Waterhouse Weighs in on Decline of Racing Interest

The topic of how to infuse new life into the thoroughbred racing code is one with no easy answers and so many differing opinions that the discussion seems to resemble pure cacophony more than any form of objective debate.

Member of the racing elite Gai Waterhouse recently weighed in on the topic with racing journo Ben Dorries and Waterhouse herself highlighted a key element that has occurred to us in the past, so we absolutely could not resist giving ourselves an affectionate pat on the back and reward our key insight with a couple frosty schooners.

Waterhouse observed a societal shift that affects not only flats racing, but also every aspect of life.

With the deluge of information that now surrounds us, attention spans have become increasingly shorter.

When is the last time you received an actual handwritten letter in the post?

No one has time to devote to collecting writing materials, composing thoughts, putting those thoughts to paper in a coherent form, putting the paper in an envelope, addressing that envelope, and then mailing it off and waiting for a reply from the addressee.

We recently did just that with four young adult children of our acquaintance and they unilaterally expressed amazement of getting something via the mail system that was not a demand for payment or some incentive to spend money.

Going to the races is something like that. You spend many hours at the course to see something in the vicinity of 18 minutes of racing. There is more action in golf.

Not convinced?

As props to our short attention span argument, we offer short format cricket and XAFL.

Some of Waterhouse’s suggestions were met with resistance, as is completely natural. She was tossing out ideas to a legitimate concern; however, as the racing industry needs to figure out a way to evolve at some rate at least near the pace of all other areas of society.

As for us, if you want to get us out to Randwick, maybe Chris Waller could offer us a little ride on Winx, or better still, let us take a selfie with her that we could instantaneously share with millions of people.

“Instant” is the operative word here. We would prefer “instant” to be immediately followed by “gratification,” but who has time for that?

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