News cycle ending for Life at Ten

Well, it looks like the Life at Ten incident is falling out of the news cycle, much to the relief, I’m sure, of Todd Pletcher, the Kentucky stewards and the Breeders’ Cup organization. The mare’s owner released a statement saying that no, the horse definitely should not have run, but no word on whether she stays with Pletcher. No word, either, on her current state of health and whether she will stay in training at all.

But on a brighter front, looks like my friends over at Betfair lost a court case in Australia that could cost them some money. Good on the Australians for having the balls to point out that running a racing industry carries an enormous cost, and that it is not OK for some parasitic betting exchange to leach off the spectacle for free. Actually, it is really too complimentary to refer to Betfair as a parasite, because an effective parasite won’t kill the host. Racing is in the death throes in England and Ireland, thanks in large part to Betfair and the bookies. (Are you listening, America? Betfair has its eye on you, too, and you’ve got too many problems of your own to solve without Betfair stepping in.) Bravo to France for keeping them out, thus ensuring that we are the only country in Europe where it makes economic sense to own a racehorse.

And last but not least, a little news from the yard. This being football season in America (as my husband reminds me every Sunday night), I will try to borrow a few terms from across the pond. Apologies if I’ve screwed it up somehow. On the active roster, we have  Hi Shinko, who will go to Le Mans on Sunday for his third race in France, which will qualify him for handicaps and then we can get serious. Email Exit (George) seems to have gotten over his cough and is on the comeback trail with an eye toward Deauville in early December. Tufani is working well and is just waiting for a decent race on the all-weather to stretch her legs, too, and Blessing Belle is coming back nicely after her time off to recover from her accident. Our new recruit, Strictly Rhythm, has a Deauville target at the end of December. Timelord has had a small setback but will also be ready for December.

On injured reserve we have Rendition, who is recovering from sore shins in Normandy and will be prepped for a debut in early spring, and Hard Way, who is recovering from his weird fractured vertebra and will have another scan in mid-January.

Recently drafted was King Driver, a very nice-looking Domedriver yearling who is now being backed in Normandy, and Triple Tonic, the full sister of the ill-fated Well Shuffled who is going for backing this week.

We’re still shopping for one or two new recruits, so watch this space. And I promise that’s the last time I try to borrow from football.

0 Replies to “News cycle ending for Life at Ten”

  1. Well said Gina, Betfair and bookmakers have ruined racing in Britain and Ireland, for their own selfish means, aided by paid up Parliamentary members over the years, conveniently protecting their interests.
    What other major industry, would allow an outside organisation to use their product for profit, without paying the right price for it.
    Last year the British bookmaking and betting exchange industry gave just £75million to fund British Racing, keeping £800million further profit from horserace betting for themselves..
    Basically you get what you deserve. The New South Wales Government have not done anything clever, just used basic common sense, in that you can’t use the product of another, without paying the going rate.
    In Britain we have been faced with successive Government’s who have been effectively blocked from doing the right thing for racing, by those members paid up by the bookmaking industry to protect their interests.
    Therefore the bookmaking industry has been allowed to dictate the terms, not as it should be the other way round.
    British racing should be receiving at least £400m from betting profits, the British racing Board is tentively only asking the new Government for £130m. A decision is expected before the end of the year.
    As usual Racings demands even at the punitive lower level, will probably fall on deaf ears, the bookmaking lobby being too powerfully represented.
    As Gina says U.S. be warned. Betfair and Stan James bookmaker have already bought into the American Market. That’s bad news, as these parasites are experts at sucking the racing industry dry.
    If you want a second opinion ask any of them.

  2. A bit harsh on Betfair which in fact started as a site for betting on your local football(soccer) team and then snowballed as people embraced the product and its amazingly good software.
    The fault is with the authorities who allow their product to be used for free. Betfair is a wonderful invention for the serious gambler who would be quite happy for a levy to be introduced if the alternative was the pre-exchange betting world.
    The problem is that the bookmakers will not promote racing if it is too highly taxed as they can make tax free money on all the other sports that people gamble on– so there has to be some give and take BUT they must be made to pay a lot more than they do at present.
    Interestingly attendances are healthily up in the UK so (unlike France or at least the parisian tracks) there is a very large taget audience– they “just”need to find a better way of cutting up the cake.
    The jury is still out on the french solution– don’t count your chickens too soon.Personally I think that in 4 years or so we will have to deal with a shrinking budget compounded by thr lack of customer participation at the racetracks- politicians must surely notice that the voters/the electorate are not at all interested….

    PS -Also it is unbelievable (to the UK watcher) that the french horseracing authorities pay the tv chains to show their product!!

  3. Ian, you DO still care! I admit looking at Betfair and bookmakers purely from the horse-owner/trainer side and not at all from the gambling side. I know bettors love the thing. But there has to be a way to return money to the sport. I don’t know if the French model will hold up, either – although I obviously hope so – and I do agree that there has been no effort made to attract people to the sport. If only we could get the UK crowds at French races…but then you’d have to feed them, which is something the French apparently know nothing about. But that’s another story…

  4. Ian, sure punters like the Betfair model, as thet can act like bookmakers, without paying the normal overheads involved.
    In Britain the Government helped Betfair’s cause by chickening out of going down this road, knowing full well the Betfair model couldn’t work ,if normal business rules applied.
    The European Commission normally first in line at stamping out unfair competition, has also surprisingly turned a blind eye to this unfair competitive practice. It’s not difficult to work out why?
    There is also no reason why Bookmakers can take bets on other sports like football, golf and cricket without paying anything to the governing bodies concerned.
    The fact that France has poor numbers at most meetings, has more to do with the way people bet in France on horse racing.
    Pool betting is the name of the game here, with the daily Tiercé race taking around 70% of all bets. This type of lottery bet doesn’t require people to be avid race goers. Most simply have a bet in a local café, where they can watch the race if they wish.

    This is the type of bet that bookmakers detest, as they have no control over it. While France has a very low cost off-course betting system, merely being an extended service in a café. Britain uses off -course betting shops which are expensive to run, likewise Betting Exchanges.

    Unlike Ian, I think French racing will survive, but what is a bigger danger to the sport, is its possible collapse in other leading European horse racing countries, through Government’s not acting quick enough to the threat posed by betting exchanges and bookmakers, for properly financing the sports needs and better marketing of the product.
    Germany is a country whose racing industry is really in trouble, yet it has a thriving breeding industry and could be profitable, but has not been receiving enough from bookmakers betting turnover, over the years and has been suffering the consequences.. The result, more and more German runners are coming across the border, in search of the richer prize money on offer in France. But this is not a solution.

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