Quick Links:

Give Us Info – Not A Form Reading

A reader sends a plea to the on-course presenters

South African racing television has always been in the spotlight. And none more so than right now, when confusion reigns as to where we can watch what.

Marlon Sing writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that he has a much more straightforward question to ask.

I have a simple question and want  a very simple answer. What is the purpose and function of Tellytrack presenters in KZN and Gauteng?

All they ever do is give us as punters the form of the horses, which we already know. If we are taking bets on a horse we obviously study form.

The Eastern Cape puts both KZN and Gauteng to sleep.

As punters we want info from Trainers, Grooms, Jockeys and Owners of what they think about their horses and to hear how well their horses are doing back at the stables.

We surely do not want presenters giving us a study about a horse’s form! If we as punters wanted that we would not have been buying Winning Form and Computaform etc.

What do other players feel?

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname*

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname - no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the Editor. The Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

27 comments on “Give Us Info – Not A Form Reading

  1. theunisj says:

    I agree….too often we only get “useless” info. When a trainer, jockey, groom or owner gives advice it is just so generic that one cannot even consider it as info. I have heard so many times that they say “the horse will need the run” and what happens: The horse wins by many lengths. Now tell me why do they feel the need to mislead the racing public? If you give info be truthful THAT IS ALL WE ASK FOR!!.

  2. Charles Chappel says:

    You could speak to the trainer, assistant trainer, jockey, owner, groom, and even the horse (if they could speak), and you could still get it wrong. Why? Variables!

    The trainer goes by track work, how the horse is eating, looking, and general wellbeing, …. the assistant differs in opinion, because that’s what humans do, ….. the owner does not want to hear anything other than “your horse will win”, and believes that regardless of what the trainer tells them anyway, ….the jockey will tell you what you want to hear, he will tell the trainer, owner, that he will run well, but is laughing in his teeth because he actually thinks he is riding a donkey, …. the groom bringing a horse to the course is not always the runners groom, he is a stand in, because this horse’s groom has two runners, and cannot physically be with two horses at same time. So, what is he going to say??

    Then there are the other variables, that won’t be obtained from speaking to the trainer, owner, jockey, or groom:
    1) wind and ambient temperature – strength, direction – tail, head wind, or cross wind, etc.
    2) underfoot conditions, …. some horse don’t like hard going, soft going, uneven going, grass, or synthetic,
    3) how the horse jumps, …. pinged the gate or jumped slow, got a bump coming out of the pens,
    4) how the race pans out, …. pace too fast, too slow, or just right, got boxed in, interfered with, or went according to plan.
    5) Jockey, …the less professional jockey may have “partied” the night before, and are not at the top of their game. They are human, and may or may not be feeling their best, in which case you get the ride you get!
    6) And, then there is the horse, …. a physical, sentient being, not a robot!
    7) Oh, and there are the days when the course veterinary surgeon decides on “pre-race testing! Where the selected horses are taken to a strange environment an hour before they run, and have blood drawn. This may or may not affect the horse mentally. Some take everything in their stride, others are nervous, or highly strung, and get all worked up by this out of the ordinary procedure.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    a person who gambles, places a bet, or makes a risky investment.

    play games of chance for money; bet.
    take risky action in the hope of a desired result.

  3. Marlon sing says:

    Thanks Charles for your valuable input,but I think you missing the point…..goodluck bye for now

  4. Dev Govender says:

    I may be in a minority here, but (with all due respect to the trainers) I generally don’t find their pre-race comments to be helpful one way or the other. This is not a criticism, by the way. Some personalities are bullish and optimistic so their horses are always in with a great chance. Others are more cautious and circumspect by nature, so they won’t stick their neck out, Some trainers will have 4 or 5 runners and expect them to deadheat for first because they’re all doing so well. On the odd occasion you’ll have a trainer being frank and saying “it’s really tough, we’re just hoping to sneak into a place and get some black type” – but you can gauge that from the form book anyway.

    I’m sure there are others who’ve had positive experiences and made some big winnings by following the pre-race comments but my preferred approach is to ignore the noise and make my selections from my own observation and form study – if I lose on my own steam, so be it.

