Wot no runners?

taunton-16-02-1984

Today, at Leicester and Kelso respectively, there are 38 and 39 declared runners on each card. Pitiful in my opinion. Sure, there are a couple of decent runners at Kelso, but there is nothing for the punter to get to grips with. In fact, only one race out of 12 run under NH rules today offers each-way punters a third place pay out. Compare this to a randomly selected “on this day in history” card from Taunton in 1984. Big fields, decent horses and value for the betting man. Jumping is in crisis today, with an unhealthy obsession with Saturday’s and festivals. Midweek racing is pretty dreadful. Small, poor quality fields and no incentive to go racing. I fear for the future of the sport I love. Why aren’t trainers running their horses? I have a nasty vision of a situation in 20 years where the only jumps tracks left are the showpiece ones (Cheltenham, Sandown, Haydock etc…) and the gaffs are gone. I hope I’m wrong but I won’t hold my breath.

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