On Wednesday, a letter sent in to the Racing Post caused quite a storm. I have attached the best photo of it I could find, and my response is below.
Dear Mr Clive Godber,
Firstly, I presume you are none the worst for your escapade on Sunday. I can only imagine the horrors of being forced to watch television you dislike. We can only hope in future your captor sees the error of his ways and chooses Racing UK instead, but that’s probably beyond him.
Secondly, it is a bitter shame you’ve failed to recognise the very raison d’être of ITV Racing. But this is undoubtedly a good thing, as you’d disagree with it anyway. You see, Ed Chamberlin and team are clearly trying to appeal to a more mainstream audience. And, as you say, in order to understand racing you must be able to store and process a vast amount of information. I fear without his harmless clarification of jargon, some of us might never be able to scale your heights.
I also wonder what young people have to offer to the sport. It isn’t as if racing is going to need us in the future – I’m sure you and your fellow immortals will still be promoting the sport, occupying the same jobs, writing the same stories and injecting the same capital into racing which helps it survive. In the meantime, us juveniles will continue to drink ourselves into a reckless oblivion.
Of course, all of us young people can afford to go racing regularly, and willingly surrender our cash to the bookmakers and bartenders. This makes terrestrial television coverage a pointless entity, and it is hard to believe they have a responsibility to act as advocates for our sport, isn’t it? It’s not as if media is the most valuable avenue to capture imaginations and recruit lifelong fans of racing.
As someone who is ‘only open to solid proof’, I will write to you in facts. On Sunday afternoon you were at home becoming frustrated with television coverage you didn’t enjoy. Meanwhile, myself and my friends were at Cheltenham, indulging in an alcohol-free blizzard of undeniable punting woe. And we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Take this response as an invitation to come and join me anytime I am on a racecourse. I am confident myself and my friends can bestow our passion and not breed the same bitterness as people like yourself. Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you, and that is that young people are not the problem. Young people are the future. Young people are the solution.
Alas, I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested in spending an afternoon in our company. After all, we’re just a bunch of uncommitted, uninformed inebriates, devoid of any intellect or ambition.
A Lost Cause