Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trot off

Influenced deeply by my father's love of betting on
horses, I have always had a soft spot for horse-racing
and still run an eye over the racing results in the paper
every day, even though I rarely bet and always lose
when I do. I've certainly been aware of the racing
industry's struggle to survive in recent times, and
when I do go to the races I'm always shocked by how
few runners there are in each field. Maybe the sport
will eventually die out, but I hope not. What I do find
hard to handle, though, is the trend towards meetings
that combine both galloping and trotting races. I can
see why smaller clubs, desperate to attract patronage,
should think this a good idea; but it's tantamount to
playing jazz at a country music festival or offering
beer at a wine-tasting. To those of us who like the
gallops, that sulky stuff has zilch appeal. Opposable
Thumb says: jockeys are jockeys, drivers are drivers,
and never the twain should meet.

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