AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT: Tales From The Ring ASCOT

ASCOT SATURDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch at Ascot on Champions Day. Six races, six champions to be crowned. Would Frankie be an Ascot factor again ? Simon Nott reports LIVE from Ascot….

Welcome to Ascot on Champions Day. My first blog broadcast live – as it happens. Hit that refresh for race by race updates. As it’s the grand finale of Ascot’s flat season Ben is on the front line taking bets alongside Flynn. Nobody is expecting any monster bets but business should be brisk given the size of the crowd. The bookie banter has been good, some punters are already popping corks in the betting ring that could well be a premature celebration but adds to the atmosphere. This is live from the pitch at Ascot as it happens, here goes.

HEAVY; Inner Flat Course – GOOD TO SOFT, Soft in places

2:10 South Pacific
4:40 Dunkirk Harbour

2.10 Ascot Kew Gardens 9/2 > 3/1
2.45 Ascot Fleeting 13/2 > 5/1

The special today is proving popular, how many winners will Frankie Dettori ride, prices range from 11/2 none to 20/1 four or more.

1:35 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)

The opening race is a bit tricky for the punters at 4/1 the field. It’s also a time when punters are still exploring the racecourse too, business is steady at the moment but expected to improve.

Lofty’s summing up of the business so far is ‘steady but not spectacular’ we just laid four monkeys Advertise, the biggest cash bet so far. That’s joins the losers in the book with One Master and Make A Challenge.

The horses are down at the start and the bookies are shouting ‘Are you all done?’ It seems the punters are… worst in the book, One Master.

And they’re off.

Aye Aye Don Juan Triumphant! 33/1 shocker (well done our brand ambassador Silvestre De Sousa) and one for the good guys and a skinner on the win book. The punters will surely get stuck into Stradivarius, 8/13 with us. They aren’t on the Chevy Chase yet, but if we can get this one beaten….

My phone said no chance of rain at Ascot, it’s just started raining. Where’s my coat? Oh yes, hanging up in Devon. D’oh!

2:10 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)

A known sticker on for a big player ambled up to the joint, everyone was braced for a lump. False alarm he was just saying hello. Then the phone went, the office laid £15,000 each-way Withhold at 10/1.

It was 4/6 briefly but now we’re back at 8/13 the jolly Stradivarius.

The punters that are braving the rain are few and far between. The on-course book still has Stradivarius a small winner with 7 minutes to go.

The office called again £90,000 – £30,000 each way Kew Gardens laid.

Right in the hole a punter has come in with £800 Stradivarius to make it a loser in the on-course book.

Phew! Well that was some race Stradivarius getting chinned on the line beaten a nose by Kew Gardens, no good for the office but a winning race on course.

2:45 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1)

Next up Star Catcher opens at 7/4, the punters are now keen to been on after Kew Gardens proved to be a popular alternative to the jolly in the last for many of them.

The rain has stopped, the rainbow’s out, time to get stuck in again however this heat is proving very disappointing with very little doing.

The only bet of any note just came in £700 – £400 the jolly. Very light business which is a real shame on a day like today. There don’t appear to be any stewards keeping the stairs clear either so nipping off for a cup of tea between races almost impossible.

Frankie evidently didn’t like getting chinned last time and made amends here getting 7/4 jolly Star Catcher up home from cracking 20/1 result Delphinia. Despite the bets on course being small that all added up and have knocked a huge hole into what the firm were in front.

3:20 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) (Sponsored By Qipco)

We’re straight into the next heat. Revenant has opened 7/2 with us. It looks busy around the joint but it’s mostly people coming to draw, let’s hope they are reinvesting at the same time.

‘It’s quiet’ smiled, OK sort of smiled Lofty.

There are a few punters having fair sized bets of £100 or more but they are few and far between. For a very large crowd they seem so have deep pockets but short arms. Ben’s hopped off the stool, that tells you!

Stephen Little came over in the lull for a chat. I dont’t think it was about buying back into the on-course game again.

It’s about 5 minutes since we’ve taken a bet. Come on punters, it’s Champions Day!

At the off we’re up the front two, the jolly loses just over a grand and the second in a bottle. 20/1 shot Century Dream loses a grand too. Not clever.

Aye Aye – King of Change wins, that’ll do.

4:00 Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1)

Next up the race that could well make it break the day, if they back Magical. Flynn has opened 5/4.

The punters have reappeared, some complete with refreshments, no drinking on the pitch Ben!

It was a short flurry, it’s all gone quiet again. There must be a decent bet out there for Magical, Lofty’s not looking convinced.

A punter asked for, 11/8 when we were 5/4 on the board and got it. £1100 – £800 laid so at least the jolly is in the bag with something to bet around. It wasn’t Cam, but he came to say hello. Socks in the post.

The state of affairs on course is Magical loses £1300. The office has somewhat heavier liabilities they just laid £60,000 at 5/4.

It’s now 11/10.

Ben’s been in good spirits, considering business has been quite light but has now left the building.

Magical winning at evens is a very bad result. That’s knocked the day out of the park for the punters in the office. We’re still just in front on course. ‘Winning a round of drinks’ according to Lofty.

4:40 Balmoral Handicap (Sponsored By Qipco)

The punters are actually queuing up to get on now. It is the lucky last so last chance to win a few quid. We bet 7/2 the field with Lord North heading the market.

We’ve laid Lord North steadily making it a bad loser for over a grand but a single bet on Dark Vision means that’s the bogie with a few minutes to go.

It’s a carpet, 3/1, best Lord North now, it’s the only one they want to be on with us.

Escobar beat the jolly quite readily and appeared to be an incredibly popular winner despite its 16/1 starting price. Happily those groups of wildly celebrating young men around us hadn’t actually backed it with Star. The lucky last ensured the trip to Ascot was worth it for the on-course team. Business was down on previous years though which given the crowd has to be a little disappointing.

That’s it for our flat season. See you all for Cheltenham next week.

Simon Nott

skintmobSimon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring