British racing - Looking to the future

Despite favourable recent debates in the House of Commons, the whole infrastructure of the betting world is in turmoil with the future of the Tote, as always, at the centre of the argument. Racing needs a radical rethink on the way it is funded. Betting exchanges and off-course betting emporia cannot be disinvented but some fairer mechanism for the provision of prize money must be found before owners decamp en masse to France and other jurisdictions. 

Racing ills hardly compare with uprisings in Egypt, earthquakes in Haiti or famine in the Sudan. But 2011 promises a year of cutbacks in prize money, horse numbers and owners with the accompanying hardship for those employed in the industry. Already trainer bankruptcies are occupying unhappy column inches in the racing press while premature retirements from a sport which is much loved by its participants are an unwelcome adjunct to the professional lives of those who make their living in this rarified world.

Colin Mackenzie (European Trainer - issue 33 - Spring 2011)