Tales From The Betting Ring – Wincanton 26/02/14

It certainly felt like Spring was in the air up at Wincanton today, six races run in (mainly) sunshine to an appreciative if modest crowd. The ring was a bit thin on bookies too which was probably just as well given the former. The first race wasn’t much of a betting heat with Fairytale Theatre going off the 2/9 hot favourite and winning like one. One punter risked a grand to cop a bottle though so still got it right despite going in a bit early.

Each way if you like sir.

Each way if you like sir.

Between the first and second race I bumped into a  bookmaker that usually bets at Wincanton but was there on a day out. Before going on I must stress that this bookie in question does not, I repeat not, have a share, leg or any interest whatsoever in any horses. Doubly-especially reiterated if you happen to be an ex-spouse. That of course doesn’t mean that a relation doesn’t though and one of his had an interest in Double Bank in the Hunter Chase which was why he was there. Wendy and Ivor Perry also had an interest in one in the last, not the last here though but up at Kempton, Ivor’s Princess, they wouldn’t be drawn as to if the filly was fancied but there were zipping up the A303 straight after racing. I’d guess a yes then.

It’s often worth noting when there’s any money for a Chris Down trained horse. His charge Thedeboftheyear was backed from 8/1 into 6/1 on course and duly obliged. It wasn’t a bad result for the ring though with the David Pipe trained Prasina Russata the 9/4 favourite pulled up. It didn’t take the Pipe yard long to get back any that they might have left behind when Vif Argent was backed from 4/1 into 9/4 and won as it liked. ‘We didn’t see much for it, it was all on the machine’ was one layer’s slightly relieved report after the race, though favourite Opera Og was very weak on course too.

The next race saw ‘machine’ money rather than on-course cash too according to one layer. Midnight Thunder had been as big as 9/4 (one book did lay a £900-£400) but was sent off at 6/4. The bookie I spoke to knows his form inside out was of the opinion that it was in-running backers having it on it order to sell back in play that had forced the price to shorten rather than inspired cash. ‘It needs it better ground’ was his summing up. If his theory was correct those that did buy to sell probably copped before Keel Haul sailed by the long-time leader to victory under a particularly cocky ride. Had the winner made a rick  which resulted in defeat you can imagine the rider would have had to endure a prolonged verbal namesake of his mount.

He's actually very happy to be back though you wouldn't know it.

He’s actually very happy to be back though you wouldn’t know it.

It was nice to see veteran bagman Mossy back on a joint, though not the one of his long-term boss. A good workman will always have a few days work I was always told. That’s not quite true these days with computers taking over the floorman job though. The form guys had Dorry K a decent favourite in the penultimate. It was backed from 5/2 into 2/1 but had to settle for runner-up spot behind Be Bop Boru. The winner had been backed from 7/2 into 3/1 including a bet of £3000-£1000. It hadn’t run much of a race at Taunton last out a time a week or so back but as luck would have it seems that the stable and horse bounced back to form just in time for its first go in a handicap.

'Lewis, it's a punter'

‘Lewis, it’s a punter’

I didn’t see the bookie that doesn’t have a share in any horses but a relation of his does before the last. Let’s hope he was on Double Bank at 9/4 before the price collapsed into 6/4 because the gelding won quite nicely. ‘It’s been a bit boring really’ was Lewis Brown’s summing up of the day. With Cheltenham less than two weeks away it’s just the calm before the storm I’m sure. Before all that, next stop Newbury.

(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


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hugh Watson on February 26, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Entertaining read Simon. Will you be at Cheltenham ?


  2. Thank you. Yes I’ll be there.


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