PRESENT CONDITIONS CONSIDERED AND A FORECAST
By Roderic More O’Ferrall in 1944
MANY people wonder whether
bloodstock values will continue
to rise when the war is over, or for how long they are likely to stay
What will be the conditions of racing all over the world, and will any
of the numerous changes advocated by the Irish Racing Commission and
Reorganisation Committee, in
What we are most concerned with
is what changes will come in
Solution of the Problem
When the war is over, a
different aspect may arise. The
public may be able to go abroad again, and motoring will be restored.
certain is that Irish horses will go abroad, and in large numbers. With
whole of the outside world short of horses, there will be an
demand for Irish horses, and I visualise that Irish training stables
swept bare. Flat racers will be bought to go everywhere: jumpers,
If this comes to pass, what will happen to Irish racing? Many of the horses will have gone. Those which remain will provide small entry fees for executives, poor racing for the public, so the public may not go racing.
With reduced entry fees, and with a smaller public, Irish racecourse companies will find themselves in a very poor way indeed.
The answer to this problem is quite simple – it is money.
With stakes much larger and
costs much less, and 1945
(instead of 1845) accommodation for the public, racing can flourish as
has before, and in its turn prove of vital support to the
industry of Ireland – a country better equipped by nature
than any other in the
world for the production of horses. Strong racing in
The money in racing is in the
betting turnover, as it always
has been, and as it always will be. It is estimated that
£3,500,000 was betted
on Irish racecourses in 1944, of which sum approximately
through the Totalisator. This is quite apart from the money spent in
betting offices in
Complete Transformation Envisaged
If this huge sum were tapped to produce revenue for racing the change-over in the conditions of Irish racing from poverty to plenty would effect a positive transformation. It would mean high stakes, low costs for the owner; the old owner able to remain in the game, the new encouraged to join; proper salaries for highly competent and conscientious officials: greater reward to jockeys, the best of whom after a lifetime riding are highly-skilled artisans, and deserve far more than they can have now: and trainers would have no worries over their accounts!
As to the public, it would have accommodation such as is undreamed of in Ireland, but which (except in Great Britain) exists in every other country in the world – that is, undreamed of except by a few, as somehow or other so many people seem to think the good things in the outside world never are applicable to Ireland.
And with the financial growth
of Irish racing, the value of
the horse-breeding industry in
The Totalisator form of betting is the solution of the post-war problem facing Irish racing: the only means by which essential revenue can be collected to help racing.
It has been applied universally
The Totalisator arrived in
The reason is, vested interests. The bookmaker pleads for the unborn bookmaker. The backer, because he may have no stake in the fundamental businesses of horse-breeding and racehorse ownership, defends a method of betting to which he is more accustomed or, on selfish personal grounds, prefers.
The racecourse shareholders cry out too; it is more demonstrative to cry out than to think. But, as everybody knows, even if private racecourse companies must be appropriated, vested interests of all concerned must, and would be, adequately compensated.
Changes will come: to the
chagrin of those who fail to read
the writing on the wall: because human beings are not fools forever,
gain to the greatest number is more important than preservation of the
interests of the few. And those of us who view the post-war period of
A critical period is close at hand and financial reorganisation is the best means of transforming a possible disaster into a new era of prosperity.
The Irish Derby at the Curragh
The Irish Cesarewitch
High Class Irish T. Y. O winner, Overboard
The view of the parade ring at Punchestown
Leopardstown Irish Golden Jubilee Hurdle Handicap
Return to top