Tales From The Betting Ring – Kempton 05/03/14


Kempton was positively balmy tonight, at least if you had come clobbered up for the wind and rain we have been enjoying, sorry enduring, of late. There appeared to be a respectable crowd in attendance too for what looked like a fairly competitive card. Regular readers of the blog will be aware of Polydamos and his colourful and enthusiastic posse of connections. They have all been something of standing dish of late though suffering from some frustrating reversals despite running well in an admirably  consistent manner.  Tonight they hoped, would be the night, with Adam Kirby on board and at the right trip the champagne was on ice, and once again I had been invited should he win.

The nights are pulling out and the bookies pouring in.

The nights are pulling out and the bookies pouring in.

Maybe they should stop extending me invitations before the race and their luck might change. It looked as if the pace was a bit slow for the hold-up tactics that appear best so the jockey may have had his hand forced coming with a run around the bend. It looked to have worked as he challenged to take the race up two out but at the distance was a spent force finishing out of the frame for the first time in six runs. The connections were disappointed but nothing really dampens that lots’ spirits and were soon all smiles again looking forward to next time out no doubt. The race went to Sudden Wish who had been easy in the market having drifted to 5/2 from the 7/4 mark. The next jolly also provided SP backers with some value as Bishop Of Ruscombe was allowed to drift from 4/9 to 8/13 (4/6 in a place) before winning as it liked. ‘There’s not a bet to be taken here tonight’ was one layer’s summing up.

That proved to be slightly premature, surprisingly the race that came to life appeared to be one of the most competitive on the card, there was some support for Spa’s Dancer and Shavansky at the 5/1 mark but the inspired cash was for the winner Rebellious Guest who scooted in after being nibbled from 10/1 into 8/1 breaking the course record in the process. The ring got one back when 16/1 shot  Invigilator won the next and appeared to cop again when 14/1 Newtown Cross landed the race before the penultimate. Especially good as there had been some small but determined trade interest in Ogaritmo. Well maybe generally but one bookie caught a serious cold laying a £3200-£200 each-way the winner. It had  displayed some mulishness at the start though the old ‘last in first home’ adage was proven tonight. Of course  as we all know it’s actually a load of old codswollop but if there was anyone still in the betting shops after the race I expect at least one patron came out with that while tapping a knowledgeable nose.

‘I backed it, I backed it’ was the cry from a person unseen but a voice I recognised.  It was one of the lovely ladies from the Polydamos camp, ‘Number 7, my lucky number’ she squealed with a smile to brighten the dullest of nights. I for one was happy for her, though doubt her winning wager was the bottle each way, there again you never can tell, but a gentleman (of the turf) never asks.

(C) Simon Nott

I have written a book about bookies, betting rings and punters. It has been getting some great reviews. More info here  and fear not it’s recalling much happier times in the ring. Details here http://wp.me/p1dLbd-9n

Racing Ahead Magazine's review with postal purchasing details.

Racing Ahead Magazine’s review with postal purchasing details.

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