AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT: Tales From The Ring Epsom Friday

EPSOM FRIDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch at Epsom on Oaks day. Two days of top class racing in Surrey which called for tandem betting on the Star Sports joint. How did fortunes swing on the opening day of the Derby meeting?

Epsom always has a buzz about it for the Derby Meeting, almost like the place resonates with the echo of meetings here over the past couple of hundred years. It definitely resonates with old bookmaking names you thought were just a memory but come out for big days. Star Sports are a relatively new firm to grace the hallowed turf of Epsom. No time to waste then, this year’s pitches had doubled in number to two, side by side to take double the money. That was the plan anyway.

2:00 Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes

Bets going in at tandem on the opening race (pictured above) but the jolly proved very hard to lay on course. Dave on the computer was spitting feathers, the book was that bad, no hedging to tidy it up. At the off the cardinal sin had been committed, even money favourite Pinatubo was winning in the book. It went on to win the race too, despite missing the break, just as the blessing our good fortune back slapping was about to commence Flynn got word the office had laid an even £125,000.

2:35 Investec Mile Handicap

Business was busier in a race where they bet 6/1 the field at times. There were some fair-sized bets for the type of race though the biggest bet was a monkey at 7/1 History Writer. Gossiping won the race at 10/1, the word hadn’t got around to our punters at least. Gary Moore’s charge was a good winner in the book for us. Two out of two, for the on-course business at least.

If Dave looked grumpy I’ll raise you Barry Dennis, but of course we all know he’s a big teddy bear really. Watch Barry’s #BettingPeople video click here 

3:10 Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1)

Despite appearances, the Coronation Cup was quite lively too. A punter had £200 on Defoe at 12/1, that’s 100/8 or £2500 – £200 with the fractions, except the punter didn’t ask for them so was paid £2400 plus stake after Defoe chinned Kew Gardens. I’d risk asking for fractions if it meant £100, if you don’t understand fractions click here.

Losing in the on-course book on a race that looked a result for the bookies was tempered by news that the office had laid an undisclosed lump each-way the runner-up Kew Gardens. It was still annoying for the on-course team to do the firm’s money in the heat.

3:45 Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap

The firm put themselves up there to lay big bets so were delighted to lay £800 at 8/1 Borodin, then £1000 win Mountain Angel at 7/2 followed by £2500 each-way the same horse at 7/2. Needless to say, watching it win wasn’t as delightful. The firm were now right ‘in it’ going into betting on the Oaks. The hod was bare and desperately needed filling.

Congratulations to jockey Andrea Atzeni on his treble though, Star are Sports after all.

A detailed view of a racing badge during Ladies Day of the 2019 Invested Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse, Epsom.

4:30 Investec Oaks (Fillies’ Group 1)

The business on course for the Oaks was a little slow. That given, it was disappointing to see the punter that copped on the previous race’s £5000 bet walk past us to have £4000 on Mehdaayih at 3/1. The biggest bet offered, and of course taken, on course was £300 each-way Pink Dogwood. It all paled into relative insignificance as there were much bigger fish to fry off course, the office had taken lumps on the same horse.

The sums involved have to remain ambiguous but Pink Dogwood stood to lose the firm in excess of half a million quid. When Ryan Moore kicked into a length lead on the bogie, seemingly powering along her backers must have been counting their readies. In-running backers were happy to click away down to 1.08.

Meanwhile, staff, including your scribe were visualising P45’s dropping through the letter box on Monday. Then salvation, Frankie Dettori on John Gosden’s 8/1 chance Anapurna, both looking as tenacious and determined as the other, snatched it off the leader in the dying strides. She copped in the on-course book too, disaster had been averted so it was time for the firm to kick on too.

Anapurna ridden by Jockey Frankie Dettori (right) on the way to winning the Investec Oaks during Ladies Day of the 2019 Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse, Epsom.

5:15 Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed)

Betting was steady in the penultimate but Flynn and team tandem were keeping an eye on the big punter who had been stood in front of the books just eyeing proceedings, he didn’t have a bet. At the off, with modest field money we had two modest losers.

They finished first and second, the 6/5 jolly Space Blues got home by a neck. Looking on the bright side, had the big punter wanted to back the winner we’d have been deeper in the mire. Not forgetting the on-course book was still taking a clobbering.

5:50 Investec Zebra Handicap

Any hope of getting some of our readies back from the big punter vanished, as he did from the ring. There were plenty of punters in front of the joints so it was just a case of taking what we could and hoping to claw a bit back. There was no getting out on the day but as everyone will tell you, not really believing it, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

The modest bets added up nicely. At the off there was just the one loser in the book the 7/2 favourite Ripp Orf for nearly £3000.

7/1 winner Corazon Espinado was probably a better winner than it should have been and got four figures. That meant the book lost four figures in the day, not five. Ouch. We’ll be back tomorrow for the Derby to get it all back with interest.

Simon Nott

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