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WHY I LOVE RACING! – PHILLIP HOBBS AND GEOFF BANKS SPECIAL

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We caught up with racing figure-heads; Trainer Phillip Hobbs and Independent Bookmaker Geoff Banks to ask for their thoughts on all the big racing talking points, discuss their love of this great sport and how they’d change it for the better.

 

 

Phillip Hobbs:

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If you weren’t involved in racing what would you be doing?

Farmer

If you could re-live one moment in your training career what would it be and why?

Rooster Booster winning the Champion Hurdle our biggest win.

Two big races that have eluded you so far is The Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup, if you could only train the winner of one which would it be? 

Probably the Grand National because it is know world wide.

Who’s your best friend in racing?

Nigel Twiston-Davies

If you could change one thing about the sport what would it be and why? 

I suppose the old one about more prize money but I think we would be better off without Sunday racing especially on the minor tracks a long way from home. Although the Paddy Power meeting is good fun on a Sunday.

Which horse in history would you have loved to have trained and why? 

Arkle – Surely he was the best?

What’s the biggest difference you’ll expect to see to the sport in 5 to 10 years time? 

Hopefully not much change but we do have the danger of all-weather racing having a larger percentage of the programme. 

Which horse you’ve trained shocked you the most in terms of how good they turned out to be?

Again Rooster Booster who improved into a Champion Hurdle winner when he was just an ordinary handicapper. 

Village Vic is one the stable stars of the season just how good do you think the horse can be? 

The handicapper has given him 153 so that makes him borderline for either the Ryanair at Cheltenham Festival or one of the handicaps which is likely to be where he will go next.

Why do you love racing? 

Love the excitement of the winners but also all the people we meet because of the horses and the daily evolvement at home with the horses and staff.

 

 

Geoff Banks:

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With the switch from Channel 4 to ITV how do you think that will effect racing in this country and do you think it’ll work out as a good or bad move for the sport?

The bad move for racing was accepting a greater deal from channel 4 than that offered by BBC – it has lent itself to a devaluation of racing’s crown jewels. Unfortunately, despite the spin, it appears RMG, on behalf of certain racetracks-principally Jockey Club, have once again gone for the best deal. Whilst they argue that ITV will have better digital coverage – they are giving up 65 racing days on channel 4 and consigning those-to include some of our major jumps festivals to a satellite channel.

How integral to racing is the bookmaking industry and what’s the biggest difference the betting industry makes to the sport?

It’s not the bookmakers that are important-it’s their customers. Punters tire of wall to wall rubbish put on midweek, often with less than a minute to study form and place a wager from when the last race is over. Bookmaking giants argue each race is worth levy to racing. Racing must have the biggest set of blinkers in the sport if they believe that one whilst the levy nose dives. It’s about machine take. We’re supporting FOBT rake whilst the sport is literally run into the ground by leaders who have little understanding of punters needs.

What’s the biggest misconception racing fans have about the sport?

That channel 4’s poor performance figures are about who’s presenting the show. Yes some elements of format could change and perhaps it gets too bookish at times. But it remains a high quality production. Racing needs to look inward to poor performance or decline in viewers. Concerts from big bands at racetracks are not interest in racing.

What do you think will be the biggest changes we’ll see to racing in five to ten years?

With the current management team in charge? None. They lack the spine to force the necessary changes racing needs. Racing’s executives sadly spend far too much of their time in fancy boxes on big Saturdays to notice that the rest of the programme is failing miserably. It’s a badge for three years, like Captain of a golf club. Failure remains unpunished.

If you weren’t involved in racing as a bookmaker what would you be doing?

Ski Instructor

If you could re-live one racing related moment in your career what would it be and why?

Victory of Denman in 2008 in the Gold Cup. A demolishment of a superstar.

As a racing fan who is/was your racing idol?

John Francome

If you could change one thing about the sport what would it be and why?

Sack the well meaning amateurs from the BHA board, to include removing racetrack representatives, and replace with hard nosed professionals thoroughly committed to driving quality in the sport. No decision to be entertained that does not further that principal. Give up the pursuit of riches in favour of long term goal of quality. That’s when a sport really makes money.

What’s the most impressive performance by a horse or jockey you’ve ever seen? 

Frankel – Royal Lodge

Why do you love racing?

You fall in love with it’s greatest days very easily. You grow up with it. A day at Ascot, the pinnacle of racing quality and service is a thorough pleasure.

 

 

What do you think to what both men have to say? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

 

 

As of the 1st of March 2016 our book “60 Jumps Horses To Follow 2015-2016” has produced the following statistics:

Horses Raced: 45 out of the 60

Runs: 129 (Since October)

Wins: 37

Places: 25

Horses Holding An Entry At Cheltenham: 30

3 Biggest Priced Winners: 20/1, 12/1 and 12/1

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All completely FREE!

 

 

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