AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


The day started very well for all of us, Kempton was on. Aye Aye, writes SIMON NOTT.

It then got even better for Lofty. One of his fans was so distraught at the sight of the Newbury burger he endured on Betfair Hurdle day that he bought him one today, what a difference. Lofty was overjoyed, well judge for yourself, this is a chicken burger Kempton style.

The teams today were Matt from the trading room making his debut on course. Before standing on the formidable Kempton rail today, he’s only been racing once before, Wetherby as a punter. I suppose being chucked in the deep end would be Cheltenham on Gold Cup day, but this would still class as tip-toes deep. I was quite jealous, I’d love to be starting on course again. Matt had Flynn at the helm standing in for on holiday head of on course Steve.

Over in Tatts the pitch was worked by the well-weathered duo of Lofty ( well fed ) and Tony.

1:15 – Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (4YO plus) 2m 5f

Sadly, the betting wasn’t as interesting as Lofty’s burger. The biggest bet over at his pitch was £1000-£250 Joker De Mai and Flynn’s £1400 – £400 Largy Poet very late. Almost as soon as the latter bet was struck the gelding was withdrawn down at the start which resulted in a 20p Rule 4 and reduced the field to seven runners.

At the off both pitches had Joker De Mai their worst so Mark Of Gold beating the bogie into second was a good start. The combined cop was just over £600 for the firm. As they were off a punter came in for a £1200 – £1650 bet on the aways, Netywell over at Newcastle which Lofty happily laid him.

Meanwhile Matt was getting the full treatment paying out over his first ever race on course, explaining a rule 4 and that there was no longer anything to come for the third placed horse. The full treatment!

1:50 – Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4YO only) 2m

The Newcastle horse bolted up so the punter decided to open his shoulders and bet £2000 – £2200 Kalif Du Berlais in the next. Over on the rails a punter had £500 – £550. Those were the two biggest bets on the race which has to really be described as another fairly quiet heat, despite a very decent crowd.

The favourite won, though having drifted across the track had to survive a steward’s enquiry before the punters could draw which held things up a bit. Matt had a bit of a thrill when Internet sensation and Apprentice star Thomas Skinner came to ‘Bosh’ him for a Raceday TV interview, look out for it over on Instagram.

2:27 – Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5YO plus) 2m 4½f

The next heat came alive early, a bag man bet £2000 – £1000 Blow Your Wad with Lofty and Tony. There wasn’t much else of interest until they were at the post and a punter bet £3500 – £2000 the same horse, then very late the spin up punter reinvested £1050 – £600. At the off both books, unlinked, had one horse books and were hoping that Blow Your Wad was a prophetic moniker for the bogie.

It was, a bad one. Blow Your Wad beat Tahmuras half a length and the firm sank deeper into the red on the day.

3:00 – Coral Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4YO plus) 2m

Being the tea boy of the firm I was sent off to collect staff welfare between races. When I reached the back of the queue it seemed odds against I’d get to see the next race, you wouldn’t mind being half in though, so far on the day it would beat bookmaking for profit!

By the time I got back not a lot had happened. Bets had been modest for the fourth heat the biggest bet on the rails was £300 and Tatts £600 both on Lump Sum and both at 6/4. Were these horse names giving the bookmakers the rub-down? It seemed that they were, Lump Sum served it up to the ring and bolted up.

3:37 – Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5YO plus) 3m

Whilst the feature race was the big race of the day as you’d expect with a 9/2 the field heat, there weren’t many big bets on offer. In fact there were only two of note, £3300 – £600 Bowtogreatness and £1350 – £300 Blackjack Magic both to spin up man. There was also a bag man lurking, as he tends to, but no business was done.

A punter came to the joint and asked Lofty ‘Are you boys winning today?’ He’ll learn, Lofty’s reply was five minutes of the hapless chap’s life he’ll never get back.

Well, at last a winning race for both books. Anthony Honeyball’s 15/2 chance Forward Plan swooped on 28/1 Al Dancer close home so full of running it looked as if he’d just joined in the race. The runner up would have copped £1500 in Lofty’s book, much better than the winner, which ‘we’ve paid out plenty and most of it each way’ he told me, but they still copped £600 on it.

Over on the rails both results were similar for Flynn’s team which won a carpet from a book that held just a monkey. Still, it was the rot stopped though on a race with modest field money. Meanwhile, spin-up man had £1800 – £800 a winner away so wiped all that out. Going into the penultimate Lofty’s pitch was losing £6000 and Flynn’s £4000. A bit of a hill to climb with a brace of heats to push.

4:10 – Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (5YO plus) 2m 4½f

There were two horses that the punters wanted to be on in the penultimate. Gustavian 5/1 into 7/2 and Pepe Le Moko 9/4 into 11/8. The punters missed the firm out the former and didn’t the latter, both Lofty and Flynn had Gustavian a good winner at the off with Pepe Le Moko tee’d up to inflict more financial damage to Star Sport’s coffers. When Gustavian fell early on in the race, punters on-line were happy to get stuck into Pepe at bottle-on.

The way the day had been going, the writing appeared to be on the wall. It’s funny how things work out, the Gambling Gods appeared to think it was time to give the teams a break.

The bottle-on backers regretted their impatience, the jolly faded after a rick at the last, up at the sharp end Paul Nicholls’ Golden Son did the business at 10/1. Lofty’s pitch won £800 and Flynn’s £750. That clawed some more back but yet another losing day for Star Sports on course looked long odds on.

4:45 – Coral We’re Here For It Open NH Flat Race (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4YO to 6YO) 2m

The punters hadn’t finished though, a punter came to the joint and asked for and got £500 – £400 Roman Boy, he confidently told Lofty that this was ‘the bet of the day and should be odds-on’. Spin up man also waded in, but he wasn’t going home losing having a modest £1100 – £200 each-way Woodland Park.

Meanwhile, on Flynn’s pitch he was bemoaning how quiet business was. On a more positive note, Matt on the front of house had really enjoyed his first day betting on course. So much so he said that when it was busy he found it ‘thoroughly exhilarating’ which was fantastic to hear. Let’s hope he’s still coming in 40 years time boring people with his stories as I do. I’ll do my best to hang there in long enough to hear them!

While I was typing that whimsical stuff Matt asked Flynn the best case scenario, to which he replied, ‘The best case scenario is that we still do our bollocks!’ Back down to earth, bump.

The punter that had the £400 on at 5/4 had noticed the favourite had drifted to 6/4 so had another rouf on, he couldn’t believe the 7/4 either so topped it up with another hundred saying he couldn’t believe the price, adding again that it should be odds on. As they went down, golden hearted Lofty checked he wasn’t still there before joining the rest of the ring at a bottle. Over at Flynn’s pitch the only bet of note they’d laid was £250 win The Ron Do Ron at 13/2. And they were off.

Thistle Be The One was a clever play on words for a horse, but this’ll be the one wasn’t a phrase used by many punters when selecting their horses for the concluding bumper. The gelding made all to win under Gavin Sheehan for Keiran Burke at a princely 40/1. Woodland Park finished third at 11/2 completing a good day for stick on man. However, it must have been a chastening race for ‘It should be odds-on’ punter and an expensive lesson on ignoring the market in bumpers.

Still, he wasn’t the only one leaving having done their money, Star Sports did their bollocks too, just their bollocks were about £1500 better off that they were going into the last, though it was yet another losing day on the turf for the firm. Let’s hope the office won. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back.

Today’s Racing Post results from Newbury:


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 



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