How would you design an Amazon Prime type service for the horseracing nut?
Realistically, what could you get if you, as a racing fan, paid £8 a month into British Racing’s central pot for an exclusive subscription service? One service that does everything?
I was thinking about this last month when talented trainer Jerome Reynier was caught up in a minor storm at Cagnes-sur-Mer regarding the race readiness of his colt Dar Toungi, who rattled home in fourth in a race confined to unraced three-year-olds.
Prominent journalist Gilles Barbarin alleged that Dar Toungi was not adequately ready to race, despite the horse having worked at Marseille-Vivaux prior to the race, with the end result being that the stewards banned the horse for 1 month, banned the jockey for 10 days and fined both the trainer and owner €1,500 each for their troubles. There seemed no mention of the genius ride given by Boudot aboard the winner, nor that his mount Gold would go on to be entered in all the Classics.
The sectional times, race replay and the stewards’ report are online for you to make your own mind up but something interesting came out in the washing from Reynier in his testimony for Jour de Galop. In races with debutants, he said, it would be beneficial for bettors if they were able to consult a quote or a confidence index from each trainer regarding their chance in that race.
French trotting has such a system where the trainers give a traffic light colour to indicate their confidence at the point of declarations. Something similar for British thoroughbred racing could be made achievable as a condition of licensing for certain race types.
I’m thinking races like the Brocklesby Stakes, all reappearances after 60 days and all graded races. No need for handicaps.
This wouldn’t even need Racing Post (or Race Sharp!) hacks to carry it out. There would be an online form with the declaration via Racing Admin, either a traffic light or a text form which requires at least 10 words.
You know, the same kind of form on Booking.com that you use to try to bag the sea view from your hotel room.
Such pointers perhaps would be insufficient to form the basis of stewarding decisions, but they could be repackaged and sold onto the race fan through a Prime package.
What else would I throw into the £8 bundle?
- Race streaming
- Race replay archive
- Integrated stewarding reports
- Going description alerts
- Rewards4Racing integration
- Tote placepot vouchers
- On course food and beverage vouchers
- Sectional times reports with highlights packaged up by Simon Rowlands
- Virtual stable tours
It might take a while to get the economics of this to work in a challenging rights landscape, but I’ll happily sign up as customer 001.