GLORIOUS GOODWOOD THURSDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch in the betting ring at Glorious Goodwood on Thursday. Day Three and Glorious really was glorious, bathed in sunshine, a fantastic feel-good racing story in the Magnolia Cup and the matter of trying to get back the bundles lost yesterday.
What a wonderful feel good start to the day when 18-year-old Khadijah Mellah won the Magnolia Cup on Charlie Fellowes trained Haverland. The trainer had suggested on Twitter that the 25/1 Corals offered in the morning was too big and so it proved. What a story for racing, Khadijah had already been in the spotlight as she was to be the first to ride wearing a hijab.
There were very emotional scenes after the race, the jockey and trainer both delighted as was previous #BettingPeople interviewee Nick Bentley who’d acted as jockey coach. Khadijah is sponsored by the Ebony Horse Club I had the pleasure of visiting to film an interview last year (video links below). Well done to everyone involved in such a tremendous achievement.
Ebony Horse Club
1:50 Unibet Handicap
Wholesome business done it was down to trying to get a few quid back from yesterday. At first glance the crowd looked bigger coming into the books but many of them would have a quid on if you’d let them. Field money in the first was the poorest it had been all week. At the off the book held just over a grand and had just the one loser, the winner 4/1 joint-favourite Forest of Dean, for just over a grand. The chances of getting yesterday’s back looked pretty slim.
2:25 Qatar Richmond Stakes (Group 2)
Things picked up in the next, the bigger punters who have scores and nifties on made their way through which ensured the hod was a lot fuller. Much, much, much busier smiled (yes, smiled) Lofty. At the off the book had two bad losers. Threat the 11/8 favourite and Maxi Boy ridden by Frankie Dettori. The rest were good winners. The ‘Aye Aye’ went up when Golden Horde out-battled the jolly to win at 15/2. That’s not usually a cheer one home price but that’s how the book unfolded.
3:00 Qatar Gordon Stakes (Group 3)
Next up and the betting dropped off a bit but was still steady. Favourite Constantinople was the only loser at the off. Poor old Flynn’s left ear is still probably ringing after Lofty screamed another Aye Aye into it. Nayef Road was another very good result, it was too early to get too excited but the day was shaping up nicely.
One bookmaker was tempting fate walking up and down the rail with a cup asking for donations to Aidan O’Brien. Maybe connections will sort one out to make him pay for that!
3:35 Qatar Nassau Stakes (Group 1)
Despite the office seeing eye-watering amounts of money for Hermosa, business on course was very light. Quieter than the first.
You have to guess that whoever named the winner of the Qatar Nassau Stakes didn’t expect her to hit the heights she did today. The market didn’t either as she went off at 20/1. I’m still guessing but there must have been several Deirdre’s at the races backing their namesake. That can be the only reason behind Lofty looking up from behind the computer after she won, expression like the Churchill dog, telling us we’d lost on the race.
Of course, in the bigger picture it was all academic as the office copped a nice few quid.
4:10 Telegraph Nursery
The punters weren’t keen at all to get involved betting on the nursery.
The race was delayed for various reasons, in the downtime Michelle was kind enough to bring us two pots of strawberries and cream. Incidentally, for the benefit of Internet trolls, these are free not £8. Flynn took one and shared a juicy berry with Ellie and I. But where was Lofty? Nowhere to be seen, neither was the second pot, greedy bugger scampered off with them and presumably gobbled the lot to himself! Yes I know, that’s just not cricket.
Governor of Punjab the 9/2 favourite won the race but such was the weakness of business it only cost the book a round of drinks.
Over on the Tatts pitch they were dripping in suncream but tapping away winning a few quid.
4:45 Markel Insurance British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes
Betting on the penultimate was just as slow. By now the sun was baking down, punters were a few drinks in and for some inexplicable and unexplained reason Goodwood’s clocks appeared to stop working. The race eventually went off around a quarter of an hour late clashing with the Galway Hurdle. 16/1 winner Vividly was only a small cop in the book but better than the two joint favourites in second and third.
5:20 Tatler Handicap
The lucky last was one of those races, too hard for the punters at around 11/2 the field. At the off there were just two losers Celsius the bad one. Watching it win in a photo by a short-head wasn’t the result we were hoping for especially as word from the office was they’d laid the winner to a chunk. Still, it was a winning day on both pitches with some clawed back and still the two busiest days to go.
As a footnote the Dave Hazell firm had one of their lithium batteries stolen on Tuesday. They are about a grand a pop and used for powering the kit. It was hoped that someone had taken it by mistake and would be returned the next day. Sadly that’s not happened, even worse the nasty suspicion is that one of the usually tight-knit bookmaking community might have been the culprit. Today fellow bookie Peter Houghton went around Tattersalls and the Rails asking firms to drop in a tenner each to help ease the blow to Dave and Jane. Only four declined meaning that between them the bookies donated just under monkey. Faith (in all but the four) restored.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring