Tales From The Betting Ring – Wincanton 21/11/13


Wincanton clashed with Chepstow which possibly ensured that the number of bookies was down on what’s usually expected. The racegoing faithful were there though, another excellent turnout for a mid-week Westcountry meeting. It was nice to see recently AWOL veteran floorman Mossy back working for a bookie, he even smiled a bit and everything, was it because of his appearance in a recent publication? His new boss wasn’t saying, but I doubt it. The first race was a ‘hands and heels’ event so maybe not an ideal punting medium but there were a few horses seemingly quietly fancied judging by market moves. Massena was one of them supported from 6/1 into 9/2 and justified that confidence with a cosy win providing jockey Joe Knox with a first winning ride.

The second race went to the Ron Hodges trained Miss Tenacious who won nicely despite drifting badly in the market. It was the first leg of a little double for someone that I know so the drift was welcome, returning at 7/1. The second leg of that double was going onto Foxcub in the next steady at around 8/1. The money in the race was for David Pipe’s Bygones Sovereign backed from 10/1 into 5/1 and Philip Hobbs’ Carrigmorna King backed from 11/2 into 4/1. The former was in the vanguard for much of the race but then gave way to Foxcub and Carrigmorna, it was Foxcub who looked to be going better and likely to thwart the gambles and land the double. The gelding began to draw away between the last two and seemed set to win a shade cosily. Then catastrophe struck, the beast veered to the right at the last and fell leaving the 4/1 favourite and gamble to an unlikely victory with the Pipe horse as runner-up.

A respected bookmaking firm had made a real case for Foxcub and backed it accordingly, one of the staff was already celebrating quite vocally way before the last. Needless to say to have the cup snatched from the lips was galling in the extreme. It didn’t help when a fellow bookmaker shouted ‘That’s handy I laid it at 1.03 when I heard you tempting fate’.

There is some in there sir, but surely as it was such a jammy win you'll take half?

There is some in there sir, but surely as it was such a jammy win you’ll take half?

OK the double was mine, placed in the morning, gutted, but what a roller-coaster, how do people that don’t have a bet get such an adrenalin rush in such varied varieties? I still can’t believe it fell. Still, the horse was fine and it was great news for backers of the winner, and bad for the ring, most of whom had it a bad loser with the second popular each-way.

Only Rosa Parks finished in the fifth with two of her opponents coming down at the last right in front of the stands. One of the fallers, Steady Girlfriend, looked to be in some trouble, many observers feared the worst when the dreaded green screens went up around her stricken body. That pessimism turned to joy which was expressed as a roar from the stands when the screens went down and the mare was on her feet. A real heart-warming moment.

There was a wholesale smashing into of the jolly in the penultimate. Richmond was set to shoulder a humongous 12-5 but that didn’t put backers off, the price collapsed from 10/11 into 8/13. Those backers would have been worried quite some way out in the race when 6/1 shot Highbury High looked to travelling much the better of the two. Jockey Paddy Brennan was so confident he even took a pull after two out. One of the gelding’s supporters wasn’t impressed though ‘He’s riding like Billy Big Bollocks’ he spat, ‘Go and win the race, stop pissing about’. He may have been riding a but cockily and it nearly went horribly wrong at the last. Highbury High sprawled on landing but Paddy Brennan showed his skill as a horseman by defying gravity by staying aboard. Not only stayed on, he then also galvanised his mount into action again and  chinned Richmond in the shadow of the post. Add to that he did so sans one stirrup thus redeemed himself with at least one punter in the process. There were plenty more backers who were not so impressed though having opened their shoulders (and wallets) punting the jolly.

‘Nasty’ said one layer a little too loud for comfort to a gaggle of gutted looking racegoers.

Nasty for them yes, but judging by his smile, not for him.

(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. OUT NOW

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW

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