Tales From The Betting Ring – Kempton 29/05/14

Well as you can see, today’s Tales From The Betting Ring relates to Kempton Park and not Garrison Savannah but it was a close call. The Trend Horses Syndicate went right up to the wire with two lines on two horses running in the last leg. Sadly it was not to be and dreams of a famous Scoop 6 win were dashed. Mercifully we knew our combined fate around a furlong from home so at least were spared the agony of the previous week’s 1.01 in running torture. A huge well done to all those that did find the winners of all six races, here’s hoping you bag the bonus too. Also a huge well done to our man Andrew ‘Trend Horses’ Mount who left no stone unturned burning the midnight oil under a whole lot of pressure to find the winners. Incidentally, Andy, as we like to call him, has recently started writing a free column for GG.com which can be found here https://gg.com/news/betting/track-bias-diary—thursday-29-may

Back reality and for me on Wednesday night that was Kempton Park for 8 races. I don’t think I stand a chance of much contradiction to say it was a bit thin, at least with punters. By punters I mean the type that make the bookies jump a bit with lumpy bets, the sort of punters that are rarer than hens’ teeth these days. I thought I’d spotted one in the first, I saw him approach the rails with a wad of what looked like a couple of grand. He strode purposefully over to the bookies, the one he made for had a look on his face a cross between a rabbit in the headlights and a prize fighter waiting for the bell for round one. That look turned to one of real anti-climax as the guy got to the joint and peeled off a score.

It’s a shame there wasn’t a lot of money sploshing about because the ring got a dream 50/1 result in the opener. At Kempton on one of their quiet nights you get the feeling you can hear every individual punter calling for their horse. There was a distinctly delighted cheer go up when it was announced Areion had won by a nose. No matter how little they had on it would have ruined one book if the field money had been minimal. For the layers’ sakes I hope the winning punters backed it on the Tote, but if they had their delight would have been tempered by a £25.30 win return and £5.10 place.

There was a bit of money for the jolly Oh Star in the next, one book laid a £550-£400 before it was sent off at 6/5. That firm got it right because the ring enjoyed another result with 16/1 shot Role Player. ‘I do like a bit of role play from time to time’ shouted one bookie, a little bit too enthusiastically. It didn’t conjure up a nice image I can assure you, though the comment did seem to tickle the fancy of a couple of his neighbours.

Knavery won the next at a well-backed 6/1 having been 10/1 early on. Not ideal for the bookies though there still didn’t seem to be a lot of money in the ring. What there had been was for Sejel which attracted a couple of £900-£300 bets. Order of the day appeared to be for the bookies to just talk amongst themselves before a flurry of minor activity when people come out of the bars around five minutes before the off. Give the books their due mind, they do try and are up pretty much as soon as the horses have passed the post for the previous race.

Just talk amongst yourselves lads and lasses, they'll be out in a bit.

Just talk amongst yourselves lads and lasses, they’ll be out in a bit.

Between races and in one of the many quiet interludes a couple of likely looking lads wandered down the empty space in front of the rail looking very happy with themselves. Unable to resist, Malcolm on the end asked them if they’d backed a winner. This appeared to make them even more pleased with themselves, they grinned at each other, shared a little mutual back slap then shouted back, ‘No, we are supposed to be playing snooker!’  I’ve always said, coming racing is not all about the winning!

Barnmore topped the evening off for the books with a 25/1 victory, that added to the 50/1 that kicked them off, two 16/1 shots and only two winning favourites that’s a winning card by anyone’s standards. Well, it ought to be. ‘It’s always the same’, bemoaned one regular layer, ‘You only get good results when you can’t take any money’. I expect we’ll still see him next time though……

(C) Simon Nott

My book ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’ is a book about the wonderful characters I have met in my time on racecourses. There have been some nice reviews. 

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW


If you’d like one you can buy a signed copy  direct  from me via paypal here 


It’s also available on Amazon and on Kindle.


One response to this post.

  1. Hello Simon,

    My name is James and I am a researcher for a television company developing a documentary for the BBC. We are working on doing a three part series looking at gambling from the point of view of Britain’s and the worlds’ bookmakers, especially smaller, independently run on-course and of-course bookmakers.

    I have a strong interest in understanding what it means to be an independent bookmaker in modern day Britain, tracking the history of the craft from the 1960’s through until today, and trying to understand what its place is in Britain in the 21st century.

    By way of explaining who we are, Indus films have made award winning documentaries over the years. We recently looked at the three traditional London food markets, Billingsgate, Smithfield and Spitalfields which have both been nominated for top documentary awards as well as being very warmly recieved by the markets and the traders themselves.

    I very much look forward to hearing from you, please do not hesitate to get in touch either through this email address james.oriel@indusfilms.com

    Yours sincerely


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