It will surprise many to discover that the racing industry, traditionally home to old farts, has become a leader in making the most of social media.
If you’re a punter, and you’re not on Twitter, you’re not in the game. Almost overnight, the major players have gathered in one place. And you can find them on your phone or computer.
Few sports use the medium better. Probably because everyone involved in racing has an opinion. Instead of yelling over the parade ring fence, we now tweet.
There are some stars, who you must follow. There are some dills too. You’ll work them out for yourself.
If you’re just starting out, fear not. Here’s the list of the people who matter, to get you up and running.
After you find your mum, dad, partner, kids, boss and bookie, your priority is to add Andrew Bensley. His Twitter name is @AndrewBensley (Newcomers, you’ll see that look frequently from here on. Twitter identities always start with an @).
The big man from Sky is a Twitter freak. The most prolific I know. He’s sent out more than 10,000 tweets, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Follow him, and you’ll receive all the racing news you’ll ever need. And then some. What the trainers are saying. Which way the jockeys are leaning. Who starred at trackwork, and the big improvers.
It’s a constant flow of golden information, that punters of old could only dream of. Ignore him at your peril.
The next must have is his mate, Ron Dufficy .. @DufficyRon. The Duff tells it like it is. He spares no-one, and is particularly scathing when administrators get out of line.
Not as many tips, but plenty of fun. And when he likes one, get on.
Another favourite of mine, is someone plenty of you won’t have heard of. A young racing journo on the up, by the name of Andrew Hawkins .. @AndrewNJHawkins. Andrew lives and breathes racing. For a young bloke, he’s incredibly well-connected. And he knows his stuff.
There are thousands of tipsters and form analysts. Part of the fun is finding those you like. For what it’s worth, here are a few that I enjoy following.
Gibbo .. @brissyraces (also has a great website). Chris Nelson .. @qldtrials (Best Bets analyst and contributor to 4TAB). Brent Zerafa .. @brentzerafa (Daily Tele). Ray Thomas .. @RayThomas1. Jay Rooney .. @Jay_Rooney (West Australian form). Brad Thompson .. @BradThompson83. The legendary Tony Brassel .. @TonyBrassel. And plenty more.
There are media folk at every turn on Twitter. Some are great fun, and thoughtful performers. Try this lot. Mary Collier .. @mtc01 (owner and 4BC breakfast host – one of twitter’s finest). Nathan Exelby .. @xlbnathan (Courier-Mail scribe). Tony Clements .. @tonyontheradio (4TAB host and industry expert). And Richie Callander .. @richieplz (one of the best Twitter names!)
Special mention goes to some old Twitter friends. Some of the funniest Twitter banter I see comes from a bunch of mates, who never miss an opportunity to have a crack at each other, especially over losing bets.
Do yourself a favour and follow Ben Dorries .. @bendorries (Courier-Mail), Gerard Daffy .. @GerardDaffy (betting guru), Wayne Hemming .. @TickerOz (legendary Brisbane journo) and Peter Psaltis .. @peterp79 (4BC sports lover and host).
More and more stables are coming on board. Check out Peter Moody .. @MoodyRacing, Gai Waterhouse .. @GaiWaterhouse1 and her hard working staff member Natasha Kent .. @KentNatasha. Plenty of good stuff too from Griffiths Racing .. @GriffithsRacing, Lee Freedman .. @Freedmanbros and Desleigh Forster .. @DesRacing74.
Want to stalk some jockeys? Try Kerrin McEvoy .. @KPMcEvoy, Glyn Schofield .. @ SchofieldGlyn, Chris Munce .. @MunceC and Josh Parr .. @JJParr7.
Some don’t fit into any category. They’re either smart, funny, helpful or controversial. Enjoy the offerings of Corinna Slade .. @CorinnaSladey, Steve Meakes .. @ourmaizcay, Brad Tamer .. @Tatts_Tamer, Racing Good Oil .. @RacingGoodOil, The Gadfly .. @turfgadfly, Cox Plate .. @The_Cox_Plate, and Racenet .. @RacenetTweets.
And of course, no racing fan’s Twitter account is complete without the great mare herself, Black Caviar. Yep, she’s on twitter .. @blackcaviar2006. Her phone must have mighty big keys.
So there you have it. The must-have names for punters on Twitter. Apologies to those who I follow and enjoy, but forgot for this piece. There are so many of you out there.
Have fun finding your own favourites. Hopefully it will help you build your betting account. And here’s someone who’ll never give you a winner, or a worthwhile tip. But you should follow him anyway. That Salmon bloke .. @salmo22