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The Morning Line or, The Mourning Line?

Don’t know about you but, when they first announced changes were afoot, I hoped John Francome would contemplate a u-turn and stick with it because him apart, I could take it or leave it. I’m not really interested in knowing whether Nick Scholfield could remember who came 6th at 20/1 in a seven runner Plumpton seller, in his pursuit of a mug. If the powers that be honestly think they will attract new people into racing using such tactics, they are wholly out of synch.

I thought Clare Balding was supposed to be the new anchor? Where is she? She presents brilliantly but, in truth, what can she do to help us unravel a 30 runner handicap?

Horse racing is horse racing. It will appeal only to people who enjoy horse racing. People interested in horse racing want to know about the racing taking place on the day. I want information on the runners, detailed going descriptions, the views of people who know their sport inside and out. I don’t want it punctuated by nonsense.

I want to hear what racing people have to say about the racing but it has to be delivered in an interesting way. I know Graham Cunningham is ultra-knowledgeable but his delivery is almost robotic, with a smile and what he says does not stick with me. It’s too “matter of fact” and lacks the personality of a Francome. No offence, Graham! People would probably say exactly the same of me after listening to me for 60 minutes talking about my passion and reeling off “facts”….they would come away thinking, “what did he just say?”

In effect, they have removed the spices from the dish and left us with some bland piece of meat.

Does it really matter to anyone reading this that instead of simply cutting to a TV replay of the race they are discussing, they have someone making finger gestures on a huge glass table top? I love technology, Karen calls me a gadget man….hands up, true….but when it comes to my wanting my facts, figures and verdicts, let me have them from people who deliver in an interesting way, free from fluff. I honestly would rather just listen to John Francome and Jim McGrath, on their own, discussing the days handicaps for an hour, than watch what we get now.

Tell me honestly, do you think the team pictured at the top has been bettered by what we have now?

I’m not a fan at all of Big Mac and his idiotic claim for £3m damages for ageism does him no favours and I’ll not mourn his loss but, I do now mourn the Morning Line.


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