Jim McGrath - not only was he the Managing Director and Chairman of Timeform but a big time player and hugely successful bettor. He is also a Channel 4 TV Racing analyst and handicapper.
“Since the advent of synthetic surfaces, now used on Britain’s all-weather racecourses, there’s no doubt in my mind that punters in this country have gained in confidence that the form produced in most cases is reliable.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, as synthetic surfaces are regarded as fair and reasonably forgiving, horses who really need very soft turf conditions (in effect an extreme of ground) don’t often show their true merit on synthetic surfaces.
Thankfully, synthetic surfaces have changed the game and are well received by the bettors. Understandably there are a few horses that cannot perform on both grass and sand. However, it’s my view nowadays that the majority of Thoroughbreds can.”
Walter Glynn - has been a race reader and handicapper for over 30 years for Race Form UK. He has covered racing on synthetic tracks for over 15 years.
“Punters were in two minds when synthetic surfaces first came around. They soon realized that artificial surfaces were more reliable and consistent than even the best turf. Unlike grass, there is no post position draw bias but just like turf racing, pace of the race is an important factor and jockeyship also plays an important part. The bettors enjoy betting on synthetic surfaces as they believe it is a level playing field.”