This page is now going to be the regular home for my blogs – the archive of old blogs can be found here https://simonnottracing.wordpress.com
There was me thinking that people like my little blogs, I’m sure some do but not everyone. I had a couple of tweets in the negative last night after I posted Wednesdays blog. I did have some people spring to my defense, thank you but of course everyone has a right to an opinion and all opinions on the betting ring interest me. Here are the two
@SimonNott Tales from the betting ring; “We all layed everything 2 prices lower than we backed it on betfair, THE END” shaaatthafackaaap
Followed by a
@SimonNott you try very hard to make what goes on in ‘The Ring’ relevant and interesting. Its neither. Maybe give writing Erotic Novels a go
Oooch, well that told me. I may actually have a go at erotic novels, maybe ones set in the betting ring as suggested by Rod Street
Strip Mob maybe? I will have a think on it. Either way sorry you don’t find the blogs interesting Daire I will try to do better today, though I don’t suppose you’ll be reading anyway.
Secondly, there were also some grumbles about the Queen’s hat market I have been leading on. Yes I do accept that those that can work out percentages may well have run out of paper when adding then up. What you have to bear in mind is it is a low-staking novelty market in when the books run the perilous risk of running into the big staking, well-informed well-heeled! I did tweet this morning that I’d not be covering it today. I have to go back on that because I got a message from a UK racecourse regular affectionately known as Swampy. Swampy is currently working in Australia where he evidently has too much time on his hands. He’d gone back over the form of the Queen’s chosen hat colour (from where I have no idea) and come down on green. He messaged me that he’d like a price on said colour. Dave Spice had 5/2 on his board, Swampy asked for 4/1 and as Dave laughed and said he was going to offer 5/1 so settled at 9/2. Swampy had a score on, with a ring (old field book days slang for a bet on credit).
The Queen was still a good hour away at this point so I did the rounds but changed my route. Ladies Day is always a favourite, as Balertwine Barry (retired) once announced ‘It’s like Newton Abbot, only the girls are prettier’. I’m not sure about prettier but pretty ladies in their finery were everywhere so the books were up as soon as possible to try and lure them from the Champagne Bars and into betting. Colin Wadey and Dad Ron were down on the far end of Tattersalls and offering a multitude of bets. There wasn’t a lot in it after the first couple of days so were keen to get in front.
Further down on the grass it was a similar story with Glyn Jones and Son who really had made the effort for the special day. They too said there wasn’t a lot in it. That’s not a lot of good for bookmakers who have huge expenses to cover for the week, they too were keen to get tapping away so left them to it.
Back up in Tattersalls Channel 4 presenter Tanya Stevenson was giving Star Sports Ben Keith the rub-down. When I say rub-down I mean a 5-star rub-down with a chamois leather. Now stop right there if you think that I have taken up the erotic betting ring fiction already, this rub-down is winding someone up when you know that are losing. Ben had informed me that he’d lost £250,000 on Tuesday and topped it up with £90,000 yesterday. Tanya’s question to Ben? ‘Are you in front?’ I suggested that she was being a rascal but told me that it’s a tradition between the two of them from some 15 years ago when they used to bet at the dogs.
Talking of the rub-down. The Queen’s hat, Aye Aye Swampy, officially described by Mike Vince as ‘Mint Green’. Somewhere in Melbourne an ex eco-warrior let out and Antipodean ‘Aye Aye – maaaaate’.
Poor Dave Spice, he also paid out on white which is one in the eye for those who said there’s no value in the market. Pickwick-Bevan (Est 2015) won a carpet. That’s it for this year I promise.
The first race on the card was The Norfolk Stakes and featured two short ones King Of Rooks and Log Out Island who went off at 11/8 and 13/8 respectively. There was decent money for the pair pretty much with the exception of everything else. That is of course to big bets, but anyone who follows jockeys and historical coincidence bets may well have had their fiver or tenner on Ryan Moore’s mount Waterloo Bridge which went off at 12/1. Judging by the roar from the rails when it won if they did the bets didn’t mount up enough to ruin the profits of those that went down the book and ‘up the front two’.
