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Matt Chapman: Even at Cheltenham and Aintree it was shambolic, we need to fix this racecourse issue immediately

, Matt Chapman: Even at Cheltenham and Aintree it was shambolic, we need to fix this racecourse issue immediately

SORT your public WiFi out racecourses. In most cases it’s absolutely pathetic. Pathetic I tell you.

Yes I know, in the great schemes of the terrible things happening on planet earth working WiFI at racecourses is not the most pressing matter.

Punters deserve to be able to get decent WiFi – something we all expect in today’s world

But I’m sick and tired of the rubbish service racegoers have to put up with.

If you can’t get it to work, then don’t tell people you offer it. Simple.

I wrote a few years ago that every racecourse should provide racegoers with free WiFi. It’s a no brainer in the modern era.

Luckily tracks seemed to agree, and in most cases – as far as I know, as I haven’t been to every course in the UK – WiFI systems are in place.

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But it’s one thing offering it – another getting it to work.

In recent weeks, the following have been guilty:

WiFi at the Cheltenham Festival was shambolic.

WiFi at Aintree was shambolic.

WiFi at Chester was shambolic.

WiFi at Great Yarmouth was shambolic.

WiFi at Newmarket was shambolic.

WiFi is part of every person’s daily life. Every person with a phone expects it to work.

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It helps people stay connected in big crowds, and it also helps tracks publicise the action they are showing.

People want to take pictures and post them at major events.


Big groups of people are no excuse. Pay for a decent system or don’t bother at all and live in the dark ages.

Added to all this, blocking betting websites – essentially pointless to be fair as you can’t access the internet! – and price comparison websites is pathetic and dated.

It’s up to bookmakers on course to offer terms to attract customers and publicise them accordingly.

Denying the public access is simply denying free markets and choice.

Once that had a place, but no longer. Open it up. For God’s sake.

On the racing front, I’ve been lapping up the skills of Charlie Appleby and William Haggas.

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Both greatly helped by class act riders in William Buick, James Doyle and Tom Marquand.

Over the weekend I stated on ITV and Sky that I think Marquand is close to world class. Actually, he IS world class, as his ride on Alenquer showed at the Curragh.

My Prospero was also a terrific ride. As Haggas said on Racing Debate, he should be picking up big spares when they become available.

And what about Homeless Songs in the Irish 1000? The turn of foot was explosive and great to see the master of Rosewell Dermot Weld back in the big time.


I loved talking to Weld on the old Attheraces when we showed the Irish racing.

There was just something about him that I respected and he has a sense of humour as well.

You talk to Weld, and you know you are talking to one of the greatest trainers of all time.

Chris Hayes rode Homeless Songs like an image of the late Pat Smullen.

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This will have been emotional for Moyglare Stud. It was emotional for all of us.

Emotion is what racing brings, and with the Derby just over a week away there is much to look forward to. Yeeehaaa!




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