AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


The firm and I were treated to a steak and a couple of pints in York last night, great fun was had by all.

Especially as we bumped into these likely lads out on the town, not together but once introduced appeared to hit it off!

Everyone was raring to go this morning, Ed, Nick and Flynn were anyway, can anyone spot Lofty?

Fear not, the big fella was here but just having a mooch about. Icy was out and about early, having tried and failed to find an ‘early house’ in York. I am told such establishments exist in Ireland and will sell you a pint at 7.30 am. I’m sure I’d have been up for that in my younger days, but not anymore, though now I know they exist I want to pop my head in around the door of one!

1:50 – Sky Bet Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 1m 4f

The first race was a fairly quiet betting heat with the book fielding around £2500. 20/1 winner Farhan was a good winner in the win book but the places knocked that about a bit. Still, it was a welcome winning first heat.

2:25 – Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 2m ½f

Next up and that entire take was almost doubled in three bets, £2000 at 4/5 and a monkey the same price Trueshan. The money didn’t stay in the hod for long. Trueshan was withdrawn resulting in a 55p in the pound rule 4 for any bets struck prior. Much credit to the racecourse, they gave a very clear and calm message out over the public address letting punters know the situation.

That withdrawal was a real blow to the spectacle of the race, Stradivarius having been declared a non-runner in the morning. That left six to go to post with Coltrane installed the 5/4 favourite in the reformed market.

Previous #BettingPeople interviewee Andy Gibson and wife Emma came to the joint to say hello. Luckily pro-punting Andy only bets on National Hunt racing so wasn’t there to tuck Inlike and Co up with a live one. I’d been speaking to one of the very pleasant bag men earlier, he’d been betting Trueshan around the ring. He’d be busy for a while getting his bag filled with returned stakes. Lofty was very pleased with himself, he told me they’d just laid a grand on ‘Robbie’ Coltrane and that the bet was a ‘Cracker’ to lay. Boom Boom he’s here all week.

As it turned out, it was a cracker to lay, Tom Marquand kicked 9/4 chance Quickthorn in a clear lead and that was the end of that, the rest of the field didn’t see him again scooting home an unchallenged 14-length winner. The punters that bet with Star Sports didn’t anticipate it. The book copped £3500, Coltrane getting up to be a short head second ensured the place money stayed in the hod this time.

3:00 – Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (2YO only) 6f

Next up and the lads laid bets of £2000 – £600 and £3333 – £1000 Noble Style, £3333 – £1000 Royal Scotsman and £1000 – £400 Marshman in a race that Lofty described as the best betting heat of the week. The latter was a good winner in the book and quickened nicely to the front, ‘It’s shit up’ hollered Lofty, at about the same time as the 3/1 loser for £4500 bogie Noble Style started his winning run. Back to square one for the Star Sports team.

3:35 – Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (2YO plus) 5f

Next up and the chance to get it all back. A cash punter came into the pitch and bet £27,500 – £10,000 Royal Aclaim, just the sort of business Ben was after when he pulled up the readies for the pitch. Of course, it was going to be make or break on the day, possibly the week. There was no betting up to it. The only other bet of note was a punter drawing over the previous winner and having the odd £333 on Highfield Princess at 6/1.

Professional Punter and paddock expert Adam Norman came to the joint and said the bogie looked something special, hardly filling the team with hope. Luckily, this time the shrewdie was wrong, Royal Aclaim sent off 5/2 never really looked like getting into the race and finished unplaced behind 5/1 winner, Highfield Princess, ‘the worst of the winners’ bemoaned Lofty, only copping £8000.

Yep, some people are never happy.

4:10 – Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies’ Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 1m 2½f

The next race was another that attracted some decent bets. Inlike and the team laid £10,000 – £500 each-way Myristica, £4500 – £1500 Amanzoe and £8000 – £2000 Shampion. Lofty said the bet numbers today had been fewer but the stakes lumpier. State Occasion, the 3/1 second-in didn’t attract any lumpy bets, in fact hardly any bets at all, which was surprising given the way she bolted up.

‘We copped the best part of £6000 there’ beamed, yes beamed Lofty. Not bad in a race where the winner could easily have been a costly loser. Too early for an Aye Aye? Yes, of course it is.I’d just like to say a big cheers to all the people that came over to say hello and how much they enjoy the Star Sports content of which I’m a small part of the team. It’s really nice when people do that.

4:45 – British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes (GBB Race) (Class 2) (2YO only) 7f

The penultimate was all about Desert Order, three notable bets for the jolly were £5500 – £4000, £1250 – £1000 and £770 – £700 with nothing of size for anything else. Sadly, there appeared to be a good reason for that. Nothing could hold a light to the favourite despite threatening to. The jolly won, the firm lost £7000 and a good winning day was smacked about a bit.

5:20 – Sky Bet Mile Handicap (Class 2) (3YO only) 1m

Going into the lucky last Lofty did the accounts and told us that the firm were losing £12 on the week so far. The last race saw the smallest take of the day, punters having seemingly lost interest. At the off, Operating and New Kingdom were the two losers.

There was a desperate finish between Point Lynas and Master Richard, both good winners, 25/1 Point Lynas got the literal nod by a nose. The book copped £2000 so going into the last of the four days here at York, that’s what the firm were winning. Well, that’s until the Bing Bong for a stewards enquiry was sounded, but not before a couple of hundred quid had been paid out. Not ideal for the last race.

20 minutes later and people were still milling around waiting, Mike Christie was sweating because he’d laid the winner, £250 each-way at 33/1 to a punter that admitted having a guess up. He’d only just told us that when the Bing Bong went again, after all that time deliberating the result stood and the remaining punters were paid. We’re back tomorrow, £2000 in front.


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