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06 May 19 22:51
Date Joined: 29 Jun 02
| Topic/replies: 31,465 | Blogger: workrider's blog
I have been going racing since early childhood, I saw Nijinsky make a winning start at H.Q...Today's new Curragh is not for the racing man as we know it, what makes me say that I hear you say, lets begin by saying there were more security guards than people in the posh seats today, I kid you not. The corporate client is the dream it seems, or those willing to pay massive money to become members. They will let you watch from the first few seats in the stands for  e220-260 but dare you go into members its over e900 .
A white elephant of huge proportions is about to be exposed over the next few years, they have lost all sense of what the Irish racegoer is. They assume people will pay these silly prices to watch 3/4  runner Coolmore exercise gallops as evident today. Nearly every member I spoke to today says they will not be renewing membership next year, and who can blame them. Roughly 12 Tote outlets in the whole stand, can you imagine trying to place a bet on one of the three busy days of the year there, I can honestly say there will ONLY be 3 busy days per year if they are lucky.I could say many more negative  things but will leave it for now. The viewing was brilliant from the stand if you like the Curragh. There I've said  the only positive thing I found today...
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Report roadrunner46 May 7, 2019 4:17 AM BST
good to know, just got to check my share portofiolio now and enjoy my coffee and smoke, before I start my new job today, bricklayer now
Report foxy May 7, 2019 11:31 AM BST
They should have modelled it on Gowan park a proper racecourse.
Report kincsem May 8, 2019 9:58 AM BST
I was surprised to find that only half the seats were for ordinary annual badge holders.
The reserved/posh seats were 99% empty with the ordinary seating almost full.
They might sellout the posh seats for the 2000 Guineas and the Irish Derby but I think it was a massive miscalculation.
On Monday it was not an issue.  There were enough seats for the plebs.
On a big race day my guess is they will have oversold the plebs seating while the posh seating will be unoccupied.
Then it will all kick off.
Report foxy May 8, 2019 10:26 AM BST
Haydock has areas where annual badge holders are not allowed unless they pay extra not very good really.
Report RoyalAcademy May 8, 2019 12:06 PM BST
I daresay a remodelled Curragh is not likely to prevent anyone witnessing another Nijinsky. It remains a superb track and the jury is definitely out on the corporatism as the track will often appear empty. If the sheepskin rugger boys turn up a la the Aviva then who knows? The manager was hired on the basis of his experience with the ERC and its taken a very long time for his (and others') vision to be tested.

As for "the racing man as we know it" he's with O'Leary in the grave. Apart from an observation about security guards - there were also huge numbers of redundant younger attendants and customer service personnel - the main gripe is lack of Tote facilities. Anyone that thinks the Tote is in any way relevant to Irish Racing is deluded and it has been picking the pockets of the grey generation for decades. How on earth anyone strikes a bet risking a 1/50 (1.02) return is utterly beyond me.

I would say the Curragh is as it ever was, a gathering place for the Turf Club-istes and this is no different except an effort will be made to attract corporate and leisure money. The lack of facilities such as betting shop, food vans etc is presumably going to be improved although the main hall needs to anticipate far bigger crowds and far faster service. Imagine a Centaur-like pit and you might smile or turn pale.

If you take your betting reasonably seriously I think most agree the place to be is at home with your technology and this is a great challenge facing racecourses - and very difficult to solve - so a myriad of other options have to be looked at to replace the man who used to populate the betting ring. Corporate clients, best-dressed-ladies, good food and drink offerings and music is the inevitable direction that has to be taken. Even a hardened racegoer like workrider now bemoans the Coolmore runners even though it was possibly less competitive in Vincent's day when said Nijinsky was in his pomp. Its a new model and I hope that the €80m investment (a lot of it from investors who should really be called benefactors) is a success.
Report roadrunner46 May 8, 2019 6:05 PM BST
its obvious people like john magnier needs to dip his hands in hids back pockets and start supporting the premium race trac in Ireland the curragh, god knows hes made enough money out of the game, time for them to give back and ebncourage more attendance with better facicilities, don't want to turn up at a dump to watcg tiop class racing , anonymous donoation would be good, at the heart of racing,
Report roadrunner46 May 8, 2019 6:08 PM BST
as for the coparate clientel, wouldny kmnow a horses ass from its elbow, they think they are smart in their suits, put a ties ion their shirts, but its just a dogs collar pmslLaugh
Report workrider May 10, 2019 11:07 AM BST
Too my way of thinking its obvious that another Irish giveaway has taken place , this White Elephant well funded by the taxpayer, will find its way into the hands of the rich without them paying the full price. Much like the recent broadband fracas.
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