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Let’s Boost Transparency – Punter

Hilton Witz poses a question

Is the word transparency used just for the sake of it or are Gold Circle serious about it like when they introduced compulsory barrier trials for 1st timers and horses coming back from a 150 day rest?

Barrier Trial (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Hilton Witz writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that since Covid- 19 these trials have been scrapped but what is far worse is that Gold Circle see it fit not to ask trainers for comments regarding first timers and horses returning from a rest and leaving punters in the dark yet again.

We have Andrew Harrison and Warren Lenferna doing previews in the newspaper and on Gold Circle TV and instead o finding out the state of the first timers or horses returning from a rest they state the obvious by saying watch the betting market.

In South Africa we accept for races 4 to 5 days before they due to run and with the telephone email whatsapp etc how hard is it to ask trainers about their horses?

Punters are not interested in what the above gentlemen have to say – they want it straight from the horses’ mouth so please if you are serious about transparency and serious about increasing turnover for the good of the industry,  then make the effort as its only around 10 to 15 percent of horses carded that need to be asked for comments .

I try posting on Gold Circle Facebook page and so have many others but they take comments down if they perceive it to be negative which is an absolute disgrace in these days of freedom of speech – but that’s a topic for another day.

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10 comments on “Let’s Boost Transparency – Punter

  1. Selwyn Elk says:

    I couldn’t agree more than with Hilton Witz,well said. Punters are getting fed up with the presenter in his own words repeating race after race “I may sound like a stuck record”, a punter doesn’t need to be explained to when a race looks wide open, surely Gold Circle can do better than this.Talking about transparency, when a trainer has a winner after the exotic bets are closed it is of little value when he or she tells the interviewer a horse has been out of work or he has done little with it. These facts should be made public BEFORE the meeting if the word transperancy applies, the racing public certainly deserve better than this, well said Hilton

  2. Tony Mincione says:

    There is a simple fix for this. Members of the NHRA should bring it up at the next meeting. If the owners agree, they can make it mandatory that by 9am of the race day (for eg) that every trainer updates the NHRA database with their comments about horses [who qualify for the comment], as they would for blinkers they forgot to declare.

    Then it’s done.

    It’s their property, but conditions of participation can be forced on the unwilling, if the majority prefer.

    If they really don’t want to participate after being forced, they can be non-commital on the comments, or just lie. Maybe somewhere there is a rule that insists on your best guess.

    It may be that owners will think this a thankless exercise because horses can (and very often) surprise and the inevitable backlash just not worth the effort.

    There are obvioulsy conflicting opinions about this, otherwise it would have been in place with the birth of the internet.

  3. Steve Marshall says:

    Hi Hilton

    There is a definite line between constructive criticism and being derogatory. We welcome constructive criticism and continue to look for ways to better the service we offer to our customers by all means available to us. Your previous comments which have been deleted on the Gold Circle Facebook page were deemed to be derogatory and of no constructive value and therefore they were deleted.

    Saying that, your suggestion of getting trainer comments on first timers and rested horses is a good one and we will look to implement this.


  4. hilton witz says:

    Like i said Mr Marshall the gold circle face book page is a topic for another day and lets agree to disagree whether the comments or questions asked were constructive or not ..The issue of transparency is a simple one either give all the punters the information they are looking for like the hong kong scenario or otherwise accept decreasing turnover and massive losses every year its the operators choice…..I recommend you get a group of punters in to tell you what they would like and not you decide what you think they should get …

  5. Shanil Singh says:

    Trainers comments is an important tool for punters when studying form. Whilst I enjoy the presenters making their selections .but as a seasoned punter . I don’t rush off to the bookies afterwards backing their choices. But i do compare them with my own and take joy at competing with them. Trainers need to understand that their clients have time to obtain their price on getting a good thing. Bookmarking has changed over the years. It’s all about wanting to grow the game. Punters cannot keep begging for info on 1st timers .

  6. Selwyn Elk says:

    Hilton,you and I are on the same page, the comment” going for an educational run” which is used frequently by trainers getting interviewed AFTER they have had a winner and exotics are closed doesn’t help the punter one iota, all it does is serve to annoy them.On the topic of educational runs the jockey club used to state that at all times a runner had to go to the start in a fit enough condition to win , I am not aware if that has changed but that is a topic for another day. I wonder if the powers that be have ever wondered why the car parks at casinos are always full and that the race course ones are always empty?

  7. Chris Evans says:

    If you guys who are seasoned punters need trainers to tell you, my horse is working well but might need the run or might need more distance or other inane comments rather leave that race alone.There are more than enough races with raced horses to back on.You have to be a desperado sitting around thinking a trainer will tell you to put your head down on a first timer in print.Grow up guys

  8. hilton witz says:

    How do you leave a race alone if it is part of the exotic bets? Your play might be straight bets but for the majority exotic bets that the tote offers is the way to go so please leave the insults out ..Really stupid comment

  9. Shanil Singh says:

    Yes you are correct about Trainers lack of support of growing the game by being transparent. Seasoned punters are hoping change will come for the survival of racing and their own careers. 1st timers are part of exotics so punters cannot choose which race to invest their hard earned cash. Maybe give comments 10 minutes before the start of the race AFTER the trainers clients has got their best odds. Punters need to win sometimes to stay in the game.

  10. Francois van Ghent says:

    Most difficult thing being a punter is to follow/trust trainers comments and/or remarks…. much more fun to pick your own winners….

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