Tales From The Betting Ring – Friday – The bet365 Hennessy Festival – Newbury 28/11/14


It was hard to tell if that waft of bacon aroma was from the butties on sale or the still smoldering fingers of the poor bookies. Not all of them of course, just the ones that had turned up yesterday. There were some envious eyes from those had attended and suffered six winning favourites. It wouldn’t be so easy getting it back after being bumped down the pitch pecking order by those that had dodged the bullet betting elsewhere.

There were plenty more bookmakers but equally the crowd was excellent. The firms that had stood for six jollies yesterday probably had some misgivings about getting stuck into Karezak in the opening Q Associates Juvenile Hurdle. They needn’t have because their main problem was not getting knocked over but getting him in the book. The opening 8/11 had been eased to 5/6 at the off. Part of the reason for that drift was solid support for Harry Fry’s Mick Jazz from 5/2 into 7/4. With the pair backed pretty much to the exclusion of all others it didn’t look good for the ring. It looked even worse when Mick Jazz was sent for home going well. I’m not sure if those bookies had been praying overnight but if they had been they were answered when Sam Twiston-Davies came to their rescue aboard Old Guard sent off at 6/1.

Brisk trade in Tatts.

Brisk trade in Tatts.

Quick Decisson (their spelling not mine!) was sent  off 11/4 favourite for the bet365 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Steeple Chase but Comeonginger appeared to attract more on course support from 7/2 into 3/1. Wilton Milan won the race also at 3/1. The winner was hardly a result for the books but the psychological boost of not actually being jolly.

Prior to the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle an excitable Armaloft Alex came puffing up the stands (the boy is carrying some condition and could do with some time on the gallops) and spluttered, ‘He’s here, he’s here’. On further investigation it transpired the ‘He’ in question was JP McManus. As he was owner of the short one, the David Pipe trained Unique De Cotte in the next Alex could be forgiven, his presence could be considered a positive to its chances. The punters appeared to agree but judging by the volumes the jolly was not burdened by the McManus millions but enough to turn even money into 4/5. Come to think of it, it could have been Armaloft’s because he headed off in the direction of the bookies and wasn’t sighted again. The presumption being that the Unique De Cotte’s poor run dented his finances somewhat, his along with the other enthusiastic favourite backers on the track. The twist in this tale is that the race was won by  Tullyesker Hill also trained by David Pipe. At 10/1 it did the ring a favour and also appeared to take the stable by surprise too, a great result for the layers.

If I give you 'Fair Price' will you fetch my hat a saucer of milk?

If I give you ‘Fair Price’ will you fetch my hat a saucer of milk?

As an interlude this blog has been entered into the UK Blog Awards if you could vote for me I’d be very grateful http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/Tales-From-The-Betting-Ring-2/

By the Fuller’s London Pride Novices’ Chase the bookies had regained their mettle and were eagerly getting stuck in. Only five went to post but there was money for most of them, just what layers like. Saphir Du Rheu was backed at around even money before drifting to 11/10 in reaction to a mini gamble on Coneygree. Mark Bradstock’s charge had been as big as 4/1 but was sent off half that price. The gamble was landed but the task made much easier by the jolly’s departure at the 7th. There had been bets of £1800 – £600 and £1500 – £500 the winner but plenty of takers the 4th losing favourite of the day.

The ring enjoyed a competitive market for the bet365 Open Handicap Chase seeing decent money for The Paparrazi Kid (5/2f) and Pendra (3/1) as well as public money for all nine runners. Neither of short ones featured in the shake-up behind winner No Buts. The gelding was returned at 6/1 but had been at least 13/2 with one bookmaker because he laid a £2000 – £300, that’s with the fractions, always ask your bookie for fractions, don’t know what they are? Fear not, click here http://wp.me/p1dLbd-4x

On the rails they bet...

On the rails they bet…

You could tell Jack Bevan & Co (Est 1897) were having a good day (they’d ducked yesterday too) because Ian had been promised he could have a pudding with his firm-bought meal after racing. Their day was about to get better too. The penultimate four-runner Inkerman London Novices’ Hurdle saw the favourites flip-flop with the Lizzy Kelly-ridden Tea For Two deposing Noel Fehily’s mount Thomas Brown going off 13/8 and 15/8 respectively. Punters that bet either chipped in for Ian’s pudding because 3/1 Out Sam won the race, it wasn’t all one way traffic for the bookies though as a the gelding had been backed from 4/1 with a few noted bets.

The feature of the bet365 National Hunt Maiden Hurdle was the weakness of Days Of Heaven. One rails firm actuallt struck a £2000 bet at 11/8 before its alarming drift saw it go off at 2/1 but still favourite. There was also a few quid about for Coyaba steady at 4/1. There was also a monster bet struck, well when I say monster, it took out £40,000. Geoff Banks had evidently decided that Tanit River couldn’t win, so offered 400/1. He probably didn’t expect a punter to accommodate him with £100 at the price. As the tapes went up those backers already fearing the worst having invested in the weak favourite had their nightmares realised when it swerved badly left and basically blew the race there and then. The ring resisted a cheer, at least at that point but let it all out when Different Gravey won at 5/1 though had been 7/1, that would do though, Favourites 0 – Bookies 7. Days Of Heaven did amazingly well to finish third, a lot nearer to the winner than the lengths it lost at the start.

Geoff Banks never had a moments worry with his big liability which yielded the rear to nobody for most of the race. ‘I’m on the Morning Line tomorrow’ chirped the cheery Geoff who had ‘put the £100 in the back pocket before the race was even run’. I must admit to thinking that although his appearance is sure to be entertaining if not controversial viewing it would have been a lot more so had Tanit River sprung a surprise. (Channel 4 8am Sat 29/11/14)

(c) Simon Nott

Stuck for a Christmas present?

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 

http://www.simonnott.co.uk/?page_id=315

It’s also available on Amazon and on Kindle.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skint-Mob-Tales-Betting-Ring/dp/0992755409/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A21IPGCYKI6061

Available on Nook

http://www.nook.com/gb/ebooks/skint-mob-tales-from-the-betting-ring-by-simon-nott/2940149802029

Available on Kobo

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