JUST WILLIAM: In Defence Of…

Hello and Happy Easter (in advance) to you all!

Columns these days are very often written as attack pieces about all sorts of things. However, the discourse on a couple of subjects have really ground my gears this week, so please read on to see my defence of two topical subjects as follows, starting with…..

The Racing League

A disclaimer: Before I start talking about the Racing League, I have to make a conflict of interest clear; I have been published (and paid) to write a piece for their website along with appearing on a podcast of theirs. Nevertheless, I stand behind the point I’m about to make.

Dear reader, picture this.

A series of new handicaps for horses rated only 0-90. There are 36 new races, and each is worth £50,000. With races from five to 12 furlongs, all horses but stayers – who have a rich heritage handicap programme to target – are accounted for, and the runners in these races would be trained and written by some of the country’s very best trainers and jockeys. With all this, there are no race entry fees and no jockey riding fees for those who choose to have their horses involved.

Given the recent upset – and much of it justifiable, considering levels in every other racing jurisdiction – this should be heaven to the ears of many. Yet the Racing League has either been met with indifference or rejection but those in racing, and I cannot fathom why.

Whether the nuances of a six-week team competition work as hoped remain to be seen – the Shergar Cup has its distractions, but it’s only over one day – but at the very least we should have some happy owners – and it’s hard to imagine that punters won’t come for competitive races with top jockeys and trainers where every position counts, either. Who wouldn’t want to get involved?

The Packed Park

Time – not that it’s mattered much during the god damned pandemic – is a flat circle, and we appear to have forgotten a crucial fact about COVID-19 and how it’s transmitted.

We know that Coronavirus can spread via contact with an infected surface, such as a door handle; and by breathing in viral particles from an infected person. That is far less likely outside, with fewer surfaces to touch and fresh air to disperse the particles.

This appears to have been forgotten – or perhaps never considered – by an entire nation’s worth of people, especially as the Rule of Six has been bright back outdoors in England along with some outdoor sports. With a decrease in the circulation of the virus – the ONS now estimates that 1 in 370 English people has COVID 19, which is down from 1 in 50 at the January Peak – and vaccines working brilliantly, there’s little need to worry about the sight of packed parks, especially given that neither they nor packed beaches have driven COVID outbreaks.

And another note: Whilst there’s no defence here for littering – if you can bring your cans to the park, you can take them home – perhaps these scenes can inspire our councils to put more bins in parks this year. Just a thought!

That’s all for this week – but if you want more topical thoughts then David Stewart’s Oddities is jam-packed for an Easter special, and I’ve dropped the link below.


Have a wonderful Easter, be safe, and be good to each other!


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