Tales From The Betting Ring – Newbury 25/06/13

We were back to relative normality on Tuesday night after the extraordinary week that was Royal Ascot. Newbury continued with their campaign of championing Arabian racing with a handicap preceding the six-race thoroughbred card. Interestingly the race, with a prize fund of £8000 was the most valuable of the night. Double the prize-money of three races of the proper card sextet though most people still consider the Arab events a side-show.  Plenty of bookmakers bet on the race, yes to a decent margin but that is to be expected when it’s largely unknown territory for most of them, as is getting tucked-up with the winner backed from 9/2 into 7/2.

Punters were conspicuous by their absence in the first. One bookmaker was trying out an innovative new strategy calling out ‘Cash Or Card’ and indeed was offering the punters that were there the option to bet on their plastic. I’m not sure how quickly or efficiently his system worked but it has to be a good idea and no doubt others are watching in the wings with interest. There were a couple of decent bets struck on the rails by more traditional means, not least one to take out £6000 on the runner-up Shirataki and a £1200- £600 the winning jolly, Standpoint.

The way forward?

The way forward?

There were several grand bets in the next for one of the meeting’s ‘good things’ Kendal Mint, early-birds got on at even money (come racing) the slow-coaches at odds-on. Regardless of the price the faith proved justified as she won with some ease. The crowd didn’t seem too bad at all by the third. Punters were queuing to get on, or was it to get paid? But either was there were people getting involved. ‘It’s not bad’, said a second-row Tatts bookie ‘We just need a result’. They didn’t get one, Gold Top made it three favourites out of three and landed a bet of £4000-£1000 each-way in the process.

Queuing to get on for to collect winnings?

Queuing to get on for to collect winnings?


A firm called Pump Technology generously sponsored much of the card and their adverts proliferated the card. I assume they were wining and dining customers too. You might hope that not too many of their slogans were on display when their guests were tucking into the buffet though!



Royal Ascot winning trainer Jonathan Portman sponsored the penultimate but didn’t have a runner. There was plenty of money for Squeeze My Brain at around 2/1 including a bet of £2000 but the race went to the second-in Danat Al Atheer, that one was no good for the ring either.

There is one regular punter that comes up for a chat most days that our paths cross. He was having a cracking day, he told me he’d had a draw on every race resulting in him being ‘several grand’ up. Keen to press home his advantage he waded in to the aptly-named Dreams Of Glory with a large but unspecified cash bet. His winning night was still a winning one but trimmed by whatever it was he just had on because the ring finally got the result they had been waiting for all night. Crimson Queen at 14/1. Too little too late no doubt.

(c) Simon Nott


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