Tales From The Betting Ring – Kempton 12/02/14

Having once again driven through some horrendous conditions to get from Devon to Kempton I expected the worst from the weather for the evening. As it turned out, put in context given the chaos caused by high winds and rain elsewhere, we actually got away with it. The crowd was thin though and who could blame people for staying away, you’d have to be real racing enthusiasts to want to venture out tonight.

It will be all right when they come out of the bar...

It will be all right when they come out of the bar…

Which brings me nicely on to the connections of Polydamos who fit the bill perfectly. Regular readers of this blog will have no doubt read with a heavy heart the ignominy  they suffered when they thought they had won last time. They celebrated with cheers and hugs in the stands only to have the cup snatched from their lips to discover they had been chinned on the line. ‘We even made it to the Winners’ Enclosure then noticed it wasn’t our colours’ confided one of the jovial bunch with a smile that radiated humour not bitterness. They appeared confident tonight though, theirs was 4/6f and looked set to gain compensation. ‘Come and join us for a glass of champagne if he wins’ was the kind offer as the horses entered the stalls.

It was if he wins and not when he wins, but did it count as an arm aloft or an ‘aye aye’ (ei ei in some blighted quarters) before the post? Sadly in this case it did. All seemed to be going to plan, Polydamos was held up, came with what briefly looked like a winning run, the cheers from the connections when up, then was chinned again. This time not quite so cruelly, it was there for all to see. Polydamos was beaten a good half a length by My Renaissance who was backed from 5/1 into 4/1 despite having shown little previously in its admittedly lightly-raced career. Of course there was no grumbling from the obviously  disappointed posse with the jolly, they just rushed to greet their hero in the now familiar surrounds of the area reserved for the runner-up in the Winners’ Enclosure. That done they set of to the warm confines of the Owners and Trainers bar to enjoy the the rest of their evening, no sulking off for this lot.

Handsome Stranger won the next backed from 16/1 into 12/1 but that victory was marred when jockey John Lawson was unseated from Great Conquest. He was tended to at the side of the course before being taken to hospital. It was later reported that he suffered a broken jaw. Racing was put back half an hour as a result but it could obviously have been a lot worse let’s up he has a speedy recovery.

When Sandfrankskipsgo last  ran it on Elvis’s birthday on January 8th, here over the same course and distance it was held up in rear and finished unplaced at 16/1. Today it was dropped in class, ran in the third race, was sent of the 5/4f and hosed in. Whoever compiled the probable SPs in the racecard had him in at 12/1, you’d have to hope they don’t participate in a bit of amateur laying on the exchanges. Bretherton had rather more obvious credentials to be sent off favourite in the next and was backed accordingly to the tune of £400 and £800 on course. The bookies lucky and plucky enough to lay those bets kept the money as Don’t Have It Then was supported from 10/1 into 7/1 and justified support by following-up from its previous win.

The ring came alive again when the jovial connections of Polydamos came out to play before the penultimate. One of them marched  over with his wife and started to discuss the race. ‘I’m going to back the one that has a name similar to what my Mrs wants every night’ he chuckled before pointing to number 6 on the race-card, ‘Tingle Tangle’. He was very pleased with himself and grinned from ear to ear as he looked at his very glamorous ‘Mrs’ for a reaction. Her instant reply through gritted teeth wiped the smile from his chops like a Flashwipe through gravy; ‘Oh I don’t think so, it’s more like’  she purred before pointing to the race-card with a slender bejewelled finger at number 1.  ‘Wishformore’!

At the verbal intercourse had a satisfying conclusion,  Wishformore did win the race  by a short-head given a great ride sent off the even money favourite. The Polydamos connections could well have been on it too, they  cheered it all the way up the straight and cheered even louder when the result was given then trooped off to celebrate the win. I hope I’m there are not working when the Polydamos does eventually win because that’s going to be some party. ‘Needs to be held up and produced right on the line’ was the information I was given. Jockeys please take note.

(c) Simon Nott

I have written a book about bookies, punters and betting rings, it’s called Skint Mob, has been getting some nice reviews and is available on eBay, Amazon, from me and on Kindle, details here http://wp.me/p1dLbd-9n


2 responses to this post.

  1. Fantastic read as always Simon, really enjoying your posts.

    Cheers – Ben (NTF)


  2. Posted by sue keable on February 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Simon thanks for the mention in your blog. All the racous crowd are following the blog bring copies of your book Saturday. Also being read in Ireland


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