Friday 6 September
Yesterday the British Horseracing Authority stated it would listen to Racecourse proposals to stage fixtures on Good Friday from 2014. In my opinion a terrible proposal. Good Friday is one of the 3 days per year on which there is no racing. For reasons of religion Good Friday was always seen as a non sporting day - like Christmas Day, but then Sunday was once held in the same way, and now Sunday is just another normal sporting/commercial day, so on the face of it there is no reason why racing on Good Friday should not happen. But look deeper - back in the day when Good Friday was an almost blank sporting day - and the only sport you could find was Wigan v St Helens in the Rugby League - I was the first one to bemoan the lack of action. I was not alone - and seizing on an opportunity - the good folks of Lambourn, realising that there were plenty of people who wanted to do something, decided to host the Lambourn Open Day - when the village opens its doors to the public and raises thousands for charity. A whole host of yards throw their doors open and it an amazing chance for the public to get close to their equine heroes. If racing goes ahead on Good Friday - this event will be seriously diminished. You only have to take a peek on Twitter to see how the jockeys and valets are reacting to know that it is not a popular move amongst those at the coal face. They get 3 days off per year - and now one of those is being taken away. Because they get Good Friday off, they have their annual awards night the night before in Birmingham - and to be honest - it would be hard work to find a sober one to ride on the Friday!! This whole thing appears, once again to be bookmaker lead, with the suggestion that they would even host a 'Championship' 2 year old race!! IN APRIL!! How can you have such an event after just a month of the flat season?? Whilst welcoming a boost to prizemoney - once again it seems to be misdirected!