Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I've been asked my view a number of times about the Harry Findlay laying story which goes to appeal today.

I haven't changed my opinion on the rule he has fallen foul to since it first came in: I think it is a bad rule which doesn't address the issue it purports to deal with, when a small tweak to it could make it a good rule that does. That's what I told John McCririck when he interviewed me at Sandown the evening that it was introduced, back in 2003 (I think it was).

It seems to me perfectly sensible to ban owners from being in a position that they profit from their horses losing - I am not sure that anyone would argue with that - but in my opinion that needs to be done howsoever they will profit. That ought to mean not being able to back another horse in the race to beat your own. It's about time racing's authorities and rules recognised what DCMS long ago pointed out: that backing and laying are two sides of the same ccoin.

It should obviously also mean not laying your own, but crucially that rule should in my view be extended to "to a position of net profit if it loses". The idea that you cannot lay back a back bet, if in doing so you are reducing your net backing position or locking in a profit on a previous bet is stuck in the dark ages. If there's an audit trail to prove that you are a net backer of the beast, and you stand to make more money from it winning than you do from it losing, then I think you should be able to lay it as many times as you like.


  1. Very sensible views , Mark - if only common sense was a quality our leaders at the BHA displayed.

    As an aside will you still be working for Betfair in any sort of private PR position as this seems a fairly crucial time for them to lose somebody of your experience.


  2. Hi Martin

    Sorry I have taken so long to reply - I didn't see this post.

    I am working for Betfair as a consultant. My new company, Camberton, has a 12-month contract to help them where they need it. I won't be in the thick of it like I was, but I am certainly helping them when they ask me to.