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

Cold, grey and wet, Goodwood’s swansong meeting of the season was a far cry from the glorious days of the summer. Given names like Timmy Murphy riding in the first the ambiance of a jump meeting was almost complete. There were plenty of punters who braved the elements though, much to the delight of the betting ring whose number was modest to say the least.

The rail was full though and not all of them were too happy. James Lovell, trading under his late father’s name John was having all sorts of trouble with his computer in the first. ‘The computer’s broken and I’m getting soaked, all we need now are the first three favourites to win’ was his less than cheerful observation.  Rather misplaced it was too, 14/1 shot Harry Hunt won the race and James’ computer was back up and running before the off. ‘I lost on it’ shouted Bo Brown from somewhere underneath an umbrella. Once you have been told that after a ‘result’ you don’t ask for details you just keep walking.

No sir I can't get facebook up for you.

No sir I can’t get facebook up for you.

Night Of Thunder won the next at 9/2, there was hardly a dinar of any size laid on rails ‘Small, but busy’ was Pete Houghton’s summing up at the bottom of the rail.  Paul and Ian at Jack Bevan and Co were getting four and a half grand together after running into a £1000 cash punter who backed the winner. ‘I’ve never seen the man before in my life’ said Paul before adding ‘It’s nice to have a cash punter though, we don’t like to turn them down’, all  said through gritted teeth.

Punters did come out of the dry to have a tilt at Carthage in the maiden with a couple of grand bets noted, they went back inside without their money when it could only finish runner-up. The second-in won the race so was no good for the ring either.

Not so glorious but still not a bad view from the office.

Not so glorious but still not a bad view from the office.

Cuckoo Rock was a big drifter, 14/1 out to 20/1, but belied the apparent lack of confidence and came with a rattle to win providing the ring with a right result with smiles all around. Almost.  ‘I laid £100 at 20/1’ shouted Bo Brown from the waterproof depths. The winner is trained by Johnny Portman, my workmate has connections with the yard, he never mentioned the horse, we never asked him. Here’s why http://wp.me/p1dLbd-7x

There was a horse named Pretty Flemingo in the fifth, apparently if you are of a certain age you’ll know that there was also a popular (to those of an acquired taste) tune of the same moniker. Ian at Bevan’s joint burst into a rendition of the song, he appeared to be having fun but at least one punter wasn’t impressed. He stopped and told the wannabe warbler he would never make a singer so would have his £100 bet on the favourite with him if he’d shut up. The mystery cash punter also went in again with another grand, Bevan took the bet again, this time they kept it. The next time you hear what passes in some quarters as singing in the ring, listen carefully. Pretty Flemingo won the race at 7/1.

No word from Bo Brown, which was nice.

As usual with 8-race cards, especially those held in the pouring rain, business in the ring appeared to wane after the sixth. The most exciting things to report from the last few races were that a runaway mobility scooter did a great impression of a ram-raider at one of the bookies. Coral’s on-course rep Malcolm appeared as if from nowhere totally bone-dry during a brief let-up of the downpour, ‘No need to come out in the rain’ he beamed before heading back to wherever he had be closeted.

The exodus continued with the crowd looking a bit thin and gaps appearing in the rails by the last. ‘It’s not been bad all at really, the punters have hung in there and we are winning’ was Pete’s summing up, he had hung in there down at the bottom of the rail too. Those that did stay for the finale were treated to cracking finish with 5/1 shot First Post winning by a head to signal the season’s last post.

A fitting curtain-fall to another excellent season, thanks Goodwood, it’s been great, see you in May.

Yes it's cold, yes it's wet, but it's still the races - proper job.

Yes it’s cold, yes it’s wet, but it’s still the races – proper job.

(c) Simon Nott


One response to this post.

  1. It is being so cheerful that keeps you going rain or shine.Always look on the bright side of life!


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