BETTING ODDITIES: Stewards showing gumption


The result of the 2021 bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown and resulting stewards enquiry will long be debated.

Depending on which side of the Enrilo, Potterman, Kitty’s Light triumvirate you were on (if any) it might well influence what you made of the stewards decision to amend the result.

I had no allegiances but did think it was refreshing that the stewards had the gumption to change a result where the past the post distance was NOT a nose – in this case a relatively monstrous three quarters of a length.

There seemed to be an increasing unwritten rule that the stewards would never change a result unless it was by the minimum nose margin which I think is frankly ludicrous.

Taking an extreme example but if it could be reasonably argued that a horse causes five lengths worth of interference to a runner-up that was beaten, say, three lengths then why shouldn’t that be chucked out?

A good question (which I have no idea of the answer) is what is the biggest winning margin of a race where the first and second have been reversed? Three-quarters of a length is the clubhouse leader.


There’s little doubt that the service in betting shops has improved by all recognition in recent years and I’m sure that the assorted industry awards for good customer service are richly deserved.

However, there are still some shops that think you are doing them a favour by walking through their door and are seen as an inconvenience to their otherwise empty shop.

It’s not a time to name and shame so I won’t but in the last week I have called into two shops to be greeted by:

“We’re closing” despite going in at 5.45pm for a shop that purportedly closed at 7pm.


“You can only stay for 15 minutes”

Both would have been fine if they had been prefixed with a smile and a polite “Good Evening” but sadly not.

I am as keen as anyone to support the High Street when we finally emerge from Lockdown blues but it works both ways. You can’t imagine an independent cafe, book shop or travel agent speaking to customers like that – so why should a bookmaker be any different towards CUSTOMERS ?


A minor snooker Oddity.

I always think the number in brackets on the scoreboard should be the score the winner needs to get to, rather than the best of so many frames.

So in the case of the World Snooker final it would be (18).

Otherwise you have to perform Countdown style arithmetic, 35/2 and take the next integer up.


Racecourses are constantly having to re-invent themselves, often down to financial necessity in these troubled times.

Cycling past Sandown Park the other day I saw a new innovation. A drive in cinema !!!!

A triple billing of Champions, Seabiscuit and Phar Lap would tempt me down. Any discounts for, er, push bikes? GULP.


Interesting debate on The Polling Station this week with Johnny Ward hosting the sages William Kedjanyi, Neil Channing and Paul Krishnamurty to discuss this week’s Local Elections and crucial Hartlepool By-Election.

Being a North Easterner, with nothing more than a gut instinct on local politics, I thought I was sticking my neck out by saying Hartlepool will turn blue on Thursday. I thought that prediction was fairly seismic given it has been Labour since the constituency was formed, relatively recently in 1974.

Then I checked the odds ….. Conservatives are 1/12. GULP.

Fair to say that the blue boat has sailed long ago from Hartlepool’s marina.

I can only pass on two further tips as regards to Hartlepool.

(1) Verrills Fish and Chip Shop
(2) When they play Darlington in the local derby you cheer for Darlington.


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.