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(I am not stating my own opinion here)
Breeders' Cup Classic hype is an insult to all racing fans
From Times Online October 29, 2009
Only if you’d just returned from a three-month sabbatical on Mars can you have missed the great racing debate. There has been far too much naval-gazing as the marketing men grapple with how best to take the sport to a wider audience.
One thing that should be avoided is the urge to “shout it from the rooftops”, because the simple fact is that racing doesn’t do hype very well. When it tries, it is utterly unconvincing.
Hype only works when the messenger brings a smile to the faces of an audience who know that what’s being said is trite, but are nonetheless amused by the delivery. That’s why boxing promoter Don King remains the UNNNNNN-disputed master of hype.
Hype surrounded the first Gold Cup encounter between Kauto Star and Denman at Cheltenham 18 months ago. Yet while Harry Findlay threw some decent punches from Denman’s corner, Clive Smith often looked hopelessly rope-a-doped.
It was hardly surprising. I mean, consider Smith: a pleasant, grey-haired man from the Surrey stockbroker belt, comfortably into his 60s, who built golf courses for a living.
On meeting one of the Cheltenham crew an hour before that Gold Cup, I advanced the hope that the Kauto Star/Denman match-up would justify all the hype.
His response was that it didn’t matter. The occasion had already been contrived and sold, he maintained. The outcome was irrelevant.
Now that’s fine if you want to attract one-off paying punters to swell the coffers. But it’s only a quick fix: an Andre Agassi narcotic-fuelled illusion that ultimately works against you.
The most obvious way to hype racing is to declare a horse great. He could even be THE BEST OF ALL TIME. This happens so often it has become seriously irritating, yet the damage it does is more lasting.
That’s because people stop listening. They’ve heard it all before; they tune out. Then a Sea The Stars arrives and the moment the wider public cotton on to him, he disappears. Marvellous. That really works.
Sea The Stars will not be at the Breeders’ Cup – racing’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup - in California next week. Nor will Rachel Alexandra, the filly whose effortless brilliance has won over American hearts still bleeding from some high-profile fatalities.
Yet that hasn’t stopped some Americans declaring that the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which the pair would have dominated, could be THE BEST OF ALL TIME. To spout such rubbish is to insult even the dumbest fan of racing.
These people would have us believe that every Breeders’ Cup is the BEST EVER, every race within it a MUST-WIN DEAL, every story emanating from it a REAL HEARTBREAKER.
Change the record, please. Can’t you hear it’s broken?
"And Afleet Alex just ran right by Giacomo like he was standing still!"
Tom Durkin, 2005 Belmont Stakes
Who is saying this? I mean, other than Delyatta?
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Not a single person on Planet Earth is saying this years Breeders Cup anything or horse racing anything is the "best of all-time"..the writer should get fired or at least have to cite a source, other than "some Americans"..
Not to get off the subject much, but I thought the 2004 Classic had a really nice field. Won't say it's the best of all time, because I don't know, but it was a very nice field consisting of a former HOY, a BC Classic/Dubai World Cup winner, a future DWC winner, a $4M earner, and that year's BC Classic winner and eventual HOY.
Not too shabby.
I'm an American & he didn't ask me, so I guess it was one of the other 304 million in the US.
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride-
& If dirt were dollars we'd all be in the black
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