Bookmakers suddenly sensed that this could be their day, on one of the busiest days of the meeting too. They’d be getting their loses back, copping the exes and be into wages territory before the afternoon was out.
Those thoughts lasted about 35 minutes because 15/8 favourite Time Test winner of the Tercentenary Stakes had been 2/1 and backed to the tune of £10,000 – £5000 and various lesser lumps. It was one of those races where the layers knew their fate a fair way out and just had to suffer as it cruised to an effortless win. To make things even worse it was under Frankie Dettori which ensured plenty of novice ladies were on so queues for payment were huge, but at least they were attractive queues.
Still, there was no time for fretting because the Ribblesdale Stakes boasted another short one in the shape of Pleascach. Early punters snapped up 6/5 including a couple of £3000-£2500 bets before the heavyweights waded into the even money to the tune of an even £20,000 and £15,000. In addition to the big lumps there grand bets coming in like gnats but the bookies were swatting them into their hods with hardly a blink. They were rewarded for their valour by 9/2 second-in Curvy collaring the jolly inside the final furlong. Saved again by none other than Ryan Moore riding a double in the process. While the winner would have been popular those that filled their hods with jolly money would have been happy enough. .
If things weren’t already lively they really heated up in the Gold Cup. Mizzou was backed from 9/2 into 7/2 including a bet of £2500 each-way at 11/2. Forgotten Blues attracted several four figure bets at 9/4 and 5/2 including one of £3000 each-way but it was Ryan Moore’s mount Kingfisher that came in for colossal money. One bet of £55,000 – £10,000 of £100,000 – £20,000 and another of £100,000 – £16,000 along with plenty of smaller wagers that would have been eye-watering at a lesser meeting. What Trip To Paris’s 12/1 victory denying Moore a treble saved the betting industry is anyone’s guess but save them it did. Ben Keith was delighted and declared that he ‘Was nearly out of his first two day’s losses’
You’d normally expect the 28-runner Britannia Stakes to be a lively but low-staking affair. Not today, Ryan Moore mania was under way. Given his previous two-day successes it appeared that the off-course firms were still looking at some serious pay-outs from multiples should he have another winner. Especially given the prices. While there were plenty of decent bets for plenty of horses it was Moore’s mount War Envoy that had the betting shops in jitters. One off course firm was active in the ring snapping up any 14/1 and 12/1 that was available early and there was a fair bit. He did have a helping hand from the punting public who also wanted to be in on the action with at least one grand bet seen at 10/1 the eventual starting price. The temptation for the layers who laid the trade to stand the horse knowing that it was only running-up hedge money in a huge handicap must have been a great one.
It was also a near fatal mistake if they did so. Boomakers could scarcely believe it when Ryan Moore did it again winning by a neck. Now there really was a rumble in the ring. Memories of Frankie’s Magnificent Seven at this venue in 2006 are still fresh in the mind of many who still stand. While not quite as monumental as that day the layers braced themselves for a deluge of trade money in the hope of keeping Ryan Moore’s mount Dissolution price in check to limit what must have been gargantuan collective liabilities in the concluding King George V Stakes.
The ring took no chances in tentatively pricing the colt up at 2/1. However some were keen to get him in the book, as you might expect Ben Keith was stealing himself for the onslaught. I asked him the plan of action, to which he replied, ‘I’m going to go mental on it, and I’ll take the firms on, the trouble is they don’t ask for big enough bets’ and with that he gritted his teeth and got to work.
The trade money did appear but appeared largely to be there to snipe at any firm that stuck their heads over the punting parapet. Some did, bets were noted 11/4 and 5/2 but still more and more firms broke ranks which resulted in an SP of 9/4. Those that stood their ground got the money when the excitement faded as Dissolution could manage only 9th behind 9/1 shot Space Age. The winner had been quietly backed from 11/1. Nobody appeared to be moaning, the bookies just wanted the one horse beaten and they got it.
Ladies Day in the ring had been exhilarating, I dare say the books won after all the excitement, after all only one jolly obliged. The last brace of days are shaping up to be very lively indeed. Watch this space.
(c) Simon Nott
My 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.
If you’d like one you can buy a signed copy direct from me via paypal here
It’s also available on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and on Kindle.