The evening meal last night tasted a whole lot nicer after an excellent winning Ladies’ Day. The weather for the opener was glorious, too hot for our branded clobber which had served us well Thursday and Friday.
1:45 Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
As expected, the 8/1 field heat yielded small bets with nothing of note staked with us.
7/1 jolly Mr Big Shot winning wasn’t ideal but at last favourite backers started the day thinking the game was easy and wasn’t a disaster given the light staking.
2:25 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
The betting was very competitive in the next with some great value for the punters and bookmakers competed strongly for punters. On The Blind Side was steady at 13/8 but occasionally a firm would go 7/4 and get picked off by value-savvy punters, that looked great value with 6/4 collapsing into 11/8 at the off. Though once again the lumpy punters left us out.
Black Op winning at 3/1 was a smaller cop in the book but we didn’t get our whack having not laid the favouite to any big punters despite the market move.
3:00 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
Petit Mouchoir was one of the bankers of the meeting and one Ben wanted to get in the book and beaten. Quite if he wanted the £50,000 he laid at 4/6 is another matter but that’s what the punter asked for so that’s what he’s got.
The punter might have wished he’d waited because 5/6 was hawking with GW Sports next door as they were going down and Petit Mouchoir started playing up.
It was still there in places at the off despite going off at 4/5, come racing for value.
Diablo Du Charmil winning at 5/1 and more importantly beating the jolly was obviously a tremendous result but was otherwise very hard to lay.
3:40 Betway Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
No sooner had the board sparked back into action for the next, the same punter asked for £150,000 – £10,000 each-way Holly Bush Henry, he was laid despite being 14/1 everywhere.
That bet apart, the sun was beating down and the punters appeared to have largely retreated into the shade, unheard of on a Grand National day but business on the race was poor.
The big bet obviously skewed the book and turning for home it looked very likely to be placed but faded out of the money after the last. The winning 3/1 favourite Thomas Patrick was a bad result taking away the lump, but the lump was laid.
Would the punter be back? Eyes were peeled and the firm braces for a possible chunk on Sam Spinner.
4:20 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1)
Just as they were lining up and it looked like he’d left us out the punter came in for a £60,000 – £50,000 Sam Spinner, had he come in earlier he’d have got 5/4 though.
Even ignoring the £50,000 bet Identity Thief winning at 14/1 was a dream result for the betting ring. The perfect lead in to the feature event.
5:15 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
BEN BEFORE THE BIG RACE
Initially the punters steamed into the rails to bet on the Grand National but with so much time to get on there was a noticeable lull with 10 minutes to go when it would usually have been frenetic.
What can you say about the Grand National, apart from what a race. Our brand ambassador Davy Russell rode a blinder on 10/1 winner Tiger Roll holding on by a fast diminishing neck from 25/1 Pleasant Company. We actually won a round of drinks in a posh London nightclub in the book but what it cost the firm is still being counted. Our offer to give £50 cash to new accounts attracted over 1,000 new clients, you can do the maths!
6:20 Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle
Ben had ducked out before the concluding race, and who could blame him. Lofty and Andrew were left to crack on with trying to get a few quid back.
Surprisingly, after the big race and almost an hour’s gap business was steady, even managing to lay a monkey each-way Michael’s Mount at 4/1.
At the off, the jolly was the only loser.
Havana Beat winning at 12/1 topped off (Tiger Roll bonus aside) another excellent winning day. Thanks Aintree it’s been cracking.
Even the sun came out.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring