AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT: Tales From The Ring EXETER Thursday

EXETER THURSDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports sponsored card at Exeter on Thursday. To quote a seasonal tune: ‘Oh, the weather outside is frightful’ but the course survived their early inspection. It wasn’t the end of the story though ….

12:50 Download The Star Sports App Now! Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Exeter survived an 8am inspection which was great news for Star Sports sponsoring the card. The conditions up on Haldon Hill were atrocious for the opening race. With bookmakers cowered under their brollies, those that hadn’t already gotten airborne, and punters hiding anywhere they could – bets were stuck after a mad dash through the rain. Misty Whisky was sent off 4/6 from 8/11 to get favourite backers off to a flying start. Sadly for the punters who lumped on, their fancy was no match for the in-form Venetia Williams’ 9/2 chance Eleanor Bob who ploughed through the conditions with aplomb.

Rumours abound that the meeting wouldn’t see out seven races but the jockeys seemed happy enough after the first. One person not so happy was professional punter Alan Francis. Alan has been known for years on course, always seen with a huge pair of racing binoculars. He managed to lose them at Fontwell, quite how, as big as they are, is a mystery. Alan was here today with a tiny replacement pair. If anyone found them at Fontwell please return them.

1:20 Novices’ Hurdle

Favourite backers got it back in the next when Unwin VC won unchallenged for the Bob Buckler yard are a well-backed 5/4.

1:50 EBF Mares’ Novices’ Chase

Only three went to post for the next, by which point a patch of blue sky appeared and the rain ceased. Midnight Tune was the hot favourite, to beat her two rivals.

Those that lumped on the odds-on shot would have had excitement value for their money. The mare didn’t put the the race to bed until after the last, but ultimately won so the bookmakers had to pay anyway.

Just as the blue sky appeared and the sun started peep through, racegoers got the dreaded ‘bing-bong’. There was to be an inspection of the course after the continued rain had worsened conditions. A deputation of jockeys, trainers and officials set off to check the worst parts of the course. After some deliberation the decision was taken to abandon the meeting. There were boos from some element of the large crowd but in fairness to the course, they did their best to race. It was a real shame for us as sponsors though. Oh and spare a thought for the on-course bookmakers who bet on the fourth regardless. They had to give it all back. On the plus side to them it wasn’t going to get dark for another hour so they had plenty of time to pay it back.

That’s it for on-course blogs this year, I’ll be back on New Year’s Day from Cheltenham, weather permitting of course. Seasons greetings.

Simon Nott

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