BETTING ODDITIES: Fling the formbook out

BETTING ODDITIES: In his latest weekly blog, DAVID STEWART takes a sideways look at some of the stories making the news in the betting world and beyond.


We edge towards a hopefully safe return of horse racing with Longchamp scheduled to start up again under closed doors on May 11.

A tentative green light is in place for UK racing just four days later, Lingfield and Newcastle (pictured) thought to be early restart contenders.

If things go to plan we’ll still see the Classics in what will be a much condensed and for a period congested start to the UK flat racing season.

Will the formbook be worth a jot though? My approach will be a heavy reliance on trainer form on the basis that some are likely to be significantly ahead or perhaps, more accurately, less inconvenienced than others.

It’s like form figures of UUU but in this case Unprecedented, Unpredictable and Uncertain.

The game will move on and there will be angles. There always are.


Rishi Sunak hasn’t put a foot wrong so far as Chancellor but has there ever been a tougher induction to a job?

I don’t envy his task of figuring out how we get out of the mire caused by coronavirus.

It will take years and maybe the answer might be a new Corona Recovery Tax?

Theatre tickets often include a ‘restoration levy’ as part of the ticket price which goes directly to maintaining, the often, historic venues.

I never thought I would be campaigning for a new tax but as a separately identified surcharge on everything bar essential items it might be a more transparent way of everyone paying their bit to help the country recover – rather than just raising an existing tax arbitarily, VAT for example.

Restaurant bills would break down as cost of meal, service charge and a Corona Recovery Tax.


The virus has caused the soaps to run out of episodes. GULP.

From next week we will be treated to ‘Vintage’ Coronation Street to run alongside ‘Classic’ Match Of The Day.

‘Vintage’ and ‘Classic’. In the good old days we just used to call them, er, repeats.


I have a USB plug that goes into the laptop. There are two ways of inserting it – the right way or the wrong way – depending on whether you have it the right way round.

So as a bookmaker how would you price it? 10/11 each of two?

Don’t be ridiculous. The ‘right way’ is a genuine 7/2 shot and I fall for it every bloody time.

Stay safe.


DAVID STEWART is a freelance digital betting producer and journalist. His CV includes: The Sun, The Sporting Life, Racing Post, At The Races, The Sportsman, lead feature writer for Sky’s Betview magazine and senior producer Timeform Radio.

Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.