I had the pleasure of interviewing professional gambler and also now racecourse bookmaker Anthony...
Lingfield – Winter Million, Coral Winter Oaks
It’s been five years since I was last racing at Lingfield, I didn’t even mind driving past a couple of jumps meetings, one of my local tracks, Taunton, or the super-hyped match between Shishkin and Energumene at Ascot to get here for the All-Weather Winter Oaks. Variety, as they say is the spice of life and of course it’s always a pleasure working for Julian and the Goodwin Racing Team. The firm were working two pitches, John and Gordon on the rail and Julian and Ross on the pitch on the front row of Tattersalls.
Business on the rail and in Tatts was brisk but not too lumpy, Totally Charming had been hotly touted and well-backed for the opening Read Katie Walsh On Betway Insider Handicap. A punter had been wandering around with a fist full of notes when 6/4 was hawking, hanging around for a better price he missed the 6/4 going, begging it when they have all taken it off is never likely to succeed. Ultimately it was academic, 5/4 favourite Totally Charming had to settle for third behind 10/3 winner Dingle and 11/1 chance Marion’s Boy. The latter was the absolute bogie in the on-course book losing over a grand. Dingle was a small winner but that cop was wiped out by the place money on the second, but only a head behind it could have been worse. Telf in the Goodwin office had better news. He told me that Totally Charming would have been a bad result, as would have Danni California, but that the winner was a ‘cracking start for the firm.’ He added that they’d had a busy morning on the phones, Shishkin had been a popular choice for the big race at Ascot as had Enfranchise in the 3.40 here at Lingfield. Across the firm not a bad start.
Back down in the ring and I was told a story that a punter had approached a rails firm, not Goodwin, and asked what price Irish Hill was on ‘The Machine’ for the first at Ascot, he was told 6/4, the punter said he wanted as much as the bookie would lay at the machine price. The bookie quite generously offered him £5500 – £4000 but that was declined, Paul Nicholls’ charge finished a distant third and returned 7/4. Let’s hope the punter got on!
Back to Lingfield and the Betway Handicap, business was fairly light both on course and back in the Goodwin office. Telf told me that Protected Guest was the bogie for them. On course, Julian and the guys had Living Legend and March Law losing. They would have been happy to have copped the couple of hundred quid that they did when Hollie Doyle won on the Jeremy Scott trained 10/3 favourite Celtic Art especially as Protected Guest and Living Legend filled the places. The winner is trained in Dulverton, not far from me, maybe I could have asked Jeremy for a lift, mind you, as it was his only runner I expect they were heading back south by the time I finished this paragraph.
Next up, Mansionbet Proud Partners Of The Awc Handicap. It livened up, almost as soon as Julian priced up the race a punter came in and bet £5000 – £1000 Animal Instinct. so now he was in it. The bets flowed but not to the extent that the firm were going to bet up to that sort of figure. Handily, near the off another backer approached the joint also wielding a grand and bet a £2000 – £1000 Diderot. At the off, there were two losers in the book with everything else copping a nice few quid. 14/1 chance Shoot To Kill under Darragh Keenan kicked for home about a furlong and a half out and caught the field flat footed, the jolly Diderot took a couple of strides to pick up then found another gear, but quicken as he did couldn’t get there fast enough, still a neck down at the judge. Telf in the office told me that Mobashr was their only bogie so happy days all round.
The fourth race on the card, the Play Coral Racing-super-series For Free Handicap didn’t see the volume of money bet in the previous race, the big punters apparently not on the chevvy chase. Sassy Rascal was the bogey for a grand on course but an accumulation of wagers rather than any bets of substance. There was a run-up causing concern over in the Goodwin office, Telf told me, ‘Lucky Man is subject of a multiple running up a big loser, taking aren’t too heavy but we do need it beat.’ Telf got his wish, it was close though. Kodias Sangarius won at 12/1 a nose in front of 9/1 chance Little Prayer with 3/1 shot Lucky Man a neck further away in third. Anyone who bets with Goodwin on the telephone and backed the runner-up would have benefitted from their ‘nose’ offer. If you don’t have an account with Goodwin, check them out here. Telephone Betting | Goodwin Racing Bookmakers A punter came to the joint enquiring about the price of Radetsky in the last. John recognised him of being part of a lively big staking firm so decided not to offer the 11/4 that was available in places.
The race before the penultimate, Betway Novice Stakes was another race that didn’t really come to life as far as the bigger punters were concerned. The first two in the betting, War In Heaven the ultimate 9/4 favourite and Al Ameen, 5/2 were hard to lay at the Goodwin pitch. There were only five runners, that may have had something to do with why the punters kept backing 40/1 chance Measured Moments each-way, at the she was losing an eye-watering amount of money. The odds were right, she finished last behind the front two in the betting headed by War In Heaven. The winner copped a bottle in the book, winning over a jolly, lovely if it goes your way. It was a similar story over in the Goodwin Office, Telf told me that they didn’t have much of a book and the winner could have been a lot worse.
Betting for the penultimate Coral Winter Oaks Fillies’ Handicap was punctuated by the much anticipated clash between Shishkin and Energumene over at Ascot. What a race it was too, everyone got their money’s worth as Shishkin looked beaten all the way up the straight then found a real burst of speed to get up to win. Tremendous stuff. Apart from if you were a bookmaker of course. Telf in the Goodwin office just messaged ‘Awful Result’. The feature race here was a cracking race but had a lot of compete with what we’d just witnessed on the big screen from Ascot, it went to 10/1 chance Lower Street from the fast-finishing 9/1 shot Enfranchise. The on-course book copped a monkey but Julian didn’t dare ask Telf quite how awful the Shishkin, laid at 4/6 BOGed to SP of 5/6, result had been, just yet. Telf’s next message wasn’t exactly consoling for Goodwin’s head-honcho Julian ‘Lower Street was a small bit back for the firm after Shishkin but it’s black arm day all round.’
Looking on the bright side, the on-course book was winning well. On an even brighter side, the rails pitch did well to duck the 11/4 Radetsky which opened a general 2/1 chance. In hindsight they could have laid the man, but you are better off not laying them over the odds win or lose. The 2/1 favourite only managed fourth behind 20/1 chance Mount Mogan, the only loser in the last race book was Algheed, topping off a great day of all-weather racing for the on-course team. The last word from Telf was, ‘Last race Mount Morgan was reasonable, but we’re still licking our wounds in a very subdued office.’ Goodwin are back for tomorrow’s Jumping card here.
I’ll be off Point To Pointing down in the Westcountry at Chipley Park as part of the live-streaming team. Anyone that’s interested in watching that, all the information is here.https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tiverton-point-to-point-livestream-chipley-park-tickets-243499663047
Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t already please check out Goodwin. Telephone Betting | Goodwin Racing Bookmakers