Michael Dods : Racehorse Trainer

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Dods criticises some northern racecourses for not doing enough to cater for owners

RACEHORSE trainer Michael Dods has criticised some northern courses for failing to do enough for owners during the difficult lockdown period.

Dods, one of the north’s top trainers, said: “In some cases, it hasn’t been good enough, and there’s a real chance owners will walk away from the sport if they’re not treated better.”

The Denton Hall handler singled out Scottish tracks Hamilton (pictured) and Perth for praise because they had “tried harder than most” to cater for owners, providing fish and chips and sandwiches as well as other refreshments.

But he said some of the northern courses had provided “the bare minimum” of tea, coffee, cold drinks, biscuits and crisps.

“Catering staff might be furloughed but we are only talking of 30 or so owners at a meeting so it shouldn’t be difficult to at least order in sealed packs of sandwiches,” said Dods.

Dods has previously praised the racing authorities for the safe and efficient way the resumption of racing has been handled but he warned that owners have to be treated better.

“Owners are the lifeblood of racing and, without them, we don’t have a sport,” he said.

From July 28, racecourses will be allowed to ease the two-person per horse limit, with the exact numbers determined by the racecourses. There will also be greater flexibility around the time owners are permitted to spend on the course.

Racecourses will be allowed “to offer hospitality for owners in line with the guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars”.

Racecourses are currently limited to offering only essential food and drink.