“Equestrian experts” at Grand National admit they don’t typically follow the sport
The researchers surveyed 2,000 adults and found that half became “equestrian experts” when a major horse race took place – although many say this fleeting interest could lead to a year-round love of the sport.
Up to 90 per cent of supporters of the big three racing events – Cheltenham, Grand National and Ascot – will have a flutter and usually bet on six races.
While 26 percent take their interest to another level by buying a copy of Racing Post to find “absolute certification”.
And 31 percent have arranged social gatherings so they can enjoy all the ups and downs of race day with family and friends.
But this momentary interest in the sport isn’t limited to events like Cheltenham – the investigation commissioned by 888sport found that it even happens in soccer.
After all, 39 per cent of respondents said they only watch major international tournaments like the European Championships and World Cup – or simply watch the FA Cup final.
More than a third (35 percent) only watch tennis during Wimbledon, 23 percent only watch rugby during the Six Nations and 18 percent only tune in to Formula 1 when the British GP is on.
A spokesman for 888sport said: “There are many great racing events throughout the year but Cheltenham is one of the biggest.
“The fact that so many people are interested in these events, despite not normally following the sport, shows the appeal that Cheltenham and other events have.
“There will be plenty of twists, turns and excitement throughout the 28 races – spectators will be shaking out of their seats – we can’t wait.
“And their interest in the sport could capture their imaginations so much that they might even follow it year-round.”
The study also found that of the 34 per cent of adults who follow horse racing, 51 per cent claim to become an expert at it – particularly for the duration of the Grand National, Cheltenham and Ascot.
While 59 percent of all adults have bet on a horse race at some point – with 21 percent claiming to have a good instinct for picking a winner.
The three most important methods when choosing which horse to bet on are name (21 percent), odds (21 percent) and the Thoroughbred’s past successes.
Other popular tactics include observing weather conditions (14 percent), tips from race supplements and blogs (12 percent), and jockey uniform color (10 percent).
More than half (53 percent) have never been to a live racing event – but 40 percent would like to attend again in the future.
The study, conducted by OnePoll, also found that 81 percent enjoy watching the big sporting events – like the Superbowl, Boat Race and Ashes.
Because 35 percent of those who do make such occasions so passionate, they plan their entire year around them.
And 34 percent of major sports fans said they enjoy trying new sports – so maybe horse racing could be one they’re into.
A spokesman for 888sport said: “There are those who like to stick with one sport or two and follow them closely, those who watch everything and those who just follow the big events.
“Whatever your preference, there are many events to choose from and enjoy.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/horse-raing-equestrian-grand-national-b2295642.html “Equestrian experts” at Grand National admit they don’t typically follow the sport