Horse Racing People to follow on Twitter

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Michael Owen is racing's top tweeter

Michael Owen: racing's top tweeter? Do me a favour!

The Racing Post last Friday published a controversial list of ‘Racing’s Top Tweeters’. It listed the top hundred racing personalities, by number of followers.

So why was it controversial? Well, in my opinion, anything which is based on quantity over quality must be flawed. I mean, imagine if there was a ‘racing’s top blogs’ based on the same notion. geegeez would be very close to the top… I rest my case! ;-)

As an example, the number one racing personality according to the Racing Post, was Michael Owen! Yes, you know, the occasional footballer and occasional racehorse owner, Michael Owen. Number four was Alex Hammond. Very attractive, especially as a twitter-follower-magnet… but adding value? Come off it.

So, partly in rally against such a lazy piece of journalism (in my opinion), and partly because I’d love to encourage a few more of you into the tweet space (for reasons I’ll share at the end of this piece), here is my strawman top twenty-t’ree Twittery tweeters.

By strawman, I mean this is intended as a starting list, which is up for discussion. It is based on a subset of the people I follow, and of course there are squillions of others out there, many of whom will also be worth following. So, where you see a glaring omission, leave a comment, and I may update the list. It’s my aspiration to create some sort of living guide to the top tweeters.

I should say that I’ve deliberately omitted any trainers or jockeys, largely because anything they say which is worth knowing gets re-tweeted by some of the below. And trainers and jockeys generally tweet a load of old crap around the occasional important snippet. (There are probably exceptions but I’ve yet to find any. I welcome suggestions in this space).

[Note, with respect, I'd encourage you to suggest other people's twitter feeds rather than your own. Thanks!]

To sign up for a Twitter account, just go to https://twitter.com/ and follow the (very simple) prompts.

As and when you’re a registered user, you can follow my suggestions below – should you so wish – by clicking their @name, and then clicking the ‘Follow’ button that appears in the newly opened window. Simples, as a certain fictional meerkat of dubious origins might say.

Thursday 29th March: the list has been updated with your suggestions. Do keep them coming, as it’s my intention for this to be a ‘living list’.

OK, to business. Here’s my starter list…

Media

@LydiaHislop

She says: Racing fan. And journalist. Stalker of Antigua Sunrise and Lie Forrit.
I say: Articulate, honest, knowledgeable. Everything I believe a racing journo should be. Top class. Easy enough on the eye too…

@GCunning12

He says: Freelance writer (ex Timeform and Racing Post) and broadcaster with Racing UK, TVG and Timeform Radio.
I say: Graham Cunningham. King of Twanter (a new phrase I just coined for Twitter banter), and a prolific tweeter. Often interesting, especially if you’re fine with reading between lines.

@LegLockLuke

He says: Muck out, ride out, and talk about horses on radio and television for a living. Just started producing, filming and editing on my own and loving it….
I say: Luke Harvey. Lovable joker. Occasional buffoon. Not to everyone’s tastes. Something of a guilty pleasure….

@HonestFrank

He says: Journalist. Interests include horse racing, football, Olympics.
I say: Francis Keogh. The sort of feed for ‘you heard it here first’ news, often in the wider sporting context.

@DavidJAshforth

He says: ex-various things.
I say: Unquestionably one of my favourite racing journalists ever. Now dealing with serious illness, and sharing the bittersweet battle in typically sanguine fashion. Top tweeter. Terrible tipster. ;-)

@TonyPaley

He says: Guardian and Observer racing editor
I say: A bit ‘establishment’ perhaps, but then he has a serious day job to jeopardize. Also a hopeless PNE romantic (as all fans of lower league football should be).

@LeeMottershead

He says: Racing Post hack generously voted racing journalist of the year by some ever so nice people. A lover of the gee gees, Strictly Come Dancing and home baking.
I say: Just about the only Racing Post journalist worth reading (sad but true), and surely not long for that world as the bright lights of TV will tempt him away. Eloquent, erudite, and just a little bit soft. Lovely.

@MCYeeeHaaa

He says: TV presenter on Attheraces and race commentator. 2010 HWPA Broadcaster of the Year. Winner of the 2010 Racing Post Broadcasters’ World Cup.
I say: Matt Chapman. As you can see from his blurb, not shy when it comes to self-promotion. And of course not shy when it comes to broadcasting. Extremely well-connected modern day Thommo, which is probably the biggest back-handed compliment I can pay anyone. In any case, an occasional guilty pleasure. I do enjoy his opinionated candour.

New:

@McGracing

He says: Jim McGrath- Channel 4 commentator and racehorse owner.
You say:  Ex-Timeform, still has some good opinions.

@Helynsar

He says: Timeform Radio pundit, Cheltenham resident, new husband, hopelessly optimistic broodmare owner.
You say: Rory Delargy. Knows his nags, not a prolific tweeter but always makes sense

@kevinblake2011

He says: Ex-Timeform/J R Gask. Now freelance racing journo (RP, Irish Field etc), horse breeder, business owner and kickboxer. Topped the 2011 Irish Field Naps Table.
You say:  Very knowledgable, outside-the-box views

Form judges

@RowleyFile

He says: Blogger and Head of R&D at Timeform. Small-time racehorse owner.
I say: Simon Rowlands. Some very interesting analyses of racing from outside of the usual spectrum of interpretation, as you’d expect from one of the top number-crunchers at Timeform.

@DavidJohnson82

He says: Racing Fan, Timeform Flat editor and handicapper, occasional pundit on Timeform Radio.
I say: Strong opinions on the flat (obviously), and should be worth following in the early part of the turf flat season, at the very least.

@KoosRacingClub

He says: Syndicate manager for Koo’s Racing Club who also likes the odd flutter on the horses.
I say: Kristian Strangeway. Shrewd gambler who owns the fifteen-odd strong team of Koo’s Racing Club horses. Some good insights into what type of horse might do well under what conditions. (Don’t expect a tip though!)

@EddieTheShoe

He says: Racing, football, occasionally cricket.
I say: Eddie Fremantle. Former Guardian journo, now freelance with RUK and others. Fulham fan and forthright racing analyst.

New:

@Bickley14

He says: Full time sports punter/analyst and writer/broadcaster on RUK. Most sports esp racing, NFL, cricket, rugby league and football. Former Betfair staff.
You say:  Tweets plenty of interesting stuff and because he travels to different meetings each day is good for updates on travel problems and any other live snippets from the course. Very good on the NFL too, if you like that sort of thing.

Bloggers

@RacingTrends

He says: Tony Keenan. Irish Horse Racing punter, with a preference for flat racing & not the good stuff either. Form, pace, video analysis. Betfair blogger. Contrarian.
I say: Excellent, pithy young writer. And one, I’m delighted to announce, who will be joining the Geegeez/Horse-Racing.ie team of writers this week! Strong views esp. on Irish racing.

@NarrowTheField

He says: Author of Horse Racing Trends book ‘Narrowing The Field – Using The Dosage Method to Win at National Hunt Racing’ – Member of the Twitterati, owners of Trending.
I say: Ben Aitken. ‘Hairy Ben’ as I call him. Dosage guru, trends analyst and all round hairy man. Prefers jumps to flat, but then, don’t most people?

@HawkWing2002

He says: Lucky enough to have worked in Ballydoyle, studied Equine Science in U.L & now working with ATR. Blogger for Paddy Power. Big sports fan too, Man Utd & Tipperary.
I say: Declan Rix. Interesting perspectives on Irish horses, and the sort of chap likely to reply to your questions. Twitter should, in my opinion, be about access / information, and Declan fulfils the remit.

@TonyMacRacing

He says: Trends compiler. Highlights are The Festival and York Ebor meetings. Proud to have owned a winner in MISS WIZZ.
I say: Tony McCormick. Trends analyst, and owner of Irish Big Race Trends. (Strong) opinions, and the occasional cuss make Tony ‘18 certificate’ following…

@Mattbisogno

He says: Horse racing owner, punter, writer and publisher… Opinionated, vocal and frequently wrong. (know a bit about marketing online too).
I say: You don’t need me to tell you what I’m like. You already know well enough! My Twitter presence is a bit more ‘snapshot’ (i.e. less considered) than most of my blog ramblings. Might be worth a look though.

