RACING Sports News

Tic-Tac, what is it and why do bookies use it at the races?

Tic-Tac, and no we’re not talking about Tik-Tok! Tic-Tac is a traditional method used by bookmakers to communicate across the racecourse on race days.

Until the turn of the 21st century it was a very common sight across racecourses in the UK but now with the rise of technology it is a dying.

You can usually spot the ‘tic-toc man’ by his bright white gloves which he wears to make it easier for the bookmakers to see him.

As of 1999, there were just three bookmakers known to still be using the profession and all of them based in the South West.

A keen advocate of tic tac was that racing pundit, John McCririck. He could be seen presenting the racing bets on Channel 4 using the traditional method. He said:

“I think it adds color. It brings the excitement of being at the racecourse.”

Sadly for tic tac fans the dying art has yet to be seen in the first of the Festival. So how hard is tic tac and can our reporter Katy Homewood do it?

Here’s hoping that Tic tac will make a return at some point this week in the Festival!

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