Tales From The Betting Ring. Glorious Goodwood – Friday


These days of computerised betting and Internet hedging the bookies are all extremely professional, work-out regularly, eat properly and get a good night’s sleep before heading into the ring fresh and ready to do battle with the punters. Well that is not strictly speaking true, at least not one firm of playboys, at least in a loose sense of the word. The boss of the firm was quick to state and reiterate that he had gone home early. ‘It was the rest of them’ he grassed, sorry confided. ‘Out all night clubbing it, egged on by at least one member of rails staff too, in at 4am’. Now it wouldn’t have been many years ago where members of this particular firm’s staff waking up in a laundry cupboard of a hotel they weren’t even staying in wouldn’t really raise an eyebrow. Times appear to have changed however. The result of such antics don’t seem to have though, his ‘team’ did look to be suffering in the heat most of the afternoon, and yes I did keep myself entertained checking. I can’t mention the name of the firm but can hint that they are from the Yeovil area and sound a bit like a popular tipple, which is probably unfortunate on days like today.

Goodwood they bet.

Goodwood they bet.

There was another bookie suffering in the heat. Bo Brown trading as West End was wearing a coat that wouldn’t have looked out of place at an extra Kempton February all-weather meeting put on because everything else was off due to record cold weather. ‘It was raining when I got out of the car’ he protested. In his wisdom he thought it better keep it on that remove it and get a sunburned back.

One punter had a bit of an up and down race in the Mile, he had a terrific thrill when his Wentworth won the race, his arms were up and he accepted congratulations from all this thirsty looking mates. He took his ticket out of his pocket, and unfolded it triumphantly then took a horrified step back. He’d backed the wrong horse. But he was sure he hadn’t it must have been the bookie’s fault. Yes it is possible the bookie had made a rick, but in my experience it’s more often than not the punter, but the onus was on him to check the ticket. Yes it cost him a couple of hundred quid, but a lesson learned and he did have the brief thrill of backing a winner after all.

The betting in the King George Stakes centred around one of the off-course firms have bundles on Tickled Pink, the layers in the ring got it beaten, but only by Moviesta who was 5/1 second-in. A few books seemed happy with that though. They were pretty much all happy when Flying Bear landed a 25/1 shock denying those who backed Tanseeb in the next. You had to feel for the punter who had an £8000-£1000 the runner-up. ‘We deserved that’ called  Ben Johnson, he was right too, at least in opinion of this generally bookie-friendly blog. ‘Phew’ said Bo Brown (and who could blame him) ‘I thought we had more chance of snow here than a result’.

I have a workmate who has had exceptional luck with horses he’s had legs in of late. He had a runner in the Oak Tree Stakes, it had no chance though because it was drawn 10 of 14 over the harsh Goodwood seven furlongs. That was a shame but it was a thrill to have a runner at Glorious Goodwood as well as Royal Ascot this year was his stoic outlook. The betting in the race was all about Winning Express attracting some big each-way bets at around the 5/2, 9/4 mark. In hindsight maybe calling her ‘Winning’ was a little like tempting fate, though the each-way punter got it right because she did finish second, behind Annecdote who had landed a 20/1 into 14/1 gamble, from stall 10.

Yes I know.

My mate was over the moon, but also a little concerned about the number of people he had put off backing her during the course of the day. He didn’t mention if he’d put people away, but 20/1 into 14/1 something he’d said had no hope. Hmmmm, once again I’ll have to have words with that boy.

I spotted a couple of punters of note in the ring. John Henwood junior was in a better financial position than when I spoke to him on Wednesday and was all smiles and admitted to having turned it around and enjoying a good meeting. I also spotted the be-whiskered punter I have mentioned in this blog a time or two. He walked past me so I called Hi his name in a very breezy manner, he didn’t even look. It then dawned on me that he doesn’t know me from Adam and why should he. It’s a bit voyeuristic this game!

Talking of which, there were some snazzy threads to be seen in the ring, not least Gav Hazell in his strides and Wensleydale Racing’s gaffer’s tremendous braces. Great effort.

photo (55) photo (56)

On a sadder note, at least for one bookie, he was offered and took a bet of £12,000 – £3000 Retirement Fund in the last, it must have been a very nasty experience indeed to have to watch as it never really looked like losing. Let’s hope he got plenty on the results.

(c) Simon Nott

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