AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


The morning looked grim weather-wise, a day for waterproofs and macs.

The heavens did open to the tune of 3mm of rain early but by the time The Princess Royal arrived the course was, as yesterday, bathed in glorious sunshine. Oaks day on the rail is traditionally the day where punters wade into the bookies. Derby Day ever Queen’s Stand attendees have to wear morning dress is traditionally less busy.

2:00 – Cazoo Handicap (Class 2) (3YO only) 1m 2f

During the betting of the race, George Hartley, friend of Graeme Dand who recently lost his battle with cancer, came to say hello. There are a few ideas in the pipeline regarding keeping Graeme’s memory alive – keep your eyes on George’s Twitter.

The betting in the opener, was as expected, fairly modest. The ones the top-hatted public wanted to be on were Mr Big Stuff and War Horse, both sweating at the start. It could have been worse, in fact it was worse for William Buick who was left in the stalls as Blue Trail (a winner in the book) left them without him. Swilcan Bridge was a cracking result better than its SP of 7/1 suggested it was. Before punters who backed the winner there was a steward’s enquiry called, looking into what happened at the start which left William Buick without a horse.

The replay appeared to show that he was knocked by the horse in the stall next to him and still slumped over the stalls as the field were sent on their way, the other jockeys beckoning to the starter.

It was of little surprise that the Stewards decided that Blue Trail was withdrawn rather than deemed to have taken part. This resulted in money back to the horse’s backers and a 20p rule 4 deduction from all winning bets. Just the sort of situations where good Betting Ring Managers are imperative to the bookmakers. The subsequent queues of punters claiming over Blue Trail in addition to the deduction over the winner slowed down betting in the next. That didn’t stop a punter having an early £7000 – £2000 Bashkirova.

2:35 – Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Cazoo) (Fillies’ And Mares’ Group 3) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m ½f

He was shrewd, not only did she win but did so returned the 2/1 favourite. There was nowhere near enough support for the other runners to bet up to the big bet resulting in a loss of over £7000 on the race.

3:10 – Cazoo Diomed Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m ½f

It was buzzier and busier in Tatts than on the rail today. The bets taken by the duo of Star Sports pitches on the third were very modest, bottle bets the biggest and worst still on the 9/2 winner and absolute bogie Megellan. A bit annoying with the hard to lay favourite out of the frame.

3:45 – Simpex Express ‘Dash’ Handicap (Heritage) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 5f

Next up, The Dash, where friend of Star Sports, Bill Esdaile had a runner, King Of Stars. He’d been wincing with every raindrop this morning, believing they’d all be detrimental to his chances.

The crowds were getting involved, forming orderly lines to get on but they weren’t betting to substantial stakes. Sadly, although running a good race, King Of Stars wasn’t in the shape up. At the line there was a photo between 10/1 Tees Spirit and 50/1 Mountain Peak. The book wanted the latter, the judge called the former, a neck the distance in the photo, about £1500 in the book.

4:30 – 🏆 Cazoo Derby 🏆 (In Memory of Lester Piggott) (Group 1) (Class 1) (3YO only) 1m 4f

There were some bets worthy of the Derby in the Derby betting including a £33,000 – £1000 each-way West Wind Blows. There was also money for Desert Crown, £4000 next door and a grand with Star Sports.

There was some commotion in front of the stands when some ladies managed to get on the home straight apparently in some type of protest, nobody really had any idea what they were protesting about and were soon removed and carted off in less than dignified fashion to the cheers of the crowd.

They evidently didn’t know that they were to be upstaged by some fireworks on the stands.

I’m guessing it’s not often a commentator has called the Derby ‘all over’ so far out in the race but that’s exactly what Simon Holt did and he was bloody right too. Desert Crown, the 5/2 favourite won in such a manner befitting a race run in memory of Lester Piggott.

The book lost just over £3000.

The 150-1 runner-up Hoo Ya Mal would have been handier!

5:15 – World Pool Northern Dancer Handicap (Class 2) (4YO plus) 1m 4f

After the excitement of the protesters, fireworks and of course the Derby, the penultimate was a bit of a non-event, by far the poorest take of the day. The diminishing crowd were treated to a rare old ding-dong of a finish between Midnights Legacy (a winner for a carpet) and Haliphon. The nod went to the former, copping despite returning the 3/1 favourite.

A small unexpected turnaround for a book which given the level of business there, was beyond recall over the two days, £15,000 down.

5:50 – Jra Tokyo Trophy Handicap (Class 2) (4YO plus) 6f

The lucky last was a limp heat, people had either retired to the bars, left early to get a flyer from the car park or just didn’t need to get out on the getting out stakes. 12/1 winner Mr Wagyu summed up the meeting, just a taker in the book. At least at Royal Ascot there’ll be three more days to try and get out, and that’s up next.


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