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.


We’re into the silly season of inspections – often multiple inspections and sometimes it works out (Exeter, Sunday) and sometimes it doesn’t (Ffos Las, last Thursday – called off 13 minutes before the first race).

It’s obviously hard for the courses and no one doubts their best interests are in getting the meeting on and getting it on safely for both jockeys and horses.

It’s also easy to be an armchair clerk of the course without the need to step out of the front door. I myself have frequently got Sandown wrong, despite being able to see the grandstand from my office window!

One area that can be improved though is communication on the result of the inspection. I think the inspection time announced should be the time result is announced. At the moment you get, for example, a 10am inspection and then people (including those travelling to the course) frantically trying to get news of whether it is on or not for what can seen an interminable length of time.

So 10am should be the time that the result is announced. It means racecourse officials shuffling processes forward but it would mean that inspection news, much like the races do now, go off ON TIME !!


Fair play to Jose Mourinho for fielding a strong Tottenham side for their trip to Marine who I thought acquitted themselves well, despite the 5-0 scoreline.

When there is an eight-tier gulf between two sides the result wasn’t that surprising but the ‘magic of the Cup’ can only exist if the bigger teams take it seriously and field strong sides.

If they are willing to jettison the Cup in favour of ‘trying not to be relegated’ the magic trick is extinguished by a damp squib.


There’s no doubt that injecting the entire population is a mega logistical exercise and it’s quite right the the Armed Services are deployed in the interest of expediency.

SURELY though as a nation we can get the job done quicker than current estimates?

On the 12th December last year 32,013,675 of us were mobilised to church halls and schools around the country to cast our votes in a 14 hour window for the General Election.

That involved queuing up, having documentation checked and placing a vote. I’m not necessarily saying getting the jab is as quick – but if you throw enough resource at a project the months should turn into weeks at least.


I have to confess there is something compelling about The Masked Singer. ‘Celebrities’ disguised in mascot costumes and judges having to work out who they are. A lot of the time I don’t know who they are AFTER the masks come off. GULP.

Maybe it’s so bad it’s good?

If you haven’t seen it yet, some of the guesses from the panel are plucked out of the air. It makes a Grand National pinsticker look like a form guru.

⚠️ SPOILER ALERT: The budget for the show seems to have gone on the costumes rather than the celebrities !


A display of petulance on the green baize this week. Just a shame he didn’t play his second shot as his first one. Having two goes is a foul, apparently 😉


I’m looking forward to a guest appearance on a podcast next week (details to follow) discussing another part of my life in music and theatre directing.

I’ve been taking counsel from this guy. After all, we’ve ALL listened to podcasts like this before, haven’t we?


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.