Tales From The Betting Ring – Paddy Power Gold Cup 16/11/13

Paddy Power Gold Cup Day kicked off badly for the bookies when Royal Irish Hussar won the opener. One unfortunate layer laid a £5000-£4000, others did even money but most business was done at a shade of odds on. Those backers had little worry that they were going to draw while the bookmakers had plenty of time to accept their fate and get it ready.

Betting was more competitive in the next with three horses well-backed to substantial sums, Shutthefrontdoor and African Gold battled it out the for favouritism before sharing the honours at 9/4. Le Bec opened at 4/1 and was supported into 3/1, inspired  support it turned out as he deprived AP McCoy on the hooped coloured joint-jolly, African Gold could only manage fourth. Any layers that opted for the old traditional ‘up the front two’ option copped despite the winner being fancied.

The Murphy Group Handicap Chase was a difficult looking heat to solve but it seemed the backers were keen to rise to the challenge with money in decent amounts for several of the horses. One bookmaker ran into a £5000 – £350 the winner Alvarado, yes that’s 14/1 plus the fractions, nasty for him. It was a similar story in the feature, Paddy Power Gold Cup, there was plenty of money about for a whole host of horse with at least seven of them attracting lumpy bets. Champion Court was jolly so understandably attracted plenty of support including a £14,000 – £2000 before being returned 6/1. The winner, Johns Spirit was a 7/1 after one rails book took an £8000 – £1000 on the chin.

I had a few copies of my book on me for bookmakers that had asked me to bring some along. One off-course rep was chatting to me when old-school Goliath of latter-day layers Stephen Little walked past. The rep knew him and suggested that as was mentioned in it on a few occasions a book or two would make good Christmas presents. Mr Little, who lives in one of the most desirable  addresses in the entire UK, looked genuinely horrified. Not that he was mentioned in the book, he didn’t even ask in what capacity, but the thought of Yuletide gifts. Once he had gotten over the initial shock he slowly and deliberately repeated ‘Chris-mas- pres-ents?’ before adding, ‘I don’t understand that concept’! Needless to say I didn’t get a sale, but at least he won’t be taking legal action after reading what I have written. Hopefully.

The Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Hurdle (Listed) provided arguably the best betting event of the day as well as certainly the best finish. The punters really steamed into the field, Silver Eagle attracted some grand bets at around 6/1, someone bagged at £10,000 – £300 each-way Bally Legend, Edmund Kean was supported to the tune of £18,000 – £3000, then the offices stepped in. Two of them, on Southfield Theatre, the reps were marching up and down the bows of the bookies in Tatts and along the rails letting off salvoes of monkeys to whoever would take them. Coming over the last it looked highly likely that the gamble would be landed. Then, in a heart-stopping finish just when 16/1 shot Salubrious appeared to be just out-battling the gamble 20/1 Return Spring sprung to chin them both. The distances after three miles, a short head and a nose. In short the ring just had it spark bang off.

The penultimate was another race where the market was vibrant with plenty of horses being backed. We were treated to another excellent finish. Timesremembered  attracted a lot of the high-rolling action including a bet of £3000 but was beaten a length at the line by 9/2 shot Creepy. The winner had been backed from 7/1 so by no means a ‘right-result’ but a result none the less.

We paid the bill the lights are on!

We paid the bill the lights are on!

The concluding bumper was run in near darkness, that didn’t stop punters wading in to back Supreme Bailerina from 11/4 into 15/8f (the light boards no doubt helping guide those backers in). Maybe the favourite would have liked an illuminated winning post because she didn’t find it as quickly as The Govaness under Paddy Brennan, we can assume both had been eating plenty of carrots. If it does turn out that the combination have a penchant for that particular root vegetable with contested sight enhancing qualities maybe the bookies could donate a couple of sacks. After enjoying a virtual skinner at 28/1 they could no-doubt afford to.

(C) Simon Nott

My book ‘Skint Mob- Tales From The Betting Ring’ is available now, please click on the link for more information  http://wp.me/p1dLbd-9n

Skint Mob - Tales From The Betting Ring

Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring


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