2 Results Found For: March 2018

19th March 2018

Today the Racing Post published some interesting details of the betting turnover at Cheltenham. As far as Paddy Power’s Festival Turnover Table goes – and it seems likely that the same applies to most bookmakers and betting turnover in general – no handicap made it into the top dozen races based on betting turnover and the same applied in 2017.

This, of course, is based on turnover, not profit, and it might be a very different story if we were looking at bookmakers’ margins. But it does make a mockery of the constant claims that punters love handicaps. As I have been saying for years, the only beneficiary of the handicap system is the betting industry and, despite the huge marketing machine that constantly plugs the big-field handicaps, punters still prefer non-handicap racing.

 

1st March 2018

The weather for the last two days has been pretty horrendous and, for those with animals to look after, there is no option to take a day off work to go sledging or building snowmen.

The majority of our staff have made it to work and some have gone the extra mile in more ways than one. Several walked to work in terrible conditions because they knew they wouldn’t make it by car and Mikaelle and her ‘estate’ team started an hour and a half before everyone else to try and get the yards, tracks and gallops cleared.

But it was John ‘Spider’ Nicholson who demonstrated the greatest dedication and concern for the welfare of the horses.

Spider is one of our two night men and he works a shift, either from 6pm until midnight or from midnight until 6am, to feed the horses, deal with any problems,  and get everything ready for the day’s work to begin. Last night, Spider was on the early (6pm till midnight) shift but, when Mikaelle came in this morning, she found him still at work after more than 12 hours. The water was freezing in many of the stables and all the outside taps were solid, so Spider took it on himself to fill buckets from the staff kitchen for all the horses with a frozen drinker.

It isn’t the first time that Spider has gone beyond the call of duty on his night time shift. Last year Jock Bennett noticed one day that a horse had lost a shoe in the swimming pool and he thought he’s have to figure out some way to fish it out. But, when he looked the next day, it was gone. He couldn’t figure it out. How could it have disappeared from the bottom of a 12 foot deep horse swimming pool? He was so puzzled that he resorted to trailing through the cctv footage and there he found Spider, stripping off and diving into the pool to retrieve the lost shoe.