Tales From The Betting Ring – Sandown 18/09/13

I was looking forward to being back in action on the turf after more musical shenanigans took up another week of racing, where better than Sandown? Well for actual racing? It wasn’t bad at all but for atmosphere (very little) Bookmakers? (the least most have ever seen at the course) And betting action? Well read on.

OK it did get busier from time to time, but you get the drift?

OK it did get busier from time to time, but you get the drift?


The weather was best described as changeable, generally a bit miserable but the 7-race card wasn’t bad despite several non-runners so quite why Sandown was so lifeless today is anyone’s guess. The afternoon card did clash with a Kempton evening but you’d not really expect that to explain it.  The ring, less than 20 bookies in total, including the rails, got the first two jollies beaten but it didn’t really seem to matter either way.  For a bit of devilment I decided to ask how a few of the layers were enjoying it. Peter O’Toole, the trooper that he is, was betting on the end of the line and even trying to drum up some interest in ‘away’ Irish races. He gave me a bit of a ‘look’ and then said ‘Well  I did take a £2 bet from a gentleman in a very nice pinstriped suit, he’s lived all over the world you know, even Russia’.

Things were no less riveting a couple of pitches down. ‘I’m keeping myself from being bored by sorting out the notes and putting them all the right way up’ explained Lynn on Sam Harris’s joint. I assume she meant the ones she brought as tank and not what had been fielded because it didn’t seem as if that would have taken all that long to be honest.

I maybe went a little too far when I suggested to Natalie on the rails that the firm must be having it spark off. She didn’t seem to see the funny side of that at all and suggested that I am very good at making stupid comments especially given the time I have spent ‘in the game’.


As the day dragged on, accentuated by 35-minute gaps, only two jollies won, an odds-on shot got beaten and an apparent gamble (7/1 into 4/1) on Al Jamal in the fifth floundered in the mud. Yes it was that exciting. Even the guy that walks around talking into his paper was there but that was about it. The only noise from the stands at the business end of the race was from the solitary in-running guy calling out the number of the horse he thought was going to win to his mate on the other end of the phone. He got it right every race but I doubt  he got all that rich.

One ray of sunshine was Paddy Campbell who said it wasn’t all that bad really, but it was generally really that quiet and uneventful. Sorry.

(C) Simon Nott






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