Racing Has To Be In Our DNA

Not everybody is in the game to turn a buck

Racing is going through turbulent times and many accusations are flying back and forth.

The reality that irresponsible management played a part is true, but other factors contributed as well.

1993 Milnerton Handicap

Nobody ,in my opinion from management through to officials in associated divisions are entirely blameless, suggests Martin Le Roux in the Sporting Post Mailbag.

Be that as it may, however, racing will proceed in some format.

So where to from here?

A few comments – and I am ready for the fray.

Firstly one cannot teach young people to love horseracing. It is part of your DNA and will cement itself in a racing environment in the home where the family were either involved in training, owning or punting.

Also the shoeing, feed supply and equipment support businesses play a huge part in young peoples’ involvement.

Even with all these positive factors it will always be a mission to attract young people to the racecourse on a weekend afternoon. The oldies don’t even go.

One so often hears that owners are not getting value for money.

If as an owner you are in this game for money, and not driven by passion best you find some other place to live your dream.

We live in an era where the average cost of a one or two time winner will probably set you back R 200k – R 300k. So no money to be made there unless you get very lucky

In my opinion the new dispensation need to look closely at three areas.

  1. Upgrade the TAB outlets. Not palaces, but decent toilet facilities etc. Perhaps even the chance of getting a snack to buy.
  2. Make winning easier. Pay 4 places for 14 or more runners. Don’t complicate the system. More ways to bet does not necessarily mean more money. Most punters go with a certain amount of money to outlay on the day, irrespective of the type of bet. Keep it simple.
  3. Use the tried and trusted English racing method of having racing festivals throughout the year. Only 4 days at a venue. Many owners, in my opinion, would be thrilled to have a festival runner at a racecourse somewhere in SA and take 4 days leave.

After 55 years in the game, whoever carries the day, let’s talk to each other.

Not everybody is in the game to turn a buck.

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