Hopefully you’ve worked out this blog is about jump racing, because if not I’ve fallen at the first hurdle. But beyond that, I’ll try and give you an idea of what to expect. Firstly, I’m not a tipping service and given my record, you wouldn’t want me to be. I won’t drown you with endless data or statistics and I don’t work within the industry so can provide no inside information.
What I do have is an enthusiasm for the sport, a little of which I hope to capture, and a fascination with its characters. Whilst I will offer comment and opinion on individual races, meetings and horses, I am equally interested in the context within which jump racing operates and its governance. Recently, to mention just a few, we’ve had the question of recruiting and retaining employees at stables, payment of jockeys for withdrawn horses and to what extent the government will regulate High Street bookies. Add to that the Davy Russell incident with Kings Dolly, there is no shortage of topics to cover. Each of these issues directly affect those who rely on the sport for their livelihood, as well as framing public perception and ultimately the success and sustainability of the industry is dependant on how they are addressed. If I am able to offer a little intelligent comment on these debates, I will have succeeded. However, most importantly I hope that what I write will interest you and provoke some thought, regardless of whether you agree with me or not.
Finally I want to express my appreciation to all the participants, who enable beautiful horses to run in this incredibly exciting and absorbing sport. Jump racing relies on each group of these participants equally; from punters to bookies, owners and trainers, the dedicated staff who are the lifeblood of the stables and those who work at the Racecourse. But most of all to the jockeys, whose bravery never ceases to astonish me.