Bunhill: Dial-a-Nag

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YOU KNOW all those more-or-less apocryphal stories about more-or-less innocent children phoning up Australia. Well there could be worse to come: less innocent children putting hundreds of pounds of mummy and daddy's hard-earned money on a spavined nag in the 2.30 at Huntingdon.

Videotron, the cable TV company, is already talking to William Hill, the bookies, about supplying racing results as subtitles on TV screens. And in the longer run, according to Helena Kania of Videotron. 'We're very excited about two-way services.'

These could eventually allow betting from home by simply punching in the right number on a remote control. And while Ms Kania insists that 'we're a long way from the starting gate', the nightmare looms.