Tales From The Betting Ring – Exeter 10/10/13

It was absolutely glorious to be back at Exeter for the first day of their season on what was a beautiful autumn afternoon.  As you would expect, the Haldon Hill faithful were out in force including some familiar weather-worn faces. The bookies were soon set to task fielding some chunky bets from one of the off-course firms on market-leading drifter Twelve Roses. They got involved at 2/1 but left it behind, it appeared the clever money was on Staigue Fort nibbled at from 4/1. Well that’s what it looked like after it got the better of the jolly by some three lengths, easy after the race of course especially as the offices don’t often chuck it away.

Don't worry lads, it is an hour before the first, the game's not gone!

Don’t worry lads, it is an hour before the first, the game’s not gone!

The ring got the next market leader beaten too but only by what looked to be the best-backed horse in the race, at least on course, Cruising Bye attracted a couple of nice bets. The announcer gave the impression that a right old touch had been landed though telling the public that the horse had returned ‘3/10 On’ when it was in reality a much juicer 10/3. When this was commented on and then corrected by the same announcer one racecourse regular pointed out that as he has said ‘3/10 On’ he was in fact correct because that would have made it 10/3. Yes that just proves that anoraks do come in tweed, he was quite right though of course.

Standing Ovation made it third time lucky for favourite-backers when winning at 9/4. It has to be said that for most of the race that looked extremely unlikely. The punter that struck the bet of £1000-£400 could have be excused for throwing his ticket away when the field was jumping the 10th and his fancy looked to be going nowhere fast.

The Betting Ring Manager is always there in case of the unlikely event of a dispute between a punter and a bookie. Layer Andy Smith sought out today’s incumbent of that role because a punter he knew had struck a winning bet with him had lost his ticket. It did seem that the backer, who was quite elderly, was a little confused, so well-known philanthropist  Andy was keen to help him out. The Betting Ring Manager offered to check to see if the man had muddled his money up with his ticket. He thought he’d found it wrapped up in a wad of notes only to find that it was another winning ticket with another bookie that the gentleman had forgotten he’d had which was a right result for him. Of course not everyone is so full of goodwill as the bookies. One member of the press on hearing the story suggested that the punter was invited back to his hotel for a card game after racing, the chiseller, some people are granite!

Anyone seen Leglock Luke?

Anyone seen Leglock Luke?

Some people are darn funny too, Luke Harvey is one of them, he was MC (thankfully no yeehaas) and great value for the job with ad-lib quip after quip keeping the crowd chuckling. My favourite was a comment to a winning connection, ‘Oh you obviously didn’t expect it to win or you wouldn’t have come dressed like that!’ Keep it up Luke, we love it.

Armaloft Alex was lolloping  about all afternoon and ventured over to say hello just before the start of the fifth race. ‘I’ve laid this favourite’ he imparted with regard Rayvin Black just as the offices smashed into it with a slavo of three and four-figure bets at around the 4/6 mark. I didn’t like to tell him that my genius bookie mates who are mustard with their speed figures made it a certainty too. Let’s just say the arm never remotely looked like going up, at all.

Farmer Derek was another face that I’ve missed, he was resplendent in what looked like a brand new jacket. I commented that it indeed looked very smart and that he must have been having it spark off splashing out on new clobber. He looked horrified at the very suggestion and told me in no uncertain terms that it was not new but had been hanging in his wardrobe of at least four years.  Frugal lot these Devon farmers.

I’m not sure if it was a Devon farmer who pulled up a grand to have on Clarion Call at 3/1 in the last, in fact nobody seemed to know who the mystery cash punter was. One know-it-all pooh pooh’d the bet and declared that the horse was a ‘bottler’. He wasn’t the bookie that took the bet, or a bookie at all for that matter. Which is probably just as well for his wealth as the ‘bottler’ battled on bravely after the last to win by half a length.

Ah Exeter it was great to be back.

(c) Simon Nott

I might have to dig deep to pay that one sir....

I might have to dig deep to pay that one sir….


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Steven chapman on October 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Cracking read these tails from the betting ring , I love standing and watching in the ring, absolutely love it, always got my ears open listening for a bit if info.
    Good work all the best


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