IT doesn’t take a full page of analysis to come to the conclusion, pretty well concluded after last year, that the Racing League in Britain was never really a goer, if its main purpose was to increase more interest in the sport.
The prize money and TV coverage were bonuses so far but, as an event to persuade more people to come to a race meeting, trying to invent a team sport to increase interest failed.
Racing is simply well down the sport popularity list and, to me, the only way to promote it as a team sport and try to get extra interest in that way, is to link it to another more popular team sport.
I think it could work here with the county GAA scene and, crazy as it might seem, it might be worth taking a shot at trying to link it with the big football clubs in Britain that already have a strong rivalry and pull in some interest that way. Get someone close to a club to be a manager along with a trainer. Even put the jockeys in club colours to be more easily identified in a race. A bit of genuine aggro, not the fake ‘we want to beat Chapman’ stuff.
Who cared if Wales won when there was no identity with the team from the region. Pick a retired soccer star to be involved. Think Liverpool v Man Utd v Celtic. It might have wider media interest than what we got.
Arc ready to ignite and excite
THE Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe picture developed a bit more this week with a few more horses declared as likely runners.
Verry Elleegant is in, though who rides her is another piece of the puzzle.
Connections seemed to be seeking Soumillon but the announcement that Vadeni is an intended runner probably ends that union.
Vadeni’s pedigree, by Churchill, though out of a Monsun mare, doesn’t really shout 12 furlongs and none of his siblings have won over that distance, but on decent ground it may be worth a shot.
Kyprios is also out, instead staying at the longer-distance races, but there were positives for stable companion Luxembourg.
With the international element provided by Verry Elleegant and the top-class Japanese runners, the news about Adayar being a possible runner was even more exciting this week.
Charlie Appleby’s comments at Newmarket, “We’ll go where the ground is right and if we’re going to get sensible ground in the Arc, the likelihood is we’ll take our chance” and that “he thinks he’s King Kong again. He’s got his mojo back and is 100% the horse that won the Derby, if not better,” are very encouraging.
Baaeed, where are yah? You might not be missed.
I MIGHT have to pull out the old school books and regain a few sentences as Gaeilge for next year because a major thumbs up is due to the extensive Listowel coverage on TG4 this week.
It matched anything the bigger channels provide in pictures, graphics, interviews and features. The final day is on all afternoon today and in November both Down Royal and Naas will also be broadcast.