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Unacceptable delay; LETTERS.

THE Racing Post's course correspondent referred to the crowd at Lingfield on January 27 and the unfavourable reaction to the delay to the start of the 3.00 that occurred to enable the 2.50 at Huntingdon to finish.

This announcement was made by the course commentator with the horses already down at the start. One assumes it was not his decision but that of an official at the course, and he seemed embarrassed as he tried to fill the minutes of delay with some platitudes.

We were told the decision was for the benefit of betting shop customers.

The announcement was greeted for the most part in stunned silence, but there were a few boos and the start of a "why are we waiting" chant by one or two racegoers.

One hopes the betting shop customers were able to tear themselves away from the 49s, Portman Park, Brushwood and roulette machines long enough to enjoy the two races (both fairly moderate affairs, in my opinion).

I am used to race times being changed in the event of abandonments elsewhere, and these are usually announced in advance of the day's racing. But this is the first time I recall such a deliberate delay so close to the off.

No doubt this is all to do with 'maximising product visibility' but it seems to show nothing but contempt for the people who shelled out pounds 13 to attend Lingfield on a bitingly cold day. Perhaps we should all have gone to our local betting shop instead.

Incidentally, I doubt that the horses, jockeys, stalls handlers and trainers were that enthusiastic about the delay either.

Roger Dyer Richmond, Surrey
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 5, 2010
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Next Article:Shocking standard; LETTERS.

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