Part 2 of the Paper Files features the Daily Star’s resident Tipster Patrick Weaver. He takes us from Lingfield Park to the Daily Star via the Press Boxes at the racecourse. Here is my Interview with Patrick….
Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself please?
I have had a fairly blessed life and was first taken racing by my father as a six-year old. I have followed it keenly and my lucky break was when appointed assistant racecourse manager at Lingfield Park by the then-manager, Rod Fabricius, in July 1979.
When you were at school….. Did you know what career path you wanted to take or did it develop after?
I always wanted to be a racing tipster but never knew how to go about it. My school vocations department told me you needed a first-class degree in English from Oxford or Cambridge to get into journalism but that did not prove to be the case! My passion for racing was ultimately what enabled me to get into the sport.
What was your first job after leaving school?
I trained to be a chartered accountant with a firm in Cirencester. My heart was not in it but without the experience and being part-qualified I would not have been offered the job at Lingfield at the age of 24.
Did you always have an interest in Horse Racing and where did the interest stem from?
I was taken racing by my father to Kempton and Sandown as a child. He also took me to Aston Villa games when they played in West London where we lived. I’ve been lucky to work in both sports, as I was accountant at Fulham FC immediately before getting into racing journalism at the Sporting Life in 1986.
How did the job with The Express/Daily Star come about?
I was at The Sun from 1993-2002 and was approached to run the racing desks of the Daily Express and Daily Star Sunday. I swopped the Daily Star Sunday for the Daily Star seven years ago.
Can you tell about the best aspects of your job and the Worst?
The best aspect of tipping is when your selections win, particularly the very occasional 50-1 and 33-1 shots. Also the winners on the front-page of the Daily Star pullouts like Rhododendron. The worst aspect of tipping is those that lose narrowly, particularly the long-price ones.
Which Race Course has the best Press Room and Hospitality?
Goodwood’s old one facing the track was the best. The ones at York, Cheltenham and Newbury all give a good view of the finish.
How has racing changed for the Better and for the Worst?
Racing is a better day out than it used to be if you like to drink. There are more bars and opportunities to buy food than 30 years ago. There are also betting shops on tracks where you can follow other meetings. If you are not there primarily to drink alcohol or bet I suspect a day at the races is not as enjoyable as it was. Probably unbearable on the rare occasions when there are fights in the crowd.
What rules would you change in Racing?
I would like to see horses demoted when they cause (serious) interference. At present you can barge your way to the front or squeeze rivals against a rail to prevent them going past and the second has to prove he would have won.
Momentum is important and once stopped in your tracks by a blocking manoeuvre It is hard to get going again. My pet hate is pundits whose default position is to say of interference “It was six of one, half a dozen of the other” when only one horse has veered off a true line.
We would like to thank Patrick for his time and wish him all the best.
You can find Patrick’s Selection’s in the Daily Star!
Interview by Rich Williams – arseonlinetips