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


Outside 10 Downing Street this morning Boris Johnson talked about “firing up the engines of the economy one by one” when it is safe to do so.

I wonder how much of a gamble the racing industry will take when it is their turn to light the touch paper under the sport?

Who knows how racing will emerge in the ‘new normal’ but racecourse attendances might well suffer with ongoing social distancing concerns and racegoers who have simply got out of the habit of going racing and in any case might have less money to play with?

How will racing fire up the engines of the economy?

Bets can be transacted off course, of course but for me a vibrant on course attendance is vital for the long-term success of the sport.

My interest in horse racing came from a Bank Holiday trip to Newcastle and I suspect many other future punters have treaded the same path.

This suggestion might be greeted with horror by the racecourses but how about FREE ADMISSION for all UK horse racing for the rest of 2020?

By throwing down the seeds it will look after the old patrons, encourage new ones and fire up the engines of a great sport.

It might well need something as radical as that to fight back? Time for some re-imagination.


This might sound sad but I’m going to say it. The Sainsbury’s weekly delivery is my highlight of lockdown week !!

And I hear enterprising small businesses are getting in on the local delivery game too – in their own small way taking on the mighty Amazon.

Local butchers, artisan bakers, florists are all going the extra distance by bringing their local produce to your door. The delivery game is no longer just about pizza.

The personal touch of home deliveries looks certain to be a growth business.

…. even the milkman might be on his way back!


It’s taken a pandemic to drag the House Of Commons into the 21st century.

MP’s debating by Zoom, less Punch and Judy theatrics and voting electronically.

To my eyes it looked a far more efficient process and one that should continue.

Division. Clear The Lobby. UNLOCK.


I’m isolating in my native north east and on the daily allowable walk go past this house in Darlington.

Given that this property deal was, in all probability, concluded just before lockdown I can’t help but think the sellers think they have hit the jackpot and the buyers are feeling they have thrown away the best part of at least 30 bags in cold blood.

However, three important words might yet trigger the bing bong of a stewards’ enquiry. The all-important SUBJECT TO CONTRACT.

Mind you, my thinking might be flawed. Who knows what will happen to property prices? The betting is surely that they will take a hit but in my experience the stock market and property prices often react in the polar opposite direction of what clueless people like me might expect.

Stay safe.


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.

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