Tales From The Betting Ring – Salisbury 23/05/15 Bathwick Sponsored Evening

Please note my 2300 word account of the carnage in the Newbury betting ring Saturday 16th May when Ryan Moore rode a five-timer will appear exclusively in the next issue of Racing Ahead Magazine http://racingahead.net/

It was another packed night at Salisbury with plenty of glamour on show among the racegoers. I’m also glad to be able to report that the firm who turned up looking recently like they’d just finished some form of manual labour had made the effort tonight. All, well almost all, two out of three ain’t bad they tell me, were suited and booted. I’m not sure I’d have bought a second-hand car off any of them though. The boss was still a bit on the chippy side, when I sneaked a picture he asked if I’d run out of things to write about and had to fill in on word count commenting on his apparel. He had a point so I left them to it but am still taking the credit for his smart clobber. The picture below may or may not be them, I’ll leave that to you.

Yes we have a Ford Capri, one lady owner....

Yes we have a Ford Capri, one lady owner….

The opening race of what was a rather glorious evening was the Irish Stallion Farms Bathwick Tyres EBF Maiden Stakes. Seven went to post with Kyllukey sent off the slightly uneasy favourite at 4/6 despite attracting a couple of bets of £400-£600. There had been a market move for Sweet Taboo, 16/1 into 10/1. There was also a persistent tip from a racecourse regular for the second-in Orvar. That one was also easy to back though easing from 3/1 to 10/3 at the off. The lack of support may have accounted for the tirade of swearwords from said racecourse regular after letting the colt go un-backed then watching it streak in from 25/1 shot Operative, the jolly back in third. Never trust a tipster that doesn’t back their own advised beasts.  At least the bookies got the odds-on beaten.

Lewis Brown is one of the youngest bookies in the country. No the stress hasn't aged him, his grand dad was holding the fort for him tonight.

Lewis Brown is one of the youngest bookies in the country. No the stress hasn’t aged him, his grand dad was holding the fort tonight.

The Bathwick Tyres Andover Handicap boasted 14 runners after four defections. It proved to be an excellent betting heat with several horses being backed, not least a £10,000 – £3000 the jolly Tidals Bay. No surprise then that it was trimmed to 3/1 before the off. Malaysian Boleh was also well-backed from 8/1 into 6/1 but the sharp stuff was on Shady McCoy supported from 13/2 into 11/2 before winning a length from 16/1 shot Goadby. The jolly was back in third rewarding one bookmaker to the tune of three grand. The winning punters had to sweat a subsequent Steward’s Inquiry regarding possible interference but given the winning distance they didn’t really need the Right Guard.

There were seven runners for the Bathwick Tyres Salisbury Maiden Fillies’ Stakes. The race had a bit of added interest for me as my old workmate Graham had a leg in second-in Russian Radiance. She had run in a decent maiden race at Newbury then showed promise at Newmarket. The man himself turned up to see her run so was a tip in itself. Sadly she could only manage fourth behind the winning 5/4 favourite Hundi who scrambled home by a short-head from Paint The Star. Just one snippet from the race, third-placed Petit Trianon had been quietly backed from 7/1 into 11/2. Some shrewd judges feel she will be seen to much better effect with some cut in the ground having changed her legs constantly during the race.

On the grass for value.

On the grass for value.

The fourth heat, the race before the penultimate was the Bathwick Tyres ‘Sunny Future’ Handicap which boasted a flip start down in front of the Members’ Enclosure. It’s pretty much unique to Salisbury so a treat for those who paid top whack for the best tickets. The race also boasted a horse it was named in honour of running in it, Sunny Future, an 11/1 shot backed from 12/1 by those who hoped it was going to be dream come true time.

The betting mainly revolved around Lil Rockerfeller backed from 11/4 into 2/1 favourite and top weight Highland Castle supported from 7/2 into 3/1. The market almost got it right but the gamble on the jolly was foiled by a late rattle from the latter who was a length too good at the line with the rest 8 lengths behind. The winner broke the course record in the process if that’s any consolation for those on the runner-up. None at all? No I didn’t think it would be. Sunny Future finished fourth and copped £503 for connections but nothing for fairy tale backers.

It's not all about secondhand car dealers, the lady bookies put on the style.

It’s not all about dressing like secondhand car dealers, the lady bookies put on the style.

The actual penultimate was the Bathwick Tyres Bournemouth Handicap. Itlooked a tricky old heat with most of the 11 runners given some sort of chance if you were willing to dig deep enough into the form book.

Three horses, Percy Veer, Avenue De Monde and Brittleton opened around the 4/1 mark but it was the latter that was best-backed from 4/1 into 11/4 at the off. All three were there at the business end but it was the bookies that got gifted all bets on the top three when the Stoute Yard’s 10/1 shot Christmas Hamper won the race by a length. The market-leaders were separated by a photo eventually showing the jolly to be back in fourth The winner had not been sighted in three maidens before this its first run in a handicap and up in trip. In hindsight it looked a classic gamble landed but if there had been a touch it hadn’t been on course having drifted from 8/1 to 10/1.

It was becoming a bit gloomy as betting got underway for the last the Bathwick Tyres Ferndown Classified Stakes, there were only seven runners but once again betting competitive. Ickymasho was sent off the 3/1 jolly with Magical Thomas snapping at her heels at 7/2 but at the line it was Frenzified who drifted from 7/2 to 4/1 but did the job by a length. Not great for the bookies but they could have bet tight, it’s doubtful anyone came to too much harm on a night with steady business and few notable bets.

It’s also doubtful that many bookmakers stayed for the tunes belting out from U2UK after racing, everyone knows a band means a flier from the car parks!

(c) Simon Nott

My  (Award Nominated but sadly unplaced) 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. 

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