First up, thanks for trusting me with your time to read this and listen to the podcast. It means a lot not only that you’re engaged in some way with the world of horse racing but that you want to know more about what you’re watching.
Who am I to give you that helping hand?
It’s sometime in the early 90’s and, short of an idea about where to go on a date with my then girlfriend, I thought a day out at Haydock Park would be a bit different and fun.
Off we went and I quickly immersed myself into a micro-world of Scouse and Mancunian fashionistas, easy conversations following the ubiquitous ‘what do you fancy in the next?’, swarthy ‘sides of beef’ blokes shouting of ‘getting the placepot up at Newmarket’ (whatever the hell that was) and where people drank, heavily in many cases, won and lost staggeringly (to me at that point) large sums of money and yet always behaved with a sense of olde worlde chivalry and decorum
I was hooked right there!
I began devouring everything to do with racing, wanting to get into this new passion so damn deep!
Not just in understanding more about form study and betting (although the books in this area by Alan Potts, Nick Mordin, Mark Coton et al got a fearsome hammering) but into my whole approach to and understanding of horse racing as a sport
I worked in the industry for a while, wrote articles, contributed across various social media newsgroups that were springing up. I visited stud farms, trainers’ yards and went racing every weekend and sometimes on the wag from work (my client visits at that time were more to do with their proximity to a race meeting rather than in any expectation of my writing any business for my employer).
You could say I was now mainlining my new addiction.
It’s this quest for a deeper understanding of the sport and a passion to embrace every aspect of it, that has culminated in my putting together The WRAP and this associated website.
I truly believe there’s plenty like me out there, wanting to know about every aspect of this great sport of ours and share this experience with like-minded souls along the way.
Just take a step back for a second and contemplate the essence of what we are doing investing our time, money and emotions in this sport.
This multi-million-pound breeding, betting and entertainment industry is predicated on a midgets’ ability to harness a tonnes-plus of equine athlete, that has a brain the size of a fist and a hard-wired ‘flight or fight’ herd mentality……
….and we have the crass bloody nerve to think we can predict what it and a bunch of its equine mates are going to do at one moment in time?
Yup – and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
It’s a mad, frustrating, jargon-ridden passion that appeals to the entrepreneur, the gypsy, the aesthete and the socialite. It transcends age, class, gender and race boundaries, arguably, more than any other sport in the UK. There is so much more to love about it than merely who crosses the line first.
It’s a place for those wanting to know more – and for those prepared to lead them to edge of the kerb and give a helping hand with their insights, opinions, questions and knowledge.
My ambition in setting this project in motion is to engage with racing enthusiasts on an honest, passionate, respectful and fun basis.
I want you to get as much out of your racing as you possibly can and as a result, I want racing to prosper with a more clued-up and engaged audience who are keen to act as passionate cheerleaders for a sport that all too often in the 21st Century finds itself on the back foot in the face of competition from other leisure pursuits, outdated tropes and a squeezed media presence.
I want us, The WRAP Tribe, to be the shock-troops in a bit of push-back to this negativity.