Tales From The Betting Ring – Haldon Gold Cup 05/11/13


You’d expect Exeter to be packed on Haldon Gold Cup day and so it was. There was also that extra buzz with AP McCoy riding to break the 4000 winner barrier. That would explain why the great and the good of the media world had descended on the course making themselves very much at home in the bijou but usually adequate facilities. The more the merrier is of course the name of the game when it comes to racing but I still shudder on the receiving end of a glare most people would reserve for something nasty on their shoe. I suppose if you do dare to turn up to your local courses on big days you deserve it.

Haldon 051113

Anyway, ‘my’ place is in the betting ring and I know it and that’s where it was going on. Not surprisingly AP McCoy’s mount Flemenson was popular in the opener. The punters were on because the horse had a favourite’s chance and ‘that’ man on board. The offices were no doubt on because of the multitude of AP trebles that would have been placed around the country. Their money ensured it went of 2/1 and not 9/4. It was those really in the know who backed the winner though. Rydon Pynes was tipped up as an outsiders’ chance by some shrewd judges in the morning though those that crunch figures cast doubt on that hunch. It was left to those with faith in the trainer to smash it in from 14/1 to 7/1 in the live market. That number included one bookmaking firm on a raid from Newton Abbot way. The gamble was landed in an eventful race beating the favourite into second and spoilt the AP party before it had really begun.

Doctor Harper was backed from 6/4 into 8/11 before winning with considerable ease for David Pipe’s yard in the next. Everyone’s favourite MC, ‘Leglock’ Luke Harvey greeted the winning trainer after the race and invited him to say a few words, but not before telling all in attendance that ‘He won’t tell us anything’. He was right too, should David Pipe ever decide to turn in churning out winners he’d be a great politician. He talked about the horse but gave absolutely nothing away despite Luke’s best efforts to at least find out if there was a ‘Saturday’ race in the winner. I was going to suggest Luke gets coaching from Andrew Marr but in hindsight some of these racing folk would even have him befuddled. One more note from the race, there was a chap wandering around the ring with £700 trying to have it each-way on Leave It Be at 40/1. The bookie with that price on his board, usually with a ring of steel, baulked at that so he went into Festival Racing who took the bet at 33/1 laying a £11550 – £350 each-way. Once again punters, for goodness sake ask for fractions, had the punter pulled up an extra score he could have backed to to win a cool £12k. Here’s how http://wp.me/p1dLbd-4x the horse finished second so quite a nasty result for Mr Smith you’d imagine, but you never know with him. AP McCoy was only 7th on Keen Eye meaning the press circus will traipse up to Chepstow hoping to be able to post copy on history being made.

The betting for the BetVictor Haldon Gold Cup itself was spirited, there were plenty of grand bets at around the even money mark for Cue Card after £2500 at 6/5. There were also a  couple of chunks at 4/1 on William’s Wishes, grands, monkeys and carpets reported. The sustained money was for Somersby 7/1 into 9/2 and that’s the cash that proved inspired. Only just though, there was only a head in it after a battling finish with runner-up (and right result for the bookies) Module.

There were a couple of ‘how did that get beaten’ races to follow. One went the way of the bookies when even money favourite Claret Cloak looked certain to win everywhere bar the post, where it found itself a nose behind. The other didn’t, Rydalis appeared to have to only jump the last to win then got collared close home by the jolly Gas Line Boy. I’d imagine that those people who bet in running had some fun in those two.  Royal Native pretty much made all to win the last at 8/1 and end the day a winning one for the layers on Exeter’s ever-popular and tremendously well-supported showcase day.

(C) Simon Nott

My Book, ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’ is on target to be available next week, all details here wp.me/p1dLbd-9n 

Skint Mob - Tales From The Betting Ring

Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring

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