Thursday, 9 May 2013

I'm Throwing Out The Video Recorder

Last weekend I decided to clear out the shed at home. A thirty minute job turned into a full day when I came across a box of old editions of The Sporting Life newspaper. 

One of my favourites featured an interview with the formidable trainer Jenny Pitman entitled “Why I Punched Insolent Osborne”, following an incident when the jockey Jamie Osborne squeezed one of her horses on to the rails at Ayr one day. The jockey later commented “What can I say? She has a great left hook!” 

Apart from the newspapers, you wouldn’t believe how many videos I found with horseracing recorded on them. You might think a couple of tapes would be normal; a box full and you’d imagine this person was a racing enthusiast. But three boxes?! Cheltenham, Aintree, Ascot, Chester: in the 1980’s and 1990’s I used to record the racing every weekend to make sure that I missed nothing.

Times have changed. Not only is all the terrestrial coverage on a single channel, so there’s no need to juggle with the remote-control to switch between BBC and Channel 4, but we have Racing UK to bring the races into our homes every day of the week.

A dedicated racing channel, Racing UK broadcasts live racing from 650 meetings at 33 of the UK’s top racecourses including Cartmel. So if you can’t join us on Saturday evening 25th May, you’ll be able to watch us on television at Sky 432, Virgin Media 536 or Freeview 231. And if you are here, but you miss a race while you’re in the bar, you can catch up by watching the review when you get home or watch an individual race through the website or mobile phone applications.

This year Racing UK are planning more camera shots of the parade ring at Cartmel, so you’ll be able to see more of the horses before each race. The Racing UK website contains up-to-date news stories, runners for all the race-meetings, columnists and lots of archive material – so my own boxes of material have just been chucked in the skip, although I couldn’t resist cutting out the article about Jenny Pitman first.

While the Flat season is now in full swing, there are still some decent jumpers around and the feature race of Haydock’s Saturday meeting is the Swinton Hurdle, for which I can’t resist having a few pennies on Evan Williams’ runner Court Minstrel – and as I’ll be busy during the afternoon, I’ll be checking the results later on RacingUK.

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