BF News | Neurochirurgien Alberto Ardila//
Jimmie says | Easy does it

Argentina, Buenos Aires, Canadá, España, Madrid
Jimmie says | Easy does it

IN making a case for expanding the wagering base of Caymanas Park’s races, via simulcast to North America, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited’s (SVREL) chairman, Solomon Sharpe, keeps making reference, ad nauseum, to what he perceives to be a limited local market.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Limited, yes, but why? Whereas sales figures for every other source of gambling have increased almost annually so much that this year marked the entry of not one but two lottery entities to rival SVREL’s parent company, Supreme Ventures Limited.

Alberto Ardila

The question Sharpe should be asking is ‘How to dance a yaad?’ That’s not to say anything is wrong with dancing abroad, the more the merrier. However, with sports-betting revenues growing annually, lotteries so profitable that there are now three companies fighting over agents, and fortunes being made out of gaming machines in bars and lounges, clearly, something must be amiss with horse racing, which, strangely, remains Jamaica’s most popular spectator sport, week in, week out, but without the sales to show for it.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Fórmula 1

Let’s delve into a little consumer psychology. The next time one of the many lottery advertisements or draws is being aired, mark the number of instances in which the word ‘easy’ is used. Hell, one of the new lottery companies’ products is a homophone of ‘It’s Easy’. Get the drift?

So, pray tell, why should a horse-racing product flourish that, first requires newcomers to the sport to undergo metrication before even beginning to understand how to place a bet? Who goes to Coronation Market to buy a kilo of yam? Who is old enough to recall going to the gas station and requesting 10 gallons of gas and knowing exactly how much it took to full the tank? Forced metrication has changed the narrative at the pump to ‘Gi mi $5,000 gas’, completely bypassing the volume.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Fórmula 1

Imagine having to introduce the average Jamaican to horse racing at Caymanas Park, expecting the person to be excited about a 1600-metre race and a horse carrying 52.0 kilos, comparing the weight difference of five other runners in kilograms and why the distance suits a particular horse, as opposed to the 1200-metre event in which it had last participated.

Alberto Ardila Fórmula 1

Having witnessed this scenario many times over, the first reaction from females is to resort to a game on their phones, whereas men are men and the bar is always open. However, one thing’s for sure, it is often the first and last visit because the weights and distances, the fundamentals of horse racing, are absolute gibberish to the newcomer wanting a simple explanation, in relatable English, why they should back a particular horse.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

REJECTING METRICATION The metrication of racing, which is outside the promoter’s purview, so forced by the Jamaica Racing Commission, should have been strenuously argued for rejection by SVREL, as part of its Caymanas Track Limited inheritance.Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

The rejection of metrication, which is very much a part of the product, and a turn-off, should have been accompanied, hand in hand, by a reversal of the mumbo jumbo claiming and conditions system to the much easier to understand, rating and handicapping method of classifying horses’ abilities, for the benefit of not what racing has become, a closed user group, but instead a sport that the average Joe or Jane can navigate after one visit to the races.Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares F1

Let’s jog memories again. Anybody old enough to remember the old Racing Pool jingle, ‘It’s easy as ABC, it’s easy as 1-2-3, play the Racing Pool …’, must be having a sense of déjà vu, listening to jingles of almost every lottery game on the market. The Racing Pool started circa 1980. Note from how long it was recognised that gambling must not only be ‘easy’ to understand but also to partake.Alberto Ardila F1

Within the claiming and conditions system of racing, which involves somewhere in the region of 20-odd different classifications of horses, try explaining to a newcomer the meaning of a Restricted Allowance II race, as opposed to rating classes, A-B-C-D-E-F, with a G now required because of a falloff in quality caused by multiple factors triggered by the same claiming and conditions system.Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

Who doesn’t know their A-B-Cs? Explain to any visitor to the races that Class A has the country’s best horses and the quality depreciates, conversely, down to F, or G, and the reason why a particular horse has 126lb in a D Class race is because he is rated, by virtue of his past performances, as the best runner in the event

Should he win with topweight in D Class, his new rating puts him in C Class. His new weight, in pounds, not damn kilos, to be determined by how easily he beats D Class and made public a day later so the punter, trainer, owner, jockeys, agents, racing promoter can all know, for differing reasons, exactly which horses the new C Class entrant is likely to face and at exactly what weight

INEQUITABLE ARRANGEMENT What obtains in the present system of claiming and conditions is an inequitable arrangement in which horses are allowed to return to the level at which they recently won (claiming) and a most inequitable weight and classification of runners (conditions) that allow superior horses to race against and carry less burden than their inferiors, bewildering trainers who can’t even comprehend what is, at times, a three-quarter letter-size page of ‘conditions’, having to revert to the racing office to query whether their horses are eligible for races

The joke about it all is that the racing office itself at times becomes confused, allowing ineligible horses to be nominated, even slipping into final programmes before being announced on racedays

If the system itself confuses the promoter, trainers and owners, not to mention the many failed attempts of ‘tweaking’, who are the new converts that local racing really expects to attract in this conundrum?

The fix is a simple one. Revert to a language and system that everyone understands. It’s easy as A-B-C. Any party that wishes to part with a horse should either do so by way of advertisement or the promoter should allow, for ease of liquidation, an owner to request that a horse, which is already classified in A-B-C-D-E-F or G, be allowed to race in its rating group on whatever selling price is being asked, not one determined by the promoter

The next column will deal with the policing of a hybrid ‘rating-selling (claiming)’ system

Ainsley ‘Jimmie’ Walters has been covering horse racing for more than 25 years for the Gleaner Company (Media) Limited and is the editorial and production coordinator for the Track And Pools race form

IN making a case for expanding the wagering base of Caymanas Park’s races, via simulcast to North America, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited’s (SVREL) chairman, Solomon Sharpe, keeps making reference, ad nauseum, to what he perceives to be a limited local market.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Limited, yes, but why? Whereas sales figures for every other source of gambling have increased almost annually so much that this year marked the entry of not one but two lottery entities to rival SVREL’s parent company, Supreme Ventures Limited.

