AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

BEN’S BLOG: ‘I think Ladbrokes might be backing the one-dog here, Blog.’

ben_keith_team-150x150[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Star box at RA was heaving today, and the punters were really getting stuck in. Some new faces joined us, but one of our old and loyal clients was in attendance too. Trevor Connett, 70 years young, was with us for the day, accompanied by his wife, Shirley. They enjoyed their first date at Clapton Dogs, and it was a certainly a start they meant to continue. Owning dogs at all of the London tracks over the years, doing plenty of punting in the betting-ring too, and meeting Star at Sittingbourne and then Walthamstow. I sat with Trevor for an hour and he told me some great stories.

I then asked him who is favourite, ever, Greyhound-bookmaker was. Trevor looked across with a grin on his face, and I knew immediately who he was going to say…John Power. The Power Twins, charismatic and legendary bookmakers of the 70’s and 80’s, set the way, lighting dog-track betting rings up, all over London, before going on to be the first bookmakers in countries such as Kenya, Northern Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Hong Kong.

So I thought I’d tell Trevor a story in return…

hackneywickTom Power, one of the brothers, used to make a book for the firm, at Hackney Wick. ‘The Wick’s’ morning BAGS meetings had a strong following, and thus Ladbrokes had a presence in the ring. These were the days before mobile phones, and they had their own line that went into the corner of the betting-ring, where their rep would sit, reciting the prices to head-office, waiting for instructions on when to play.

Tom started attending meetings with an ear-piece. Occasionally, to back this up, he would call out to the punters, the latest cricket or football scores.

But there was a change…

Everytime Ladbrokes played in the ring, Tom seemed to be bottom price and able to lay them at a preferential rate. Sometimes too, just before they played, he would jump off his stool, and take say, the 3’s, and then be able to lay Laddies more at 5/2 – good business, you will obviously understand, Blog.

His staff used to wonder what was going on. After a while, they came to a conclusion, and confronted him, giggling that he must have learnt to lip-read and thus see what the ‘Ladbrokes man’ was coming to back.

Wrong.

He’d tapped the phone-line and was listening to the calls in his ear-piece.

NOW, Blog…that’s what I call a CLASS ACT!

rasIn other news:

Carnage today. The two ‘short-ones’ going in, and also a winning bet of £4k each-way at 12/1. Star will come again though…be assured of that, Blog!

Over and out, B x

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