Racing Post – punters’, or the bookies’, friend?

SJA committee member DAVID WELCH has launched a blog on his company’s website. In his latest entry, he examines the coverage of this month’s 100-1 Grand National winner

We have just witnessed a 100-1 winner of the Grand National in Mon Mome and, with incredulous spin (even in these head-spinning times), the victory is recorded by the country’s only racing newspaper as an: “Amazing windfall for racing”.

Not, you might note – following the runaway, unquestioned success of an unfancied horse beaten 57 lengths when tailed off on his previous run at Uttoxeter three weeks earlier – as a “Devastating blow for punters”.

The Racing Post goes on to add that: “Upbeat bookmakers also anticipated a beneficial spin-off next year, with more once-a-year punters attracted by the chance of backing a 100-1 winner”

Let’s be grateful for that opportunity. And let’s raise a glass to Sir Fred Goodwin, Jonathan Ross, Alistair Darling and Ashley Cole while we are at it. It’s all very positive stuff. Those dependent on racing for a living (according to the Post) should be on a high (along with the bookmakers, of course) and we are invited to celebrate with them.

But wait… by its own published figures, a tax “windfall” of £20 million for racing means bookmakers are estimated to have won at least £180 million on the race.

Should the Post be comfortable implying this is “good” news when any such profit inevitably means that punters – whom they purport to represent – will have lost £180 million? The same punters, incidentally, on whom the Post depends for its sales, and whom it did its best to advise where they should place their money on the race. None of the Post columnists mentioned Mon Mome.

This is an abbreviated version of the latest entry from David Welch’s blog. To read more, click here

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