Tales From The Betting Ring. Newbury 16/01/13

Newbury didn’t keep us guessing. The meeting was declared on at the first inspection despite sub-zero temperatures which lasted for most of the day. The betting ring was hardly heaving with bookies, just the stalwarts with pick numbers good enough to make it plausible to bet mid-week when it is perishing. ‘On the end for value’ joked a long-established layer from Southampton. On Hennessey day he would have been in the thick of the action where he bet, but today it was the end of a very short row. He feared that he’d have a job to get anyone near him, but was going to have a go anyway.

At first glance it didn’t look as if many punters had braved the elements either. There were a few familiar faces in the ring though, ‘Armaloft’ Alex was there, for no particular reason than it was on. I did spot another too, though I haven’t seen this professional punter for quite some time. I noticed his lofty figure striding purposefully from Members into Tatts. Twenty years ago some of the bigger bookmakers would have preparing themselves for a salvo of four or five-figure bets on ‘live’ horses. Today he just loped on, straight through the betting ring to a lofty vantage point high in the stands. His bets no-doubt placed elsewhere and via another medium, a typical example of the way things have gone.

There was a desperate finish for the opener. Punters that backed the favourite Seventh Sign must have thanked their lucky stars as he held off the fast finishing Veauce De Sivola (full brother to Reve De Silova) by just a nose. Most observers, even the cameraman, thought it and their bets had been chinned. Luckily for favourite-backers most observers and even the cameraman were wrong

Armaloft confided that the runner-up was expected to come on for the run.

Fears by bookmakers that business would be slow were alleviated in the third when fortunes came  into the ring for Uxizandre. Untold bundles forced the gelding from 15/8 into 6/4. There was also solid money for the second-in. Going ‘up the front two’ would take some guts on a day like today but there was a glimmer of hope. Chiberta King was coming in for some exchange support so looked a live one against the short ones. Very live as it turned out coming  to  rescue the layers landing an 11/1 into 8/1, largely exchanged-led punt. A result that ensured most of  the plunge cash money on the market-leaders stayed in the hods for those plucky souls who took a risk.

Just as well really as three of the last four jollies won so the readies didn’t stay in the ring long, well I did say a ‘glimmer’ of hope.

(c) Simon Nott

IMG-20130116-01077‘On the end for value’!


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