Original post published 26th March 2012. Latest revised list published 1st February 2018
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.
OK, to business. Here's my starter list...
They say: The official twitter feed of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
I say: what they said! A great resource to keep abreast of top table goings on in British racing.
They say: Official feed of the British Horseracing Authority Stewards. Enquiries, notices and raceday information.
I say: A one stop shop for stewards' reports, jockey changes and other important/instructive raceday updates.
They say: Daily going reports across all tracks from the Racecourse Association. Information correct at time of posting.
I say: My first port of call each morning when I'm having a bet. Latest going as of the morning of racing.
They say: Horseracing Bettors Forum. Officially recognised voluntary body representing views/concerns of those who bet on British horseracing.
I say: Increasingly credible lobby group for British punters. Good source of news updates on progress. [Full disclosure: I have been a Forum member since its inception]
They say: The PJA supports professional jockeys and promotes, protects and represents their interests and welfare.
I say: Useful source of jockey-related info, usually at the general level.
They say: Geegeez is the #1 independent UK racing site, with its Gold service offering leading edge form tools, and a proven profitable tipping service.
I say: Yes, all of that. And so much more.
She says: Racing fan. And journalist. Stalker update: Lie Forrit, Taws & Djakadam are used to it. Beware, Vanishing: you're my latest fixation. I miss Antigua Sunrise.
I say: Articulate, honest, passionate, knowledgeable. Everything I believe a racing journo should be. Top class. Easy enough on the eye too… (can I say that?!)
He says: Irish Horse Racing punter. Form, pace, video analysis. Write for
@BetfairRacing, @geegeez_uk and @racingaheadmag. Contrary bastard.
I say: Top scribe, always thought-provoking, always data-driven, often found on the virtual pages of geegeez.co.uk.
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. Deservedly won the 2017 HWPA Broadcaster of the Year award.
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).
He says: Write about horse racing for The Guardian. Just looking for the next winner. "A journalist of no doubt good repute" (BHA barrister)
I say: One of the most determined journos in the game (apols for damning with faint praise somewhat), and a solid value judge to boot.
He says: Racing correspondent. Brighton & Barca fan. Love baseball too. All views mine.
I say: The third brain at Guardian. Strongly held views, always well articulated. Covers much of the overseas action for his 'paper.
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.
He says: TV presenter on Attheraces and ITV Racing. 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.
He says: Freelance betting journalist/consultant/tipster./broadcaster.
I say: Opinionated. Lover of value longshots, and sometime guardian of the betting markets.
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.
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. 😉
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
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, ATR blogs worth a read
He says: The Racing Club, Hong Kong.
I say: Former RUK stalwart, currently exiled in Hong Kong. Often pithy interjections on UK racing, Man City and rugby league
He says: Associate editor at the Racing Post. Facilitating exponential change (nice one that, got it out of a mag). Opinions etc
I say: One of the wittiest racing writers you probably don't know about. Always worth looking out for his weekly column.
They say: Keep up to date with the latest racing news & enjoy our great competitions. Followers must be 18+.
I say: A great account to keep up to date with the latest racing news.
They say: The biggest horse racing channel in the UK and Ireland - on TV, online and on our award-winning app
I say: Some really good video snippets, as well as updates on ATR-covered racecourses
He says: Freelance racing writer and form/time analyst. Chips into: Timeform, ATR, Irish Field, others. Chair HBF. Fellow RSS, Judicial Panel.
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 in the game. Colleague (chairman) on Horseracing Bettors Forum.
He says: Horseracing mainly, work as Flat Editor for
@Timeform. Enthusiastic only about running these days, despite perennial injuries. My views, not my employers
I say: Obviously sound judge of flat racing.
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.
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.
They say: Horse Racing's favourite Podcast previewing the biggest races with an array of special guests.
I say: Excellent craic, strong opinions, and generally thought-provoking as well as laughter-inducing.
He says: Horse racing publisher, syndicate manager and punter. Creator of the Geegeez Gold next gen formbook... Opinionated, vocal and frequently wrong. AFC Bournemouth.
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.
He says: Writer of the Daily Punt, monthly writer for Betting Insiders, bits & pieces for Radio Winchcombe, Normally mooching on a racecourse somewhere.
I say: Smart guy. Funny guy. Nice guy. Eminently readable output!
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?
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.
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 also writes the popular Each Way Double Dutch thread on the Gold Forum…
He says: I wrote the first book ever written about betting on football Win At Fixed Odds Football Betting back in 1993 with nine subsequent horse racing books penned.
I say: Our own placepot and stats man, Mal tweets some interesting snippets on the racing most days.
He says: Managing to eke out a profit in the clandestine world of UK racing. Any info provided is given in good faith but in Racing things can change at short notice.
You say: Very, very useful! Reveals declarations
They say: Average racing fan. Work for the Press Association. One For Arthur's biggest fan. Views my own and not of my employer.
You say: People with such a passion are always worth listening to and Adam looks at things differently.
He says: CEO of Great British Racing & British Champions Series Ltd. Husband. Dad . Seagull. Avocado farmer. Runner.
I say: Rod Street. The man behind Racing For Change and Great British Racing. Partly responsible for racing’s recent renaissance. Rod is a keen tweeter, and often shares interesting titbits from the wider world. Just fancy that!
He says: Law and horse racing.
I say: Tongue in cheek generally, and from good Italian stock (or, at least, Italian stock!)
He says: Racing. Betting. Other.
I say: Coral head of racing trading. Frequent tweeter, often deliberately antagonistic. Usually gets a bite from somewhere...
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'.