BETTING ODDITIES: Stalls or Stalled?

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.


Not only was it good news to see racing resume in France (and Germany) this week but it also offers the strongest pointer yet to a resumption in the UK.

Jockeys wearing masks, racing behind closed doors and social distancing applied has been backed by both the French government and police.

Fingers crossed this is a success as it will be the best evidence the BHA can take to our government for an equivalent re-start.

It can’t be taken for granted though. There is still plenty of work to do in convincing government to treat racing different from other sports. In France, horse racing is recognised as an ‘agricultural activity’ which exempts it from the blanket ban on sport there until September.

Doncaster is always our season opener. Let’s just hope this year the green light comes before the St Leger meeting.


Some common sense this week from Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough when he stated getting business going again as quickly as possible isn’t the best news for the economy. He preferred to say the best news for the economy would be getting business going with the virus out of the way. It’s nuance of detail but important – the risk of a second spike is unthinkable, especially as we have come so far. The country doesn’t want to land on that long snake towards the end of the snakes and ladders board.


It’s hard to think of a sector that hasn’t been impacted but some are undoubtedly worse than others. Restaurants are now unlikely to open before July at the earliest and then likely to have to comply with social distancing measures. How on earth can that work in a restaurant where margins are often less than 10% and by taking out at least 50% of seating/capacity means they will run at an unsustainable loss. And the news gets worse – being told you can go back to a restaurant is very different from wanting to go back.


Any actors looking for temporary work whilst the West End and regional theatre remains dark won’t have much joy finding joy as a Donald Trump impersonator. The man is now officially beyond parody.


I like an occasional Big Mac and fries as much as anyone – even a box of McNuggets (sweet and sour dip if you’re buying) but was bemused by this …..

A McDonalds spokesman said: “Next week we will begin the next phase of reopening a further 30 pilot restaurants in the UK and Ireland, the maximum order will be £25 – to keep queues down.”

£25 to keep queues down ???? Just how many people do spend more than a pony in Maccie D’s ????


There seems to be a proliferation now of fame hungry whores who post attention seeking videos on YouTube – all with the sole intention of winding up people in authority. Police, traffic wardens and the latest pathetic one this morning trying to shame a Sainsbury’s employee for simply doing their job. All trying to get a reaction from the “I no (sic) my rights” line of attack. Put your phones away, the videos are utterly tiresome and only going to prove that empty vessels really do make the most noise.

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.