered a good horse .

    1. Philip Goldberg says:

      Hi Michael.
      Well done on Romis Boy
      I hear and fully understand your logic.
      Personally, I don’t Trip to Heavan as a horse anyway.
      This was merely an example that I was using.
      I only watch snippets of the show.
      Why then did the public back Trip to Heaven from 17/10 to 11/10.
      Are they being mislead?
      Can betting not be trusted?
      Maybe you were 10% of the public that found Romis Boy.
      But what about 90% of the losers that did there money.
      The favorite goes missing more often than not.

  8. Brian says:

    Here’s the thing. It is not a horse racing channel, it’s a betting channel and yes, a really bad one. The powers that be have no clue on how to run a TV channel. They know nothing about TV. Rob Scott has no background in TV. He’s a retailer. Which answers the writer’s observation on Sheldon’s continual commentary on betting prices. He’s selling you bets. It’s no different to what I did at varsity in the mid seventies at Game, punt products and specials on the PA system to shoppers. Natalian’s might remember “Hurry Hurry Game Shoppers, ten minute bonus buys” bla bla.

    If it were a TV station it would have better hair dressers for Julie Alexander. A hair sweep in front of her face, distracting viewers is a television no,no. They would teach her to say me’T’re and not me’D’re. I have no dislike for Julie whatsoever. She does a fine job, it’s just not television.

    If it was a television station you would see ALL the horses in canter past, from t side. Not the arse end as is prevalent. And each of the horses side on. That’s not entirely Tellytrack’s fault as the pictures come from the course and what the camera man gives you is what you get. If they were a television station they would bring the camera men in line.

    If they were a television station they would have a sound man who would take a touch of mid range off Nico’s voice. As he gets more excited he loses the natural ‘timber’ in his voice and the screech effect increases. Not his fault it’s only natural.

    If it were a television station the presenters would know how to ‘sing’ the vowels. That minimises the South African monotone. Imagine a flat horizontal line and that is how most South African’s speak. The Bailey guy (might have his name wrong because I haven’t watched Tellytrack in months) is one, although what he’s doing there is just beyond me, and Fiona in Cape Town is also inclined to do the same. Visually she’s great for TV an not just because she is an attractive lady, she comes over extremely well on camera. ‘Singing’ the vowels is practice to turn a voice from the flat line to a ‘mountain range’ with lilts and tones.

    From an overall perspective there are things beyond Tellytrack’s control. Not a meeting goes by without delay’s. Shoes that need fitting, naughty horses are just a couple. If they were a television station they would arrange fillers, but, they’re not.

    Above are some of the reasons I have not watched Tellytrack for months. I was given six months free subscription o live stream. I do feel a little twinge of guilt for not continuing on a payment basis and although it is not expensive, technically at the time, I saw more freeze frames than racing.

    To run a TV station costs big money. That needs advertising revenue, not just money from the punters. They can’t get advertising revenue because they don’t have the riot content, they don’t have the right content because they don’t have the right people.

    Do I still bet? Not that much, and I bet blind based on a gut feel. I watch the re-runs on you tube.

    Hope I haven’t bored you too much. I love watching those beautiful athletic animals. Just can’t stomach Tellytrack

  9. IAN says:

    All the comments so far are spot on. The best laugh on Tellytrack each morning is Rob McCurdy tipping at Australian meetings. Apart from seeming to know very little about the courses or horses, his selections are awful and half the time asks Neil Andrews what HE fancies! Why Rod? Because he’s Australian? That doesn’t qualify him to tip horses in Australia. The same principle applies to Molly and UK racing.
    The value of Exotics tipped are frequently incorrect (basic maths), scratched horses are left in exotics hours after they’ve been taken out of races.
    Other issues with Tellytrack are the presenters’ pronunciations of horse names – the on-course commentators get it right but the studio guys are obviously not listening. With the exception of Cecil, most presenters are amateurish. Doesn’t anyone check on their dress before broadcasts? Ties halfway around the neck etc.
    Finally, is Tellytrack now the Betting World channel? Seems more and more broadcasts are coming direct from their outlets. And does Betting World now run TAB?

  10. Michael Jacobs says:

    I agree with both comments above. Tellytrack is definitely just a betting channel. It appears the mandate of presenters is to drive up the exotic and other betting pools relentlessly. Even at obscure venues they are talking up the pools and enticing punters to bet. This in itself is not a bad thing, but when if gets done in such a flagrant way it becomes unseemly. The modus operandi of presenters appears to be drive up the pools and tip the top 3 in the betting. It reeks of desperation, which definitely puts people off.

    There are a few things they need to focus on- 1. Get the provisional result to the punters as soon as the race is run. 2 we don’t need 5 replays of a race immediately after it is run( particulrly in Britain where it is done over and over. ) 3 .Provisional dividends and exotic updates as soon possible after the running of the race, preferably immediately. 4. Good coverage of the parade and canter past ( crucial). 5. If the presenter is going to tip 1-2-3 in the betting then maybe they can just shut up. 6. Keep punters updated on what is happening on course (crucial), one needs to feel as if you are on course if you’re at home or in a tote. 7. Most importantly interview the trainers and jockeys of very short priced favourites that lose, after the winning interviews have taken place (very important). 8. Show head-ons quickly particularly with race review announcements. 9. DONOTshow ads after a race is run, that’s the last thing one wants to see, you want a provisional result! These are obvious factors that a presenter who is a punter will know, we want presenters who understands the punter.

  11. Wayne says:

    Shaheen Shaw was the man. He kept things interesting. Was straight and to the point and didn’t let anyone bully him. I have a tellytrack online subscription that I may well cancel. The value add is just not there. Very similar to DSTV where you pay premium price for around 1% of the actual content.

  12. Wayne says:

    if you want an example of what it should be like, listen to the Kranji meeting on a Friday, those chaps know exactly how to stay relevant.

  13. Brian says:

    Well, judging from all of the comments it seems as if a horse racing channel is what we want

  14. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    it should be no surprise that tote pools are promoted, the operators who jointly own the channel are primarily tote operators. they derive most of their income from the takeout bets struck on the tote.

    We do have some very polished presenters and commentators with Alistair Cohen being top of the pile – I hope we keep him in the country but have no doubt he will be poached by a bigger jurisdiction, or we may be working him to death. I was not a fan earlier on, but he is the real deal.

    i think we must balance our expectation with what the budget allows – we are a very small market

    1. Brian says:

      Indeed, but the way to increase the tote’s is not to flog a dead horse but to get new punters. To do that they must get to know what a great sport this is and then the odd bet is struck. Right now all I ever hear from non racers is’ it’s a crooked game. the jockeys control it.

      I get so tired of that BS but racing is doing nothing to help itself and does nothing to change those perceptions. It needs to do just that and a chanel would go along way

  15. IAN says:

    Don’t see my comments on Tellytrack from yesterday here – did I say something wrong?

    1. Editor says:

      No record of that comment in the bin!

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