AUTHOR: davidstewart


It’s two years since we’ve been to Aintree and it was great to be back!

Star Sports bet number three on the rail. The team, Lofty, Inlike Flynn and Hannah were up and betting hours before the first, including on the Grand National for the early birds. Ben was rumoured to be coming too, but with half an hour to go before the first he was still AWOL. Rumour was he was going to rock up in a pair of brand new blue suede shoes, not the best choice on a day when rain was forecast but who are we to get involved choosing a man’s racing footwear.

Further up the rail, I was introduced to Sean by his proud dad Henry. Sean was only recently 18 and this was his third day working in the ring, today for Mick Walsh, welcome to the ring Sean, great to see young lads coming into the game and loving it just as much as us older inhabitants.

Mick, Henry and Sean who, at just 18, we welcome to the betting ring…

1:45 – SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5YO plus) 2m 4f

I was dispatched to collect Ben, who was indeed wearing his Carl Perkins shoes and already minus one wind destroyed umbrella when I met him.

They say God smile on the righteous, by the time we got on course, just as 7/1 Millers Bank won the first, the sun was out. ‘It was a great result’ was Flynn’s summing up.

Things are changing for the blogs as far as office bets go. Sadly, I can’t go into detail if many of their big bets anymore but can give an overview of how they did.

Dave Jolly did tell me the office enjoyed a great result too.

2:20 – Jewson Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4YO only) 2m 1f

Next up and some serious betting action late on. A punter came in with £11,000 cash to win £10,000 the favourite Pied Piper. Just as I was about to get that bet out to Twitter world, it was dwarfed by a credit but struck on course of £150,000 – £60,000 Brazil.

Brazil capitulated early enough for the race to be declared and thus enjoyed, then it became apparent an absolute result might be on the cards when Knight Salute stuck it to the favourite after the last.

The race concluded as a blurred bob of heads at the post. After some wait, a dead-heat was called closely followed by a steward’s enquiry bing bong. Flynn was convinced it could only go our way and so it did. The result was amended to an outright win for Knight Salute returned 14/1 and a cracking result for the book.

Early indications were that Aintree wasn’t as easy as Cheltenham for the punters.

2:55 – Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5YO plus) 3m 1f

Clan Des Obeaux winning at 13/2 was the second-worst result in the book but given the £5,000 bet was over and above anything else the firm enjoyed another good winning race.

I’d have bet good money that Ben would have buggered off given the worsening conditions, but the next thing I knew he was on the joint and taking bets. I never was a good judge.

3:30 – Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4YO plus) 2m 4f

Not too bad a judge as it turned out, he had buggered off before Epatante won the next at 2/1 from 8/1 chance Monmiral 14 lengths back in the second. The biggest bet in the book £700 was for Brewin’upastorm at 13/2. Despite that wager, the winner still lost a couple of hundred quid.

4:05 – Randox Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase (Class 2) (6YO plus) 2m 5f

I was helping with the Devon and Cornwall point-to-point live streaming with Sir Bob Cooper at Cherrybrook on Sunday, bathed in glorious sunshine Will Biddick rode two winners, in the easiest possible way, walking over. That was a far cry from today where he partnered and trained Porlock Bay.

Jett was sent off favourite but in the Star Sports on-course book Lofty had stuck it right up the David Maxwell ridden Cat Tiger, the pilot for whom our elevated hero appears to harbour a tad of disdain.

I have to admit, sorry in advance Ben, but you’ll understand, that I was praying that 8/1 chance Cat Tiger was going to get up to beat the 7/2 winner Latenightpass, but it was not to be. Will Biddick was back in third on Porlock Bay returning 6/1. Of course due to Lofty’s super shrewd eye of a jockey, and despite the field money not being huge, biggest bet a bottle, £200 on the runner-up, the firm got back on the copping trail with a winning book. Well done Gina Andrews who rode the winner.

4:40 – Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5YO plus) 2m

The penultimate looked very hard, stakes were very small. So much so that the biggest cash bet was £50, on the winner too. The Last Day winning at 12/1 was a losing race, but a dent in what, with just the lucky last to go, had been an excellent winning day.

5:15 – Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4YO to 6YO) 2m 1f

The sun was out by the getting out stakes but the punters had largely appeared to have gone in. The last race was very quiet, at the off the total field money didn’t reach a grand which was a bit disappointing.

First home Ashroe Diamond the 9/4 favourite was a winner until the last bet in the book but it didn’t do much damage to a cracking day on course. Lofty was making the book with Flynn utilising his rugged good looks taking the bets alongside Hannah. With that a given, Lofty should have had one of his famous lean ups the winner shouldn’t he? What is it our mate Icy always tells us? Oh yes, ‘Willie’s in the bumper!’

We’re back tomorrow.



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

Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
available on Kindle