AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


It was pouring with rain when I left Devon, it was OK though, my weather app said there was just a 25% chance of rain at Newbury. Even better, that was between 12 & 1, before racing. Why am I typing this with frozen fingers as hail bounced off my phone propelled by an icy wind at 1.20pm. Good question, dear reader, good question, writes SIMON NOTT.

Flynn and Nick picked the number one pitch on the second row. Well, Flynn picked it then blamed Nick once it became obvious it was a wind tunnel, so much so that the mush had to come down for fear of going airborne. With seven minutes to go before the first, the firm had taken £4 on the race. Now that might sound like a lot of moaning, Big Jim behind didn’t moan, he was dressed for it.

1:40 – John Haine Memorial Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4YO plus) 2m ½f

As the horses were going down, a miracle, an act of God, no not the ‘evens’ Nick and Flynn were calling the previously tips-on Cannock Park but there was blue sky with a hint of sunshine on the horizon. It took a bit longer for the punters to venture out to the ring though. As the horses set off the book held £87.

2:10 – Bet In-Play On Racing With Betvictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4YO plus) 2m 3f

Sometimes you get taken by surprise, a punter walked up in the early skirmishes for the next and had £2500 Break My Soul at 15/2. I’d have had £2600 on, being 100/13 with the fractions, but maybe that’s not his game, getting maximum value. He had the best price anyway though as within minutes the horse was a 6/1 chance. Some people do know about squeezing for every pip, young Archie, fifth generation of the Jack Bevan firm came up and asked for 11/1 about 10/1 chance Idy Wood, when Flynn said yes he asked for £90 fractions. That’s the way Archie, good lad.

The race was delayed due to a medical emergency down at the start. A critical team was called to tend to the poor person who need help. At 3.20 an announcement was made that there was positive news. I must admit I expected that to be that the person was OK and taken to hospital but it was that the emergency was continuing but not impacting on racing. Hmm, that sounded pretty insensitive to me.

The horses headed down to the start for the second at 3.30 just as the rain started to pour again. There had been precious little betting in the interim period, a few people had even asked for their money back, at the off the Break My Soul was a loser for £18,000 and and 11/2 chance. I’m told the bogie went 4/6 in running without even hitting the front, behind 22/1 winner I Love My Baie, the book had taken £4 over that one and copped just shy of three bags, just 39 bets taken all day. And the sun was out again.

2:40 – Get Best Odds Guaranteed At BetVictor Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (5YO plus) 2m 4f

Next up and the bets started to flow quite quickly. £5000 – £700 Solo, that’s 7/1 with the bits and £200 on Heltenham at 6/5. The fractions bet was a bookmaker hedging from the rails, he just tapped in £2000 number one when it was called thinking it was the favourite then got a shock when he saw the £14,000 in red pop up. Still, he had a little earn out of the bet. No sooner had the weighed in been announced the jockeys were asked to mount so it seemed there really was a concerted effort to catch up going on. The field set off just before 4pm with the bogie Solo the only loser in the book, for £5000.


The bogie was beaten before the business end of the race so it was going to be a cop in the book from two out. It was a shame that Heltenham got up in the shadow of the post to chin Sir Psycho though. The firm did cop £101 over the even money favourite but the difference between first and second was £1500.

3:15 – British EBF BetVictor ‘National Hunt’ Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4YO plus) 2m 4½f

At 4.24 they were off again which was a fair effort given there were 17 runners. Sadly, there was very little of interest from the punters, the book held less than £300, the worst Larchmount Lass losing a monkey. There was a dramatic climax to the race when El Elefante came down at the last, she looked likely to be placed but such was the nature of 25/1 winner All The Glory’s success the jury is out as to if she’d have won. The firm enjoyed a skinner in the win book and copped £252 in the race.

3:50 – Goffs UK Spring Sale Bumper (Open NH Flat Race) (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4YO to 5YO) 2m ½f

This bumper was another race where the public didn’t really want to know. It wasn’t quite like the glory days when Diamond Harry won it two years on the bounce and the ring used to come alive, at least the sun was shining again, but that strong wind was proper cold. At the off book held just over a monkey, one bet of £110 on Crest of Fortune at 7/2 the biggest tendered which was the second worst in the book behind ultimately 7/2 favourite Regent’s Stroll. The punters that did get involved got it right, Regent’s Stroll won easily for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden and lost £270.50 in the book. That didn’t dent the book too much which was winning £2800 going to the penultimate.

4:25 – Colleagues Celebration Of Business Handicap Chase (Class 3) (5YO plus) 2m ½f

The day still held some surprises, the £5500 – £2000 laid Duhallow Tommy first bet in the book being one of them. Although Star Sports like to advertise the fact they’ll accommodate the larger punter, hence this blog, laying one at 5/2 which was 2/1 before you could warn that it was ‘On the thumb’ isn’t ideal. Nick and Flynn grafted on the race but their toils reaped only another £388 in stakes. There was hope though, by the off the bogie was 11/4 hawking, but an unhedged £5142 loser in the win book. Well, what can you say, the punter that had the two grand on would have had a bit of a thrill for a stride or two. If you haven’t watched the race, track down the replay, you’ll rarely see a horse win with such contemptuous ease as 10/3 chance Rath Gaul Hill did. He was of course an excellent result in a one-horse book, copping £1800.

5:00 – Visit Irish Store Sales With Itm Veterans’ Handicap Chase (Class 3) (10YO plus) 2m 7½f

Betting started on the lucky last at around 5.20. It was sunny but everyone was frozen in the wind, a punter came to Nick and asked what his minimum bet was, perished and a professional Nick said £10, so that’s what the punter had on. That’s the way Nick, it was a fiver in Tatts in the 1980’s. Bets in the race were modest, the bogie at the off was Crosspark, thanks to a £500 – £30 in a £421 book. The firm needed to win £293 on the last to win £5000 on the day, a figure that seemed unlikely at the start of the day when we were cowering from the rain. Ironically there was a delay to the final heat as six fences were dolled off due to low sun. 6/1 Fidux won the concluding bumper, sorry Chase, losing £150 in the book, so not quite a £5000 day, but a winning one nonetheless. Aye Aye. The next Star Sports meeting for me is now the Grand National at Aintree. See you there!

At the time of writing, there was no news of the person who had needed urgent medical attention, I hope they are doing well and make a full recovery, thoughts with them.

Saturday’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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