This web site began as a labour of love.
I have been a racing fanatic for as long as I can recall and have spent many an afternoon and evening, in all weathers, watching this glorious sport. Cheering winners home or, more often, wondering why I backed that three legged donkey when hindsight clearly shows the 33/1 shot that actually won really was the obvious winner all along.
Over the years I have seen many changes at our racecourses, most but not all, for the better. Certainly nobody is sorry to see the end of concrete running rails and posts. Veterinary care has improved greatly and green screens no longer mean the worse.
Some racecourses have encompassed the 21st century realities, although whether they have gone too far in favour of the corporate pound at the expense of the regular racegoer is a topic for debate. On the other hand there are still some attitudes in racing that haven't even left the 19th century.
Certainly racing has changed, when I first started going racing it was only foreigners who raced on sand, now we seem to have racing on sand most days. Sunday racing was for the French .... in 2007 there is racing scheduled for every Sunday bar one.
What does worry me is where our future racegoers are going to come from ... I fear they won't come from the stag and hen party goers for whom the racing is incidental to pouring alcohol down their throats.
What I want to do in this site is help the first time racegoer make the most out of their first visit to the racecourse. I want them to enjoy it and, more importantly, come back for more. I never envisaged, when I went to my first race meeting at Fontwell all those years ago, that I would keep coming back for more, that I would, one day, be in the heaving Aintree crowds on Grand National day, or on another day be standing in the pouring rain watching a low grade seller at Hexham and still be enjoying myself.
John McCririck, the larger than life Channel Four pundit, does spout a lot of hot air, however, amongst all the front and bluster, he can also talk a lot of sense and one of the most appropriate things he says is ..........
after using this site I hope you will be doing the same.
The original aim of the site was to provide a beginners guide to racing and an independent review of UK racecourses. As often happens once up and running things take off. The initial aims are still fundamental to the site.
The biggest change in 2008 has been the introduction of live updates and reports from race meetings. It is interesting to note that since we started Racing Live on the site the Racing Post have begun their Trackside Live coverage - they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, although imitations are never as good as the real thing.
We aimed to cover all the major meetings, but equally important is to bring coverage from the so called "lesser" tracks, where the racing can be any bit as exciting as at the big courses. The aim of the coverage is not just to give the facts but to give a feel for the atmosphere.