Tales From The Betting Ring – Sandown 01/02/14


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It must have been long odds-against Sandown racing at some stages of the previous rain-sodden night. Luckily for racing fans a combination of hard-working grounds men, the weather relenting just in time and a courageous decision to race the meeting got the go ahead.

My old bookie boss Ivor was one of the first people I saw when I got to the course, he didn’t have a runner but his mate did, Sew On Target in the last. Ivor had come up for the day out because he hadn’t been to Sandown for a while; they hoped for the best but couldn’t be confident in the ground.

That was hardly surprising; it was described as ‘Somme-like’ by someone who had apparently stolen the line from a racing TV presenter (was that you MC Yeehaa?) The punters, at least those that like to have chunks on, didn’t appear to want to stick their heads out above the trenches in the first. That given needless to say the bookies didn’t seem to go a lot on the business in the opener. Someone did have a rouf (£400) on the winner to ruin one layer’s first race though.

Oscar Whisky was backed from an early 4/11 to 1/6 in the three-runner third. One punter managed to secure a £400-£1100 and another a £900 – £3000. Not bad going for a 1/6 shot, come racing, although it did win there would have been a few anxious moments before victory was assured. It was around this time that the course announcer gave details of some of the planned summer musical events. Those balmy evenings seemed a long way off in the bitter wind and spotting rain. Wet Wet Wet was a topical act but it’s lucky that they and Tom Jones are booked for the warmer months because the latter would have been more likely to have flippers than knickers thrown at him had it been today.

There was an impressive double rainbow to behold between races. From where I was stood the end of it seemed to be in Michael Cannon’s hod. Yes regular readers, I know I have been here before with a topic but there is photographic evidence so I couldn’t waste it, could I?

There's gold in that there hod.

There’s gold in that there hod.

I thought about going to ask him how he was doing for the purpose of this blog, but had second ones when Aachen was backed from 2/1 into 6/4 and won the next. I didn’t want to risk it, did anyway and needn’t have worried. ‘We’re winning’ I was cheerily told. ‘We’re not’ was the gloomier message from the Glyn Jones joint a few pitches up, who then went on ‘I was really glad when they said it was on this morning, now I wish it had rained a bit more’. ‘It must be true what they say about rainbows’ piped up, or should it be rubbed-down, the pair on the Cannon joint

That gloom that presided over the bookies lifted somewhat after Relax won the penultimate. ‘Aye Aye’ shouted the Cannon two, there was no need to ask how it was for them then. Martyn (of Leicester) was in front too now. You can always tell when he’s in front because the decibels rise. ‘Busted board syndrome’ he boomed. That was a quite impressive variation of oft-used, ‘The prices can’t get any bigger or the board will bust’. As the runners were lining up for the last the news from team Cannon was that whatever the result the worst that could happen was the shine could be taken off their rainbow blessed day.

It probably was then as Sew On Target won the race, I didn’t spot them but I expect Ivor and his mate were pleased, and hopefully filled their boots. Maybe with Martyn, he suddenly went very quiet again, though that could just be the way it sounded.

© Simon Nott

I have written a book called ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’. It’s out on paperback and kindle and available direct from me, Amazon and eBay. People have told me they have enjoyed it. If you’d like one please check it out here. http://wp.me/p1dLbd-9n

Sunday Independent (Plymouth) 05/01/14

Sunday Independent (Plymouth) 05/01/14

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