11th May 2018
Apologies to any of my owners who had a runner at Chester and didn’t get the normal post-race phone call. Communications on the track were the worst I have ever known on a racecourse.
Phone signal fluctuated between ‘no service’ and two ‘bricks’ and, if you ever did manage to get through on a call, it was very difficult to hold a conversation as you kept getting cut off.
Wifi suggested that there was a strong signal on an unsecured O2 network but it never worked for me or for anyone else that I spoke to. When you switched the wifi off, you occasionally got 3G or 4G but, surprisingly, this didn’t help’
It is a sad fact of modern life that we have come to rely on mobile phone communications and we are lost without them, simply because we have become used to their constant availability. Those of us that are still working when we are at the races have come to expect that we can carry on our business remotely. This was not an option at Chester.
I find it hard to believe that the course, and BHA, officials can run such a busy race meeting without good communications and so I concluded that they have them but Chester, unlike some courses, chooses not to share them with others who are working to put on the show or with the general public.
Some conspiracy theorists were suggesting that Chester blocks signals that might be used for betting in order to boost turnover on Chesterbet. Surely not. I would be appalled if I thought that could ever be the case.
So, come on Chester, you are leaders in other aspects of running a racecourse so how about providing good wifi for everyone working on your racecourse or, better still, good wifi for all. That is, of course, assuming that controll of the mobile phone signal is outwith your control