Have we ever had it so good?

Was just reflecting on the ease with which you can keep up with racing these days.

On TV the headline act is of course ITV racing. I must admit I’ve watched very little of it. The team looks good. Ed Chamberlain seems an excellent front man and generally the experts seem a decent bunch with good chemistry. And they have one of the two best commentators in the business, Richard Hoiles (the outstanding John Hunt being the other). As an aside, I got to know Richard a few years ago when he came to a Wealdstone match to watch a pre-season game against his team, Crewe Alexandra. As well as a fine describer of a race, and an excellent judge of form, he also is one of the nicest men I’ve met in racing.

To be honest though, if I’m in on a Saturday watching the racing, I will tend to watch Attheraces (channel 415), especially for the Irish racing and the majority of the big British races, on Racing UK (channel 432).

When you think about it, it is madness that we should need two racing channels but there you go – since when did sense ever prevail?

However, regardless of that I now find I actually watch racing less and less on any of these channels. Both the ATR and RUK websites offer great replay services, and I was delighted to see that the Racing UK replay service now provides the option to see the finish of the race as well as the whole race.

And if that’s too much effort then simply follow both channels on twitter and you’ll get the majority of finishes from the big races of the day through your twitter feed.

When you add the huge replay resource now available through the Racing Post website, and an amazing selection of races on You Tube it would be possible to spend every available hour watching horse racing videos. And there will be many many other channels available that I don’t know of or haven’t mentioned (especially from abroad).

When I first got into racing it was towards the end of a time where if you went into a betting shop then all you could hear was a time-delayed commentary, though given the pervading cigarette smoke you wouldn’t have seen the screen anyway, if SIS had existed then.

Nowadays, we can take this all for granted. Some of it is even free. So surely the answer to the question has the access to racing ever been better – is emphatically NO!


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