Alberto Ardila

The question Sharpe should be asking is ‘How to dance a yaad?’ That’s not to say anything is wrong with dancing abroad, the more the merrier. However, with sports-betting revenues growing annually, lotteries so profitable that there are now three companies fighting over agents, and fortunes being made out of gaming machines in bars and lounges, clearly, something must be amiss with horse racing, which, strangely, remains Jamaica’s most popular spectator sport, week in, week out, but without the sales to show for it.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Fórmula 1

Let’s delve into a little consumer psychology. The next time one of the many lottery advertisements or draws is being aired, mark the number of instances in which the word ‘easy’ is used. Hell, one of the new lottery companies’ products is a homophone of ‘It’s Easy’. Get the drift?

So, pray tell, why should a horse-racing product flourish that, first requires newcomers to the sport to undergo metrication before even beginning to understand how to place a bet? Who goes to Coronation Market to buy a kilo of yam? Who is old enough to recall going to the gas station and requesting 10 gallons of gas and knowing exactly how much it took to full the tank? Forced metrication has changed the narrative at the pump to ‘Gi mi $5,000 gas’, completely bypassing the volume.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Fórmula 1

Imagine having to introduce the average Jamaican to horse racing at Caymanas Park, expecting the person to be excited about a 1600-metre race and a horse carrying 52.0 kilos, comparing the weight difference of five other runners in kilograms and why the distance suits a particular horse, as opposed to the 1200-metre event in which it had last participated.

Alberto Ardila Fórmula 1

Having witnessed this scenario many times over, the first reaction from females is to resort to a game on their phones, whereas men are men and the bar is always open. However, one thing’s for sure, it is often the first and last visit because the weights and distances, the fundamentals of horse racing, are absolute gibberish to the newcomer wanting a simple explanation, in relatable English, why they should back a particular horse.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

REJECTING METRICATION The metrication of racing, which is outside the promoter’s purview, so forced by the Jamaica Racing Commission, should have been strenuously argued for rejection by SVREL, as part of its Caymanas Track Limited inheritance.Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

The rejection of metrication, which is very much a part of the product, and a turn-off, should have been accompanied, hand in hand, by a reversal of the mumbo jumbo claiming and conditions system to the much easier to understand, rating and handicapping method of classifying horses’ abilities, for the benefit of not what racing has become, a closed user group, but instead a sport that the average Joe or Jane can navigate after one visit to the races.Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares F1

Let’s jog memories again. Anybody old enough to remember the old Racing Pool jingle, ‘It’s easy as ABC, it’s easy as 1-2-3, play the Racing Pool …’, must be having a sense of déjà vu, listening to jingles of almost every lottery game on the market. The Racing Pool started circa 1980. Note from how long it was recognised that gambling must not only be ‘easy’ to understand but also to partake.Alberto Ardila F1

Within the claiming and conditions system of racing, which involves somewhere in the region of 20-odd different classifications of horses, try explaining to a newcomer the meaning of a Restricted Allowance II race, as opposed to rating classes, A-B-C-D-E-F, with a G now required because of a falloff in quality caused by multiple factors triggered by the same claiming and conditions system.Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

Who doesn’t know their A-B-Cs? Explain to any visitor to the races that Class A has the country’s best horses and the quality depreciates, conversely, down to F, or G, and the reason why a particular horse has 126lb in a D Class race is because he is rated, by virtue of his past performances, as the best runner in the event

Should he win with topweight in D Class, his new rating puts him in C Class. His new weight, in pounds, not damn kilos, to be determined by how easily he beats D Class and made public a day later so the punter, trainer, owner, jockeys, agents, racing promoter can all know, for differing reasons, exactly which horses the new C Class entrant is likely to face and at exactly what weight

INEQUITABLE ARRANGEMENT What obtains in the present system of claiming and conditions is an inequitable arrangement in which horses are allowed to return to the level at which they recently won (claiming) and a most inequitable weight and classification of runners (conditions) that allow superior horses to race against and carry less burden than their inferiors, bewildering trainers who can’t even comprehend what is, at times, a three-quarter letter-size page of ‘conditions’, having to revert to the racing office to query whether their horses are eligible for races

The joke about it all is that the racing office itself at times becomes confused, allowing ineligible horses to be nominated, even slipping into final programmes before being announced on racedays

If the system itself confuses the promoter, trainers and owners, not to mention the many failed attempts of ‘tweaking’, who are the new converts that local racing really expects to attract in this conundrum?

The fix is a simple one. Revert to a language and system that everyone understands. It’s easy as A-B-C. Any party that wishes to part with a horse should either do so by way of advertisement or the promoter should allow, for ease of liquidation, an owner to request that a horse, which is already classified in A-B-C-D-E-F or G, be allowed to race in its rating group on whatever selling price is being asked, not one determined by the promoter

The next column will deal with the policing of a hybrid ‘rating-selling (claiming)’ system

Ainsley ‘Jimmie’ Walters has been covering horse racing for more than 25 years for the Gleaner Company (Media) Limited and is the editorial and production coordinator for the Track And Pools race form.