As British horse racing returns this week, we’ve released the first set of findings from our Sport, It’s Good To Have You Back Survey.
Our survey, carried out by Perspectus Global, asked 2,000 sports fans for their views on what they missed most about watching their favourite sport and how excited they are to have it, almost, back.
Absence has clearly made the heart grow fonder, as 56% of the sports fans interviewed said the lack of sport on TV has made them realise how much they love it.
A mammoth race card is expected at Newcastle on Monday, 1st June, while the first Classics of the season, the 2000 and 1000 Guineas, will commence at the weekend at Newmarket, also behind closed doors.
Over 30% of the sports fans interviewed watch Horse Racing on television every week, 38% say they plan to watch as much “behind closed doors” horse racing as possible, and 47% per cent plan on watching even more than they used to.
After two months with no sport to enjoy it’s no surprise that 50 per cent of sports fans said they will be tuning in and watching the behind the closed-door races on Monday, confirming that the nation is chomping at the bit for the resumption of horse racing action.
When quizzed about what they missed the most about watching the racing on television, 36% said they missed watching the racing itself, 17% missed watching with friends and 9% miss the build-up to the races.
The impact of racing on the UK cannot be underestimated. Every year 5.77 million people attend over 1,500 fixtures held at 59 racecourses.
The very first Virtual Grand National which aired on 4th April in lieu of one the most famous horse races in the world. We joined the UK betting industry to celebrate the Virtual Grand National and raised over £2.6m for NHS Charities Together from donations of industry profits on the day.
What have fans missed the most?
The things that fans have missed the most about attending the races in person are the atmosphere (54%), while 54 per cent also missed the thrill of placing a bet and seeing their pick come in.
At a time when the nation is spending more time alone, or with a small family group it’s no surprise that when asked what they most miss about going to the races sociable aspects scored highly in the list.
Almost half (45%) said it was a chance to spend time with friends and/or family, 32% said they missed conversations with other racegoers, while 28% missed travelling to the races with their fellow fans.
It’s not just seeing whose nose is first past the post that horse racing lovers miss, they have missed studying the form (35%) and reading the Racing Post (26%).
Nicola McGeady, Head of Ladbrokes PR said: “It really is good to have racing back. The crisis hasn’t just halted our enjoyment of sport, whether live or on television, it’s taken away the sociability and sense of togetherness that comes from cheering on a winner, or consoling each other after backing a loser.”
What horse racing fans have missed the most about attending:
The atmosphere – 54%
Having a bet – 54%
Watching the races themselves – 52%
Spending time with my friends and/or family – 45%
Having a drink – 44%
Seeing the horses in the parade ring – 40%
Studying the form – 35%
Conversation with other racegoers – 32%
The food – 31%
Travelling to the races with my fellow fans – 28%
What horse racing fans missed the most about watching racing on TV:
The sport itself – 37%
Watching with friends – 17%
Watching it in the pub – 13%
The build-up – 9%
Social media conversations – 7%
Post-race analysis – 5%
Stewards enquiries – 4%
The presenters – 4%
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.