Tales From The Betting Ring – Finlake Holiday Resort Family Day – Exeter 30/03/16


It was a glorious afternoon up on Haldon Hill for Finlake Holiday Resort Family Day which hosted a huge crowd. That number included lots of families with young children, the latter were well catered for with bouncy castles and the like behind the stands. It seems the parents were happy to get involved with betting on the horses too. Bookmakers had to be at their patient best with novice punters to deal with but hopefully some of them would be back to bolster the crowd on the off days, new blood always welcome.

Lovely day early knockings up at Haldon.

Lovely day early knockings up at Haldon.

If bookmakers thought that they’d be dealing with just two quid bets all afternoon they got the shock of their lives in the opening  Off The Mark To Finlake Park Novices’ Selling Hurdle when money came in for both Apache Outlaw (£1200-£300, £900-£300 and £1100-£400 twice) and Mother Meldrum supported from 2/1 on course (come racing) into 5/4 bets included £1000-£500 £750-£400 and a brace of £700-£400. The firms that laid those did their money as the gamble was landed with some ease. Noticing the demographic of a large part of the crowd the auctioneer at the post-race sale reminded potential buyers that they must be ‘Over 18 and have a bank account before you start waving at me’. As it turned out nobody waved, the winner unsold went back to the Dartnall yard.

Just checking you are over 18...

Just checking you are over 18…

Betting was smaller in the City Of Exeter Challenge Cup Handicap Hurdle but those who backed David Pipe’s 4/1 from 9/2 Twentytwo’s Taken would have no doubt been in clover. Harry Fry’s 11/4 jolly Space Oddity could only manage fourth so not all bad for the books.

There was a plunge on the odds-on Doitforthevillage in the three-runner Final Finlake Furlong Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase backed from 10/11 into 8/13 including bets of £500-£550 and £400-£500. The favourite looked all over the winner for much of the race and was clear at the last then drama. The short one idled in front and got collared close home by 7/1 outsider of the three An Poc Ar Buile. They do tell me that over 400/1 was done in-running the winner, nasty of some wonderful for others.

I had a message in the morning from Roger Bush Westcountry Racing  for David Pipe’s Brook in the Finlake Devon’s Premier Holiday Resort Handicap Chase. I backed it in the morning accordingly as I always do his tips and struggled to get on at 11/2. I feared the worst when the gelding went off at 9/1 given it’s from such a shrewd yard. It just goes to show that a negative drift in the market isn’t always right as it hosed in providing the Pipe team a double on the day. Luckily some bookmakers still offer BOG!

A large portion of the crowd was very youthful.

A large portion of the crowd was very youthful.

There was a rare old tussle for the Luxury Lodges For Sale At Finlake Resort Handicap Hurdle. Well-touted 4/1 shot Admiral Blake looked to be going better than Jamie Snowden’s  7/1 Lunar Park two out but it was the latter who proved the more tenacious getting home a neck in front. The Gardner team’s Storm Alert had been well-backed on course including a £1300-£800 a couple of times but finished way down the field.

Last night my good mate Andrew Mount had put up Pirate’s Treasure at 4/1 in the 4.30 at Southwell in his free Trend Horses column so was chuffed to see that one win on the big screen at 9/4. I’m not here to pedal tipsters but both Roger and Andrew are genuine people so will give them a mention when it’s due.


By the penultimate Racing UK In Glorious HD Novices’ Handicap Hurdle the bookies appeared to be well in front, you can tell that because they are all smiling and chatting to each other, even the miserable ones. They were beaming and pretty much shouting after 33/1 Alderley Heights won the race for the Gundry yard under Conor Shoemark by six lengths. David Pipe’s Duck Till Dawn had been backed from 5/1 into 7/2 but this time it stayed in the hods.

When you can be a favourite but not one of the short ones!

When you can be the crowds’ favourite but not one of the short ones!

Favourite-backers did get on back in the concluding Totnes And Bridgetown Open Hunters’ Chase when grand old boy, 14 year-old Big Fella Thanks belied his age winning by just under two lengths for the Tom George team.

Their were hefty queues of punters waiting to be paid out. I asked one  firm how it had been. T boss looked up exhausted but just confided, ‘We had to put the £5 sign up’.

The £5 sign, on a Wednesday, now that tells you!

(C) Simon Nott

I have have just published Vol 1 of what I hope will be an annual ‘Simon Nott’s Betting Tales’. This covers the 2013 season in the betting ring. All the blogs I wrote in that period brought together in an e-book for about the cost of a pint of Guinness at the Cheltenham Festival. It is on Kindle only but can be read on pretty much any device if you download their free reader. If you were an avid reader of my blogs (if you were, thank you) in 2013 you will have read them all. However if you only dipped in or missed them altogether I think you might enjoy them in this format. Here’s to link to buy

Simon Nott’s Betting Tales (Vol 1)

That's me in about 1989, Frank Hill, Dave Pipe's floorman stood behind with his back to us. Dave Phillips is AWOL from his joint but I went on to work for him.

That’s me in about 1989, Frank Hill, Dave Pipe’s floorman stood behind with his back to us. Dave Phillips is AWOL from his joint but I went on to work for him.

My book Skint Mob is still available on Kindle and various other e-book formats and also in paperback via Amazon or direct from me on this page. £9.99 plus postage. Many thanks for reading this, and my blogs. 


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One Comment

  1. Paul
    31/03/2016 at 8:45 am

    I’ll be down next meeting to see if the lady with the red handbag is there again lol #onlyjoking