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22 Mar 09 15:01
Date Joined: 14 Sep 02
| Topic/replies: 3,413 | Blogger: jonjo's blog
Following the 'success' of getting misleading going reports at least 'talked about' (thanks Greg Wood & a 'few' others) I feel it's worthwhile having another bash at this with the flat season ( & the going issues that go with it) almost upon us.....

Please feel free to add any thoughts/concerns you may have on going descriptions/forcasts throughout the season....

This is a discussion that took place on the Horse Racing Forum this morning & hopefully a few points were raised that can be taken further for the benefit of all......

jonjo 22 Mar 09:00

Betfair, unlike the bookmakers who sponsor races, are in a unique position, something that I dont personally think you make enough of......
Unlike bookmakers, it is in the interests of ALL your stakeholders, that the sport of horse racing is run on a level playing field...

Yesterday (& not for the first time) we had a situation at Haydock Park (a course where you are major sponsors) where the actual going, bore no resemblence to the advance going given by the clerk of the course....

The clerk's performance has been poor since day one
The Levy board are simply not interested in giving punters a fair crack of the whip though, or these serial liars/underachievers would be severely reprimanded at best & at worst have all levy funding withdrawn if this sort of rubbish continued....

Punters are getting sicker & sicker at this state of affairs & as the levy yield continues to fall there is a common denominator here, in that NO ONE IS LOOKING OUT FOR THE PUNTERS ON THIS ISSUE.
The conventional bookmakers love it & since gross profits tax was brought in, the Levy people are hardly likely to see the bigger picture are they?

Let's not forget this man absolutely TORPEDOED the Sprint Cup in 2007 with his ridiculous watering policy.
There will be people with allotments near Haydock Park that would have more idea regarding turf management.

Look at the 'analysis' of the bumper winner...

The non-runners took a large slice of interest out of this bumper. It was run at a crawling early gallop and produced a taking winner in MISTER WALL STREET, who got his career off to a perfect start.

He made up his ground turning for home and it was clear around 3f out that he was the one to be on. He did not have to be fully extended to go clear, acted without fuss on the quick ground, and clearly has a future. It must be noted this was a weak heat, however.

In the novice chase, we had a winner, Watch My Back, which won twice previously on Gd/firm going.....

Experienced race readers have exposed this blatent lie as regards an advanced going report.....
No one with a pair of functioning eyes could say that ground was as described.....

"Chase course - GOOD, Good to soft in places; GoingStick 6.3 . (A cold start with patchy ground frost; dry and fine with lengthy spells of sunshine; moderate north-westerly winds"

Tellwright's going descriptions, if replicated nationwide would render the formbook WORTHLESS........

It is not in Betfair's interests to take the same line as the bookmakers (to whom misleading going forcasts are manna from heaven)
Betfair want people BACKING as well as laying WITH CONFIDENCE (confidence breeds bigger bets/lays = more commish')

Unlike the PUNTERS in this SPORT, Betfair HAS A VOICE.
It's very good all the stuff you've done lately for your customers etc, making TIMEFORM available, previews on Betfair fm etc, but you can now do something for the genuine benefit of punters NATIONWIDE & gain some points the conventional bookmakers cannot possibly score back off you.

PLEASE BE SEEN to be doing something about this, so it WILL make the levy board aware of the chronic dis-satisfaction amongst punters. This is NOT something that can be achieved behind closed doors....The only way this will change & increase punters confidence will be if they SEE someone acting in THEIR interests.

We have a flat season pending where the regular over watering of courses will lead to a plethora of complaints from punters, we all know that.....
PUNTERS on the whole, wouldn't mind watering to produce safe ground, but when clerks regularly MISLEAD them in order to appear competent at their jobs (see clerkwatch 2009 on your own antepost forum) people have no option other than to reduce their stakes, or stop betting.......This is no good to me personally, & I suspect it aint much good to BETFAIR?

Stake & *****22 Mar 09:42

Isn't a simpler solution to have an independent body which is responsible for issuing the going reports, rather than the courses themselves?

millhouse 22 Mar 09:46

I still maintain it's all about the BAGS payment - clerks are desperate to ensure they get the 8 runners a race in order to get the bookmaker money.

This will inevitably lead to inaccurate going descriptions and over watering in the summer - exactly as the bookmaiing industry planned when their henchmen at BAGS instituted this scheme...

jonjo 22 Mar 09:46

Yes Stakey, it would be, but the Levy board are just letting things drift, because they dont give a monkeys about the going being accurate.......Betfair ought to care about the going being accurate & as major sponsors THEY can express punters concerns better than punters can, because they have a voice, punters dont....sadly

jonjo 22 Mar 09:48

Imagine the furore if Betfair threatened to can the Betfair Million or whatever it's called in view of the fact that clerks appear to be leading backers (& LAYERS) up the garden path.....

Even the Rancid Post would have to cover it......

Stake & *****22 Mar 09:49

Ok and Independent Body "sponsored" by Betfair.

I'm sure there are plenty of users who are close to a course who would volunteer to be representatives of any body set up....

I expect the courses would be seething at this turn of events though...

Keeponthesunnyside 22 Mar 09:50

well said. This is 2 weeks running this has happened-first Wetherby and now Haydock. Its not good for betfair either as people will think twice about betting earlier at these courses as I'm sure some people were hit hard yesterday with reduction factors on the likes of Western Whiskey and probably ended up with bets they didnt want. In my eyes what the clerk has done is a sackable offence and I'm sure trainers will be lodging complaints today about this situation. As Haydock don't seem to care about jumps racing any longer perhaps they are trying to put trainers off sending horses back there, therefore reducing the quality of fields and this will then give back up for them to ditch NH racing.

jonjo 22 Mar 09:53

Thanks Keeponthesunnyside......I would venture that the performance during the FLAT season from certain clerks is little better (probably worse) than we got yesterday......see clerkwatch on antepost & you soon see (over the course of a season) who the serial misleaders are....

Yes Stakey, they could SPONSOR an independent body, but they would need everyone (Racing Post etc to get behind them & report THEIR going reports, not the rubbish the clerks give out - Having Timeform on board now gives them extra gravitas in this area imo....

jonjo 22 Mar 09:54

Stakey: Betfair (imo) could easily put their own team together....
Trial it this flat season (in conjuction with Timeform to ensure accuracy) & go live after the trials have been completed.

prism 22 Mar 09:59

At the moment, because of commercial reasons, the Racing Post are not covering Betfair issues (positive ones anyway)and initiatives (and prices only very occasionally), and this includes the launch of the new SP multiples option.

It is hoped that this will change in the future.

Stake & *****22 Mar 10:01

Was the going description updated during racing at Haydock yesterday, or did they leave it as per the overnight/ morning details? Presumabmy with all the withdrawals they had to have changed it?

AgentR 22 Mar 10:02

The going stick confuses me.
At what point is the measurement taken and reported? Should measuring be limited to just the day before, done by a BHB rep, rather than the clerk? With only ground changing weather reported afterwards, i.e. 6mm of rain overnight, for you to make your own decision.

IMO going reporting should be changed to 'mostly good' or 'majority firm' as oppsed to all this bitty' soft in places, firm in others' nonsense.

Stake & *****22 Mar 10:02

Sounds promising, prism. Good luck in getting the RP on your (and our) side.

jonjo 22 Mar 10:03

Yifter, I think maybe sometimes punters can come across as being a bit **ly' over this issue, because often they feel that no one is standing up to these people & lets be fair here, if he's on the telly with a bottle of 'Kirklands Water' or whatever the hell it was (I didn't see it so cant comment) it could look as though he's cosying up to the media & the media are playing along with it....
I dont doubt you're one of the good guys Yifter & enjoy your contributions to RUK very much, but also I dont doubt HH's sentiments over inaccurate going reports....It's not always easy to express things as you want to on here & sometimes there can be misunderstandings (someone might have said something similar to you face to face, but laughed as they said it & you'd hopefully take it as being ribbed about it, but on here, you dont have that contact)
HH has offered to meet up if you are at Mussy & I would venture that shows that he is genuine & not looking to hide behind a username, as many on here do.
I do know him & I am sure he is a genuine person & a racing enthusiast as well as being a punter.

unluckyStu 22 Mar 10:03

Agree 100% with you Jonjo, Jenny Pitman would be a big approver of this too, many times I saw her banging on the clerks door to complain about false going reports,wasting her owners money taking horses to the course when they can't run on the going and withdrawing her horses in the process.

The clerk at Windsor needs his @rse kicking for over watering, the home straight runs by the thames ffs how dry is that going to get, especially now we don't really get hot summers any more, good to soft going in the middle of summer(unofficial of course) is a complete joke.

jonjo 22 Mar 10:03

sorry, wrong thread

empty 22 Mar 10:03

Tell Bert to send RP staff a few crates of Guiness Prism, that should sort it

jonjo 22 Mar 10:07

prism 22 Mar 09:59

At the moment, because of commercial reasons, the Racing Post are not covering Betfair issues (positive ones anyway)and initiatives (and prices only very occasionally), and this includes the launch of the new SP multiples option.

It is hoped that this will change in the future.

Prism........If Betfair sent a press release out, indicating they were looking at misleading going reports with concerns over future sponsorship...Wouldn't the racing post be obliged to pick up on this if other journalists (Lids, Mellish, Wood et al) picked up on it?

Something worth thinking about perhaps?

jonjo 22 Mar 10:10

Fully take on board the need to get the word out about immediate priorities that Betfair have just launched (multiples etc) but this issue is something that would be of benefit to punters the length & breadth of the land & Betfair would be seen to be acting for the genuine benefit of racing, the levy yeild & punters.....Something that the firms, the BHA & the levy board simply seem to lack the will to do.....

Personally, I dont think you can BUY publicity or goodwill that something like that would provide......

prism 22 Mar 10:17

If it were to come to fruition, it clearly wouldn't happen in this manner, and in such a confrontational way. That would serve no purpose, and undermine exactly what you were trying to achieve.

I think sometimes we lose sight of how difficult a task accurate going reports appear to be; if it was that easy, experienced course officials wouldnt get it wrong occasionally (unless there were doing so for commercial reasons and or/incompetence, which is another matter entirely).

It could well be that the on-course Timeform staff could feed this into their written analysis and daily updates on here (they could well do that on here at the moment, and on the RP site course analysis, pre race and during, for all i know).

I am sure Timeform and the RP would be happy to have an email dropped into their inboxes. It would be interesting to see how the respective organisations respond.

jonjo 22 Mar 10:23

I've emailed Timeform Prism, but I have long since given up on the Racing Post tackling this issue.....
I agree that I am probably using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut but this particular walnut has been choking punters throats for a little while now & wherever we've turned (clerkwatch 2008- antepost) we've had soothing platitudes from people, but very little action....
Most of the organisations are well served by INERTIA on this matter. The Post (if Paul Haigh is to be believed?) wont rock the boat for the firms (who LOVE innacurate going reports) the BHA (gross profits anyone?) are deeply suspect when issues like this arise & the levy board.......well, nuff said...
The only people suffering here are punters & I simply wont have it that going on racecourses has suddenly (over the last six years or so) become SO hard to forcast/predict accurately......Many thanks for taking the time to read this though, it is appreciated

jonjo 22 Mar 10:34

Just received an email from Zilzal1 who put far more work into clerkwatch on here than anyone else.......


You might want to ask why no one in the industry took on Claiise when he gave a going stick reading which read that kautos gold cup was softer than denmans

This is what we are up against & continue to be up against.....Betfair/Timeform seem to be the ONLY hope for addressing this & providing something stakeholders in the sport can trust?????

unluckyStu 22 Mar 10:48

just emailed the forum on ATR now about false going reports, lets see if they discuss it.

Keep it Goin 22 Mar 10:50

Would be lovely if this ever happened jonjo, suppose we can dream.

jonjo 22 Mar 10:58

I'll do everything I can to make sure something happens Keep it Going, but I dont have the platform to get this sort of issue aired properly....Timeform/Betfair does & hopefully we will see a more positive response from them than we have from the BHA, The Racing Post & the Levy Board....
To his credit, Greg Wood gave this campaign a mention in his column & spoke to Zilzal1 about it, but it's even got quiet there now

johnn 22 Mar 11:08

Unless there is a major shakeup at the top of British racing, this will consistently fail to be addressed.
The interests of those who self serve, and the paranoia about losing one's position at the trough seems to preclude anyone apart from the everyday punter having any real interest in this issue.
The Racing Post, and Scotland's two "premier racing journalists" (ffs), have constantly ignored my emails to bring some publicity to this disease that afflicts many courses these days, instead preferring those twee, sh1tey anecdotal racing stories instead. It would appear that the only segment of this game with any need to have this addressed is the punter, and we know where we are in the foodchain, despite paying everyone's wages, directly or indirectly.
We'll keep chipping away though.

Tony Cheeseburger 22 Mar 11:09

It's a noble cause gents but I fear you have no chance.

Here's how it works:

- The Haydock clerk sabotages his own track
- The bookies' partners at the Post are so pleased with his efforts they hire his daughter, who then does advertorials on the bookies

Punters are out of this cosy loop I'm afraid.

Is anyone else dreading the return of Beverley? THEY stole an absolute fortune when they flooded the far rail on a couple of occasions last year and they doubtless have plans to repeat the heist this year.

unluckyStu 22 Mar 11:13

jonjo you got an email addy, don't want to post my theory on here in case they ban me.

infomaniac 22 Mar 11:13

The crux of the matter is, what is the underlying reason for inaccurate going reports ?!

Can someone either give an answer or hazzard a guess please,

if so, then it may clear the path for those other in the media or sponsors to voice their opinion or hopefully discontent !

millhouse 22 Mar 11:16

The crux of the matter is, what is the underlying reason for inaccurate going reports ?!

There is only one real agenda in this whole industry infomaniac - to ensure the continued patronage of the bookmaking industry by helping them to remove as much of our money as possible...

metro john 22 Mar 11:18

Capitalist pigs!

infomaniac 22 Mar 11:18

" There is only one real agenda in this whole industry infomaniac - to ensure the continued patronage of the bookmaking industry by helping them to remove as much of our money as possible... "

So are you saying/suggesting that the bookmakers get the accurate going reports ?!

empty 22 Mar 11:18

Millhouse is probaby correct

Punters are the cash cow and providing them with decent info is not in the best interest of racing

jonjo 22 Mar 11:19

Stu, if it's a theory, post it as a question, if it's a legitimate question, no one will ban you.......I only have one email addy & cannot risk putting it on here, sorry.

unluckyStu 22 Mar 11:20

ok jonjo, can't post it as a question, it's a bit libelous mate.

jonjo 22 Mar 11:21

This is true Empty (see above re; Gross profits tax etc) but it IS in Betfair's interests to put ALL the BEST information at the punters fingertips......They dont get their money through emptying people out, they get it from commision (whether THAT empties people out is another debate entirely lol)
Betfair/Timeform can address this issue in some way, shape or form, I am sure of that....& to the benefit of all punters, layers & even racing professionals (who cannot seriously be happy with the current state of affairs?)

unluckyStu 22 Mar 11:21

it involves funny coloured envelopes if you know what I mean.

infomaniac 22 Mar 11:22


it's very easy to have several email addresses and will only take a couple of minutes,

use one for initial emails and once you are satisfied you want to/don't mind having correspondance with the person, then email them from your real/regular address !

jonjo 22 Mar 11:22

Think I know where you're heading Stu.....

I would suggest that what you might be thinking probablyISNT happening, simply because the racing end of it, isn't switched on enough to the potential

johnn 22 Mar 11:24

Frankly, the whole concept of Timeform and form study in general is rendered useless by inaaccurate going reports.

jonjo 22 Mar 11:26

Exactly Johnn, & this is why they CAN/MUST address it.
Since Jimbo left the boys they've got very little wrong as regards getting 'brand timeform' out there & in more people's faces....
Addressing this issue with a solid bat would take them back to the days when Phil Bull spoke the racing world took notice....
This is a biggy for them, I reckon.

johnn 22 Mar 11:27

If it isn't, it certainly should be.

millhouse 22 Mar 11:27

Info, obviously inaccurate going reports makes it much harder for anyone to win.

I am absolutely convinced that the new BAGS paymnent, the institution of which co-incided directly with the sudden increase in inaccurate going reports, is largely to blame for this problem. Clerks are now very aware of what they need to do to get this payment, and the inexperienced ones are over watering or failing to report accurately because they are desperate for 8 runners a race.

Im my opinion this is partly what the suits at the big three - whose job it is to devise new ways to make it easier to remove our money - had in mind when they instituted this scheme through BAGS...

unluckyStu 22 Mar 11:27

not so much the clerks but the other chappies who are hands on involved in the actual work, and are not to highly paid, if you know what I mean. Waterers, harrowers and rollers spring to mind.

empty 22 Mar 11:28


I do believe TF provide thier own going assessments as well as the official. Maybe this could be taken a step further and they could provide an assessment prior to racing with updates as more info comes available from racing

unluckyStu 22 Mar 11:31

empty, there own going reports only appear after racing has taken place and time of race has been taken into consideration, going per furlong etc etc. and adjustments can be made.

empty 22 Mar 11:34

Yes Stu and my suggestion is they take that a step further

You would then have an independent going description

jonjo 22 Mar 11:35

This could be the case Millhouse, as could the misleading reports merely be clerks following the directive from the BHA that 'firm' ground is not acceptable on grounds of safety (someone tell Bath racecourse by the way)
Then they produce 'good' ground, but if they overdo it, they dont want to look like idiots, so they dont say they've overdone it.....
From a punting perspective, I prefer to bet on fast ground, but as long as I know what I am betting on, I dont give a sh!t really (heavy ground excepted) but it's getting the info that counts.......

Empty, I am pretty sure they do, do their own going (based on times) & that would be the giveaway to end all giveaways & would do them more good than they could possibly imagine (linked in with 'Betfair sponsored' advanced forcasts of course!!!!!)

Stu, the logistics of what you suggest are nigh on impossible, you'd only need one person to break ranks, or ask a workmate wtf he was playing at & the whole house of cards would come down......Clerks are well paid to monitor what goes on, end of as far as I am concerned there mate.

empty 22 Mar 11:35

TF however, may want to keep that info for TF customers

unluckyStu 22 Mar 11:36

Agree empty but could they do it before racing takes place which is what we want, then it could be updated online before racing starts, but this would be near impossible I'm afraid.

Page: 1 2 Next
Pause Switch to Standard View Clerkwatch 2009
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Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) November 6, 2009 6:47 AM GMT
Very surprised no one chinned him while he was locked away :D
Report guinness2dear November 6, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
I hope you backed that one today mucker....
Report jonjo November 6, 2009 1:43 PM GMT
Yes mate.
Nothing to be proud of though, is it....festering state this game's in.
Stewards couldn't see it....
Report knot in wood November 6, 2009 2:33 PM GMT
stewards seen it jonjo! they were all on it lol!!
Report jonjo November 6, 2009 2:35 PM GMT
Aye, mate, you're probably right :^0
Report jonjo November 7, 2009 6:25 AM GMT
'Extremely tired' Darryll Holland back in Britain

By Jon Lees4.42PM 6 NOV 2009 DARRYLL HOLLAND was back home in Newmarket on Friday recovering from the ordeal of spending nine days in police custody in Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus.

The jockey was "extremely tired" but glad to be back in Britain, according to his wife Jacqui, who flew back with him after his release without charge from the police station in Kyrenia where he had been detained following his arrest by officers investigating the use of fake currency.

Holland had denied any wrongdoing and received a full apology from police on his release.

& obviously not related.........

BHA ease rules over jockeys' mobile phones

By Jon Lees4.28PM 6 NOV 2009
JOCKEYS who go racing when they are not riding are now allowed to use their mobile phones as a result of a change to the restrictions.

The BHA has altered rules which had prevented the likes of Carl Llewellyn, who continued to ride when he held a training licence, from using his phone on the racecourse other than in the jockeys' designated phone zone.

The restrictions had also prevented a jump jockey attending a Flat meeting or vice versa from using mobiles but under the change the rules will only apply if the jockey enters the changing room.

The Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) have welcomed the relaxation to rules which had previously prevented all licensed jockeys from making calls during racing on a racecourse from anywhere other than a designated area of the weighing room whether they were riding at the meeting or not
Why on earth would anyone object to making calls from a designated area if they had nothing to hide & why on earth would the BHA relax this rule?
Report guinness2dear November 10, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
Up ye goooo....
Report Phil November 12, 2009 12:51 PM GMT
Well-backed Calzaghe withdrawn shortly before 1.40 Taunton.

Matt Chapman rightly asked the question "was it withdrawn because of the ground (horse needs it on top)? He then added "if not why have we not had a going change?".

Where you been this Flat season Matt?
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) November 12, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
Tragic !
Report soapp November 12, 2009 4:48 PM GMT
jonjo 07 Nov 07:25

Why on earth would anyone object to making calls from a designated area if they had nothing to hide & why on earth would the BHA relax this rule?

Well jonjo, if Carl Llewlyn was in the parade ring and needed to get a message fast to the jockey via the stable lad on the way out to the track it would be absolutely crazy for him to have to go a long way out of the way to make the phone call.

They are ABSOLUTELY right to relax the rule imo.
Report empty November 13, 2009 1:46 PM GMT
Last two BC meets make me conclude that the watering policies and the effect these policies have do not allow Euro horses to show thier true ability.

We knew that though didn't we.

All the best for the mud and guts stuff peeps
Report jonjo November 14, 2009 7:19 AM GMT
"get a message fast to the jockey via the stable lad on the way out to the track it would be absolutely crazy for him to have to go a long way out of the way to make the phone call."

That'll be the lad that's just left him in the parade ring Soap?
Absolute cobblers.
It's never been a problem for trainers to make calls, it's JOCKEYS we're on about, jockeys, not trainers.
As Empty said, good luck with the slop n guts stuff, see you all next year.
Report zilzal1 November 14, 2009 11:00 AM GMT
You can tell its the jumps season, its nearly dark at midday and lashing down with rain, windy and ive a bowl of soup in front of me.

Mind you Ive had a bit of the 33-1 Best Actor and slightly smaller stake on Knowhere, failing that it will be a old film
Report guinness2dear November 17, 2009 10:38 PM GMT
I need a dry out myself zil..

3 days of Chelts was hard on the liver...
Report zilzal1 November 17, 2009 10:49 PM GMT
LO Guinness, i did 5 days of Galway when i was 21, dont think i could manage two days on the lash now.

There may be some news for Clerkwatchers soon, as a meeting with the BHA may take place with The Magician, Myself and a rep from them
Report guinness2dear November 17, 2009 10:57 PM GMT
I must admit i was walking around like a blancmange on Monday morning ....

Good news, and the best of luck...
Report zilzal1 November 21, 2009 10:18 AM GMT
3rd Of December is that date we are meeting the BHA
Report unluckyStu November 23, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
who is the starting line up Zilzal ?
Report zilzal1 November 26, 2009 11:07 AM GMT
Sorry for the delay in replying Stu

The Magician and myself will be meeting the BHA, Jonjo has a lot of commitments at present and so cannot attend. I will try to get over as many issues on this thread that i can.
Report unluckyStu November 26, 2009 2:10 PM GMT
thanks Zil,hope everything goes ok, thought there was going to be more than just the two of you though,maybe the BHA will be disappointed with the turnout, and not offer another opportunity,keep us updated though with the meeting results though m8, could be interesting.
Report guinness2dear November 27, 2009 8:43 AM GMT
This maybe a case of "less is more" in this instance.

Too many people putting too many views across, might just confuse the whole debate, and consequently scare the rabbit..
Report unluckyStu November 27, 2009 3:27 PM GMT
That could be the positive g2dear.
Report cherry December 1, 2009 10:22 AM GMT
Good luck with the meeting and look forward to the minutes!
Report zilzal1 December 2, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
If anyone wants a question on a topic brought up(i know, its asking for trouble!!) then put it here and i will try and ask it, time permitting as i have quite a few, to Paul Struthers tomorrow evening
Report zilzal1 December 3, 2009 10:38 PM GMT
Just back from the meeting so just a quick visit, i will be getting some full answers to my questions soon , but one bit of news

If Clerks want to water selectively or EVEN a bias up, details of how much they water and WHERE must be made available to the General Public, this was told to me in no uncertain terms by Paul Struthers this evening
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 4, 2009 6:20 AM GMT
That is a deffo step 4ward Zil. Well done.
Report Muqbil December 4, 2009 7:20 AM GMT
Look forward to reading all about the meeting.

That sounds like great news, zilzal. It's quite bizare how reading such a small items of racing related news can lift the spirits. It gives the impression that someone actually does give a damn.
Report zilzal1 December 4, 2009 10:24 AM GMT
Morning all

To start with, The meeting 1st concentrated on the issue of punter representation to the BHA, Both The Magician and myself put forward the case that as the BHA were funded by the levy(and entry fees etc) at around 50-50 and being that the Horseman's group were represented on the board, therefore the Punter should be-this will be put to the board by Paul Struthers.
A idea put forward by a combination of Paul and The Racing Forum would be a Two Tier punters Forum with the 1st tier consisting of 6-12 people who would put forward suggestions formulated and discussed by them and a second tier of 50-150 other forum users, the 6-12 would then meet a representative of the BHA, we suggested that the 6-12 should meet with the entire board at least twice a year as a minimum requirement.

On to Clerkwatch issues
I will be getting a official answer to all of the issues that i raised by e mail, i will then stick it up on here.
As stated before ALL selective watering will be made public
I asked for a "Lite" reading across the course,as close to racing as is possible and after the last, to reflect changing conditions and therefore give a more accurate picture of the days racing and aid transparency, which would be helpful to all sections of the industry alike-i will be getting a rely to this in due course
On the safety angle it would appear that aiming for g/f ground for flat and good ground for jumps are a "Guideline" only and it is within the individual clerks remit to water as he/she seems fit, this would explain why clerks water on going stick readings lower than they have previously deemed safe to race on before.

I will be getting a official response to the question of Summer jumping and the issue of why they seem to be able to race on ground and stick readings higher than flat racing when the safety angle says it should be reversed.

Despite being reported in the Post that the official Handicapper, in a meeting with trainers remarked that he would be treating winners more harshly to aid " less predictable results" it would appear that he was trying to stop runners putting up winning sequences. there is no agenda within the BHA to aid less predictable results within their policy

Report guinness2dear December 4, 2009 10:35 AM GMT
Great news zil..

Apart from the minutes and issues, how did the meet go ?
Report zilzal1 December 4, 2009 10:45 AM GMT
All i got was a cup of tea..........

Thought it would have been at least a Lobster Salad :-(

It went very well and subjects were heated at times, it was hopefully the start of more dialogue between racing and some of their customers.
Report Muqbil December 4, 2009 3:18 PM GMT
Good work, zilzal. Never thought I would see the day when genuine punters had an audience with the BHA!
Report ben10 December 4, 2009 3:24 PM GMT
Yeah good to hear, sounds like some progress is being made.
Report unluckyStu December 4, 2009 3:31 PM GMT
How many from the BHA were there Zil'

A cup of tea !!! ffs. did you claim travel exes ?
Report zilzal1 December 4, 2009 3:47 PM GMT
There was only Paul in attendance mate. Its hopefully a small step in the right direction of bringing more transparency and dialogue into Racing, There is a awful long way to go yet and hopefully we can attract people with more talent to challenge issues that now have started to be discussed.
Report guinness2dear December 4, 2009 4:04 PM GMT
Dialogue - the magic word..... Was interested in how you got on with Mr Struthers actually zil ?
Report zilzal1 December 4, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
We got on fine, there was quite a robust exchange of views over the evening, but he comes over as a fan and a punter himself and seems a genuine guy. he's a PR guy and its his job to reflect the viewpoints of his employer some of which i dont agree with.

I believe that there will be more dialogue and it hopefully it will lead to action being taken, maybe im a little naive, but you have to keep trying and i think that there will be progress.
Report guinness2dear December 4, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
Ok zil. The reason i asked was that he comes over that way to me, just wanted your opinion as you saw him face to face as it were....
Report unluckyStu December 4, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
Nice to hear things got off to a good start though.
Report zilzal1 December 6, 2009 9:30 AM GMT
Report Outpost December 6, 2009 10:41 AM GMT
well done zil.
even if only one thing gets improved it will be worth it.
Report zilzal1 December 10, 2009 1:18 AM GMT
Right , its been a week, and i hope to have the questions answered soon, for the record, they are


In a article circa 2008 in the Guardian, you suggested that a scale for going stick readings would be forthcoming, 16 months later there is still none. Why is this?

Re watering, if a course has felt it fit to race on a certain stick reading, why are they watering to produce safe ground with a stick reading sometimes that is way under ground that that was considered safe before considering the aim was to produce g/f ground on the flat as stated by the BHA ?

We, at Clerkwatch feel that inaccurate stick readings are no good to anybody connected to the racing industry and think that readings should be taken as close to the 1st race(1 hour) and as soon after the last that can be practical. These readings could be
Report zilzal1 December 10, 2009 10:51 AM GMT
Paul e mailed me to say that understandably, they are busy with current developments
Report custardcream64 December 10, 2009 11:17 AM GMT
ZILZAL - The last thing i want to be is a doom and gloom merchant but the fact that you have just received an e-mail saying that they are ' busy with other developments' says it all for me.
IMO they are just paying you and the magician lip service via there PR man and have no real intention of providing the punter with any real voice in racing .
This as always been the case and i just can't see that changing anytime in the future despite all of your best efforts .
I know that you or the magician will say should we just sit back and let them do what they like then ?
Of course we shouldn't but i just think that the mindset of the people in charge is , ' it's only the punter sod him , pat him on the head and he will go away in the end ' .
I'm sorry if im sounding cynical but thats my view on the people involved in running this sport .
Despite all of the above i have written my only wish is that im totally wrong and that you both make some sort of progress with the powers that be . cc .
Report zilzal1 December 10, 2009 11:30 AM GMT
at may be the case cc, but with a senior member of the integrity team being suspended etc, i can see why they are busy at present.

One of my bugbears has been addressed in that Clerks will now have to say How much and where they have watered and make it available to the general public, if you can change a little step by step then all the work done by people on this thread will have been worthwhile, and , im a pest who wont go away that easily. I can understand the points you have made though.
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 10, 2009 11:48 AM GMT
Good work Zil :)
Report jonjo December 11, 2009 5:29 AM GMT
Great work there Zil (& the magic man)
Let's hope this is a step in the right direction & we achieve what we want to by 'consensus' rather than by other means.
Report empty December 12, 2009 4:13 AM GMT
[i]Given that the Handicapper in a meeting with trainers(reported in the post) said that winners would be handicapped more heavily in order to provide
Report zilzal1 December 17, 2009 12:19 AM GMT
Still no answer from the BHA and more ammo for the people who called me naive, oh well the gloves might have to come off soon
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 17, 2009 8:00 AM GMT
Preparing a dossier on the matter zil imo ;)
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 17, 2009 8:00 AM GMT
Preparing a dossier on the matter zil imo ;)
Report Muqbil December 18, 2009 7:12 AM GMT
Do we know if the aw tracks have to provide information on track preparation?

The other day there was not even an entry for Wolverhampton when there was a suspicion they would have deep harrowed due to the cold snap. Makes a huge difference to how a race will pan out and render some horses as having no chance.

On the plus side there is an entry for Southwell today stating they have worked the track overnight. This type of info is really useful.
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 18, 2009 7:34 AM GMT
Agree totally mucker. Helps if you know someone who keeps records of which horses have acted on the deep harrowed stuff mind ;)
Report zilzal1 December 18, 2009 9:45 AM GMT
A reply from Paul as they are working on the answers :-)

Hi Nick / John

I hope all is well. Im sorry Ive not got back to you with answers to those questions yet Ive passed them on to our Racecourse Department as I simply dont have the detailed knowledge to answer them and theyve just been snowed under. Theyre working on them though.

What I can confirm, however, is that we would like to invite both you and Jonjo to spend a day with one of our Inspectors of Courses. Is that something youd be interested in?

We could easily sort something out in early-ish in 2010, though it might be that a day in relation to jumps and then a day in summer might work best.

Do let me know

Kind regards

Report unluckyStu December 18, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
He must be reading this then Zil,
Track prep info very important as regards AW racing, be good if ATR could post race times too, have emailed Matt before about this, he replied,said it would be a good idea and would pass on to those involved, but nowt happened about it, maybe have to give Luke and Jason a nudge too.
Report Muqbil December 18, 2009 7:56 PM GMT
Have done the same about the winning time on graphic stu, several times. Not unusually I have never had a reply from atr over that or any other topic I emailed abaout :(

wd zil, patience 'n all that :)
Report zilzal1 December 19, 2009 10:44 AM GMT
Kirky seems to have stiffed a few jump fans now!!!!
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 19, 2009 10:46 AM GMT
That man's incompetance has no ceiling.
Report turnip turns December 19, 2009 10:51 AM GMT
He's got to go now,how many more times is he going to mess up ffs,abysmal stuff.
Report Terry Venables December 19, 2009 10:53 AM GMT
Report TD_Gunner December 19, 2009 10:53 AM GMT
Murphy opinion
Ferdy Murphy has walked the track and said: "There is no way they can race, they are kidding themselves - it's frozen in places."
Report johnn December 19, 2009 10:53 AM GMT
He's an equal opportunities**, he'll lie to anyone....
Report zilzal1 December 19, 2009 11:43 AM GMT
Happy christmas from Kirkybabes-you made the top three "Clerks" to avoid list again this year-despite some stiff competition this year-top spot went to the "Lifeboat bint" btw
Report geoff m December 19, 2009 11:56 AM GMT
cant he change his name by deed poll to Tellwrong.
Report jonjo December 20, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
Unbelievable incompetence from the Haydock management (especially the worthless clerk) yet again.
People are risking their necks travelling to the races in these conditions, but in the vacum that passes for decision making in Haydock-la la-land, they have to make the journey & wait till half an hour before the racing is due to start before this clown calls off what was obviously not going to take place.......
He's even got a 'bespoke' personality weatherman ffs, how much more money can racing chuck at these nonentities, just because they are on the telly? Anyone applying for a proper job in racing that might ruffle a few feathers sorting the mess out has no chance & yet they'll let balloons like Kettley take it home in a wheelbarrow....
As usual, utter silence on any possibel censure for Haydock from the BHA, the regulators who dont actually want to 'regulate'

Happy Christmas all clerkwatchers......
Report turnip turns December 20, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
Have to take issue with ya here jonjo....

jonjo 20 Dec 17:11

Unbelievable incompetence from the Haydock management

Take the Un out will ya ;)
Report jonjo December 20, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
I know, that was unbelievable stupidity on my part......
Report jonjo December 21, 2009 5:59 AM GMT
Something else 'unbelieveable' would be the Racing Post removing all the comments on the article about the Haydock farce...
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 21, 2009 8:19 AM GMT
Folkestone earlier in the week was a complete farce. It was never likely to pass an inspection and I am not aftertiming here as i commented this on the morning of the fixture. :(
Report zilzal1 December 21, 2009 9:00 AM GMT
Yep Jonjo, good old "Pravda". The racing industries trade website does it again
Report jonjo December 22, 2009 5:56 AM GMT
From the Rancid Post site........

The wintry conditions did claim one notable casualty from Ascot's Saturday card as Ladbrokes on Friday said that the £150,000 Ladbroke Hurdle had failed to find a suitable replacement venue.

Spokesman Mike Dillon said: "Sadly, the Ladbroke Hurdle is notgoing to be rescheduled. We were very keen to reschedule it but you can only do that if there is a definite need to do so.

"We are very proud of The Ladbroke as it has a great history but at the end of the day, it is a two-mile handicap hurdle."

Which offered hard pressed connections the chance (in some cases) to make the season worthwhile with a big money win......Obviously Laddies are keen to have benefitted from the name awareness sponsoring of the race in the run-up to it & not all that bothered about actually chunking up the money, so the BHA does as it's told & just brushes it under the carpet......& that money is lost to racing forever.

Report zilzal1 December 23, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
A happy Christmas to all Clerkwatchers, and thanks to all who contributed on this thread.
Report turnip turns December 23, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
And you,keep up the good work Zil ;)
Report Win only - Sp only December 23, 2009 9:22 PM GMT
indeed, clerkwatch 2010 should be as good a read. well done all
Report unluckyStu December 24, 2009 2:35 PM GMT
Merry Christmas 2009 clerkwatchers, have a good one :)
Report johnn December 24, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
Seasons Greetings
Report jonjo December 24, 2009 9:31 PM GMT
Happy Christmas Lads
Report jonjo December 26, 2009 7:03 AM GMT
Thommo telling Clifford he's walked the track & they've done a marvellous job, despite it being covered when he reckoned he walked it......
Report 11kv December 26, 2009 8:27 PM GMT
Report jonjo December 28, 2009 6:17 AM GMT
By Tony Elves 6:44PM 27 DEC 2009

CHEPSTOW will inspect at 8am on Monday but clerk of the course Tim Long remains "optimistic" that the Coral Welsh National card will take place despite heavy rain on Saturday night and the risk of freezing temperatures on Sunday evening.

Long said: "We had 14mm of rain, which was a surprise,(they should get John Kettley on board?) but the track has taken it quite well. I have swapped the going round and we are now heavy, soft in places.

"The forecast is for lows of around -2C on Sunday night, and with that in mind, I have decided to call an 8am inspection.

"We will sheet down the vulnerable areas during Sunday, and as long as the forecast is accurate, I am optimistic that the meeting will take place.

"There should not be any more rain on Sunday night and the main risk is frost. There is also a fog forecast for the morning which can hinder the temperature rising so I wanted to err on the side of caution."

A Met Office spokesman said: "It will be clear in the Chepstow area on Monday night with temperatures dropping to between -2°C and -3ºC. There will be a touch of fog in the morning but that should clear quite quickly and it should be a decent day."

Great stuff, punting boots on eh.......
Report ben10 December 28, 2009 10:32 AM GMT
Inspecting again now...
Report ben10 December 28, 2009 12:41 PM GMT
Oh well they got it on. Did no one tell Wolverhampton they were racing though, scheduled the first race for the same time as the 3rd at Chepstow, both races 5 minutes before a 3 mile Irish Grade 1. Well done guys.
Report amaru December 28, 2009 12:44 PM GMT
Its pretty awesome stuff aint it Ben. :|
Report ben10 December 28, 2009 12:51 PM GMT
You've got Leicester, Wolverhampton and Chepstown with 5 minute gaps between start times, Catterick was off today wasn't it so surely you'd redo the schedule before the final declarations. Not that hard.
Once the hurdles at Limerick finish there's a 15 minute gap with nothing on when the rest is overlapping!
Report amaru December 28, 2009 12:55 PM GMT
Agree, it wouldnt be too difficult to rearrange some of the times. Its been going on for years and its very rare they do anything about it, its all a bit of a shambles really.
Report Muqbil December 29, 2009 8:53 AM GMT
happy noo year one and all if not speaking before the advent of the new decade.

SOUTHWELL - Flat (Updated:24/12/2009 at 15:22)

Standard to Slow

5f: Outside, Remainder: Inside

This is the depressing entry for Southwell still. Thought it had been forgotten on the 27th due to the festive period. It was riding on the slow side on Monday and presumably they have done more deep work to keep the frost out but it would be great to be informed :(

Going to email the BHA and see if they have any useful response.
Report jonjo December 30, 2009 7:07 AM GMT
You might have to put the response on clerkwatch 2010 Muqbil?

Or 2011 if they run true to form with their response times.....I'm still waiting on Prosser from September!!!!

Ben, with regard to race times, the thing that worried me the most is that when I emailed my application for a post in race planning, I didn't even receive the courtesy of an email telling me to **** off!
I shudder to think that I am SO unemployable that I dont even merit an interview to let me explain how I'd straighten out that shower of sh!t......

Happy New Year to all clerkwatchers (& yes, all clerks watching this thread ;-) ) in case I dont get on again before the New Year?
Report Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC ) December 30, 2009 7:22 AM GMT
Yes Jonjo....... Best wishes for the forthcoming year to you and to all others who regularly contribute to this thread in particular.

Report johnn December 30, 2009 9:12 AM GMT
jonjo, I can tell you to **** off if you like?
My response time for telling people to **** off is excellent.
Report johnn December 30, 2009 5:57 PM GMT
Excellent moment on RUK tonight when Dale Gibson mentioned exclusively tonight that he is to start his new job next week assisting Kevin Darley, who apparently has been doing the job of two men.
He then mentions in the next 30 seconds that "I'm sticking with my old mate Tony Culhane here", then cracks a funny about a hoss wasting it's handicap mark and getting raised 20lbs for running second.
Happy days ahead, keep banging the head against the wall - and let the lunatics get on with running the asylum.

Happy New Year.
Report zilzal1 December 30, 2009 6:02 PM GMT
Cutbacks and stilton anyone??
Report turnip turns December 30, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
Johnn :^0
Report jonjo December 30, 2009 6:13 PM GMT
Gibson was tipped for a cushy number in racing on this very thread when he was poking his stick in the Catterick mud, just before he announced his upcoming retirement........
The game just gets rottener (is that a word?) & rottener
Report turnip turns December 30, 2009 6:20 PM GMT
btw,happy new year all and keep up the good work on here ;)
Report Muqbil December 31, 2009 11:36 AM GMT
All that posturing and prodding has paid dividends. But kets be fair he has been in charge of the northern jockeys football team for several years so is better suited than most for a job at the BHA :)
Report unluckyStu December 31, 2009 2:58 PM GMT
Happy New Year clerkwatchers :) more of the same next year I hope, do you start a new thread tomoz jonjo ?
Report guinness2dear December 31, 2009 4:19 PM GMT
As i'm half cut already. Happy and prosperous new year to all clerkwatchians. And may the welly stick purveyors have a half decent one too..
Report jonjo December 31, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
Nick will be starting the new one off with a copy of the questions he's asked the BHA nearly a month ago....

Happy New Year everyone.
Report zilzal1 December 31, 2009 8:40 PM GMT
Cheers John and a Happy New Year to all Clerkwatchers, as John says the new thread will be up tomorrow.

Thanks again to everybody who has contributed throughout the last two years.
Report ben10 May 3, 2010 11:14 PM BST
Keep these for sure
Report Baphornet June 3, 2019 8:41 AM BST
anyone about?
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