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Windsor - 13/05/24

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The last time I came to Windsor was 1999 when I worked for Dave Phillips. I repped for him here too, but I think I did his cobblers so it was probably just the once. I was going to do so again, on a new years day, I was wild and reckless then, let's just say I was very pleased to wake up and find out that it was off. I came here before that before I ever worked in the ring, had a pony each-way on Tyrnippy with Victor Chandler's Bill Tye on the rails, the MDM Thoroughbreds horse got beaten into second by Eternal Triangle. I didn't feel too bad though, I watched the race next to my hero Barney Curley who I was seeing in the flesh for the first time. I'm pretty sure he was on the winner too, but of course it was always hard to tell with Barney. I wrote more in depth about that night in my book Skint Mob - £12.99 including postage to the UK while stocks last CLICK HERE 

I came here today to interview Matt Chapman for the Star Sports #BettingPeople series, so thought I'd get a blog under my belt too as it's been a while. If I'm honest it wasn't particularly busy this evening, not totally unexpected, back in the day Dave Phillips used to give the early season ones a swerve. I don't remember if it was because they started early like today, but they weren't a lot of cop but fabulous in the height of summer. There was a thriving Silver Ring in those days too, now a carpark. Still, there were several bookmakers in evidence to take bets from the punters that had turned up tonight. It was nice to see familiar faces from the Westcountry betting rings, too Rob, Rucker and Pete in attendance. There was also a bagman lurking about which would have pleased some and worried others. 

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As for the racing, well, you'd not have to look any further for ride of the day, week, month even year than Oisin Murphy in the first race. His mount, Hugo Palmer's He's Got Game stumbled badly, almost pecking and unshipping his jockey leaving the stalls, simply staying in the saddle was a feat in itself. But no, Oisin still fancied winning the race, nursed his mount back into contention then came with a late run to lead in the last strides delighting the punters who had supported the gelding into 7/4 making him favourite. Storm Fall drifted in the betting but still won the next at 3/1 favourite, the third heat saw the 5/6 jolly Lennox beaten into second by a neck behind Machete Beach under Tom Marquand. That was only a blip for jolly backers, Oisin Murphy didn't have such a hard time winning on 6/4 favourite Cuban Melody in the fourth. Rucker, betting in Tattersalls conceded that it wasn't any good there today but comforted himself telling me 'If we had been able to take any money Simon, we'd be doing our bollocks.' 

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Racegoers were treated to a thrilling finish in the 6.35 when 4/1 chance Katey Kontent got up in the last stride under Rossa Ryan to pip 11/4 favourite Laoisman bang at the post, one punter was thrilled with that, having had £2400 - £600 the winner and a £600 - £50 the forecast in the ring, the bookie had no chance and he'd done the other way around too. The distance was given and a nose and would have been painful for watch by jolly backers but at least gave some of the bookies some respite from the short ones.

The ring would have been happy with Saffie Osborne's pillar to post winning ride on Ed Dunlop's Richard P Smith in the next, the winner had been easy to back from 11/2 out to 17/2. You might remember that I mentioned a bagman earlier in this piece, well they generally don't turn up for the atmosphere. The bagman in question got to work on the 7.40. He had £2000 on Bloomwithgrace at 10/3 and £2000 on Quietness at 9/4. The good news first, Bloomwithgrace drifted from 10/3 to 9/2 and ran fifth, sadly for the bookie that laid the bet Quietness was backed into 15/8 favourite and won by a neck under Trevor Whelan. Those bagmen are hard to beat. There weren't any bagmen on Inspired Knowhow the 9/2 winner of the last which got up in the last stride under Hollie Doyle beat the 5/2 jolly Recon Mission into second by a whisker. That might have been good news for most bookies but not the one that laid £3500 - £1000 the winner, though given the drift on it, the bookmaker could have hedged out of trouble had he wished. Mind you, Dave Pipe always used to say, only hedge them if they shorten, even the shrewdest can't get it right all the time!  I don't expect the placepot paid a lot, I didn't wait around to find out, I had a train to catch, thanks Chutney Dave for the lift.

It's been too long since I've been to Windsor, it's still got loads of character and there are few places better to be at on a balmy Monday night. Oh and here's a tip, you won't find a posher racecourse toilet anywhere than the one in the Fitzdares Club!

Simon Nott