Others

@Rod_RfC

He says: CEO of Racing Enterprises Ltd & British Champions Series Ltd. Host of#theracingtavern
I say: Rod Street. The man behind Racing For Change. Whilst I’ve been a critic of RFC’s early work, it’s hard to deny they’ve been partly responsible for racing’s recent relative renaissance. Rod is a keen tweeter, and runs a Sunday night racing (in the main) online quiz at the aforementioned The Racing Tavern.

@totepool

He says: Latest news and updates from the home of totepool betting!
I say: All the latest news from the tote pools. If you’re placepotting or jackpotting, this is a good feed to follow.

@GeorgePrimarolo

He says: Betfred/totepool spokesman. Fat lookalike of: Freddie Flintoff, David Coulthard, Kevin Pressman and Marilyn from Home & Away.
I say: More engaging than many of the bookie PR types. Tongue in cheek generally, and from good Italian stock (or, at least, Italian stock!)

@JamesAKnight

He says: Head of Racing at Coral, punter, blogger, part own Berberana and the #twitterhorses. Also father to Eva (4) + George (2).
I say: Frequent tweeter, often about the day’s racing. As a senior player for a bookie, he may be helping us… and he may not. ;-) [Hint: in fairness, I believe he plays with a straight bat]

@proform_racing

He says: UK & Irish Horse Racing Computerised Form Book, System Builder, Research Tool and In Running Trading Module.
I say: It’s bizarre how few of the computer form generation have social media feeds. Suspect it relates to the joys of being a programmer and not wanting to interact with humans! In any case, Proform is a notable exception and, by all accounts, a damn fine piece of kit. I really must blag a free trial for us all…

@StarSports_Bet

He says: The Gentleman’s Bookmaker, offering a friendly and professional service laying some of the biggest bets in the industry.
I say: Nice chaps. Tend to tweet about what they’ve laid. Cannot guarantee they have actually taken money for those horses, but it’s likely a reasonable barometer of market sentiment for those of you who are swayed by such things.

 ********

As I said, I’m keen for more of you to dip your toe into the warm Mediterranean waters of Twitter, and savour sound bites in easily digestible format from your favourite racing bods, and perhaps even me! ;-)

To sign up for a Twitter account, just go to https://twitter.com/ and follow the (very simple) prompts.

As and when you’re a registered user, you can follow my suggestions above – should you so wish – by clicking their @name, and then clicking the ‘Follow’ button that appears in the newly opened window. Simples, as a certain fictional meekat of dubious origins might say.

And if you’re already connected on there, do leave a comment/suggestion below as to who you reckon is well worthy of a ‘follow’.

Thanks!

Matt

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Rating: 6.4/10 (12 votes cast)
Horse Racing People to follow on Twitter, 6.4 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

21 Responses to Horse Racing People to follow on Twitter

  1. I must say that, while I know absolutely nothing about the guy, I’ll give a huge pat on the back to a totally free tipster – Steady Eddy. Every morning when I get up, there in my inbox are his EW and daily members’ naps and if you join an online betting service through his e-mail, you qualify for his free “bonus bets”. OK, they may not be huge prices, but overall I’m doing pretty well out of them.

    Sheila Stern
    March 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

  2. I believe there are many quality tipsters on twitter offering some good priced quality tips. Some have a strike rate matching some of the ‘pro’s’ who offer services for a fee which I found quite amusing these twitter people do it for the live of their knowledge and thoughts not for the money of selling tips on 0906 numbers etc.

    Paula
    March 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

    • Hi guys

      Just to clarify, please do NOT refer to yourself in comments. And also, I’m much more interested in people with opinions rather than tips.

      So, no more tipsters please.

