BETTING ODDITIES: In his latest weekly Monday blog, DAVID STEWART takes a sideways look at some of the stories making the news in the betting world and beyond.

DAVID STEWART is a freelance digital betting producer and journalist. His CV includes: The Sun, The Sporting Life, Racing Post, At The Races, The Sportsman, lead feature writer for Sky’s Betview magazine and senior producer Timeform Radio.


Hopefully the procrastination over the extension of the ITV Racing contract is down to arguing over small commercial details rather than a more sinister undertone?

The deal was due to be signed earlier this year but, as yet, no white smoke from ITV Towers.

I made the point a few weeks ago that a terrestrial audience for the sport, which ITV has managed to grow, is essential for the sports’ long term health.

But you can see the counter arguments. Take out the crown jewels (Cheltenham, Epsom, Royal Ascot and Goodwood) and there might be a discussion along the lines of ‘it’s an expensive outside broadcast to show races that, in the main, only the experts want to watch and the said experts can already watch those on dedicated racing channels, betting shops and of course on their mobile’.

ITV will do their sums and decide whether a millionth rerun of a Carry On film will produce higher ratings for a fraction of the cost.

Will ITV continue to Carry On Racing?


ARC’s move to transfer the Vertem Futurity from soggy Doncaster to Newcastle is to be commended.

I think the race got far more exposure being run on a Friday night than it would have done otherwise – shoe-horned into rush hour Saturday.  I accept that a lot of the race publicity was the novelty factor of it being the first all-weather Group 1 race. The race had a super smart winner in the shape of the Andrew Balding trained Kameko (pictured).

I really can’t understand the clamour to run so many major races between 1.30 and 3pm on a Saturday. I think it’s high time for better distribution and courses to be bolder.

In newspaper advertising, you pay more for what is considered a ‘solus’ slot – ie: one that stands out on its own without being surrounded by competing products.

Football generally does this much better – the fixture list is a work of genius combining domestic matches, Cup matches, European football so there is minimal overlap.

And guess what…. all matches no longer kick off at 3pm on a Saturday.

Friday could be the new Saturday.


In the bid to get fit for Christmas (going well by the way, now #15/66 I’ve replenished some running kit.

I bought some running socks. Do they make me run faster, almost certainly not, but all part of my ‘All The Gear – No Idea’ make up.

Anyway, in the past my running socks have always had an L and an R on them – I guess for ultimate aerodynamics on both feet – as if !!

Horror, latest pair arrived and they both had an L on them.

So I sent customer services an email.

I was mortified to receive their response.

“Dear Mr Stewart, Thank you for your message. In the case of this brand of socks the ‘L’ stands for large.”

That told me.

Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.