The National Federation Of Roofing Contractors Day at Exeter was a good deal all round. Not just for those that live the high life but those that like to grab a bargain too. Entry was free if you bought a Racing Post and clipped a coupon. Failing that you were also in for nothing if you wore a Taunton Members’ badge.
Starting a day feeling like you have already backed a winner can’t be bad. Normally you’d think that pouring with rain would be a bad thing, it certainly was if you were Luke Harvey getting soaked MC’ing, but not so if you actually were a roofer. What better excuse for taking the day off to come racing than being rained off?
My bookie mates who study speed figures fancied To The Sky in the opener. It was backed from 3/1 into 11/4 but pulled far too hard finishing only third behind 9/1 shot Karl Marx. ‘That’s a surprising, he normally likes it better going left’ was one wag’s response. Yes it was lost on many.
Some might have got it by the second race.
I was keeping my eye out for Tiverton roofers (my home town just down the road and there are plenty) but didn’t spot any. I did spot a Tiverton horse however, Applause For Amy is trained by Mary Sanderson, sent off 33/1 and finished 5th. Connections were probably happy enough with a best run yet Bookies weren’t though because the winner, Bob Keown was backed from 5/1 into 7/2 and won very easily.
Those bookies were in more trouble in the next when even money favourite Caulfields Venture scrambled home by a short head after looking in some trouble but It didn’t take long for them to think they were back at Cheltenham filling their hods again. Freckle Face was easy to back in the next drifting from around 8/1 out to 11/1 but won the next nicely with the shade of odds-on Seebright back in third.
There was a greeting between races for the birthday of a racecourse regular who often gets a mention in this blog. Known simply as ‘Ian’ on the Jack Bevan joint you’d have thought our man would have been chuffed that his colleagues in the ring asked the announcer to wish him a happy 70th over the course PA system. Sadly those rascals were actually being a bit cruel to our man. I mean, look at this picture below and you’ll see those fun-loving pranksters had added a few years onto his age. He’s obviously not a day over 6o. Rascals.
The next two races looked very competitive and so they proved with 11/2 and 13/2 winners which would probably have been OK for the ring. The sun had come out during the afternoon, the crowd swelled, but not a lot chunky bet wise was happening in the ring. Luke had cheered up in the Winner’s Enclosure though, even loosening his cagoule.
Crookstown was all the rage for the last backed from 15/8 into 13/8f. However, some clever people had been tipping up Nick Gifford’s Generous Ransom on Twitter last night. Despite that card-marking the gelding drifted from 10/3 to 4/1 but they were right and the market was wrong. ‘Dickie’ Johnson’s booking was indeed significant and those that took notice copped the cash, sadly and more fool me I wasn’t one of them.
Not a Tiverton roofer in spotted all day either, that would have been a well odds-on shot beaten out of sight. Come on lads all work and no play, you let the side down.
(c) Simon Nott
I have written a book about bookies, betting rings and the characters that inhabit them. It’s based on my adventures on racecourses since the late 1980′s. It has been getting some positive reviews. I have a few left, details of how to help my Cheltenham losses by buying one can be found here http://wp.me/p1dLbd-9n