23 December, 2020

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

CHRISTMAS BETTING ODDITIES: “Our finest gifts we bring …. Ta Pat Eta Tap”

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.


The final race of the year at Southwell today produced an oddities of a result. A so-called handicap won by …… 18 lengths. GULP.

Sadly, the unique Fibresand surface at Southwell is about to be ripped out and replaced by Tapeta next Spring.

It sounds like there’s more sand than fibre left in the current surface and the course executives have noted how well the Tapeta has performed at Wolverhampton and Newcastle.

I’ll be sad to see it go, it was quirky and idiosyncratic but gave punters who worked at it an edge.

I (part) joked earlier in the year about …..

I fear the start of a utopian racing world where every race starts at 2 minute 43 second intervals, is over 7.51 furlongs and has 12.6 runners because that is deemed the most profitable configuration based on some wretched algorithm.

Sadly this is one step closer with the same surfaces being deployed.


My local walk (socially distanced, legally permitted etc) includes a playing field near Esher. I came with a whisker of slipping the other day on the heavy going.

It made be realise that the ‘elements’ always come into play when placing a bet. I’ll try and be a bit more understanding in the future when a footballer makes a pass that’s less than perfect or a horse falters in the ground.

We’re not dealing with computerised sanitised sport. And thank goodness for that too.


Question posed on twitter about the staggering heat of apple pies from McDonalds.

Q: What’s the half life of a McDonalds apple pie?
A: Slightly less than uranium. 65 million years – give or take.

Sounds about right to me.


“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.”

Just occasionally words can stop you in your tracks. I saw this posted on facebook and had to share.

A reminder, even in the bleakest of years of hope and the really important things in life.

I just wish we had more ‘snow days’ when I was younger. The closest we got was when the school boiler broke down.

Here they are. Three perfectly crafted paragraphs:


And finally …. famous Christmas songs re-imagined with a 2020 theme.

If you don’t laugh you’ll cry. It’s brilliantly well done and NEEDS to be released as an actual CD.

Let’s all hope for a better 2021 and Happy Christmas to you, family and friends. Stay safe.


DAVID STEWART is a freelance digital betting producer and journalist.┬áHis 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.

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