26th August 2016
An odds on favourite gets beaten and the internet trolls crawl out from under their piles of losing betting slips. The latest one calls himself Simon Street and comes, to me at least, from the highly unoriginal e mail address of ‘email@example.com’.
This evening’s offering read simply ‘Sofia’s Rock – Always cheating at it’s best Mark!’ (please note the grammatical error is his, not mine).
Interestingly, I have heard from him before. Most recently he e mailed me regarding my views on betting coverage on terrestrial television. Thankfully, he was one of the few that did not agree with me. He, like so many others, fails to see that he is one of the victims of the culture which leads punters to believe that finding winners is all about tips and inside information. I know it is difficult for most of us to conceive such ignorance but these people really believe that trainers know what is going to win the race and that beaten favourites are planned and are part of our conspiracy against punters.
His e mail address is clearly created as part of his attempt to remain anonymous but the name, Simon Street, may be real or, at least, one he uses regularly to send his abusive mail. A Simon Street recently bombarded jockey Sean Levey with abusive tweets from the twitter handle @SimonStreet9 after Promising was a beaten favourite at Newbury on August 13th. The same person tweeted that trainer John Butler was a ‘dirty cheat’ on August 19th. Presumably he backed the favourite when Butler’s horse won at Wolverhampton that day.
If the name is real, you may know him and, if so, I would urge you to expose him. I have had it suggested to me in the past that these people are to be pitied rather than exposed and that they require to remain anonymous due to their own vulnerability. It was suggested that, in exposing them, I was the bully but I don’t hold with that theory. I can cope with all the abusive mail I get, although I have to admit that it is an unpleasant side of the job, but I am very aware that such abusive e mail, tweets and texts can have very serious consequences and I think they should be stamped out wherever possible.