Tales From The Betting Ring – Kempton (NH) 03/11/14

It was great to be at Kempton for a jump meeting, sadly the weather did its best to put the mockers on things but rain didn’t stop play. The first race of the seven was sponsored by Titanbet but wasn’t exactly stimulating punting fodder featuring a long odds-on favourite Commissioned who returned 1/6. A couple of punters did consider the gelding worth backing, one beat the SP staking a £200 – £1100 and the other didn’t with a £200 – £1400. It didn’t really matter too much to either of them both copping a bottle for sticking their necks out when the jolly won as easily as expected. Money without work for those with rings of steel.

Hardly a bustling ring for the opener but it was early days.

Hardly a bustling ring for the opener but it was early days.

The second race was also sponsored by www.Titanbet.co.uk and was a more competitive heat. The betting surrounded Brother Ted and Coyaba the former was sent off 11/10 having been available at 13/8 in the ring (come racing) and the latter 2/1. The bookies seemed to be quite pleased to see old punting faces that don’t come to the all-weather meetings. If you are looking for political correctness you won’t find it in the colourful descriptions of their customers, names prefixed ‘Big Fat’ or ‘Tall Skinny’ fondly rolling off tongues. ‘Big Fat’ was on the winner apparently . The bookies had little chance from the top bend with the two short ones going clear. The money for Brother Tedd was spot on the gelding eventually winning with some ease.

‘It’s busy enough’ was one bookie’s summing up of the business after the third. There was no mention of punters of any particular bodily description, maybe gone home insulted? ‘No they love it’ the bookmaker who given me the monikers assured me, that’s all right then. The layers were quite chirpy after 8/1 shot Tinker Time bravely battled home from the only other finisher. The winner had been backed from 12/1 into 8/1 but would have been a good result in anyone’s book still the outsider of five. One bookmaker laid the runner-up to the tune of a monkey each-way at 3/1, a losing bet but somebody out there was playing clever.

The same punter was in again for a cagey each-way bet in the next the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle. This time £1000-£300 and the places Brother Brian, he probably didn’t feel quite so clever when it won. I expect the places worked out better than you can get on the exchanges and snapped up the value. They don’t miss a trick these punters, come racing and smile at your bookie as you tuck him up, all part of the fun.

photo 1

Only four went to post for the fifth in a race where a case could be made for each horse. Betting was tight but not as tight as the finish, Fox Appeal and Theatre Guide were locked together after the last and flashed past the post together in a desperate finish. It looked too close to call and there had been some time between calling for a photo and the result. It was surprising to be told by Rocky on one of the Kelross pitches that one of the horses was trading at around bottle-on with the exchanges. My old boss Dave Phillips would have had it spark off in the old days, if the judge had called for a print. The equivalent of waiting more than a minute these days he’d have gone down the book with the horse that was odds-on in the betting on the photo. Sadly those days are gone but photo betting was a big thing a few years back and great business at times. His reasoning being if the judge didn’t know what had won how could anyone else and that the price should be evens each of two. If a dead heat was called the punters would be on to half their stake so lose when they had bet odds-on. We copped more often than we lost at it.

As they would have today, the announcer called the result of the photo, ‘1st a dead-heat’ which put people away momentarily.  After all that time most punters would have been happy not to have lost.

The penultimate was also sponsored by Titanbet and once again it went to the punters. 11/10 favourite Comeonginger came home unchallenged after being available and bet to money at 6/4 and 11/8 to those that got in early.

photo 2

The lucky last, also sponsored by Titan Bet saw a market move for Gary Moore’s The Game Is A Foot from 7/1 into 5/1 but the game was soon up for his backers and those that follow the money a long way from home. In contrast Rayvin Black was easy to back easing out to 9/2 after being as short as 100/30 but was going well out in front for much of the way. 5/4 jolly Presenting Arms was in hot pursuit but at one point if commentator Ian Bartlett was to believed, in some sort of trouble. Almost as soon as he gave the bookies who couldn’t see the race some hope the jolly upped a gear and despite making a couple of sloppy jumps won going away. The last couple of jollies winning would have probably ensured it was a losing day for the layers and a winning favourite Yankee for the bookie sponsored races.

I’m off to Exeter for the Haldon Gold Cup tomorrow – most of today’s firms won’t be, it will be either licking their wounds or all-weather action for them.

(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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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe Brownisky on November 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Great read as usual.
    This comment was sponsored by titanbet..


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