GLORIOUS GOODWOOD FRIDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch in the betting ring at Glorious Goodwood on Friday. With a few shorties on the card it looked like being a pivotal day on the week. Not least of which Battaash, who was bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the King George Qatar Stakes and was sent off a 1/4 favourite to do just that.
Another fine day to take bets at Goodwood. There was a shocker early on when Head Of On-Course Operations Flynn turned up sans socks. I know I know, he has been suitably ridiculed.
More pleasing was to see legend of the betting ring Dave Brewer on the Roy Christie joint. He was soon regaling us with some excellent stories from days gone by.
1:50 Theo Fennell Oak Tree Stakes (Group 3)
The first favourite Jubiloso was a warm order backed from 5/4 into evens favourite. Those that rolled in with the jolly were out of luck as it suffered all sorts of trouble in running but still managed third. That was of little consolation to them but 12/1 winner Billesdon Brook was a very good result for the bookies setting a new course record in the process. Lofty was convinced we didn’t get our whack as the runner-up was a grand better but was still an excellent start.
2:25 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3)
When betting got underway in the next a punter left us opened jawed. He came in for £60 win at 66/1 on Irish Triolgy. That wins a potential £3960 but if he knew his fractions he’d have asked for £4000 – £60. If you don’t understand fractions you are missing out on some splendid on-course value. Learn all about them here.
Once betting got underway properly it developed into a good heat. Plenty of horses backed. The jolly Duke Of Hazzard was the only one proving hard to lay, Lofty stuck the firm’s head above the parapet with 10/3 and got it shot off, luckily with just what the book wanted and not a lump.
You know the rest, Duke of Hazzard got up on the line, the only loser in the book bar the outsider we laid early on. Still, it was the favourite so in its place.
3:00 Unibet Golden Mile Handicap
It didn’t take long to have a figure to try and bet up to, £8000-£2000 laid Mojito. A punter that did know his fractions came in and had £5000 – £150 Gossiping. At the off it was the two losers against the field.
Beat Le Bon winning at 17/2 was a good result for us but probably not everyone.
3:35 King George Qatar Stakes (Group 2)
With Battaash opening at 3/10 Flynn decided to bet win only.
There were no big takers for the jolly but steady small win-only bets for the rest so when the jolly won so did the book. Flynn and Lofty were very pleased with themselves, had there been a turn-up though, there might well have been a stewards.
4:10 Unibet Nursery
Next up and it was hot down in the betting ring. Another welcome sight was the John Tovey joint, John along with his wife Hazel were regulars in the Westcountry betting rings when I started. Their son Richard now bets under his dad’s name a big meetings.
Pre-race Flynn predicted we’d get a ‘result’. Lofty piped up yes, ‘All the bogies queuing up at the distance’. To get a result you need to field some money, ‘It’s quiet but steady’ piped up Lofty again when asked.
Praxeology was steady at 3/1 and the absolute bogie. What a pessimist that Lofty is, Homespin was hardly a ‘result’ at 7/1 but it was a very good result for us, pure chance the way the punters came in, the second and third would have been good winners too. Flynn knew! Aye Aye.
4:40 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes (Group 3)
Mirage Dancer was a warm order at 8/13 in a field of five. Business was slow but steady though once again no abundance of odds-on backers but enough to make the jolly a very small loser.
The trouble with good books and very small losers is when you get a result they are usually only very small winners, as was Desert Encounter beating the jolly. Still we’d got more than our whack in previous races. On to the lucky last.
5:15 TDN Australia Handicap
Initially the only one the punters wanted to be on appeared to be Harrovian backed from 7/2 into 3/1 but then money started to come in for Aktau so they flip-flopped. At the off the book was ‘Up the front two’ with the field running for it.
Aktau landed the gamble but was the lesser loser of the two so grateful for small mercies on what was another winning day. Bring on Saturday.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring