Tales From The Betting Ring – Hennessy Heritage Festival (Thursday)


Before I start rambling about today I have to admit a bit of a tweeting error last night. There were wonderful scenes of joy as Boris The Bold won the finale at Kempton. The people involved in hugging and celebrating were erroneously labelled ‘stable staff’ by me. Not that stable staff are lesser mortals of course, far from it, but it was in fact two of Boris’ owners ex Dubai amateur champion jockey Martin Smith celebrating his first win as a trainer. Ooooops once again and congratulations repeated too. It was great to see what joy a win can bring, and it was certainly not about money, come racing!

The first day of three at Newbury started with a whimper rather than a bang punting-wise. Not many people were interested in backing the 1/16 Vonal De Thaix, but had they done it would have felt like finding it on the floor. ‘I laid it’ confided bookie Sam Harris, ‘A lady had a quid on it, then another one for her mate’. I do remember a floorman, yes that dates it, betting a similarly priced animal for himself and asking for the fractions, 6/1oo, pay after of course. No he wasn’t the best.

Top Dancer was the 15/8 winner in the next, a couple of books laid monkeys at 2/1 but business was reported a bit on the slow side. Just as well if the jollies win of course. There was a bit of a minor on-course stick-on in the much more competitive bet365.com handicap hurdle. Bohemian Rhapsody attracted several bets around the 7/1 mark, most of it each-way. The place part was the cop but not before giving backers the chance of the lot before being overhauled after the last. The winner, Swinging Hawk was an 8/1 chance but had been 10/1.

Just A Par was backed from 13/8 into 5/4 before winning with ease in the next. The bookies had no chance really the other short one, 11/8 shot Third Intention was second. Things got even worse for the layers  in the next when despite not being topical seasonally Easter Day was another gamble landed having been supported from 15/8 into 5/4. There had been a few quid about for some others in the race but the firms that laid 15/8 were on a hiding to nothing.

Don't tell anyone we are watching the big screen through our bins!

Don’t tell anyone we are watching the big screen through our bins!

 

At least two offices got involved in the penultimate, Chatterbox was their target lumping on to ensure the gelding returned 5/2 joint-favourite with Puffin Billy. The latter was aptly named finishing down the field while Chatterbox could hardly be labelled a talking horse finishing runner-up but the bookies did keep the cash when 8/1 shot Ifandbutwhynot proved an easing up too good at the line.

The most competitive betting heat was saved for the last where four animals attracted notable bets. Thomas Brown had been backed at 2/1 to monkeys and finished 15/8f, 11 lengths clear of the second favourite. That pretty much ensured most of the layers did their money over all seven races.

‘Tomorrow’s another day’ said Lynn at Sam Harris’ joint. That’s the spirit, the fat lady has barely finished the starter at Newbury’s three course punting feast.

(c) Simon Nott

My new (and first) book ‘Skint Mob! – Tales From The Betting Ring’ is out now. It covers people and events in the betting ring from the 1980’s where hopefully some colour has been captured. It is a royal sized paperback. Full details can be found here.

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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