GLORIOUS GOODWOOD SATURDAY: Simon Nott is on the Sussex Downs this week reporting on the action in the betting ring and the big bets laid at starsports.bet. It’s 3-1 so far in favour of the punters. It’s looking like damage limitation (at best) on Saturday for the books. Would there be any late swings?
Sadly Michelle’s eye hadn’t recovered enough for work or even to drive so as we left for the racecourse she was waiting for her lift back home to arrive. Get well soon Michelle, no more pirate jokes today I promise.
As is the norm after a long (and losing) week the firm were of course determined to give it one last big push to make the week pay but thoughts were also on going home. The ‘seniors’ decided that as we were a man, or rather Michelle down (I’m helping on the pitch today as well as blogging) they’d get the surplus kit loaded into the car before so hopefully aid a speedy getaway tonight. Well the idea was a good one, then both men, let’s not forget no spring chickens, took a look at the loaded trolly then each other, contemplated the not inconsiderable trip back to the car against the crowd and decided they’d better both take it. ‘Yes good idea’ agreed head of on-course Andrew before adding ‘then if one gets lost the other can help find him’. They set off only for the bar far elder of the two, Dave, to reappear with a big grin on his face ‘Ah it looked like Tony could manage so I let him get on with it’. Well you don’t get within sniffing distance of a Werther’s Original from your 80th without being a whiley old fox do you.
1:50 Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Handicap
The favourite has won the opener every day this week. If the five-timer was to be completed the punters were going to have to work hard to find the winner. The betting, around 8/1 the field reflected the competitive nature of the heat.
Tommy G wasn’t favourite but at 10/1 it was one of the shorter ones in the betting. We were lucky that in a race with a host of losers it was one of the winners. There was a horse withdrawn at the start which hindered payouts, a very quiet public address didn’t get the message home to enough of the Saturday crowd that there was a rule 4 deduction of 10p. Explaining why there was a deduction to novices that they got less money than they thought is time-consuming and not a great start though winning on the race was.
2:25 Qatar Summer Handicap
The next wasn’t as hard on paper with Walton Street heading the market when betting opened at around 10/3. It was still around that price when it was withdrawn as the field were going into the stalls for not wearing its declared cheek pieces. Sir Chauvelin winning at 12/1 would have been a great result. Of course the jolly might have beaten it had it run but now we had to pay back all the money taken on it and explain to winning punters why there was another hefty (25p) Rule 4. It was another winning race though.
3.00 Qatar Gordon Stakes (Group 3)
Just four runners for the punters to get stuck into, win only and all with a chance. The chance of a really good book.
They came in to us fairly briskly to begin, we were in full swing when Geoff Banks came up the line shouting about cheek pieces. Lofty couldn’t hear the bets and started getting grumpy. With that there was a lull for some reason. Punters surely not saving their money for the Stewards Cup?
They weren’t, and ploughed into us again, there was brisk betting right up until the off. As the dust settled the jolly Dee Ex Bee was a loser for over £2,000.
Cross Counter won the race and copped the lowest of the three winners in the book. We were getting some back which was the main thing.
Next up, the Stewards’ Cup….
3:40 Unibet Stewards’ Cup Handicap
The punters certainly liked a challenge today and steamed into one of the most competitive races of the meeting. One lady did put us off our stroke asking for a long list of 50p each-way bets holding up proceedings. Lofty was getting hot under his already hot collar.
At the off we basically had the first five in the betting losers with Foxtrot Lady by far the worst.
Lofty was desperately trying to lay Silent Echo during the betting for the race, he had it a loser but didn’t take what he’d have liked out of it but was proven right.
At the business end of the race 25/1 Justanotherbottle made a gallant attempt to make all. Lofty gave it the ‘Aye Aye’ just before it got chinned a short head. Looking crest-fallen I pointed out that 20/1 winner Gifted Master was just as good a winner in the book. The glare I got told the story, his personal punting money was on the runner-up. I thought better of saying at least it was placed. The book won a thick four figures and a day of damage limitation was starting to look a lot rosier than that.
4:15 Qatar EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (Plus 10)
After a slow start the punters eventually got stuck into the race before the penultimate. They all wanted to be on Fox Power, we also laid a fair bet Glory. At the off they were the losers. The winner Duke Of Hazzard won the race and a round of drinks, the runner-up, the green running and weak in the market Sky Defender would have got plenty. Still, we clawed some more back.
4:50 Qatar Handicap
Business was steady in the penultimate, a decent late each-way bet made Nicklaus the bogie after we’d had a nice tidy book small up the front two.
The 5/2 favourite Vale Of Kent winning wasn’t a disaster but only beating very good winner in the book On The Warpath by a nose was unlucky compounded by the each-way bogie finishing third. It was the race where very faint hopes of a miraculous get out on the week were finally quashed, I suspect not just for us.
We got the winner beaten after laying a £6,000 – £1,000 on Thursday, today was payback time.
5:25 Qatar Apprentice Handicap
With one more race to go, it was time to try and ignore the sunburned ears and aching feet and crack into the last heat of a very long week and at least end the meeting on a winning note.
We had a go, Delph Crescent lost nearly £5,000 in the book with favourite Kassar a taker, the rest all good winners.
The Night Porter winning was the worst winner in the book but still a good winner. We’d had a decent day, got a chunk back but ended the week down with hefty exepenses on top. Goodwood basking in the weather we’ve had this week is indeed glorious but as far as bookmakers making it pay, it’s been Badwood again, but we’ll see you all again next year.
You won’t be seeing Head of On-Course Operations Andrew, seen here with Dave, he’s leaving us for pastures new. He’s an excellent bookmaker and a thoroughly nice man too, so will be sadly missed. Best wishes also to Michelle wishing her a very speedy recovery. We’ll be back!
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring