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G Hall
21 Oct 20 20:24
Date Joined: 26 Feb 06
| Topic/replies: 9,067 | Blogger: G Hall's blog
Would it be fair comment to say he was responsible for the Sporting Life closing down. I have been reading a bit on the subject of the life and his name crops up in a few places as the guy who insisted that the Sporting Life contest the action taken by the Ramsden's over the Top Cees claims, made by Down that the horse was a non tried.
Pause Switch to Standard View Alistair Down
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Report Ramruma October 21, 2020 10:01 PM BST
We should probably also mention the death of Robert Maxwell.
Report sparrow October 21, 2020 10:09 PM BST
No matter what the Sporting Life was different class to the Racing Post.
Report penzance October 21, 2020 10:22 PM BST
stopwatch and was it Auger 2 of their tipsters?
Report GEORGE.B October 21, 2020 10:27 PM BST
In terms of card presentation, spotlight summaries and the form / stats layout, the RP is vastly superior imo.
Report sparrow October 21, 2020 10:28 PM BST
Augur and Man on the Spot are two I remember and of course The Green Seal Service to settle betting disputes with bookmakers.
Report jimnast October 22, 2020 8:11 AM BST
mr c

the chron shut for no other reason than it was making huge loses,its sales went from over 100,000 a day to around 30,000 a day it was printed at withey grove manchester which later became maxwell house,nowadays its a modern bar /restaurant area pretty crap to be honest.its last edition was on king george day 1983 the headline tip on the front page was time charter she won at a decent price,most of its sales was in the north and to be honest i only bought the paper when the life had not reached the north which was quite often especially on big days or saturdays,i believe the papers old nickname was the one oclock something perhaps onlooker or ged could confirm.

regarding the life and the title of this thread i remember having lunch in the gimcrack room on the opening day of the mecca dante meeting which in those days was on a tuesday it was also sadly the last day the life was published ,no idea why they did not see the meeting out,anyway on the table next to me was mr down tucking into his food and wine with not a care in the world.

not having a pop at him by the way.
Report mrcombustible October 22, 2020 8:36 AM BST
Thanks Jimnast.

As a teenager going into bookie shops in Ireland they had The Life and The Chronicle displayed.
Report G Hall October 22, 2020 9:33 AM BST
Really interesting replies, there is so much knowledge on this forum. I have never liked Alistair although I don't know him, but he always comes across as a pompous pr1k, he had for some reason an agenda against Kieren Fallon, and throwing stones about Fallon's drink problem etc, talk about black kettle/black saucepan.
Report sageform October 22, 2020 9:50 AM BST
Anyone else remember a paper called the pink un that was devoted to sport, mainly football. Back then, the main gambling outlet for the masses were the football pools. Off course betting on horses was illegal. It is not altogether fair to compare the Life in its heyday to the RP now. All done by computers these days.
Report CROPSICK October 22, 2020 9:50 AM BST
never stopped long in a betting shop that had the Chronicle up always went one with the 'Life'.
Report sageform October 22, 2020 9:52 AM BST
I always liked Lord Oaksey and Alastair Down when it came to reporting on big races. Nobody else has matched those 2.
Report brians October 22, 2020 10:15 AM BST
In Sheffield we had a saturday night sporting paper called “ The Green Un “, which was printed on green paper. Only trouble was , in tnise days ,the 50 's people used cut up newspapers as toilet paper which disastrous results in this case as the dye came out and gave peope green arses !
Report brians October 22, 2020 10:16 AM BST
Edit , these...and with not which. ....
Report jimnast October 22, 2020 10:39 AM BST
just the chron in the shops i went in mrc

sageform the one we had was known as the football pink we would rush back from old trafford to get to the paper shop for 6 oclock as they would quickly sell out.

