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Thread: Drivers' Colours or Not?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year gutwagon will become famous soon enough gutwagon's Avatar
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    Drivers' Colours or Not?

    I see some media people in Vic are flogging the "Make the drivers the superstars of the sport" again. They want drivers to have their own colours and focus promotions on them.
    Personally I think it would drive many owners and trainers away very quickly .
    Don't die wondering !

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    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    It has to be about loving the horses.
    The gallops get that
    And don't forget that animals are safer than humans - the latter can really embarass you at times
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Dot will become famous soon enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutwagon View Post
    I see some media people in Vic are flogging the "Make the drivers the superstars of the sport" again. They want drivers to have their own colours and focus promotions on them.
    Personally I think it would drive many owners and trainers away very quickly .
    And that’s the kind of thinking that is seeing the sport floundering Rick. We need to innovate and change, it’s not obviously that owners and trainers aren’t needed, it’s that our drivers, who in some instances are also trainers, are our most marketable commodity and we are seriously underutilising them.

    Love of the horse is a given Kev but horses don’t do interviews, don’t sign autographs or shake hands and engage in conversations with fans. They also don’t have the longivity in the industry that drivers do, following a horse tends to be a one off, getting fans to follow a driver more likely gets them following multiple horses.

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    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dot View Post
    And that’s the kind of thinking that is seeing the sport floundering Rick. We need to innovate and change, it’s not obviously that owners and trainers aren’t needed, it’s that our drivers, who in some instances are also trainers, are our most marketable commodity and we are seriously underutilising them.

    Love of the horse is a given Kev but horses don’t do interviews, don’t sign autographs or shake hands and engage in conversations with fans. They also don’t have the longivity in the industry that drivers do, following a horse tends to be a one off, getting fans to follow a driver more likely gets them following multiple horses.
    I reckon the gallops are doing ok
    Have you heard of Winx or Black Caviar, Dot
    Gai Waterhouse is the only marketed racing person I can think of (marketed herself) but I cannot think of a time when 1,000 people went to the course to see her (unlike the ladies mentioned above)
    A few hundred for a ladies lunch at Warrnambool would probably be the closest you would get to that (but I agree she is great for their code)

    Trainers and owners are generally available for interviews, if one proves a natural and is interested in a profile - it will/would have happened

    We need our form of the Melbourne Cup, a set day at a set track that can develop a history - a single day on which our following at least doubles
    And once it has developed, the winners will always be revered/remembered - we will have a new 'champion' every year or if we are lucky some horse will win it 3yrs in a row and become a legend

    On the day trainers are being warned about the use of sea snail venom, I am happy to stick with promoting the four legged athletes in our game first and foremost
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Dot will become famous soon enough
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    We aren’t the gallops Kev, and in many respects we aren’t very like them, we have much more in common with equestrian sport. Very very few people have the physical stature that affords them the chance to be a jockey, almost everyone can aspire to be a driver. Most TBs have a short career, most stbs much greater longivity, or at least they did when our focus was on FFA racing not juveniles.

    Very Funny Kev, of course I’ve heard of Winx and Black Caviar, and Hugh Bowman and Luke Nolan who rode them, wanna add Makybe Diva and Glen Boss? Trainers Chris Waller, Peter Moody and Lee Freedman if your interested. But it is the horse along with the rider that puts on the show that people come to watch. Gai is unique Kev, a trained actress and a natural at working a crowd regardless of the size. How do you know a 1000 people don’t go to the races to see Gai? A friend of mine in Bankstown Kev, went to work for Gai as her PA, I can tell you people hang off Gai’s every word everywhere she goes. And yes she’s done it herself. Just because Gai marketed herself doesn’t mean racing shouldn’t market anyone else.

    My turn now Kev, have you heard of Bold Eagle and Franck Nivard? Of Readly Express and Bjorn Goop? They are all the equivalent of rockstars in the trotting sport in Europe. Sure the trainers and owners get interviewed from time to time, but on the day, at the races, it’s the horse and it’s driver that the crowd at the track relates to. They are a team Kev, it’s the driver who’s shows off the equine athlete, who gives the horse a voice in the pre and post race interviews, and plays to the crowd. The driver is who the kids aspire to, to be a Franck Nivard or a Bjorn Goop and drive a horse like Bold Eagle or Readly Express, and for the adults to fantacise they are Frank Nivard or Bjorn Goop before they go back to their (boring) routine lives.

    I guess if you haven’t experienced the pantomime of European trots or equestrian sport its hard to relate to, it truely is a world away from what we do here.

    We have no Flemington or Melbourne Cup now Kev, if we don’t find a way to market our sport, to connect better with our existing, and a new audience, there won’t be time to develop the history you seek.


    Sea Snail Venom has no place in either code Kev, and reports of its use are disheartening, but it is premature to view every trainer as tainted by the weighty shadow it may in time cast if the presently unverified reports of it use are proven to be true.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    We will have to agree to disagree.

    I suppose it comes down to the difference between 'who you relate to' and 'who you come to see'.
    Even on the relate to front, I must be boring or greedy but 'the one I want to be is the owner of the champion' even if I have never laid eyes on them (scary who I might end up as if a genie read my thoughts )

    Jocks, drivers and trainers with personality or even mystique are no doubt valuable assets

    You have probably seen my past posts suggesting we poach some french administrators but I will happily take Peter V'landys back too
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Dot will become famous soon enough
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    Definately boring Kev, though some will no doubt remember Winx for owner Debbie Kepitis and the purple hair and “that” black and purple suit. That’s not who you are channeling is it Kev? That would be scary.

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    Senior Member Horse Of The Year gutwagon will become famous soon enough gutwagon's Avatar
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    Sorry Dot, but I think the whole sport needs promoting not just drivers. People already follow drivers, their names are in the form guide. The horses are the stars. Giving drivers their own colours would not work. People know horses by the trainers or owners colours , if a horse had different colours all the time it would be too confusing for everyone.
    Don't die wondering !

  9. #9
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Dot will become famous soon enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutwagon View Post
    Sorry Dot, but I think the whole sport needs promoting not just drivers. People already follow drivers, their names are in the form guide. The horses are the stars. Giving drivers their own colours would not work. People know horses by the trainers or owners colours , if a horse had different colours all the time it would be too confusing for everyone.
    So if making our leading drivers who occupy more screen time then anyone or anything else in the industry more easily identifiable to harness diehards and newbies alike isn’t the best way to promote the whole sport then what is? Sure a champion horse is of immeasurable benefit but let’s face it they don’t grow on trees. Not even the incomparable Lazarus could have run in front of the cameras in several races a day seven days a week.....

    Next someone will be telling me the best way to market the sport would be to velcro the trainer, owner and breeders name to the drivers pants each race.......

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    ...... well going on the gallops (which I do believe to be our sister code) trainers like Gai, Waller, Moody, TJ, Bart do seem to have a higher profile than the jocks whereas my historical racing books definitely suggest that the jockeys were the pinups
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