Tales From The Betting Ring – Wincanton 17/10/13


It was great to be back at Wincanton where just as they did at Exeter the faithful came out in their droves.  It was a day that threw the weather of all seasons at us in one afternoon but nobody was worried about that. Not an awful lot has changed at the track over the close-season but there was a new face in the betting ring.  Well not strictly-speaking new, Lewis Brown has been a regular feature on his dad’s West End Racing pitch for the last couple of years but today he was betting under his own name as ‘Lewis Brown Racing’. Today was his first tilt at Wincanton but was keen to tell me the baptism of fire he had endured when making his début at Leicester Races.

A high-staking punter latched on to him, keen to attract and accommodate such clients Lewis took all he was offered. That decision was a bit of a shame for brave newbie really as it turned our the punter knew his gee-gees and took him for a nice few quid. ‘Luckily he didn’t want it all in readies’ was Lewis our heroic but battered bookie’s summing up, before adding, ‘It could have been worse, he was talking about having £20,000 on England to beat Poland, he did, but luckily he didn’t have it with me’

Souvenirs of a first day as a bookie. Nasty!

Souvenirs of a first day as a bookie. Nasty!

Ricky on the stool for the firm was keeping his eye open for the same punter coming in for another bet-fest. He didn’t show, which was a bit of a blow too because the first race of Wincanton’s new season was a cracker for the bookies, 40/1 shot Letemgo was a skinner for the vast majority of layers I spoke to, unsurprisingly.

Our old mate Armaloft Alex had a leg in a runner in the second race, Glenwood Prince, and I quote, ‘It could win this race with his legs tied together’. It seemed they must have been as the 9/4 shot could only manage third of seven behind David Pipe’s Standing Ovation. That was a bit weird too because our well-briefed hero had also been reliably informed that the Pipe horse was still feeling the effects of his Exeter exertions so wasn’t fancied to follow up. I’m not sure how many people he told that to but I doubt it explained the slight on-course drift of the winner. After the race it became apparent what had gone wrong, the horse’s legs hadn’t been tied, it was the fact the going was a bit too firm for it, that was all. The money was only lent and the arm will be up before you can say, oops sorry that doesn’t usually happen, at a racecourse near us soon. Watch this space.

Anyone seen that bloke that tipped up Glenwood Prince? Alex somebody....

Anyone seen that bloke that tipped up Glenwood Prince? Alex somebody….

Maybe someone upstairs was listening to Alex and his tale of going woe, albeit a little bit late. There was a downpour prior to the third which had the crowd running for cover but only briefly.  My bookie mates fancied Alwaystheoptimist but were a little bit worried about the jockey on board. The general consensus was he wasn’t bad for his claim but he’d evidently ridden a loser for them in the near past. The gelding looked certain to win approaching the last but wasn’t exactly aptly-named as far as the my bookie mate was concerned because he was chuffed to have laid it at 4/5 in-running even though it looked a lot shorter seconds later before winning quite nicely.

The fourth race provided an absolute cracker of a finish that no doubt caused carnage in the aforementioned in-running market with several horses that looked likely to win then beaten again. The result was a dead-heat between 7/2 shot Jump City and 20/1 Goring One and had layers scratching their heads as they had an early Rule 4 to add to the pay-out mix too. Luckily computers are pretty good at that these days.

One rails bookie was twitching a bit on the run-in of the penultimate having laid £6600 – £200 Proper Villan which ran very well to finish second but I was shocked by the bet.  Did the punter not know about fractions? He only had to add a tenner and ask and he’d have been laid a £7000 – £210, of course each-way would have been better too. For anyone that doesn’t know about the value that can be had on-course by asking for fractions please check this out http://wp.me/p1dLbd-4x come racing!

There was a short-one in the shape of Billy No Name in the last, I heard a few layers say that they wanted to take it on. It did open at 1/2 and was nibbled into 4/9 but nobody could coax a lumpy bet from the punters. I expect Lewis was hoping his punter would turn up. In hindsight probably not though as it won the maiden quite cosily so it could have been nasty.

(C) Simon Nott

Ricky didn't really want to look.

Ricky didn’t really want to look.

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