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Weekly Racing Blog: Betting Affordability Checks / Weekend Wrap


It’s a Gamble

“There’s trouble brewing and many recreational horse racing punters have no idea what is about to hit them” is my own personal assessment on the forthcoming Gambling Commission’s review into the 2005 Gambling Act.

It has been mooted that the Gambling Commission may impose a threshold on net monthly gambling losses as low as £100, which would then require customers to jump through hoops and provide copious amounts of paperwork etc, to prove that they could afford to lose more.

As one concerned horse racing punter put it on social media “Talk about taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Setting the bar at £100 in a month would be ridiculous!”

The social responsibility of gambling operators is obviously a very sensitive area which needs much work.

But this is ridiculously misguided...

Cross-party think-tank calls for £100 monthly limit on gambling https://t.co/8LG0jjViCc

— Matt Bisogno (@MattBisogno) August 6, 2020

Big Losses

Arena Racing Company chief executive Martin Cruddace warns that British racing faces losing as much as £100 million if affordability checks are introduced.

Many others believe that this is possibly a massive underestimation on the figures that racing can kiss goodbye to.

“We could see the turnover on British horseracing being decimated” – Martin Cruddace, CEO of @arenaracingco, stresses the importance of the @GamRegGB affordability consultation and Gambling Act review happening together to protect our sport’s finances… #RacingDebate pic.twitter.com/OIqM5SnXpe

— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) January 31, 2021

The knock-on implications to the sport of horse racing could be catastrophic. On top of the pandemic, this could potentially be the financial straw which breaks the camel’s back. The Levy will be almost dry – running at just a mere trickle.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm need to be made aware and to make sure that there is a clear distinction made between recreational betting on sport, such as racing, and problem online casino games.

They are two very separate entities and it very evident that the main issues on the whole, lie within the online casino sector.

Have Your Say

The Gambling Commission are still running a “Remote customer interaction – Consultation and Call for Evidence” process on this matter but you will need to be quick. Submissions will close on February 9th 2021, before the evidence is collated and presented to the parliamentarians.

Interested and effected customers/punters can submit their thoughts on the matter by completing the following ‘SURVEY’.

Taking Risks

Whilst most eyes at Doncaster on Saturday were focused on a certain Nicky Henderson youngster running in a Grade Novices’ Chase at odds of 1/7, it was the twelve-year-old veteran Takingrisks that brought down the house down and wrote all the headlines on an action filled afternoon.

Takingrisks times it to perfection to win the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at @DoncasterRaces #ITVRacing pic.twitter.com/Yibfn9yWZw

— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 30, 2021

Takingrisks was the oldest horse in the Great Yorkshire Chase (SkyBet Chase) field but went off the 40/1 outsider probably based upon his two previous showings this season.

A five-time winner on heavy going, the former Grand National and Rehearsal Chase winner came into his own from his prominent position after the race turned into the inevitable slog down the home straight.

Under his jockey Sean Quinlan, the old boy dug deep to eventually grind down the front-running Aye Right on the run-in for a length-and-a-quarter victory.

An emotional Nicky Richards, who identified Takingrisks as his gentleman hack at home, was clearly moved by the whole experience.

After seeing his father win the Scottish National twice, Nicky Richards is delighted to see Takingrisks bring home some familiar silverware again pic.twitter.com/PZrF437Wvs

— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 13, 2019

The Frank Bird-owned stable stalwart will now be aimed at this year’s Scottish Grand National.

Richards admitted that the Aintree version was in fact the plan with Takingrisks last season, but of course that ship never sailed and age may have caught up with the gelding for it be an option once again. BetVictor have reacted by pushing his Grand National odds out to a top-priced 66/1.

Arkle Sparkle

Shishkin is now a best priced 8/11 chance with Betfair to win the Arkle Chase at the Festival after he coasted to victory in Doncaster’s Lightning Novices’ Chase on Saturday.

Last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner was already odds-on shot for this year’s Arkle Chase after his two impressive victories over fences prior to Saturday’s contest, but the way he won on the dead tacky ground in Yorkshire added more meat to that bone.

Arkle betting (Tues 16th March 2021): Shishkin 8/11, Energumene 13/2, Allmankind 10/1, Unexcepted 16/1, 20/1 bar.

Other Doncaster winners

  • Miranda was all heart when fighting off her rivals in the Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle. The Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on February 20th will be her next port of call.
  • Dorking Boy (13/2) won the opener for Tom Lacey and Jason Dixon.
  • Ben Pauling’s The Cob enjoyed the testing conditions underfoot to take the Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle under Daryl Jacob at odds of 25/1
  • The Late Legend (7/2 fav) picked up his fifth victory of this campaign for trainer Tom Weston.
  • There was a sweet 20/1 success for Marshmallo in the concluding bumper.

* Betting odds correct at the time of writing. All odds are subject to change.