This year we have 4 blank days from 22nd to 25th and although I think it’s right not to race on Christmas Day I definitely think the industry is shooting itself in the foot by not hosting meetings for the other days.
Good Friday was always a blank day but is now one of the busiest most successful days of the year as Lingfield will testify with sell out crowds.
Although in an ideal world everyone would like a long break for the Festive period we have to remember that we are in the entertainment business and when people have time off I’m sure loads of them would like to go racing. Just imagine all the millions of pounds that would be lost in the pub game if they decided to close for the 4 days during this period.
The main argument against racing on these days appears to be that the stable staff need a break however surely common sense should prevail:
If a trainer wants to give his staff a break then that’s his decision and no one will force his yard to have runners in fact it could be a good thing for smaller yards who could find easier opportunities. The same theory would apply to jockeys. Its also worth remembering not everyone enjoys the Christmas period and they would prefer to be working.
Why not experiment with just two daily meetings for the period up to Christmas day; it would certainly bolster racing’s funds which would have to be good for the whole industry!