This weekend of racing marks the end of Newbury’s jump season, and what a season it’s been. You wouldn’t expect the Friday to emulate the Hennessey in crowd size and neither did it but the weather did shine on those that were there. The opening AJC Premier Novices’ Hurdle saw a hot favourite in Hell’s Kitchen dominate the market. Early-bird punters got on at 4/9, one to the tune of £400-£900 while others were content to take £400-£1100 a couple of times. Barry Geraghty’s mount wasn’t the only one to attract decent bets, one punter waded into Dueling Banjos with an £1800-£400. It isn’t all about how big the bets are in the ring but who is having them. One rails layer told me that someone ‘quite good’ had a pony on a rag which prompted him to get stuck into the odds-on. That experience paid dividends when BigBadJohn sprung a 20/1 surprise cheering the bookies no end.
Was it the one the ‘quite good’ punter had it on? Yes of course it was, like I said not the wedge but who is waving it.
I backed my first and only winner of the day when Paul Metcalfe of the Jack Bevan (Est 1897) firm gave me a diary. I took it with thanks then queried April was a tad late. ‘I got them half price’ was Paul’s reply with no hint of a smile. Typical successful bookie, he got the value half price with three-quarters of the year still to go, Aye Aye. If you are coming to Newbury tomorrow find him on the front row of Tatteralls, first come first served available in fetching red or blue.
Punters were treated to a rare old finish in the Equine Productions Handicap Chase when 11/2 Bob Tucker got up in the last stride to win a nose from 15/2 Kings Cross. Bookies were happy either way with the well-backed 9/2 into 3/1 jolly The Ould Lad stone last.
13/2 shot City Supreme won the Smith & Williamson Handicap Hurdle for the Anthony Honeyball yard. There had been good money for Speredek 11/4 into 5/2 including a bet of £1500-£600 and also a move for Barenice supported from 14/1 into 10/1 but that all stayed with the books. Despite winning by 18 lengths some pundits did consider the winner would have been given a run for its money had 10/3 second-in Roycano not come down at the second last. I won’t say they are there to be jumped.
Bugger, I did it again, sorry.
Potters Cross got some back for favourite-backers when winning the Oakley Coachbuilders Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (For The Brown Chamberlin Trophy) after an extended tussle with runner-up Viva Steve by a head. I looked over at Morley Taylor betting in Tatts and he just did a throat-cutting gesture. I felt it prudent not to ask him if he’d got the jolly in the book.
There was lively betting in the Events Bar Management Handicap Hurdle with Gala Ball all the rage backed from 5/2 into 15/8 with bets of £1000-£400, £900-£400 and £800-£400 struck on the rails. Montbazon was also backed from 9/2 into 7/2, one punter getting a carpet (£300) on at the top price. All that stayed with the books but winner Thunder Sheik was no good for the firms that laid the 4/1 and 7/2 to roufs (£400) and monkeys (£500).
Four went to post for the BJP Insurance Brokers Open Hunters’ Chase but was for betting purposes pretty much a match with the principles going off at 8/11 and 5/4 with the two making up the numbers 25/1 and 66/1. Twirling Magnet had been even money in some plucky places with an even grand and monkey laid. That may not look too clever given the SP but the money stayed with the brave with 5/4 Glint Of Steel three lengths too good at the line.
A handful of firms had left before the last ‘got theirs and upped stumps’ you’d hope, we do love bookies in this blog you have to remember. Those layers that remained had another odds-on shot to take on. Florrie Boy was backed from 8/11 into 8/15 and hosed up in the manner which makes betting the short ones look like easy money (without work).
We’re all back tomorrow though I anticipate numbers swollen either side of the fence.
(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
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.