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Journalists are Journalists

One thing that many people forget when reading a racing publication is that the journalist’s skill is writing and not necessarily tipping. The journalist is paid to write a piece and not paid to find winners.


It’s important to understand the dynamic of the relationship between the journalist and the money that they’re putting on their bets. There is a big difference between the stake of a journalist and the stake of a professional tipster.


Let’s take the following as an example. If there is a zoom call with Willie Mullins and a group of journalists before a major festival, the following days papers will include Willie’s comments. This will entice readers to back Willie’s horses if he speaks positively of them or if the journalist implies that the horse should be winning. In truth, the journalist is trying to file copy before their deadline and isn’t really attempting to encourage readers into a bet.


If punters and readers religiously followed the tips of journalists, they would be broke. We can compare this theory to Premier League football. If Oliver Holt writes an article about Manchester United or Liam Twomey writes an article about Chelsea for an upcoming match, you’re not going to base your bets on what they write. They are journalists first and foremost.


Subscription services, such as Timeform, will give you a much better idea of who you should be picking to win a race. They purely focus on race assessments and examining each horse’s runs rather than writing content for newspapers which are to encourage more readership.


Of course there will be exceptions to this rule where tipsters can develop a flair for writing, take Steve Palmer in the Racing Post as an example. However, in the main, journalists are there to provide content and not tips.

David O'Farrell

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