The Racing Post is the No.1 daily horse racing newspaper in the UK. In fact, since it merged with its former rival, the Sporting Life, in 1998, it has been pretty much the only daily horse racing newspaper in the UK. It did, for a short time, share the marketplace with the Sportsman, but that title closed down in October 2006 after just seven months of publication. The latest version of the Racing Post website, racingpost.com, was launched in December 2008, replacing its predecessor, racingpost.co.uk. The printed newspaper and the website are familiar to many horse racing punters but, even so, we’d thought we’d have a look at ten things you may not know about the Racing Post.
The Racing Post newspaper was founded by Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai, on April 15, 1986 as a rival to the Sporting Life. In 1998, Trinity Mirror, who owned the Sporting Life, bought the licence to use the Racing Post name from Sheikh Mohammed for £1, although it also agreed to donate £10 million to four racing charities as part of the licensing deal. The two newspapers merged together, under the Racing Post banner, and the Sporting Life ceased to be. In 2007, the Irish investment group Festina Lente (FL) Partners bought the Racing Post for £170 million, although Sheikh Mohammed retains the Racing Post trademark and licenses it for use on the printed newspaper and the website.
Cards, Form & Results
The Racing Post website first launched its Members’ Club, for subscribers willing to pay £7.50 a month, in July 2009. By September 2013, the cost of Members’ Club subscription had risen to £12.08 a month for “Essential” membership and £21.67 a month for “Ultimate” membership, but the Racing Post website still contains more and better free content that any other horse racing website in our experience. The free content includes full colour racecard information for the current day’s racing, at-a-glance racecard information for future races, from the 5-day declaration stage onwards, or further ahead for big races entries. It also includes comprehensive results for races run in the UK, Ireland, France and other selected destinations around the world and, best of all, a complete career form guide for every horse in training. To put that in perspective, a comprehensive Timeform form book, covering Flat and National Hunt racing, costs £1,230 a year.
With no registration or subscription necessary, the Racing Post also includes extensive and sophisticated statistics for jockeys, trainers and owners over the last five seasons. The statistics include strike rate and level stake profit or loss figures and can be displayed by course, distance, month and race type, as well as jockey, trainer and horse, where appropriate, for Flat and National Hunt racing. The Flat statistics can be further broken down by age, into 2-year-old, 3-year-old and 4-year-old+ brackets, while the National Hunt statistics can be broken down by hurdle, chase and National Hunt Flat (NHF) races.
Racing Post TV
Racing Post TV provides free race replays, stable tours and tipping features.
Race in Focus, for example, provides betting angles and statistics on a forthcoming major race, while Ten Second Tip, as the name suggests, provides one or more tips for forthcoming big races, delivered in precisely ten seconds.
If you want to follow you horse racing selections live, but don’t have access to At The Races or Racing UK and can’t make it your nearest betting shop to watch SIS coverage, the text commentary available on the Racing Post Betting Site can be the next best thing. The Betting Site also includes the race card for the next race due off, from which you can bet on your selection by clicking through to your chosen bookmaker, betting news, tips and insight from a reporter on each racecourse and a fast results service. If you need making your selections, the Racing Post Predictor allows you to adjust the relative importance of parameters such as going, distance, recent form, etc and run the race in graphical form.
The Racing Post has an established relationship with the bloodstock community and offers unrivalled coverage of thoroughbred breeding and sales. The Sales section contains a searchable list of upcoming and past sales. If you want to look at the catalogue page of a lot in an upcoming sale, or its interactive pedigree, you can do so with a single click. Similarly, if you want to know how much a lot fetched in a previous sale, dating back to 1991, the information is available equally quickly. The Stallion Book contains searchable individual profiles for over 2,000 active stallions, including those in the Weatherbys Stallion. Individual profiles include stud and sales records, together with pedigree, race record and sire reference information. The Ratings section provides official ratings for two-year-olds in Europe and three-year-olds and older horses worldwide, on the Flat and over Jumps.
The Soccerbase website, which operates under the Racing Post banner, is a one-stop shop for all your football betting needs, at home or abroad. The home page features an at-a-glance summary for forthcoming matches, including match betting and other markets, a recent form guide, head-to-head information and an expert verdict for each match. The remainder of the site offers the latest football news and results and just about every statistic, on players, teams and even referees, that you could wish for before placing a football bet.
The Racing Post provides comprehensive coverage of greyhound racing in the UK and Ireland. The greyhound racecards include the breeding and trainer of each dog, together with a brief comment from a Racing Post expert, the form of its last five races, a betting forecast and a Post Pick 1-2-3 selection. Fast results are available within five minutes of the completion of each race and live greyhound active is available on the Racing Post website from 7.15 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and from 6.30 p.m. on Sunday.
If you’re prepared to pay the cover price of the print edition of the Racing Post, or the cost of Members’ Club subscription, you also to have access to the flagship tipping column, Pricewise. Originally compiled by Mark Coton and subsequently by Mel Collier and the current guardian of the column, Tom Segal, Pricewise is billed as “the world’s best tipping column” and has regularly hit the headlines over the years with its long odds winning tips. In 2005, Tom Segal tipped a winner for ten Saturdays in a row and was blamed by David Harding, chief executive of William Hill, for the bookmaker’s lacklustre performance.
If you want to read the Racing Post in its traditional printed format, but you can’t lay your hands on a printed copy, you can subscribe to the Racing Post Digital Newspaper and read it online, or offline, anywhere in the world. The Racing Post Digital Newspaper includes a one or two page view, a magnifying lens, full text searching and a range of digital tools, including RSS feeds.