BEN’S BLOG: ‘Bookmaking Lessons from Tony Morris’

Published On June 19, 2017 | Ben Keith, Star Sports Greyhound Derby

ben_keith_team-150x150When I was a kid, I used to love, more than anything, to go to open-race nights, at London dog-tracks, and watch bookmaker, Tony Morris, at work.

He became a mentor, and to this day, I have his board on show in my office.

It’s not really on show though. It’s there for me, as a reminder, of some of his lessons. They were normally delivered in a cutting fashion but they certainly reached their intended destination. During bad times, his board serves, to give me just a little bit more inner strength.

Tony gave me many lessons, but here are two, for you, Blog:

1) TM was a man who was never rushed. And if he was riled, he would never, ever, let it show. What’s that feeling? Who’s trying to get between your legs? Or stick that knife in your back? Well, don’t get in a tizz, because that’s not going to help you. However hot it gets in the kitchen – DON’T FLUSTER.

2) As Bookmakers, we look for ‘Basis Changes’. What are they? When something unforseen, or extreme, can produce freak-results. Greyhound Derby, Quarter-Finals night, was one of these times, in Morris’ eyes. Top dogs run weekly, at most. They have now just run, on Saturday, then 3 days later, they run again on the Tuesday. THIS was THE night, TM, in all the year, wanted to be a Big Bookie. THERE IS A TIME TO PLAY BIG.

After the extreme heat conditions at Towcester, on Saturday, and now a very quick Tuesday night run, this is something the dogs may not be used to. Maybe, some will miss the break. Or not quite stay the trip, as before. Maybe. Yes, yes, that might be the 20/1 chances. But a basis change, can affect all runners…even the 4/7 chances. I’LL BE THE LAYER ON TUESDAY NIGHT.

In other news:

Food Vlog 20: Lord Wargrave, 40 – 42 Brendon Street, Marylebone, W1H 5HE. WEB SITE

Over and out, B x

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