I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t race on a Sunday.
Some of you will find that hard to believe. No races anywhere. Nothing.
Horses would stay at home. Trainers and jockeys would do other things. Like go to church. Or the pub. Or they’d go to church, and then the pub.
I can remember Mum and Dad sitting at the kitchen table on a Sunday morning, going over the Saturday results. There’d usually be a hard-luck story somewhere. But never the chance to have another bet.
I have a fair idea how they would have reacted to Sunday racing. The old man would have shook his head. Bloody madness, he’d mutter. Mum would be working out where she could have a sneaky double.
It’s all so different now. We’re in action every day. Sometimes night and day. I’m torn about whether that’s a good thing.
I know plenty of industry participants who hate Sunday racing. Trainers who don’t get a day off. Jockeys who have to travel hours, for a few more rides. If they don’t go, they risk losing favour with the boss.
I know where they’re coming from. Few other sports compete every single day. Maybe with the exception of darts. And they’re allowed refreshments.
Another part of me enjoys the Sunday action. It lacks the intensity of a busy Saturday. A few late flutters over a cool drink can be fun.
I’m frequently drawn to the action in the West. Late in the day, listening to an old-time band at my favourite pub.
Of course, we can go further afield with ease. They’ll be going their hardest in Hong Kong and Singapore. I can hear Dad muttering again.
It’s all about revenue. The more meetings, the more turnover, the more cash coming back. And it doesn’t matter how much anyone complains, it won’t be changing anytime soon.
We have our bloke running around tomorrow, an hour away from the city. Of course, that means it will rain tonight, and the track will be a bog. Regular readers will understand.
I won’t be there. Too bloody hard to get organised late on a Sunday arvo. I’ll be in that pub instead, with some country classics being belted out. I’ll find a screen, and cheer the house down if we can turn things around.
So here’s the deal. If we win, I’ll be a great supporter of Sunday racing. If we get rolled once more, the industry needs to have a long hard look at itself. Yep, Dad is shaking his head again.