My full ‘Tales From The Betting Ring’ from Cheltenham will appear exclusively in the next issue of Racing Ahead Magazine but here are some snippets to whet your appetites.
‘The 18-runner Opus Energy Novices’ Handicap Hurdle looked a fearsome race to solve so bookies were surprised by a huge on-course cash plunge on Tudor City including bets of £4500-£1000 £8000-£2000. That money stayed with the layers, but were only saved by 16/1 shot winner Wildmoor Boy who foiled the gamble fending off its challenge all up the hill. One bookmaker betting in the back row of Tattersalls called me over to say he’d laid a bet of £2000-£70 the winner. That’s 28/1 with the fractions, there is value to be had, come racing.’
‘At first glance Anteros 20/1 victory in the Regulatory Finance Solutions Handicap Hurdle was a great result for the betting ring, and so it was for most but others took a hammering. The losses didn’t come from the winner but third-placed Sea Light. A cash punter went around the ring having it on in lumps each-way. £10,000 – £500 each-way three times, £16,000 – £1000 each-way, £28,000-£2000 each way, £7000-£500 each-way just some noted. As this is a family blog I will have to slightly alter Ben Keith’s words ‘The third horse had loveless sex with our book’. There were several firms reeling when Sea Light never looked like winning but crept into the race and always looked like getting third, it was slow torture for those that laid him’.
‘The StanJames.com Greatwood Handicap Hurdle was a terrific betting heat with lumps of cash coming in for Winter Escape. Bets of £14,000 – £4000, a trio of £7000-£2000 and salvo after salvo of off-course money lobbing into Prestbury Park it was almost like the old days. The bookies had to wave the white flag under the barrage trimming the 7/2 to 3/1 at the off. The Bevan firm missed out there, the money never ever looked like leaving the bookies’ hods. Steady 6/1 shot North Hill Harvey won the race just foiling 11/2 into 5/1 chance Modus by half a length.’
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