Tales From The Betting Ring – Exeter 21/02/14


Well Charlie Brown had his coat on today, it was nowhere near as cold as when he braved the last Exeter meeting in shirt sleeves but reckon the lesson has been learned there the hard way. Charlie may well be a relative novice to Exeter but the best performance seen on course today was before any racing had taken place by a real veteran. This was a master class in how to win meeting in and meeting out, imagine how many ‘CD’s that would have in his form line if Armaloft Alex’s estimation was correct ‘Every meeting for 30 years’ he imparted a modicum of admiration while nodding towards a lone figure walking down the track in torrential rain. To be fair it was probably sunny when our multi course-winner started out, it was a bit like that early on up on Haldon Hill weather-wise.

Cheer up chaps, it livens up in a bit I promise.

Cheer up chaps, it livens up in a bit I promise.

Anyway, it seems that this chap doesn’t like to pay to get in to the races, now I don’t condone such raffish behaviour but did marvel at his  circumnavigation of the turn-styles. Armaloft explained the part I’d already missed, ‘You can’t see his car, he parks where they don’t ask for money, hops the railing  and walks connection-like down the course’. This may be doing our man a small injustice, part of his cunning plan does include dressing like one of those people who are so meticulous when they have a runner they walk the course whatever the weather. By the time he got level with us we were back in the present. He marched up past the stands before displaying some real brass neck by stopping to dig a heel into the turf. Alex then went on to predict what would happen in the latter stages of our man’s mission. ‘He’ll walk up to the landing side of the last, look again at the turf probably with another deft heel dig then rush through the pre-parade ring, pass the weighing room then bustle into the course unchallenged for payment’. Uncanny, it happened just like that, our man was home and hosed. Sadly this time it looked like literally, he was drenched, drenched but in, another victory for this artful dodger.

Of course such behaviour is an absolute disgrace but there’s no denying the man’s certainly determined.

As far as Charlie and his badge-paying bookie mates were concerned the afternoon went well. Only one favourite, and that was a 1/6 shot, someone did have a £200- £1000 though, it’s nice to know those punters are still out there. Armaloft, no doubt bolstered by his faultless prediction of the flimper-in’s movements, had tipped us one up during the afternoon, it was backed from 10/1 into 9/1 and finished 8th, maybe he’s better at predicting iffy humans.  That fact I’m mentioning that really illustrates that there wasn’t a lot to report from the ring, a few quid flying about but nothing to really get the bookies trembling. Sadly a lot of the punters who used to have that effect on the on-course layers sit in a darkened room these days. Apparently they prefer staying at home staring at a computer screen pitting their wits against other folk doing the same thing rather than coming racing. Weird I know.

Anyway, for those trying to pick up a few easy quid backing horses at long odds-on when they have nearly won, instead of having inspired lumpy cash bets on course, the last race could have been a nightmare. Nodebateaboutit had managed to dodge the persistent loose horse that had been plaguing the field, led over the last and was coasting to an easy 4/1 from 5/1 victory. Just as the gelding’s backers were counting their readies which amounted to a few quid on course, people off course were clicking their back fingers at 1.01 reportedly to the tune of £61k .

Disaster, the loose horse which had been having a whale of a time careering around on the inside of the course during the business end of the race appeared to spot the parade ring whence it came and charged for it and home.  Ironically it was the same exit as our entrance-dodger had used before racing and surely more than 99/1 that he’d take out the certain-to-win leader in the process. But that’s what happened. Thankfully despite quite a collision that sent the rogue horse through the plastic rail and halted the would-be winner in its tracks there was reportedly no serious damage done. Apart from to the accounts of those in Internet land who like scoop up 1.01 money of course.

13/2 shot Thomas Wild went on to win the race rewarding his backers with some really lucky winnings, if I’d been on I’d have scampered off to buy a fist full of lottery tickets while I was on a roll. Of course where there are big losers on the exchanges there will also be big winners. Let’s hope they cash in their winnings, switch off their computers and treat themselves by coming racing, oh and pay to get in too,  good chaps. 

(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

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW

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