AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD Day 1: Tales From The Ring

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TUESDAY: Simon Nott is on the Sussex Downs this week reporting on the action in the betting ring and the big bets laid at Ben Keith always says it’s a tough course for the firm to win at. How would the 2018 edition unfold?

Glorious Goodwood is a meeting I love every year, not least for the chance to wear clobber you’d be lucky to get away with anywhere else. The weather was glorious too, fears of a repeat of last year’s deluge a little far-fetched given the recent run of sun.

Tuesday was often a day bookies in poorer pitches ducked in years gone by. There were a few missing today but the crowd was very healthy.

1:50 Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap

Business was steady but modest, there appeared to be little danger of a monster bet but Star’s graphics team were prepared.

The biggest bets taken on-course were bottle (£200) in the opener, one of them on the 13/2 winning favourite Alfarris at 15/2, the second worst result of two bad losers in the book. Not a great start, unless you back jollies or follow The Scout!

2:25 Qatar Vintage Stakes (Group 2)

As betting got underway for the next a punter collared a lady who had just had a bet with Star Sports and warned her that his account had been closed after six bets, six bets?! The gentleman refused to elaborate (no interviews allowed on course of course) all I’m guessing is he must been a very shrewd man!

Betting followed a similar pattern, the gentleman who said he had his account closed didn’t come back despite being told he could have what he liked on. The biggest bet tendered was just £200 but business was once again brisk. At the off, the jolly Dark Vision was a loser for three grand and duly hosed in.

Ben always bemoans not being able to win here, he’s on the missing list this week, just doing his money remotely. A bookie on the rail gave the winner the ‘Aye Aye’. On the receiving end of some incredulous looks from his bookie brethren he enlightened all with an ‘It’s a facetious Aye Aye’.

3:00 Qatar Lennox Stakes (Group 2)

Two races in and the betting ring were already on the back foot. This time it was hard for the punters to guess what the jolly was going to be. It certainly wasn’t going to be Dutch Connection but the punters would not be denied.

All those small bets added up at around 12/1 made it the worst in our book at the off just in front of joint jolly Tip Two Win. Sometimes it just goes your way, they bet 1/10 on the machine the four-way photo Sir Dancealot. They knew, he’d won a short-head, he also won a four-figure sum in the book.

We didn’t give it the ‘Aye Aye’ though because although it was a result for the book the winner was the other 5/1 joint favourite. A cheer wouldn’t have been facetious, just the rub-down to other bookies. Still, you take you Luck when it comes your way.

When I posted the picture above on Twitter (my account @SimonNott as @StarSports_Bet is still temporarily suspended) there were cries of ‘moody show’ from some quarters. That’s because of the great value on view, no, that’s not a moody show, that’s the great value to be had by punters on course these days, it’s that competitive, come racing.

3:35 Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes (Group 1)

Next up was the short-priced banker of the day, Stradivarius. Jamie, new Star man on course, laid a punter £800-£1100 early but there were no lumpy takers at the generally available 4/6. It turned out he’d done well to lay it, the jolly was weak, 4/5 with us at the off. Torcedor made a good race of it but Stradivarius battled ahead to win to make it four market leaders winning in a row. Lofty was starting to get grumpy.

4:10 Nginious! Swiss Gin EBF Maiden Stakes

If ever there was going to be a result you’d think it would be in the maiden. Then when least expected a cash punter came in for a £4,000-£1,000 Dirty Rascal.

The office reported serious money for the jolly Al Mureib too, sadly from punters who don’t want their bets reported, so a good result was needed. We got one when 6/1 shot Watan won the race, the winner had been weak in the market drifting from 7/2. The small punters who follow Ryan Moore weren’t put off though resulting in the winner only a small cop in the book. The on-course book was very lop-sided with just the one loser but of course across the firm it was an excellent result.

4:45 Chelsea Barracks Handicap

The penultimate was another hard handicap which offered little opportunity for bookmakers to ‘get out’ on the day betting 4/1 the field. It was maybe too hard for punters reluctant to give any back, betting was, according to Lofty, very light.

Over on the Tatts pitch business was described as poor by Michelle, Tony and Dave. However it seems the old adage if you can’t take it you can’t lose it was working out, they were just a round of drinks at a London boozer down going into the sixth.

At first glance 16/1 winner Under The Covers looks a cracking result. It had been backed from 33/1 into its SP and a loser in the rails book, luckily only small, see old adage above!

5:15 Matchbook Time To Move Over Fillies’ Handicap

The lucky last was very similar to the penultimate, business was light and margins tight as bookies competed to attract the spartan number of punters in front of them. It was out of the blue when a punter came in to Jamie and Lofty (who’d cheered up again) with £600 on Move Swiftly at 9/2 but that was by far the biggest bet of the race.

The rest is in the form book, Move Swiftly won the race easily even though it was hampered more times than Fortnum and Mason. The firm did their money and the punter went home happy, or at least got out on the day. Bill Tye, ex-Victor Chandler on-course rep sidled up on my blind side and said ‘Tell Ben I told him this place should be named ‘Badwood’ not Goodwood. Come come Bill, it’s only the first day, the sun is shining, let’s think positive. See you all tomorrow.

skintmobSimon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring