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02 Aug 21 07:33
Date Joined: 26 Mar 21
| Topic/replies: 30 | Blogger: Carveth's blog
Main points from Viscount Astor's (Member of the All-Party Racing Group) letter to the Racing Post, JUL 31 2021:

1. Racing's default position is always to look for outside help
2. As competition between bookmakers has increased and margins shrunk the levy should be based on turnover rather than gross profit
3. Drones currently do not breach civil aviation authority rules - Viscount Astor has a private members bill to extend copyright to sport
4. Some races in the evening have greater turnover than daytime races, stage racing when people want to go or place a bet
5. Why do some prestige races have so few runners? Is this to do with entry fees or fixture lists?
6. Racing must publicise its work on horse welfare, both during training, retirement and rehoming of older horses, whilst deploring the failure of regulation by the Food Standards Agency, racing must bare some of the responsibility, its not a new issue and one of increasing public concern
7. The All-Party Racing Group's role is to tell racing that if it wants a sympathetic government that listens then racing must be seen to have taken all the steps it can to sort problems that only it has the power to solve
Pause Switch to Standard View Viscount Astor letter to Racing Post
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Report Ramruma August 2, 2021 8:02 AM BST
1. True
2. Has competition increased? Corals & Ladbrokes are in the same ownership, as are Betfair and Paddy Power. Hills is disappearing.
3. Who cares? Well, in-running punters. Anyone else?
4. Begs the question.
5. Not sure but another possibility is not enough top class horses to go round.
6. Yes.
7. Probably.
Report sparrow August 2, 2021 8:27 AM BST
Number 4 will upset the purists.
Report sageform August 2, 2021 9:50 AM BST
Number 6 is a product of the disconnect between racing and other uses to which horses are put and the apparent lack of coordination with Ireland and possibly France when it comes to the slaughter of horses after their "useful" life is over. There is no point in banning the live export of animals for slaughter if you don't also ban the imports. He is right to point out that Racing is not responsible for the welfare standards within abattoirs in UK or any other country and the BHA need to lobby Defra and the Food Standards Agency to reflect UK public opinion. No horse comes under BHA jurisdiction until it enters a training yard and it ceases to be so once it leaves training.
As far as drones are concerned, presumably the main issue is the ability to "broadcast" racing on the internet from a drone camera which affects the other "official" broadcasters. It may not be widespread at the moment but it soon could be.
Report Ramruma August 2, 2021 9:54 AM BST
The letter was in Sunday's paper, btw, for those wanting to play along at home, not Saturday as per OP.
Report DIFERENT GRAVY 12 August 2, 2021 10:02 AM BST
I used to love Viscounts when I was a kid!
Report Ramruma August 2, 2021 10:05 AM BST
The section on drones is interesting. Is it misleading? Retyped by me so E&OE.

We now see drones flying alongside racecourses over land that is not owned or controlled by racing, so they are legal and not breaching Civil Aviation Authority rules. They are broadcasting pictures faster than racing's media partners to both legal overseas bookmakers and illegal bookmakers.

Sport is not covered by the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, unlike literary, musical, film and other artistic works. Anyone can film and sell sports pictures and it is very difficult to regulate flying of drones as their cameras' range gets further and further.

I believe we must follow the money. I have a private members' bill to extend copyright to sport which I hope will be supported not only by racing but by football, golf, and all other outdoor sports where media rights income is under threat.

No mention of in-running. Are racing pictures from drones really being sold to overseas bookmakers or only to in-running punters? If the latter, it is harder to make the case that there is any loss to the media rights owners.
Report Gordon63 August 2, 2021 10:07 AM BST
1 Agreed - and considering the aptitude and success rate of those 'leading' British racing, anyone would look elsewhere for help
2 Agreed - however the percentage of turnover coming from racing is falling year on year partly due to self inflicted wounds (see 1 above) but also the rise in sports betting
3 As per below - I quite like some of the drone shots, in running cheats can do one!
4 No surprise - the surprise would be if any of the far too many summer AW races had more turnover than evening turf racing
5 Could be both, but can't discount the modern way of training, the prize money abroad and major festivals in Far and Middle East where prize money dwarfs that over here and indeed in Europe
6 Agreed - and having been on a recent focus group on the whip, racing also needs to take a stand against any perception that use of the whip is cruel or damaging to the horse, at least when used within the current regulations. Any 'innovation' whether a reduction or elimination will only pander to those who don't understand animals and they'll inevitably move on to another issue as they won't be happy until all competitive sports are banned
7 Agree - although one area where Ireland is definitely better positioned is the government recognition and support of the breeding industry, although they've (in my eyes at least) blotted their copybook with over cautious approach to racegoing over past 18 months
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