The Racing Post is to print a full-colour French language edition on a digital press based just outside Brussels and distributed by Ladbrokes.
Initially the edition will go to half of the British bookmaker’s 400 Belgian betting shops.
If the trial, using an OcÃ© digital printer, is successful the Racing Post will be made available throughout Belgium and, eventually, right across Europe. Unlike conventional print presses, which require expensive plates to be made, on digital presses it costs the same to print one or a thousand copies.
Donal Barron, executive in charge of the Post’s business development, told Press Gazette: ‘We’re looking to extend the breadth of the paper overseas. Our digital version goes live in the next couple of weeks and, depending on how the initial trial goes, we will expand the digital print across Europe.”
Racecards, form guides and tips for horses and dogs will be generated and translated at the Post’s offices in Canary Wharf before being sent as a PDF file to a plant just outside the Belgian capital and printed at 2am for distribution to betting shops before breakfast.
The printer, Druco, has recently invested â‚¬3m in a new OcÃ© JetStream and advanced finishing equipment.