Does the casual racegoer care if it’s The Derby or a selling plate?

I wonder if we who are immersed in the intricate beauty of racing, the forensic challenge of form interpretation, the appreciation of superb conformation in the thoroughbred, misjudge what the public seeks in a day at the races?

For us it can border on obsession – one that we are desperate to convey to to the unconverted.  But is that really necessary? Does the casual racegoer need the level of detail we want to push him or her towards? It’s possible they just crave a good day out.

To someone who wants a different experience, how much does it matter if the race they watch is a selling plate or a classic? If it’s a tight finish and a betting slip is clutched, and the stands echo to roars of encouragement, and it’s not hard to get a drink and a tip for the next from the barman, how much more is actually necessary?

Perhaps we should simplify things and go back to basics. Friendly staff, good value, the  excitement of something new with the promise of a win on ‘my horse’; maybe that’s all we need.

Let’s not use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Joe  follow me on twitter

One thought on “Does the casual racegoer care if it’s The Derby or a selling plate?

  1. Not for the first time I think you are spot on with this assessment Joe.

    I think we are becoming too ‘BBC’ in our coverage of our favourite sport for starters.

    Nick Luck is as good as you will find in terms of presenting but it’s all a little bit twee in my book.

    Go back a couple of years and we had Angus whatshisname on more often with his sidekick, arguably the ‘Ant & Dec’ of racing and whatever others say, those two lads have won awards until there is no more room in their garages to house them all.

    Robert Cooper knows how to have fun and that is the difference.

    I was with him at Hereford one bleak winter day and just before we went live, he told me he had his pyjamas on under his ‘morning dress’…..cracking information!

    I asked Peter O’Sullevan one day if racegoers should be told more about percentages, improving their knowledge to take on the old enemy on a more fairer playing field.

    “Why spoil their fun” he replied, they are there for a day out, not to be educated.

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