BETTING ODDITIES: The Times They Are A Changin’

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.

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.


Look out next year for ‘non-standard’ race times being trialled by the BHA. In other words races like the 3.08pm at Kempton.


I get the reasoning, I really do, to try and avoid race clashes but ….. there are surely enough minutes and hours in a day to run more than enough races for punters and bookmakers?

And am I missing one important point? Race clashes are usually caused by on the day unpredictable events – horses running loose etc which, guess what, will still happen when races go off at ‘ugly times’ like 3:08pm.

I might be accused of being a traditionalist but who really wants race after race catapulting into each other anyway like the Clapham Junction timetable?

Having time to study a race, reflect on the last one, and, God forbid, the chance to get a coffee surely make the sport more palatable than a fast food conveyor belt? More free range racing and less factory farmed, if you like. If we really need more races just regulate them over a longer period of the day.

I’m also convinced that those who whinge, whine and moan on twitter when there is a clash (not as frequent as you may think) are guilty of faux outage and aren’t speaking from their pockets.

There is also a more sinister side to this. It’s sanitising the racing ‘product’ – a word I hate. Those in charge trying to provide the optimum service based on facts and figures.

Hopefully the end game for all this ‘control’ isn’t what they have in America. Soulless races, never clashing, all on the same types of courses, going and distances and guess what …… no crowds either.

The great variety of British and Irish racing should be preserved as it makes it a vibrant sport not a Playstation game. And that also includes the occasional cock-up and controversy too.

After all, we need SOMETHING to moan about rather than the utopian world that is on the horizon in 2020.


A few ‘technical issues’ in my area for Virgin media subscribers who have lost internet, TV and telephone lines since last Thursday.

I’m no expert, but suspect this picture from local works in Claygate might have a connection. Unlike Virgin media subscribers.


Spain has gone lottery mad with the annual ‘El Gordo’ lottery which had a staggering £1.9 BILLION in the prize pot. GULP.

El Gordo translates as ‘the fat one’ and it will be a very Happy Christmas for those with the magic number 26590.

I wish I had entered as, by sheer coincidence, 26,590 is the number of calories I’ll be consuming on Christmas Day 🙁

The whole extravaganza lasts for three hours – not quite as long as the Lincoln draw 😉 as tiny wooden balls roll down chutes from giant bins.

I wish you a very Happy Christmas. And if any El Gordo winners are reading Feliz Navidad to you too!


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