The Hangover

I’m an ATC member and have been racing professionally for 46 years. I was at Randwick last Saturday. It’s going to take a big effort to get me back to the ‘new’ Randwick on a feature day again. OK, I’m mid-60s and admittedly not quite so energetic these days (by definition “yesterday’s man”), but it’s become all too much at this venue for myriad logistical and economic reasons. Unlike Rosehill, which I enjoy immensely (and hope against hope they don’t bugger up).

I concur with many of the points made by earlier correspondents. Costs are exorbitant. Another thing which gets right up my nose is the deafening barrage of doof-doof music playing through the speakers affixed to the rail around the mounting yard – sorry, Theatre Of The Horse. Never mind the fact that it’s so loud you can’t be heard by the person you’re standing next to, but what thought has been given to the horses? The horses are there for serious competition, they’re finely tuned and living on adrenalin, why are we messing with their heads at this vital time of their day? It’s an insulting and unhelpful intrusion. It’s not a bloody rock concert down there. Either discontinue or lower the volume 50 decibels. (I’m told plans are afoot to reinstate the mounting yard out front). I wandered up to Level 2 of the function centre (sorry, grandstand) to find the outside seating, if you wished to watch a race in fresh air, was limited to two rows. Gee. The old heritage-protected stand is a virtual heaven compared with the new monstrosity. Even though I am bound to renew mine because racing is my passion, the notion of membership is anachronistic; I have always believed entrance should be free and patrons should be able to select the level of facility and comfort that suits them on the day and pay accordingly – a true classless society. I constantly see people in the mounting yard who are there on the flimsiest of pretexts (mostly breeders and their employees), so much for supposed tight controls. And the track … don’t get me started. Send me a telegram when there’s a raceday on which the track plays fair.

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