Tales From The Betting Ring – Kempton Park 25/11/13

It’s always a pleasure to witness jumping at Kempton. It seems I’m not alone in that opinion with a very healthy crowd turning up for the 7-race card. Given that four of the races were likely to feature an odds-on shot the number of punters may have been a pleasant surprise for some of the layers. The opening race provided the longest odds-on jolly of the day with West Wizard expected to win and sent off at 1/6 accordingly. With 8 runners and a well odds-on favourite the ring was split into win and each-way markets with only the short-one bearing any resemblance to both. Some punters were grumbling about the place market and the fact that bookies betting each-way were not offering win only odds but had no reason to quibble. Even with the each-way market betting to a healthy margin the bookies were still betting to much less than 100% on the places. It wasn’t the places that the punters were interested in, well to be honest most people didn’t seem interested in the race as a betting medium at all but a couple did get involved. One punter waded into Peter O’Toole with £550 hoping to nick £100 off him. Peter took the bet and stuck it in his hod, then confided it’s the biggest bet he’d ever taken in 49 years. Well maybe he should get stuck into the short ones a bit more often because he got it turned over. Not one for over-indulgences Peter and his amiable companion celebrated by putting an elastic band around the monkey, pouring a cup of soup (that looked like tea) and tucking into a sandwich.

Get the Thermos out, we've copped!

Get the Thermos out, we’ve copped!

I’m pretty sure Peter was still munching when odds-on punters got some back when Bear’s Affair justified odds of 3/10, one bookie laid a £300-£900 but it wasn’t him. It wasn’t him who laid the £800-£1100 and £800-£1300 Highland Retreat in the third either, the latter made backing the short ones look a good idea again but not before supporters got a real scare with a clumsy jump at the last. Despite the noted bets the ring wasn’t really alive, nor did it seem was the crowd with the last last two winners called home by isolated punters and polite applause rather than a roar.

If people had been keeping their money as warm as Peter had his winnings waiting for a good betting heat they unleashed it in the fourth. There were chunks for three horses including on Mentalist at 5/1 despite it going on to drift alarmingly. Giorgio Quercus won at 9/2 but hardly unsupported being a Henderson/Geraghty combatant. The fifth race looked competitive but was won with some ease by Dreamsoftheatre who was sent off the 7/2 favourite.

The Kempton market has surprised in the past and it gave the bookies a start again in the penultimate. There were just four runners with Royal Boy a shade of odds-on. There were a couple of monkey bets for the jolly but then the layers got a real shock. A punter appeared on the rails and also appeared to think he was at Cheltenham or Royal Ascot judging by the bets he was asking for, not on the jolly but Baby Mix. Some firms ducked for cover while others took him on, to the tune of over £6000 in noted bets forcing his fancy from 7/2 into 5/2. Whoever the punter was the books need to remember his face because he was right on the money, the layers that accommodated him endured having to sit and watch as the horse drew further away and hoping for the miracle that never arrived coming to their rescue. That situation is of course, nasty.

Did the punter get to Peter O’Toole? I’m not sure he did but to be certain I’ll ask him at Newbury.

(C) Simon Nott

My book ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’ is out now, it’s available worldwide on eBay, for further information please click


Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW


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