G hall ive always found him ok certainly not pompus.
Report jimnast October 22, 2020 10:48 AM BST
the sportsman was a great paper never really given a chance the layout was not very good but could have been sorted out ,somebody involved with the paper use to post on here i dont remember his name but i do remember him breaking the news on here the evening before.some on this forum for some reason were pleased clearly do not care about peoples jobs or monopolies.
Report penzance October 22, 2020 10:57 AM BST
Graham Cunningham-Yifter?
Report howard October 22, 2020 11:01 AM BST
The investors that launched the sportsman were out of their heads. There already was a decent racing paper which is a tiny niche market  held up by bookie shop purchases. And that's at a time when all print media was going to the wall. It may have been a good paper ( some bad points some good ) but millions were lost .
Report jimnast October 22, 2020 11:01 AM BST
could not be 100% penzance but that does not ring a bell.
Report Pedigree47 October 22, 2020 12:33 PM BST
I rate Alistair Down as the best racing writer ever !
If I was having a dinner party and was asked to invite 3 people involved in racing, I would pick Alistair, Frankie Dettori and Mick Easterby !!
Report workrider October 22, 2020 12:49 PM BST
I really like Alistair and always enjoyed reading his articles , watched him on You tube recently interviewing some racing people but was annoyed with his constant interruptions
Report MJK October 22, 2020 1:09 PM BST
Funny the way he went from punters friend to looking down his nose at those same punters.
Report onlooker October 22, 2020 1:35 PM BST
jimnast -

Interesting that Alastair Down was 'having lunch' at York on the day that the Sporting Life ceased publication ...

Whilst we were all having our Wake at the Freemasons Arms in, suitably appropriate, Long Acre in London; where the Life was initially published.

He would, "not have a care in the world," - as he had a job at the Racing Post to go to ... unlike many of us others.

Alastair was   also absent from the 20th Anniversary wake, at the same venue, a couple of years ago, too ... although he did later, send his condolences.
Report G Hall October 22, 2020 3:57 PM BST
Judge Alistair would be an appropriate title, as he likes to judge people, without being able to see the plank in his own eye.

His condemnation of punters as "Morons" after some heckled Paul Carberry for his comedy of errors aboard Harchibald, springs to mind.

He also cast aspersions at Kieren Fallon and labelled him an alcoholic I believe, when it is uncertain if he ever penned an article without being under the influence.
Report MJK October 22, 2020 4:04 PM BST
I'm always reminded of him when I see the Paul Whitehouse character in The Fast Show...
Report sixtwosix October 22, 2020 4:06 PM BST
after some heckled Paul Carberry for his comedy of errors aboard Harchibald, springs to mind.

Pretty sure he did not ride Comedy Of Errors.
Report Tiger Tiger October 22, 2020 4:35 PM BST
Alistair Down was certainly under the influence one afternoon on TV when interviewing the wife of Mark Johnston.....allegedly made fun of her appearance (teeth)........can anyone remember that interview? Wasn't his finest hour for sure.....Channel 4 I think it was who received numerous complaints about him that day....
Report cosmik debris October 22, 2020 5:24 PM BST
Alistair Down is a very good wordsmith but he really patronised the racing establishment. He never wrote anything critical, unless it was blinding obvious to do so or was done so in affectionate jest.
Report mrcombustible October 22, 2020 5:49 PM BST
Agree that Down is a great wordsmith like Doris Johnson but both are full of ****.
Report sixtwosix October 22, 2020 6:25 PM BST
In my opinion the front cover of the Post the day after Red Marauder's Grand National win was a true low point for this sport .
Report G Hall October 22, 2020 7:52 PM BST
What was on the front cover sixtwosix
Report sixtwosix October 22, 2020 8:01 PM BST
It wasn't a picture of the winner and a great headline ....
Report G Hall October 22, 2020 8:03 PM BST
Report discard October 22, 2020 8:36 PM BST

Oct 21, 2020 -- 9:14PM, sixtwosix wrote:

I seem to recollect the Life cost a lot back then (just like the Post now) Didn't the Post appear at 25p and the Life cut it's price similarly ....or is my memory of this mixed up.

think the life was 50p before the post stated up then cut to 25p as you said

Report jimnast October 22, 2020 9:29 PM BST
the sporting life was the sponsor of the 1924 womens olympics at stamford bridge.
Report G Hall October 22, 2020 10:23 PM BST
Did you work for the life by any chance jimnast ? It must have been good fun for anyone that worked in it, a most interesting and satisfying job although deadlines had to be met of course.
Report isleham October 22, 2020 11:39 PM BST
my recollection of the Chronicle wad it had terrible "form"..a shadow of the Life's.
And if Down is the finest Racing writer ever people have read very little  literature over the last decades
Report smirnoff2therescue October 23, 2020 12:31 AM BST
For Sparrow

MOTS greyhounds had a phenomenal record for naps/nbs  - WinkWinkWink
Report jimnast October 23, 2020 6:32 AM BST
G hall

good morning never worked in the press {wished i did at the moment as missing going racing} in any form just interested in horse racing and have good memories of the sporting life ,they may be rose tinted as its a long time ago now,as far as i know every front page headline was about a horse,i still have every copy from the festival throughout the 80s and quite a few other big racing days.nothing against the post although i do think its to expensive but there are a few parts of the paper that are good reading.its a shame we do not have two racing papers however clearly there is not the demand,the sportsman as i said earlier could have been a great paper if given more time.

good luck
Report Storm Alert October 23, 2020 9:43 AM BST
My recollection is the Sporting Life fate/demise was pretty much sealed when the Racing Post was created as a rival publication. The Racing Post was backed/funded my Sheik Mohammed as retaliation for an editorial piece in the Sporting Life suggesting that the emerging middle east domination of flat racing was bad for the sport. I don't know who wrote the editorial.

Losing the libel case against Ramsdem/Fallon finally brought the Sporting Life down. The Top Cees affair definitely involved Derek Thompson and reporting that he had received information about Top Cees from Keiran Fallon. During the court case Thompson had high tailed it out of the country and had to be persuaded back into the UK to give evidence under subpoena in the high court. He was such a poor witness for the defence the Sporting Life, the judge described him as an unreliable witness. Haven't got time to google it, there must be loads of info out there.
Report Duncan Disordorli October 23, 2020 1:36 PM BST
Great memories of the Life...the definitive racing paper. Sports betting was fairly minimal back then and racing and dogs probably made up 90% of the paper. Proper writers filled its pages and that includes Down. Jeff Bernard, John McCririck when he was a journalist, George Ennor etc. Can't recall the writer who had a weekly bookmakers column but a must read. The Green Seal Service when bookies were honourable and settled disputes by that respected medium. The letters were always interesting as well plus of course the layout of racecards. Worth every penny each day.
The Racing Post was the worst possible replacement and deteriorated further as the years passed by.
There was a fine book published some years back that contained front pages and highlights from the Life. Not on my shelves any more so somebody failed to return it ! An Amazon search will find it and it is a great read for those that recall the old days so fondly.
Report parispike October 23, 2020 1:40 PM BST
"Ringlets" was that weekly bookmaking column I think. Author - John Stubbs?
Report Duncan Disordorli October 23, 2020 1:44 PM BST
PP that rings a bell, thanks !

The link for that book is...
Report sparrow October 23, 2020 1:56 PM BST
think the life was 50p before the post stated up then cut to 25p as you said

50p in 1998 would be worth 92p in todays money so quite an incredible price difference in real terms.
Report sparrow October 23, 2020 1:56 PM BST
Report BARROWBOY October 23, 2020 2:13 PM BST
Regarding the top Cees affair,I’ve never really understood why Thompson was so keen to take the story to C4 & the life,but so reluctant to repeat it in court,surely he realised it would end up there.
Report ribero1 October 23, 2020 2:17 PM BST
the best of the lot not mentioned yet,Jack Logan,terrific weekly column,he was Sir Harry Llewellyn's brother of Foxhunter fame,hence Dai & Roddy's uncle.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 23, 2020 2:20 PM BST
The best book of racing memoirs ever would have been that of John Stubbs. He just never got round to writing it.
Report ronnie rails October 23, 2020 10:42 PM BST
I can picture WORMWOOD in the huddle those were the days.

hope you are well
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 23, 2020 11:32 PM BST
Fine, Ronnie. Hope you're coping too.

I actually featured in one of Stubbs' Ringlets stories back in autumn 1992.

Eddie the Shoe, Alan the Beard and I had been watching a Bob Buckler hurdler called Sydney Barry around the gaff tracks that summer. It had been leading in races it couldn't win (too far/stiff track/soft ground), then being pulled up in the home straight. It finally turned up in a novices' handicap hurdle at a sharp 2 miles around Hereford on good ground, with Mr C Bonner taking its weight down to 9-7.

It was the last race of the afternoon, and there were no each way bookmakers in the Ring. Eddie Fremantle was still working on the Life at the time, and was in London doing Man On The Spot for the next day. So, Alan the Beard and I, realizing we were the only two punters at the track who'd be wanting to back the horse, decided to leave it alone in the Ring, and had a total of £70 each way between us at SP in the Tote Credit office.

Stubbs was one of the SP returners that day, and we reasoned that with the horse being 33/1 generally, and 50s in places, he'd return a typically fair Stubbs SP of 40/1, which would have suited us fine.

Anyway, Sydney Barry made all and won unchallenged, and Alan and I rushed straight to the car park and got in Alan's car, where he was giving me a lift to the station. He turned the radio straight on, and we waited for the result and the SP to be broadcast.

"Hereford, the 4.55. First ... number nine Sydney Barry ..." What was it going to be? We'd have settled for 33s, but with Stubbs you'd hope for 40s, or even 50s, being greedy ... "number nine Sydney Barry ... a hundred to one."

Alan's the calmest punter I've ever known, but he all but swerved off the road at that moment. Meanwhile, in London, Fremantle was spitting feathers, telling everyone who'd listen that he would have backed that one, if he'd been there, and of course, no one believed him.

Anyway, I got on the rattler south, and got out at Newport for my connection, feeling mighty pleased with myself and walked into the buffet, where who else should be standing in front of me than John Stubbs himself. Leaning forward as usual, to avoid hitting his snowy bonce on the ceiling, all dapper in his trenchcoat and brolly.

"Thanks for returning that last winner at a hundred, John!"

"Did you back it?!"

"Yeah! SP! Here, what are you having? Let me buy that. Fancy one of them Danish pastries?"

"What?! Bribing the SP returner? You're supposed to do that BEFORE the race, you know?"

Anyway, the story turned up in Ringlets the next week, with Stubbs ruing the fact that after a long and unblemished career in the Ring, he'd finally been bought for the price of a British Rail Danish pastry. He also explained that there was no need for it, as there had been plenty of 100/1 available in the Ring that day.

I took his word for it.
Report ronnie rails October 23, 2020 11:41 PM BST
sad to say one of your old watering holes in dark and depressed Darlo has closed its doors for the last time Hogans.

Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 23, 2020 11:51 PM BST
Probably for the best. Can you imagine Hogan's with social distancing?
Report ronnie rails October 23, 2020 11:57 PM BST
it made the Winchester club look like playschool.

Report ronnie rails October 24, 2020 12:04 AM BST

the owner was a regular at the races Dave Magee died about 6 years ago was very pally with a guy called Ernie Pick do you remember him owned Alderbook .

Report jimnast October 24, 2020 6:01 AM BST
waiting for the sp screaming reminds me of spanish streak at stratford the week before the festival either 87 or 88,back then not everywhere had sis pictures and of course not all horses quoted so of they set and it was 25/1 bar spanish streak been in the bar prices,after the race waiting for the sp we were hoping for 33/1 an praying for 50/1 then came the announcement the stratford sp double 6, 66/1 of course that little thrill has gone now as all horses are quoted.
Report Gordon63 October 24, 2020 6:25 AM BST
Sporting Life part of my youth - paper shop conveniently next to the pub, head down 11AM on Saturday morning, few beers, quick read then home to watch the racing.  Sporting Chronicle still around - remember the bookies used to have both on the walls, can't remember ever buying it though, as several have said here the form layout in Life just seemed easier.

Haven't bought RP in several years, did buy Racing Plus (in it's several guises!!) until what looks to have been it's final demise - I did like the lack of articles and racecards by time rather than track.

Appreciate if someone in members could post Alistair's opening salvo from Cheltenham this weekend - some of his stuff is a bit wet but he does capture the essence of Cheltenham very well IMO.

Tommo is/was/will be a **** - my heart sinks if I hear his voice, particularly on course although that's not been a problem this year!!  Chapman is well on way to out-Tommoing Tommo which takes a lot of effort!! Haven't watched terrestrial TV coverage since Chamberlin/Bell/Chapman were somehow chosen to be the 'public' face of racing, what the hell people see in them is beyond me!!

Remember being at Festival when Top Cees won the hcap hurdle, definitely the quietest return to winners enclosure I witnessed there.

Finally, Ronnie, in what world can Hogans close down???!!!! Was de rigeur stop on way back from Catterick via Darlo station - pick up a hotshot for the journey north, in fact Catterick on 26th Feb 2020 my last time racing, hopefully politicians will break this lockdown cycle crap and we can be back on course in Q2 2021 or sooner.
Report mrcombustible October 24, 2020 7:45 AM BST
Gordon63, A Down as requested

Cheltenham wrings a quiet tear out of me with not a soul or sinner to be seen
Alastair Down looks forward to the day fellow pilgrims can return to Cheltenham

1 of 1
UPDATED 8:35PM, OCT 23 2020
Welcome friends and fellow travellers back to Cheltenham – but not as you have known the old Grande Dame. For champagne read sanitiser, for Magners or Mackeson substitute masks.

On Friday she lay scraped-barrel empty and more forlorn than your late dad’s favourite but sadly deserted armchair.

Down four and a half decades of joyful pilgrimage to this theatre of jumping the fabled course has proved a pinball machine for the emotions. Most of the tears have been happy ones, some exultant and a few despairing when the fangs of this place have sunk deep in throwing up some tragedy unforeseen, unfair and utterly unreasonable.

That we are back racing at Cheltenham should be a reason to be cheerful under any circumstances and I have no desire to pen a postcard from purgatory to you. And perhaps it takes being somewhere intimate of memory and beloved of heart to drive the starkness of reality home.

But this is our now and our future foreseeable. And while it was good to see a distinctly promising novice such as Galvin reinforce his National Hunt Chase credentials for March, the plain fact is the festival will not be as we have known and celebrated it.

Thumbs up from Robbie Power after winning the 3m novice chase on Galvin
Thumbs up from Robbie Power after winning the 3m novice chase on Galvin
Edward Whitaker (
Yes, we can hold out hopes for a miraculous vaccine or instant bombproof testing, but those who run Cheltenham are reconciled to a crowd of perhaps a few thousand in March comprising owners, annual members and of course the ever-present dead hand of hospitality guests supping a banquet whose ingredients they have little or no knowledge of.

So that means no you – the diehards from every corner of these islands who will find the days they religiously block off in their diaries every year are blocked to them.

This blessed plot is all about the people who populate it with their passion. What was on the missing list on Friday was the racket of the place – the raucous, resonant, rampant, rowdy roaring that raises these roofs with blasts celebratory and unforgettable.

And I will admit that Cheltenham wrung a quiet tear out of me. Having wandered the haunted ballroom and soulless stands, I stood on the press room steps half an hour before the first and looked down across the usually thronged lawns. Not a soul or sinner to be seen. A glance over to the Best Mate enclosure revealed the no mates enclosure.

The tear was for all of you who were not here, but in a way I am glad you did not see our course as she was yesterday. It was like visiting someone you love laid low in bed – yes, you know they will eventually get better, but seeing them at their lowest is not good.

It will be impossible for racing as a sport to make out we are an exception, but Cheltenham has to make a case that the festival is so utterly out of the ordinary as to merit a fair hearing at the very least, despite the fact there are folk out there who speciously argue we somehow got away with it by racing last March.

Cheltenham needs to make sure that at the November meeting every available soul, from the likes of Public Health England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, MPs of every conceivable hue, leader writers and opinion formers of all stripes, are here on course to see an event held outside in God’s cleansing fresh air – a venue policed to perfection and passionate about resuming in some recognisable form.

And if you needed any reminder about how jumps people feel about their priceless visits to Cheltenham and their sojourns in the Cotswolds, it will not surprise you that all the pubs and restaurants local to me half an hour away are full up for the November meeting, with folk coming from far afield and locals putting their usual teams together for a night on the toot. You can take the people out of the racecourse but you can’t take the racecourse out of the people.

There were just under 200 owners on course and the feedback is that they were treated like visiting maharajas. Which is as it should be because at the moment they are the boys stood on the burning deck.

Things will eventually take a turn for the better, but none of us will live as we have lived. All we humans crave certainty and the hardest thing about our current affliction is that we can see no timetable for improvement, we cannot yet say when the far horizon will brighten with a fresh dawn.

Captain Tom Cat wins the 2m 5f handicap hurdle in front of the deserted stands
Captain Tom Cat wins the 2m 5f handicap hurdle in front of the deserted stands
Edward Whitaker (
But that longed-for dawn will indeed one day break and we, the racing community, have to do one of the things we do best – endure everything for the sake of the sport we love.

Late in the afternoon on Friday a burst of glorious autumn sun lit up the lands before one’s eyes. Cleeve Hill stood out gin clear with its lower flanks turning seasonally gold, the village of Prestbury with its church nestling beneath as ever and the mad geography of the course picked out by white rail against the greenest of grass.

Looking out from the stands it was AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad that came front and centre of the mind:

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And can not come again.

But Housman’s time is not ours. We must raise our eyes to finer days and happier times. The land of content is not lost, it is merely in quarantine and we will all one day tramp those happy highways once more.

There is indeed an air that kills blowing in this land, but we have masks and common sense and the love of those close to see us through safe and something akin to sound.

What was that old horse of Willie Musson’s called? Yes that was it, Rise Up Singing. That will be us when this plague is through. Not quite time to clear out throats yet, but it will happen and some chorus it will be.
Report Gordon63 October 24, 2020 8:34 AM BST
Many thanks Mr Combustible - a piece steeped in the melancholy of the present, yes it's necessary to get the powers that be on the same page but failing a popular revolt (which I don't discount) those powers are hell bent on a cycle of ever more depressing and catastrophic lockdowns intended (on the face of it - but can't help feeling more sinister undertones as the oft promised evidence that having a pint at any time, even more so after 10pm is one of the prime transmission paths) to prolong the lives of those who (in the most part) have already had their '3 score and 10' at the expense of those in their youth who will be paying the economic and health/wellbeing costs for the remainder of their (reduced duration) lives. the lady from barnsley summed it up perfectly - as often is the case, there is far more sense in the 'common' than within the elected members, albeit very few of them in these most un-democratic of times have had the chance to show their hands, raise their voices etc etc

but failing aforementioned revolt I think it is self harming to push the case for crowds at Festival 2021 - either we toe the line or we erase the line completely
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 9:06 AM BST
plenty more theatres given huge grants yesterday so they can now reopen with restricted audience.

a revolt would not be a big price.
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 9:12 AM BST
by the way good morning gordon i guess you would have been at kelso today.
Report ribero1 October 24, 2020 9:22 AM BST
Maureen from Barnsley an absolute star,the only shock was that the fear driven BBC showed it although it did appear on the local news first.
Report sparrow October 24, 2020 9:24 AM BST
Is Maureen somehow related to Alistair?
Report Gordon63 October 24, 2020 9:37 AM BST
morning jimnast - either kelso or the pub watching, we had a good lucky 15 up this day 2 years ago when (for one of the only couple of times I can remember!) we got the result in a stewards on war brigade in the amateurs race at newbury.  been racing 3 times this year - kelso, musselburgh and catterick, yes you can watch the racing on tv and that's great but the craic on train, pub (although I hate to think how many of our usual haunts aren't going to make it through this purge on any form of joy!), etc etc can't be replaced.
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 9:44 AM BST
very hard to know what lies ahead gordon its a farcical situation i really dont understand like most why restricted crowds are not allowed back ,racing would run the job properly unlike supermarkets and other places.

hopefully all courses will survive.
Report ribero1 October 24, 2020 9:53 AM BST
As Jimnast knows,i've been to all the York meetings and they can be the best horses in the world but it certainly doesn't feel that way with nobody there,just an empty eerie feel to it,York estimate it has cost them 2.5 million so far,how long can that go on?
I see you can  go to the cinema today to watch W Ham and Man city today!
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 9:58 AM BST
staggering what on earth has racing done to be treated like this ?
Report ribero1 October 24, 2020 10:02 AM BST
I guess its easy for us to say and whilst obviously there are much bigger issues just wish they could stand up for themselves a bit more,they seem to be very much on the defensive and happy with the BCD situation.
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 10:06 AM BST
very comfortable with it ribero just as the majority of the racing press are.

on a lighter note just watching itv racing chapman just said to paul nichols when you were riding you rode like a copper LaughLaughLaugh
Report Gordon63 October 24, 2020 10:08 AM BST
there has been undertones, some hidden some not, of these un-democratic covid measures being anti-drinking and anti-ygambling, the puritans are winning by the back door!!!

in scotland during first lockdown, betting shops not allowed to show the racing - officially to discourage people from hanging around inside, nonsense!!
currently depending on where you live in scotland either

a) licenced premises are ordered to be closed
b) licenced premises can serve alcohol outside only (as you can imagine our weather even in summer is not very conducive so the space heaters have been flying off the shelves)
c) no alcohol sales beyond 10pm

both boris and nicola have been challenged to provide evidence as to why these measures taken and the subsequent 'improvement' as a result - neither of them have of course

as for racing, the planned trials were never going to change the minds of our current leaders, despite what anyone else thinks, Festival 2020 has hit a nerve with powers that be and racing will be a long way behind football and other sports, nevermind the one way systems, massive stands and acres of greenery around, a few courses with closed signs will be a boon for property developers and neither westminster or devolved governments will do one stroke to secure racecourses nor associated industries
Report ribero1 October 24, 2020 10:13 AM BST
I started watching it but i must be getting old and grumpy as i thought it was developing into a Nicholls love in although i thought he batted the Frost question from Plunkett off well,Plunkett has dreams of her doing a Holly Doyle ffs.
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 10:19 AM BST
racings chance is the premier league challenging the restrictions in berlin the pub sector challenged the early closing and the judge ruled in there favour saying there is no proff it will make any difference.
Report sageform October 24, 2020 10:44 AM BST
Is there any law against neighbouring farmers allowing cars, punters and bookmakers on to land bordering racecourses? The view would be limited but some might feel it was better than nothing. I have noticed a few people at the top end of Cheltenham yesterday and loads in Ireland along the roadsides.
Report Storm Alert October 24, 2020 12:28 PM BST
Outside of the racecourse jurisdiction, but depending on local lockdown rules might be subject to fines should police be bothered to turn up and enforce.
Report brendrew October 24, 2020 12:44 PM BST
down wouldnt have been able to determine the decision to take legal action-that would be their q.c+lawyers
Report Ramruma October 24, 2020 12:58 PM BST
@sageform's plan would run afoul of the rule of 6; perhaps also any tier-based limits on the number of households that can mix.
Report sageform October 24, 2020 1:26 PM BST
Depends how far distanced the watchers/punter were. There can be 100 people in a wildlife reserve so long as they are properly spaced out. Bookmaker licenses might be an issue though.
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 1:35 PM BST
as already stated there will be plenty at the cinema watching the football today mind boggling.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 1:35 PM BST
There is indeed an air that kills blowing in this land, but we have masks and common sense and the love of those close to see us through safe and something akin to sound.

Sod off, Down. If your sort hadn't complied and put your masks on when ordered on 24 July, this would all have been over by now.

As it is, the authorities discovered that they could make us do anything they wanted, however harmful.

This is all on you and your sort, Down.
Report Cider October 24, 2020 1:50 PM BST
When a solo drag artist gets a pandemic grant of £215K it tells us everything. Who knows exactly what the source of this so called killer virus was, however what is clear is that its existence is being used as a leveraged attack on the traditions that this country used to own, enjoy and hold dear. A attack on our way of living. Sport, socialising, and recreation. A moral judgement, by the bed wetter types who infest the likes of tw@tter telling us what is and isn't good for us, that think a movie like Cuties is appropriate for public consumption. This attack will not end as the dangers of this virus ebb, make no doubt.'We' are being socially engineered. Chip chip chip.
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 2:01 PM BST
cider on what grounds did this drag artist get that kind of grant or in fact any grant ?
Report Cider October 24, 2020 2:10 PM BST
"One of the ambitions of the Culture Recovery Fund is to support a broad range of organisations, no matter what their size, to reopen and deliver work for audiences. The criteria to be awarded a grant are rigorous and we are confident we have applied them in all our decision making.

Organisations offered funding had to demonstrate that their operations were sustainable prior to the pandemic, and that they are at risk of no longer trading viably by March 2021. They also had to demonstrate that they are culturally significant. Awards of all scales and sizes have been made, but in all cases the awards are proportionate to the needs of the organisation.

Le Gateau Chocolat is a leading Black and LGBTQ+ performer, and one of the few performers in Britain whose work spans across multiple art forms, including drag, cabaret, opera, musical theatre, and live art. With this funding Le Gateau Chocolat Ltd will put on a number of planned shows, which would involve employing a range of freelancers to produce and deliver work.”
Report Cider October 24, 2020 2:15 PM BST
His annual turnover for 2018 was £107K.
Report duncan idaho October 24, 2020 2:21 PM BST
pmsl Cider's drunk  Crazy
Report jimnast October 24, 2020 3:12 PM BST
what a carry on
Report Storm Alert October 24, 2020 3:26 PM BST
screaming from beneaththewaves - This is all on you and your sort, Down

Bit harsh screaming.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 3:52 PM BST
He's looking forward to the day Cheltenham is filled with punters in masks, SA.

He wasn't wearing one on 23 July. No one did. Then, overnight, the moment the authorities issued the command, he obeyed.

If just half of us had ignored the command, that would have been the end of it. The government would have lost their air of authority, and the racecourses would be opening up, perhaps with smaller attendances, but mask-free.

But he didn't. He didn't care how humiliated he was, and nor do 90% of the population. They're actively loving it.

It's all on them, where we are now, and Down is one of them.
Report sparrow October 24, 2020 3:56 PM BST
Never saw you as some of Anarchist screaming, but we live and learn.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 3:58 PM BST
If there's one thing the last seven months have made me, it's full-on libertarian.
Report sparrow October 24, 2020 4:00 PM BST
*some sort of anarchist.
Report Cider October 24, 2020 4:08 PM BST
Enforced face coverings are both demoralizing and have the effect of reinforcing the idea that there is a serious, legitimate threat. The added bonus that a handful of people are coining it in, and it is extremely divisive.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 4:15 PM BST
And they cause long-term bacterial infections in the lungs. So more people take tests, and more people die.

Everyone's a winner.
Report Cider October 24, 2020 4:21 PM BST
Indeed, there is no oversight that they are handled correctly whatsoever. To expect under 18s to use them correctly, is frankly ridiculous and they provide a false sense of security in certain circumstances. Purely weaponized for the purposes of propaganda (and economic gain).
Report Ramruma October 24, 2020 4:45 PM BST
That's right. It is the masks.

And the 44,571 deaths in this country so far, but mainly the masks.
Report Cider October 24, 2020 4:49 PM BST
How many more deaths are you claiming there would be without compelled face coverings?
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 5:29 PM BST
2019: five per cent fewer deaths than average.

2020: five per cent more deaths than average.

If you want any more evidence of where your 44,000 deaths came from, the average age of UK Covid deaths is 82.4; the average age of death overall is 81.2.
Report workrider October 24, 2020 5:31 PM BST
Screaming really enjoyed your Stubbs story ...
Report ronnie rails October 24, 2020 5:44 PM BST

also enjoyed  it
re John Stubbs he was known on course as wormwood.
cockney slang wormwood scrubs
a real nice guy who  had time for everybody as so was the northern guy John Broadway.

have a nice evening
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 5:44 PM BST
Happy days!

Did you know Stubbs? You just have to imagine him, 6 foot six and built with it, the smart white hair, the heavy glasses, the deep voice, and the perpetual air of amusement.

"Thanks for returning it 100/1!"
"Oh right. Did you back it then?" Completely deadpan.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves October 24, 2020 6:00 PM BST
It was only as winter drew in that Alan and I came to appreciate what a favour Stubbs had done us.

After Sydney Barry's victory, I was £10,932 up on the season, and wondering whether to buy a racehorse. By 5 January I was just £5,955 up on the season and wondering how to pay the electric.

I remember sitting in Alan's car in the car park at Newton Abbot after the meeting that afternoon, the pair of us just staring into the rain, with me having done another twelve hundred quid that afternoon.

"I reckon I've been living off the fat of Sydney Barry for the last three months, you know."
"Mmm." Alan at his most lugubrious.
"Christ knows what would have happened if Stubbs had returned it fifty."
Terrified silence.
Report workrider October 24, 2020 8:11 PM BST
Screaming, I know that feeling , down £1,500 one day at the Curragh when I met one of my Sons friends with a couple of his mates, his introduction to them was as follows , this is Eddie's dad and he knows everything about racing and is sure to give us a winner, thought to myself how wrong can a man be...Sad
Report ribero1 October 24, 2020 9:53 PM BST
Good to see Screaming back on form,comfortably the best poster on the forum,been to Doncaster today,admittedly weather awful but think owners have had enough now,hardly a soul there for what used to be a terrific day's racing.
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