In preparing for the Cheltenham Festival, any race fan getting on in years had to remember to book a couple of weightlifters to carry his Timeform Perspective folder. But the 2012 Festival will be the last for this printed publication which has been around for 20 years.
The Flat edition will finish on December 31st. The NH edition dies at the end of the current season.
The Perspective contained detailed analysis of every race in the UK and Ireland plus the big races in Europe and North America. In the heart of every true punter, hope rules, and the arrival of each delivery promised potential riches courtesy of a horse or two spotted by Timeform’s analysts, tucked away in the also-rans and ignored by many . . . but sussed by the boys from Halifax.
Those deliveries are planned three times a week but it’s a run-rate that the Royal Mail can’t seem to keep up with. An undelivered Perspective on its nominated day would cause almost as much frustration as a missing Giro in The Scheme.
Technology too has played its part. Timeform’s head of communications and commercial. Kieran Packman said: “Timeform will not be producing Perspectives beyond the current seasons as it is simply not a viable product in the modern environment. The reliability of Royal Mail has dropped to such an extent that we cannot guarantee a sufficiently high level of service to our customers. Our online Race Passes product includes everything previously contained in Perspective (and a lot more!) and it makes considerable sense for us to concentrate resources on a product for which we control delivery.”
That raised a question about the future of another famed Timeform publication The Black Book. Kieran said: “The Black Book is in no immediate danger. The fact there’s only one a week significantly reduces postal problem build-up and we receive far less complaints about the delivery of this service.”
Pessimists will note the use of the word ‘immediate’.
The passing of The Perspective was mourned by a few posters on The Racing Forum. Gingertipster wrote:
Amongst others, it did help with Camache Queen on Sept 28th, backed at 20/1.
7th July Warwick 7f good-soft 6th
“Camache Queen persevered with at 7f, again took a keen hold during the early part of the race and failed to last home, so surely she’ll be back over shorter next time”.
6th Sept Lingfield still at 7f good-soft Camache Queen 3rd
“Camache Queen really is one to look out for when dropped to sprint trips, going through the race like comfortably the best handicapped horse, but not able to pick up like the winner, albeit not helped by the winner hanging left either”.
28th Sept 4:10 Salisbury Now at 6f good-soft.
Backed at 20/1 where SP only 8/1
1st Camache Queen 20/1
‘Race Passes’ seem to be Timeform’s big hope. Mr Packman was very guarded on the question of iPad and iPhone development plans but it looks to me like printed matter, as in many organisations, is on its way out.
Don’t be surprised if you see a few of our TV pundits squinting at a phone screen when offering comments on runners in the future.
As I mention in the blog from time to time, I neither seek nor accept reward from any company mentioned