Tales From The Betting Ring – Sandown 24/07/14

Rather than licking their wounds the bookies were licking their ice creams and enjoying the sun before Thursday’s six-race, no music, afternoon card. It seems like several of last night’s layers stayed behind to listen to Wet Wet Wet who went down well with a few beers and bottles of wine. That’s the way to do it.

The straw hat selling fella reported having it spark off of late.

The straw hat selling fella reported having it spark off of late.

Hope sprang eternal in the ring as betting got under way for the first. Somebody must have had rubbing down the bookies in mind when then named Profitable. Why? Because he was the jolly, sent off at 2/5 and won very easily. Having said the result wouldn’t have been profitable I don’t suppose too many stuck their necks too far out. It wasn’t one way traffic on the jolly, one book laid a decent lump on Renaissant at 4/1.

Reg explained that the fellow in the bib could look as hard as he liked, he not be dropping a fiver.

Reg explained that the fellow in the bib could look as hard as he liked, he not be dropping a fiver.

There was some excitement in the ring when a punter waded into  Snow Squall to the tune of £3500. The bookie soon hopped off his stool and shared it about a bit with his colleagues in the old fashioned way. He probably wished he’d kept a bit more back for himself when it only trailed in fourth. Judging by the way he roared the winner, 11/2 shot Purple Spectrum home, maybe he wasn’t too bothered after all.

Martyn's tie colour coordinated with workman Puddle's tie was a nice touch.

Martyn’s tie colour coordinated with workman Puddle’s shirt was a nice touch.

The excitement continued in the next when a punter had five grand on Alonsoa at 4/5. If the bookie that took that one on had some back he probably did it right as he could have got 5/6 at the off. He’d not have felt so clever if he stood the lot though as it hosed in. Alex Vino won the next at even money, things were beginning to look a bit iffy for the bookies again. Not everyone was downbeat though. Lynn on Sam Harris’ joint said that on the bright side the crowd and bets taken were well up from the night before.

There was a little bit of light relief as the Mayor’s Pantomime Horse race took place at 3.15. I don’t think any of the bookies are daft enough to bet on those events any more but it was a cracking race. I’m not sure who won but it was pretty much a dead heat, what a finish, they would have needed a photo for sure had it not been for the use of finishing tape.

No betting on the mascots and this time two were 'off'. Typical.

No betting on the mascots and this time two were ‘off’. Typical.

There did seem to be a very decent crowd for a mid-week meeting. OK maybe the sunshine had a lot to do with it, but you get the feeling that there is something quite appealing about skiving off work for an afternoon at the races. Even if it is a sort of official works sponsored skive.

The bookies were working of course, but it looked as if it was going to be work without money the way the results had turned. They had two shortish ones to get stuck into against the field in the penultimate if they felt that way inclined. There was money for both of them, Hesbaan was sent off at 7/4 and got the better of 13/8f Conquerant. Luckily for the bookmakers 9/2 shot Tercel was too good for both of them. Not everyone was shouting home the winner though.  One firm laid a punter a monkey each-way at 5/1 while further down the line another admitted losing on the race having let the punters make his book. ‘They didn’t want the short ones’ he mused, not amused.

Get in early to beat the rush.

Get in early to beat the rush.

The books really could have done with getting the odds-on Global Leader beaten in the last. Sadly for them it wasn’t to be, but they had a thrill. The 14/1 outsider of five Wordismybond was in front everywhere but in the shadow of the post. They had the cup snatched from their lips. Unless of course the punters didn’t want the short one, you never can tell.

(C) Simon Nott


My  (Award Nominated but sadly unplaced) book ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’ is a book about the bookies, punters and other 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.


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