Racing's rulers need to start again, says Chandler

Victor Chandler doesn't have much time for racing's administrators. "You know, four horseracing enthusiasts drunk in a pub could come up with better ideas than they have." He still loves the sport, and will be at Cheltenham to see his Champion Hurdle chance Zaynar run.

But he worries that younger punters remain unmoved, preferring football as a betting medium. And he has little time for the recent efforts of those who run racing to change this, at least when it comes to flat racing.

"What's wrong with flat racing is that you've got a sport whose calendar is dictated by the social calendar of the 19th century. Which is a nonsense. You've got the highlight of the season (the Derby) in the first third and we depend on the finale being in Paris for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and on the Breeders' Cup in the States. It's insane."

The beginning of the (turf) flat season – which traditionally kicks off with the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster – is no better, in Chandler's view, coming as it does, just before the Grand National which inevitably shifts everyone's focus back to the jumps: "There's got to be a narrative, there's got to be a start to the season; there have got to be heroes created during that season, then there's got to be a finale."

His idea is that the latter should be a festival of racing at Ascot. Possibly including the Derby: "That's got to be moved to the end of the season and it should be for four-year-olds not three-year-olds."

Traditionalists should now be having palpitations, but Chandler hasn't finished. When I suggest that such a fixture might face difficulties because it would clash with the Arc (where the much of the crowd and atmosphere are provided by an invasion of British and Irish fans), he says simply: "It's simple. I say, 'Compete, put more money in'." He continues: "What frightens me is that across our business the overall turnover is going up rapidly, except on horseracing. It's a generational thing. The young people just don't go horseracing. They don't understand it – they don't understand the terms. My nephews can talk all night about soccer. But they'r e just not interested in racing."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders