It's the Punchestown Festival this week, which if you've never been, is most certainly worth a visit. Only problem is, it's about an hour from Dublin, there are too few places to stay nearby and that one hour drive in Festival week is more likely to turn into three hours on Irish roads.
Two big stories this week - firstly, how earth did Dunguib start at 10/11 today in the Bumper? It touched 2.2 on Betfair and absolutely tanked in. Unbelievably high cruising speed, I really hope he can jump for next season.
The story in tomorrow's Racing Post will be about the pathetic bluff of Irish bookies and the lack of spine from Punchestown racecourse in bowing to their demands. Betfair have spent plenty on sponsorship there this week, with the trailer in attendance and big screens on the in-field showing the live Betfair prices, in direct competition with the 180+% trash that Irish bookies continue to get away with.
First race of the Festival, bookmakers threaten to stand down if the course don't pull the plug on the prices. Has there even been a more hollow threat? It's Festival time, as if all these bookies would miss out on the 'bonanza'. Let them sweat it for one race, and they'd all be back in a hurry, if they even did follow through with it.
Punchestown management showed less spine than Gordon Brown and backed down straight away. So much for honouring a deal with sponsors and understanding exactly what controversy it would bring. Oh well, good luck finding another sponsor then, how many races do the local bookies sponsor? If they continue to serve up 180% markets, and hypocritically all have betting exchange accts at the same time, then they deserve to be shown up as thieves....
It's 2009 - protectionism is long gone and competition is now how the world of business works.