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23rd May 2024 12:49 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Haydock off – An amended view

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William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

Saturday morning 10:00am:

  • Andy Murray is giving it some welly on Eurosport and being hugely supported. I am totally bamboozled by how he’s doing it with a metal hip and following the longest grand slam match in history. Is every sporting organisation in the world simply not thinking things through? Why play a match at 11:00 pm at night? Why not stop it after 4 hours, if only so the ball boys and girls can get home safely?
  • Haydock is off – which is a shame as I had four guaranteed winners and their forecasts! Curses.

Meanwhile back at the original post……

At lunch, last Sunday, one of only three people I know who actually understands what the marriage of Big Data and Tech is capable of, mentioned to the assembled throng about ChatGPT, a constantly learning, Artificially Intelligent, chatbot already capable of delivering quite boring stuff like school essays.

It was designed to imitate human conversation; can remember things you have said to it in the past, and is capable of correcting itself when wrong. It writes in a human-like way and has a wealth of knowledge because it was trained on all sorts of text from the internet, such as Wikipedia, blog posts, books, and academic articles.

So in order to find out more, I asked ChatGTP a series of questions including an opinion on, the future of British Horseracing, Prince Harry, Estate Agents, How to pick winners at Cheltenham and the winner of The Supreme Novice Hurdle. Sadly, as you might expect with AI, it managed to sound like a Liberal Democrat on temazepam, desperate to be polite and helpful, but also keen not to let you know that [a] it was knackered and [b] it didn’t know the answer. Its “retort” format seems to be; “Here is what I learned – here is some other stuff which I frame as an opinion – BUT here is another perspective.

My dull interview in its totality can be found by CLICKING HERE

But then consider this… – in its entirety  – including my two-fingered typing – the whole process took about 10 minutes! That is astonishing. Look at the output and then read it again. OK, it’s anodyne and dull and wasn’t especially revelatory, plus it made a fundamental mistake, but it only took ten minutes. At the moment it is still learning and it has NO access to the Internet directly – it learns from other people’s writings. I suspect this is deliberate and only for the moment.

So whilst we know that the comment “odds: Check the odds of the horses, if the odds are too low, it is less likely to win.” is wrong, it could be argued that that is a question of semantics or a misinterpretation of what it has read. Less reasonable if it declares that the Earth is Flat and makes it sound plausible. However, a freshly-arrived Martian investor might think its view of British Horseracing was very equitable in its visions of the downside faced by the industry… and it delivered its view in seconds.

It also has a problem with human bias. For example, if it only read Nazi propaganda it would have a seriously poor, but horrifyingly single-minded view of Aryans and Untermenschen. We know that ChatGPT can produce harmful and biased answers, and can’t help (yet) but mix fact with fiction. But if I put those answers out there as an article – would you be 100% certain you could spot the machine learning? We’ve been here before – but I don’t recall it being quite so accessible.

Ascot and Haydock have been abandoned and The Cocklebarrow races on Sunday, (well done The Heythrop for naming the Novice Riders race after Jim Wilson, steward, marshall, jockey’s mentor and all-around good egg). The day’s surrounding jollities go ahead – but the racing is postponed until next week. The secretary assures me that tomorrow everything else will stay the same – just more so. So more dog-racing, farmers pulling tractors, girls pulling boys and so on and so forth – “Much Tomfoolery” as he suggested!

You could I suppose simply sit at home musing on why, in the current financial environment, The Jockey Club have stuck to the same early entry formula for Cheltenham and are apparently dumbfounded at the 35% collapse in numbers! It’s like talking to teens… So if the Trainers said they weren’t being competitive back in October, because of the weather, one might have thought that someone would have said at The BHA; “Ummm… does that mean you havn’t had the racing, so need more time to evaluate your entries to see whether they’re any good? Would February 14th be alright?”

No instead take solace in the film below. Here is a man who explains how, back in the 70s, it was possible to find 300 people in Ireland you could trust to keep a secret! God bless him.


  • 1:37 – 1m 2f Huge Daily Boosts at BetUK Handicap (due off 1.50)

    • PARIS LIGHTS 3 pts Win
  • 2:12 – 7f Spreadex Sports Handicap (due off 2.25)

    • LORD RAPSCALLION 2 pts e/w
  • 2:47 – 1m 2f talkSport Winter Oaks (Handicap) (due off 3.00)

    • MAKING ME DO IT 2 pts e/w
  • 3:22 – 5f BetUK Handicap (due off 3.35)

    • STRONG POWER 3 pts Win
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