AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


I’m not at York this week, but the Ebor festival will hopefully conclude my summer tour of ‘virtual’ big meetings while I lay low possibly over cautiously ‘greening up’ in the health stakes.

The bonus from reporting from the Shire is that the news this week will once again include any business from the Star Sports betting shop estate and Hove office as well as the news from the front line, the rails on course, of course.

1:50 – Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 5½f

The racecourse team today were Hannah, Lofty and head of on-course Steve all working on the rails. While they tried hard in the opener, they weren’t exactly under the cosh. The field money amounted to just £1400 including the biggest bet struck, £2400 – £300 Korker.

Luckily, the results looked after the book, 12/1 winner Equilateral winning for Charlie Hills under Jamie Spencer copped a grand which was a good start. It’s always nice to line the hood in the first.

News from the betting shop estate was that there was no news, though the first race was unlikely to set the world alight as far as big bets were concerned.

2:25 – Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (2YO only) 7f

Next up and Lofty, Hannah and Steve laid a couple of decent bets including £2500 – £1000 Ballymount and four monkeys Hot Fuss. There was very little interest in the 17/2 winner Indian Run from the punters in front of the rails, which was handy.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s colt booted home by Danny Tudhope won the firm £1700 making it two races from two where so far business had been relatively modest.

News from the Hove office was ‘Another very busy race, but this time the winner was almost friendless at Star, bottom of the book.’

I remember Reference Point winning the Great Voltigeur in 1987. I was a 22-year-old squaddie and managed to get to a TV to watch the race. The Derby hero was 1/14 and won despite losing a shoe. My mates weren’t really into racing so when I offered to buy them two beers if he lost compared to the one they had to buy me should he be beaten I had enough takers to ensure the next time we went to the bar I was treated to a free hangover care of Reference Point.

3:00 – Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO only) 1m 4f

There was a hotpot in this year’s renewal too, but not quite as short. Gregory was sent off an 8/11 chance under Frankie Dettori for the Gosdens. He was a popular choice on course with rails team. Lofty told me that they’d laid bets of a grand and several carpet and bottle bets at ‘tips-on’ 10/11, £2500 – £3000 and a monkey at ‘wrist-on’ 4/5.

There was very little money for Aidan O’Brien’s winner Continuous until late on when he touched 9/2. His victory under a masterful ride from Ryan Moore was a welcome one for the team on the rails where they copped £4200.

Win or lose, look at the prices they laid on the rails and in the betting ring compared to the SP.

3:35 – Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m 2½f

Frankie Dettori was getting a bit of a crabbing in some quarters after the previous race. He made up for it in the feature with a cracking ride on the Gosden’s Mostahdaf to win from the absolute bogie and hotpot Paddington for whom the money would not stop pouring on. Bets on the rails included a £20,000 – £30,000 bet on a client’s account but struck at the pitch with a couple of £400 and £800 wagers from off the floor punters to top it off.

There was also a bet £8000 – £500 laid on The Foxes. Mind you, when I bugged Lofty ( tip – never bug Lofty) for a total on how much they copped on the race they were still paying out over the winner. They’d taken plenty out of him including a brace of £500 and £400 bets but handily at 11/4 not the SP of 3/1.

It didn’t matter too much though, they won £23,000 on the race care of the £30,000 wager.

Before the race, the office messaged, telling me: “Further bets on Paddington £12,000 – £18,000, £8000 -£15,000, £4000 – £6000 and £5333.33 -£8000. They keep coming, we have a one horse book and a fear in the office is that we could be on marmalade sandwiches for the rest of the week.”

Their message after the race was just: “The sun is shining in Hove”.

There was also a positive message from the betting shop estate: “We laid a bet of £1200 Nashwa 15/2 in Mayfair”

4:10 – Sky Bet Stayers Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 2m ½f

Next up and things were a bit quieter in the betting ring. Lofty reported a bet of £2000 to £400 Grappa Nonino and precious little else. The book held £1400 and copped £1000 after Forza Orta’s 8/1 win for Kevin Ryan under Rowan Scott.

At least they thought they had, after what seemed an age a Steward’s Enquiry was called. The rails had already paid out £350 of the £400 that they had to. It wasn’t until 4.33 the message came that the result stood.

The news from the Hove HQ was: “We can’t complain about bet numbers today, there’s been plenty of interest, the two bogies were Aztec Empire and Grappa Nonino including a bet of £25000 – £5000 on the former. The patient ride on winner Forza Orta ensured a good result for the office.”

4:45 – Ire Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Fillies’ Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 5f

Steward’s Enquiries rarely help the betting on the next race and can be partially to blame for not a lot happening on the rails for the penultimate. Lofty, Steve and Hannah reported that there hadn’t been much going on. They did lay a bet of £2700 – £300 Cruise but that was about it in larger bets.

Their total field money was £1600 and kept just over a grand of it when 5/1 chance Designer got up on the line to win from 40/1 right result Rage Of Bamby. The team were reminded, as if they needed reminding, that they had laid a bet of £18,000 – £1000 the winner when it won this race last year so Lofty had a bit of a lean-up.

Well done, Lofty.

The news from the Hove office was bad, their message read: “Designer was a poor result including a bet of £27,000 – £6000.” Nasty, that punt a dent in the Paddington bootie.

5:20 – Sky Bet Nursery (Class 2) (2YO only) 6f

The lucky last was just a steady, small staking betting race on the rail. They took £1300 and kept £750 of it when 15/2 chance Zoulu Chief won the race. There wasn’t too much banter from the rails team after the race they’d copped £33,250 on the day obviously mostly thanks to getting Paddington beaten and were busy packing up in a hurry before heading to a very nice Italian.

I’m surprised it wasn’t The Ivy on St Helen’s Square now Lofty has the taste for fine dining. I suppose it’s too early to count the readies and splash out because the dealin’s only just begun, not done.

It was a great start to the Ebor meeting on course, nonetheless.

The final word went to the Hove Office, and it was a back on the right track type of message, they told me: “Lucky last was one for the home team bets of £10,000 – £3000 and £13,333 – £4000 on Starlust helped.”

I’ll be back tomorrow, have a great night everyone.


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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