    The exception to this, of course, is when a trainet explicitly advises about first run back from gelding, recent health issues such as viruses, coughing in the yard etc. This is factual information that one can usefully take into account,.

  5. vregnath says:

    The presenters are often only looking at giving the racing people all the racing facts. We as punters know this. The industry is not growing nor is it attracting new money into the game. How about having a main presenter for the day and run a competition in all the off course totes/bookmakers and invite 2 people per a race meeting to join the main presenter. Give the 2 guests 4 races each. If they from far out spend the money to bring them to the course, get them to bring a friend along. Presenters should be in the parade ring or around the course not sitting in the studio. Meet other punters get other views, get some variety on course. It might just help

  6. Marlon sing says:


  7. Adrian Holloway says:

    Thevdissemination of info to the public by trainers or jockeys or owners is wishfull thinking…most or at least many of them are punters themselves and wont give away any info that creates an opportunity for other punters to take the best available price…also the less people know about horses chances affects the possibility of those horses being used as bankers in the exotics thereby affecting payouts….we punters only subsidise their fat winnings….

  8. Tim Visser says:

    Yes I fully agree! We also want to know if certain races, even if they are GR1 races are being used as prep races for certain horses. Its completely unfair to be told AFTER the race that it was a prep due to the horse not being fully fit. Why hide this info?? If racing is seen to be fair, then why no transparency on this issue?

  9. Derrel Jaganath says:

    I think all the presenters tipping us horses should enter a competition very much like the ” Hollywood Punters Challenge” an we can see for ourselves who’s fooling who. As for the presenter/commentator that thanks everybody on air thinks we paying channel 249 for him to buy face. Lyle recently is tipping any price horses an they run into the top three.

  10. George Croucher says:

    The oldest cliché in racing “the only certainty in racing is the uncertainty” is in fact, the absolute truth, yet for some reason the general consensus is that every Trainer and or Jockey knows with absolute certainty every winner on every race and as a result of this train of thought, when a short priced favourite is beaten the rider, trainer or owner gets slated as a thief and, according to Urban legend, the anonymous group of sinister paymasters referred to as “The Bookies” are behind it.
    The truth of the matter is there is no such thing as a certainty in racing and if anyone tries to convince you that there is be very wary of anything else that person ever tells you.
    Given the above, when a trainer (or anyone that you consider to be “In the know”) makes statements like “Working well, with luck in running I should go very close to winning” or if he brings his work to the track will take a lot of beating, don’t slate them as being evasive, they are in fact being completely open and honest, in every race there is a myriad of unpredictable circumstances that could cost a horse any chance of winning,
    The reason no sensible racing person will ever use the term “Cant Lose” is not because they are holding back on “Inside Info” it’s because that no matter how strongly the horse is fancied or what they are beating at home etc etc he/she can still get beat and hence, according to world wide stats, favourites are in fact beaten 2 out of 3 times.
    The form is there for everyone of us to see, Trust your own judgement, bet to your budget, enjoy the wins, accept the losses. Racing is, and will always be, what we choose to make of it…

  11. Dan Maniram says:

    I agree with Charles, Adrian and Dev. There are far too many variables to consider with Horseracing. Just like us humans we feel sick or have a bad hair day, horses also feel unwell at times. Horses cannot communicate that to us in words obviously, so we get back to trainer’s. They cannot spill the beans willy nilly. They need to make a living as well and we do not know what arrangements they have with owners. We are largely form experts as expressed by most on this forum, so all we need from trainers and jockeys is to tell us how the horses are doing at work and if the horse is ready to run to form or is it a prep run. We need to do the rest. The thrill and excitement experienced from this is immeasurable. Yes, we do lose alot of times, but that’s the name of the game. If we all had top info from trainers and jocks and they all sailed in, Horseracing would be unsustainable. Think about it…

  12. Rudi Rudolf says:

    Hi. Cape town info useless how can you interview bass crawford snaith and other big trainers or any other after the exotics started to late cant put a horse in p6 after the 3rd leg . These experts must get this right or rather leave it. They look stupid . P.e tops doing a great job.

  13. Dan Maniram says:

    Just rto add to my previous comments, Do it again finished off lame last week, after being a certainty for most punters including myself. I’m sure Justin Snaith would have given us the thumbs up pre race, but would have had egg all over his face post race. Another example springs to mind when the Azzie’s provided comments, where almost every horse they saddled on the day was given a winning chance including the stable cat, but only to find few made the frame. That’s racing and we need to take the good with the bad. We cannot rely on info alone.

  14. George McDonald says:

    If we knew what the trainers,owners and jockeys,yes jockeys, were backing before the races, that would help.
    The amounts would also help.
    Bookmakers could give that information.

  15. Gops..naicker says:

    Yes I agree with the different variables in a race. Studying race form is part of a tool that is used. But valuable information and transparency from stables and jockeys add value. The comments are to generic as already stated. Some big stables dont even give comments on the websites..for eg. Maybe a punter saves money by not adding unnecessary horses in certain legs of the exotics and lastly we don’t need presenters reading from the book and spelling out the betting which we already have at our disposal. I say this again if a punter loses confidence in this game. He either gona go to other forms of gambling or punt far lesser than he normally does.. look at the betting outlets. They are virtually empty. . More staff than punters. I thank u

  16. Dan Maniram says:

    Just one more point to close my case. Has anyone heard of big race panel discussions on July eve etc. where normally the top jockeys and trainers are invited to provide insights on their charges. The million dollar question to you all is, How much money did you’ll make after hearing all the pointers given by these so called ‘reservoirs of information’?

  17. Philippe Bouffe says:

    Horse racing is the sport of kings in the days when we all went to the race track whenever the same TT presenters were commenting would make sure did not pick their fancy it’s all about that “gutt” feeling those presenters would certainly not be sharing their trade secrets or privileged info alternatively why work when know all the winners sorry do not blame TT it’s all there as a guide the rest is Up To YOU.

  18. Michael Jacobs says:

    What a jockey and trainer says on the winning stand compared to what they say before the race is chalk and cheese!

    After the race, once the horse has won, then one hears about equipment changes, training adjustments done on the track and all sorts of tactics that were not even mentioned pre-race. So there is no transparency or honesty by the trainers and jockeys, but after the race they are cock-a hoop and giving long explanations of why the horse was always going to win. We don’t want tips (they aren’t good tipsters anyway!) , we need information- well being, fitness and health of the horse. Any significant training points to be aware of. Feedback on last work, gallop. Trainers assessment of the weights, distance and pace that may impact their charges’ performance. That’s what punters need, not tips!


    Well said Mr. Philippe Bouffe !

    It’s Up to You & me to do the spade work. I have followed that method since 1980 and it’s served me well.

    After studying the form I’ll take on board other guides and friends thoughts, but never ever think you’ll profit, over time, by asking a trainer or owner if his horse will win… rather just donate your money via a monthly debit order to the Animal Welfare Society.

    As Mr, Bouffe points out, it’s far more enjoyable if your ‘gutt’ tips the winners & you can be sure it won’t be an 8/10 shot in a 6 horse field.

  20. Chris Pienaar says:

    Interesting debate. But for me, I play my own selections. If Trainers and Jockeys know so much, we wont have so many carry-overs, and HWBets would pay out the Punters Challenge often. I do wonder if the Tipsters play their own 2-3k perms – if they do, they must earn good money.

  21. LR MULLIGAN says:

    I remember watching Televised horse racing with my late Father around 20 years ago ….. the same bad quality pictures are still coming through, High definition broadcasting is not a priority …the same old commentary based on form , and we all know that flesh and blood can be up one day and down the next…give us more info, after all we are the investors!!

    From punting regularly , I’m down to “Big Days” Only….and I’ll wager a fortune on the reality that I’m not alone on this…

    Somehow the international horseracing world is wayyyy ahead , we have gone nowhere slowly and they have steamed ahead.
    Courses are empty, people have lost interest ,punters are frustrated and owners are feeling like they have wasted money on their purchases , running cost are up and the stakes don’t compensate, unless you have a star.

    Other ways to spread your chances and money have come along and overtaken horseracing.
    Sad very sad.
    ” without vision the people perish”

  22. Marlon sing says:


    Thanks to all who commented,maybe what I said was misinterpreted,I really don’t need to no from a trainer or jockey if there horse will win,because believe me they don’t no themselves,a jockey once mentioned if he knew all the winners he will be a multi millionaire,what I meant in my question was why is our telly track presenters so not exciting to listen to anymore,they should be on the ground(parade ring,on course,ect)interviewing punters,trainers,jockeys,grooms,owners make things exciting for us punters who are at home or the tote,not just sit in a studio and read the computaform….we don’t need tips believe me I never back tips,I back my own horse and 99% of the time my horse runs into the first 3….I never back 2 horses in a race….so tips are a failure….but I must admit I got a tip direct from a trainer once which I backed at 14/1 and I nailed it,but when a person tips you a 2/1 horse who really needs that,I also once git a tip from my late friend c.puller,he tipped me a 66/1 horse which I backed VICTORIA YOUNG which beat ONR FINE DAY on the line…..so my point is we not looking for tips we looking for exciting times to watch tellytrack,look at premier league channels how exciting that is to watch….hope it clears the air about TIPS….

  23. Graham HJ. says:

    You just hit a very big nail on the head Donald. I was bought up with racing in the UK and I remember my family friends waiting for a certain day and then hit it hard…..the saying was “printing money”. Nothing is for certain but some things are more certain than others. Here in SA look for those SURPRISE outsiders that neatly fit in with a strong horse…..if only we knew what day was “their day” and therein lies the problem. I dont think trainers, jockeys and certain owners lose that often, they wont play that often but I bet they have big pay days with that “insider trading”….and when they do…..SURPRISE !!……We must eat cake off course. “I thought this was my best horse on the day” as the 12/1 plus comes in and the trainer looks pleasantly surprised, no one else knew unless its bravado talk. Having said all this, I do see a much bigger effort by the entities making an effort but it must be really tough after all the years of not having to bother about the punter. All of a sudden when they’re very existence is under threat they reluctantly give it up……or do they ?

  24. Cedric Fielies says:

    After reading all your posts I have one thing I want to say. I have never relied on a commentator, trainer, jockey or groom to provide information on how the horse will perform in the race. I createdy own set of formulas to calculate precisely what I want to gain from the data in the Winning Form. It has become my treasure trove of information. It is so transparent and you only need to know what to look for. I calculate winners from Mdn Juv to any other race. Sometimes my calculations or formula even indicate a banker or two. I normally find a roving banker for exotics which is normally 100% accurate most of the time. I am not bragging. Only illustrating a point. If you are prepared to work through the data you can find winners. Hard work brings success. I can walk away from punting for a month or more and straight away on my return I can pinpoit winners. It took me years to develop the formulas I use but it is worth the effort and sacrifice. The beauty is I can use it on any racecourse in SA or abroad. The information in the racecard is the key to successful punting. This all I have to say. Make your own luck. Do not rely on others to create it for you.

  25. Graham Hurlstone Jones says:

    You confirmed a lot of my suspicions…..”insider trading”……if the trainer can tip a 66/1 shot, how can it go ff at 66/1 ? and that is my exact point. You can guarantee there was huge doubles trebles that day for the one’s “in the know” and the punter looks on……or walks away. I wish i could name names that have this pattern, i get censored…..

  26. Cedric Fielies says:

    I still believe as a serious punter you create your own luck and does have to rely on tips from anyone. I have created my own formulas refined over years that gives me exactlybthe same that any insider tips would give.

  27. Mags Gilbert says:

    Well said……I did mention this before……best part of this entire exercise is these presenters/tipsters had their best chance to prove their worth by entering the Free Hollywoodbets challenge so it can justify why they do what they do.

    As requested previously, did any of these tipsters finish in the top 10?

Leave a Comment



Popular Posts

Related Posts


Brentford Keeper Scores

Captain’s Ransom will be rested in advance of the Cape Summer Season after a below-par effort in the R1 million Brentford FC Gr1 Garden Province Stakes at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday

Read More »
Homepage News

Gr1 At Sandown Today

The Gr1 Coral-Eclipse, run on the first Saturday in July at Sandown gives racegoers their first opportunity to assess this year’s Classic generation against their elders

Read More »