It’s nothing new for precious harness fans to get the impression that Trackside looks upon their code as the second class citizen, and given the percentage betting figures, there is some justification in that.
However, I get the distinct impression that the situation is getting worse and, even out of hand.
The Thoroughbred code gets a ‘First Call’, ‘Weigh In’ and probably some others that I don’t know about to preview and review, and harness gets an hour a week on a Wednesday evening, and that for only a few months of the year.
On Saturday, they are apparently going to have wall to wall coverage of the Auckland meeting on T1, which probably means that all the other local and Australian racing will be dumped onto T2, undoubtedly meaning reduced intro and aftermath of the Northern Southland feature harness meeting. Coming on top of an inexcusable gaffe the other Saturday (the Ashburton meeting), when a pre-race interview was ditched because some non-descript American gallops race ran late, and a pattern starts to emerge. Would that have happened to the pre-race interview of a thoroughbred race – I think we all know the answer to that!
Like probably many others, I received an e-mail inviting me to participate in a TAB competition, involving various sports and the thoroughbred code. Hang on, I thought, why only the gallopers? When I rang the help-desk they told me it was because that code was more popular. Actually it’s not the first time this bias has surfaced, a couple of their earlier competitions have involved race recordings, all featuring gallopers. Okay, turnover on thorough-bred might be higher, but does that excuse the sentiment that the other code can be left out, and sink into the mire? We shouldn’t get preferential treatment, but a fair go might be nice.