RACING AHEAD with Tony McCormick

Racing pundit Tony McCormick from and racing radio station reports on his own sponsored race Handicap, run at Beverley on Tuesday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th July 2015, 12:47 pm
Racing Ahead
Racing Ahead

It was the fifth renewal of Handicap on Tuesday, a race won in good style by Strong Man trained by Mick Easterby and ridden by crack apprentice Nathan Evans.

It was good to catch up with an old pal from Bridlington, Allen Slinger, who is now landlord of the historic Royal Standard Inn, situated near the archway on North Bar Within, Beverley.

The pub has undergone quite a transformation recently with a £150,000 refurbishment, bringing a tired corner of Beverley up to date, without forgetting its rich heritage as part of the town’s landscape. There is even a whole wall of the front bar dedicated to the history of Beverley Racecourse, with pictures of the old stand,

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I’d arranged to meet Matt Bisogno, from the excellent and Ben Aitken from in the Royal Standard.

It’s important when sponsoring a race to get maximum exposure for your product through any media and to invite the likes of Ben, Matt and Racing UK’s American racing expert Mark Milligan along to discuss future projects.

Two years ago, my Racing UK interview generated record ‘visits’ to the website and all important email addresses exchanged. It lasted for a good four or five minutes with Chris Dixon, where we discussed all of the free content available on the site. Last year was a disaster. Channel Four Racings Graham Cunningham was reviewing the Newmarket July Meeting leaving me with no more than a minute to mention, visits to the site was 70% down on the day compared to the previous year. I must say at this point it was entirely the fault of Racing UK producers as Graham was more than apologetic for taking up my, one chance a year, on air time.

This year ended up a lot better with Peter Naughton and Mark Howard in attendance, Peter was on duty on the first Handicap. We had plenty of time to discuss more free content on the site, including a Mark Johnston July Course Trend, which has a strike rate of 47% during 2013, 2014 and currently this season. The all-important extra minutes ensured visits to my site increased by 75% from last year.

The best turned out for my race was judged by good friends Andrew Jewitt and his partner Julee, who nominated 10-year-old Silver Rime for the prize.

The race itself was won by Strong Man trained by Mick Easterby, I had the pleasure of watching the race with the legendary Peter Easterby, trainer of Alverton, Little Owl and of course Night Nurse and Sea Pigeon.

As Strong Man landed the spoils, Mr Easterby enthused about young Nathan Evans the 7lb claiming jockey, telling me how he came over from the Irish pony racing circuit and how he is a good ‘grafter’ working from dawn till dusk in the yard. More importantly for column readers, the legend of racing told me that young Evans ‘had good hands’.

All done, it was back to the Royal Standard for a final hour with Alan and his ‘moulting’ dog, the aptly named ‘Mac’ for final chat about the racing, before Matt headed back on the Kings Cross rattler and Ben to Leeds. A fabulous day with family and friends.

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