      Thanks,
      Matt

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 9:21 am

  3. Hi
    What a good idea Matt

    I follow @Bickley14
    Andy Richmond, broadcaster on RUK. Tweets plenty of interesting stuff and because he travels to different meetings each day is good for updates on travel problems and any other live snippets from the course.

    Allan

    Allan
    March 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

    • Thanks Allan – will include in version 2 list later in the week.

      Matt

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

  4. Hi Matt

    Interesting list

    Follow most of above but others of interest as follows with maybe smaller number of followers

    Chris Beek Racehorse owner and syndicate manager in lambourn
    Phillip Hemmings good racehorse owning family, honest opinions
    EpicureMammon Financial director with connections to yards
    Jim McGrath commentator and owner
    trainers of interest Deenis Coakley, Fanshawes, Sean Quinn,Dascombes,Richard Fahey, and of course the now infamous Matt Bisogno, keep up the good work

    nick
    March 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

    • Good stuff Vinty. Will add at least some of those to the updated list in the next couple of days. Editorial license and all that. (In truth, there’s one guy on your list I can’t stand!)

      Matt

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

  5. Matt
    Why Tony Paley and not Greg Wood, who writes most of the Guardian’s racing stories? Or the interesting ones at least. Is it all the Brighton stuff? Also, Sam Turner and Richard Hoiles are good follows, I reckon

    Kevin Corbett
    March 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

    • Fair comment Kevin. In fact, there’s also @claimsfive (Chris Cook), but one has to draw the line somewhere on suggestions from the same ‘stable’.

      Matt

      p.s. I’ll be producing an updated list with your suggestions in due course.

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

  6. You say: ‘sign up for Twitter’

    I say: ‘it’s a facile facility for inarticulate egotists to have their blatant limitations exposed in 140 characters or less’

    ;)

    Craig
    March 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    • Haha! Until recently Craig, a view I shared. I’m a convert, I have to concede. I still need the verbose indulgence that geegeez bestows, but Twitter for brief ‘snapshot’ observations has its utility. Why not give it a try, and let me know what you think? At least you’ve a list of decent people to follow right there, without having to figure that bit out for yourself!

      Matt

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 12:09 pm

  7. Hi Matt,

    It’s my impression that those who use Twitter do so to promote their websites. I’d be far more interested when I knew how they were doing in that genre.
    Food for thought though!

    Frank
    March 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    • Hi Frank

      Of course, there are some – myself included – who reference their sites from time to time. Websites and twitter are not mutually exclusive.

      The rationale for including a twitter person above is based on whether they add net value. That is, when you take away the wanton plugs, is there still plenty of residual goodness?

      My view of the list as it stands is that there is. Not everyone will share that view, nor do they need to. That’s the whole point. :)

      Matt

      p.s. you are following me on twitter, aren’t you?! ;)

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      • Sorry, Matt, social media is anathema to me, but you’re there.

        Frank
        March 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

  8. Rory Delargy ? @helynsar
    He says: Timeform Radio pundit, Cheltenham resident, new husband, hopelessly optimistic broodmare owner.
    I say: knows his nags, not a prolific tweeter but always makes sense

    Going to check out what this Matt Bisogno fella’s tweets are like ;)

    Danny
    March 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    • Thanks Danny. Hope you’re not (too) disappointed by @MattBisogno. He was definitely one of the weaker links in the tweetlist! ;)

      Matt

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

  9. Irish racing tweeps:
    @kevinblake2011 – Very knowledgable, outside-the-box views.
    @neill_dennehy – Very good blogs and interesting opinions.
    @declanmeagher76 – Pro punter, outside the box thinker, strong views.

    Good job.

    John McBride
    March 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    • Thanks John – top stuff. Will check them out and update accordingly.

      Matt Bisogno
      March 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  10. can I also give a shout for @Bickley14 – well worth a follow, very good on the NFL too, if like that sort of thing.

    neil
    March 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  11. Sean Boyce (@boyciesbetting) doesn’t Tweet much but it’s always worth a look when he does – his blog is good too.

    David Massey
    March 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    • Thanks David. Good shout. Will add in the next round of updates :)

      Matt

      Matt Bisogno
      March 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm