Tales From The Betting Ring – Kempton 19/02/14


There were noticeably more people at Kempton than usual for a mid-week Wednesday. ‘Half Term’ one bookmaker enlightened me. That would explain the kids charging around as well then. It was a nice night for it too, very mild and above all, dry. Yes dry, which was a bit of a novelty given the recent deluge that had almost started to seem normal. The nice evening also ensured that the Kelross firm won my best turned out award with their smart new headboard back on display. It had been on the missing list since the bad weather but proudly back atop their light-board. Rocky and Paul at the front of the joint explained they had dusted it off and used it on Sunday for the put-in Bumpers for Jumpers card, where I had been on the missing list instead.

Belt and braces with that brollie up?

Belt and braces with that brollie up?

The crowd may have been up but according to one layer the business was a case of issuing more tickets but taking less money. The books did get the first couple of favourites beaten though so not a bad start. I had a bit of personal interest in the third, my good mate and form-book guru Andrew Mount has started a new on-line column specialising in bias on the all-weather. He’d advised a punt on Shalambar in the third and an each-way double on Boston Blue in the fourth. Here’s the link to that, and it’s free https://gg.com/news/betting/track-bias-diary—wednesday-19-february-2014 well he was bang on with the first one and as his advice had been followed excitement mounted with the double looming. Sadly Boston Blue couldn’t do the business and ruin my bookies night but we had a thrill none the less. Meanwhile the on-course layers probably got a few quid on 14/1 winner Mighty Mambo.

Asking around for any sort of story to go in this blog was proving fruitless. Bookmakers John Henwood senior and junior were in attendance but not making a book, they would have a tale for me for sure? Nope, nothing to report but they’d let me know should anything occur. I asked one of the bookies betting on the rail if he’d laid anything lumpy. ‘No but Arsenal just missed a penalty’ he replied with a look that exuded boredom. The favourites kept getting beaten though so you’d hope the books were getting a few quid for their efforts. They had a right result in the sixth where only five ran and there was a 10/1 winner with the 10/11 favourite out of the frame. There was talk of someone laying an even monkey but that was it.

Just when run of the mill was about to be the phrase of the night, boom. Kempton and its ability to shock you when you least expect it sprang a susprise. Not a nice one for two bookies it may have come as a shock to one on such a quiet night to be asked for a £5000-£300 The Sliver Kebaya (that’s 16/1 with the fractions, always ask for them, all revealed here http://wp.me/p1dLbd-4x). The next layer no doubt felt quite smug that he’d only laid 14/1 (with the fractions) £5000-£350. That smugness probably didn’t last all that long as the price soon went into free-fall, 8/1 became 6/1 and eventually 5/1. Quite how it feels when you have laid a bet like that and the horse wins as it likes landing the gamble is anyone’s guess, nasty I’d imagine.

‘They left us out’ smiled one relieved bookie. That probably meant that after eight races and not a single jolly obliging they had a good if modest night. That probably can’t be said for the rest of them though.

(c) Simon Nott

I have written a book about bookies, betting rings and punters. It has been getting some great reviews. More info here http://wp.me/p1dLbd-9n

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