Thoughts of Ian Aitken


In his article a few days ago on the new regulations around declaration of Wind Surgery, Al Duncan touched on the statement from the BHA which referred to consultation on the matter with stakeholders of British racing. The terms stakeholder will be familiar to those whose working life involves business and project management - meaning anyone who has a vested interest in the outcome of a business or project. And by anyone, it means any group, organisation or individual. To project managers, it can loosely be termed as 'anyone who can spoil my day'.

I had a few initial thoughts on this announcement, and again over the last few days so I've jotted down my own reflections on this new rule.

1. Who were the actual Stakeholders that were consulted?
It has become apparent that the main stakeholder the BHA are seeking to appease are Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF). Bodies like NTF (National Trainers Federation) and ROA (Racehorse Owners Assocation) admitted to being consulted, although to what extent these latter groups canvassed their membership is unclear. I have yet to see any statement from the Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), nor indeed from any of the two major sales companies (Goffs & Tattersalls).

2. By declaring (WS) against the various recognized operations, the approximately 60% 'success' rate of the surgery could increase or decrease. Therefore this declaration may not be as significant when compared to the declaration of the use of various head gear (blinkers, cheekpieces etc.).

3. From a punting point of view, currently you can be sure that bookmakers will already have this information (more often than not) from their various 'sources'. Of course, this knowledge will be factored into their SPs (privileged info which somehow they can use to their advantage).

4. By declaring (WS) punters will be seen to be getting information which may benefit them but in reality doesn't as can be seen from the success rate. A further breakdown of the detail contained within the (WS) indicator would help enormously. Viz, ....

5. There is the probability that by getting this information, a punter's assessment of a race in which a bet is to be placed may be clouded.
But therein lies the rub. Such a statement is an OPINION, but the (WS) indicator is a FACT.
Form students will always give more credence to FACTS over OPINIONS. Every day of the week.

6. However, betting blindly on horses with (WS) against them will prove a costly lesson long term. This information that should be reated as an aid rather than a golden highway to making a profit.

A final observation is that little credence has been given to the views of Owners & Trainers, the very stakeholders who keep the racing industry going. On this occasion more weight has been accorded to the demands of punters and bookmakers.

Last word is from racing journalist and racehorse owner of many years, Marten Julian who  says "Punters will want their nappies changed next....... will be very hard to define a wind operation procedure".

   © 2012  all rights reserved  |   Web Design : Viewforth Consultants Ltd.