One of his best known songs contained the lines, ‘You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and latch on to the affirmative’. These are lines that were remembered this week by the marketing department in Horse Racing Ireland when they issued their 2013 statistics.

There was good and bad news contained in the detail, the most worrying being the decline in on-course betting turnover and in the number of registered owners. The latter is slightly less painful when one considers that the numbers of horses in training has more or less stabilised.