Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Snow fun at Wolverhampton
There are times when offering something for free is still not cheap enough. Such as today at Wolverhampton.
A hastily-arranged all-weather fixture, designed solely to keep the betting shops ticking over, staged on a track which is on a run of five meetings in six days, was always going to be a hard sell. So it was no surprise that they should offer to let people in for nothing.
But even that would not have looked much of a bargain at lunchtime, as locals weighed up whether to brave the heavy snow or keep warm in front of the fire, and attendance was sparse, even by Wolverhampton standards.
The ten bookmakers standing in Tatts had plenty of time to talk among themselves, with scarcely a punter on hand to interrupt their conversations by asking for a bet.
I wouldn't like to suggest there was a downbeat atmosphere but when Misere was awarded the best-turned-out prize in the opener, the public address announcer's accidentally calling him 'Misery' was quite a revealing Freudian slip.
Of course, today was all about keeping the show on the road and generating off-course betting turnover to pay the Levy which funds racing - and they did the job well until the snow became too heavy and things were called off after the fourth race.
I just hope that when they are picking up their prize-money in the summer sunshine, the big owners are sufficiently appreciative of the efforts of clerk of the course Fergus Cameron and his team, plus the jockeys and trainers who all worked so hard to get racing on in decidedly hostile conditions.
Of course, I shouldn't have been here.
Original plan had been to report from Wetherby but when they put on an extra Wolverhampton fixture it made sense for me to cover it as I was here yesterday.
So I stayed overnight in the Holiday Innon the track. Great view of the parade ring from the window. All the racing channels on the television. Had it not been for the need to get quotes, I could have done the whole job from my lovely warm room.