GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TUESDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch in the betting ring at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday. In the stands brollys were the order of the day, on the course it was more about the jollies than the brollys with Stradivarius the pivotal favourite of the day, on paper, in the Goodwood Cup.
1:50 Unibet Handicap
After weeks of sunshine, Glorious Goodwood opened with a deluge. On the positive side, the rain was warm as the books got to work taking bets on the opener. Punters didn’t appear too keen to brave the rain to have a bet. Needless to say Field money was very poor. We kept most of what was in the hod when Fayez obliged at 25/1, but it wasn’t a lot.
Ellie and Flynn kept smiling though, a task made a little easier with very few people to pay. Mind you, whoever came up with the idea of plastic notes never had to pay out in the rain. There must be plenty of punters paid out a Brucie Bonus with two notes stuck together, not from Star Sports pitch though, of course.
Usually ‘Ricky’ Rickson works for Star at big meetings. Not this one though, he has a long-standing commitment to Bo Brown, I’m not casting aspersions but his wet wear clobber’s not quite up to Star Sports high standards!
Quite often the firm do a communal Placepot prior to racing. I’d been at the racecourse since 9.30 while Flynn and co had a leisurely morning. There was plenty for me to do so got stuck in in the relative comfort of the Press facilities. Meanwhile the team arrived on course and got on with their jobs setting the gear up while I got on with mine. Imagine my horror when I came down to the pitch be told I’d been left out of the placepot ‘as I’d not been with them’ though had been sent a photo of the ticket in the ‘Placepot Legends’ WhatsApp group. I know dear reader, talk about being ostracised. Anyway, all’s well that ends well. Check out the ticket then the result of the first. A pony saved is like backing the first winner. That’ll teach them, Aye Aye.
2:25 Qatar Vintage Stakes (Group 2)
The rain started to ease so betting was livelier in the next. Not lumpy, just steady, the biggest bet seen on the rails pitch was £200, not on the jolly Pinatubo though but Visinari. It was the latter the punters wanted to be on, at least with Star. We got away with it, the jolly won but was only a smaller loser as Visinari by far the worst in in the book. Bullet partially dodged, even Lofty allowed himself a smile, sort of.
3:00 Qatar Lennox Stakes (Group 2)
Flynn took the first decent cash bet of the day, £5500 – £2000 laid Hey Gaman. The money stayed in the hod, the lack of any other lumps ensured that 6/1 winner Sir Dancealot was a decent winner.
Flamboyant bookmaker Geoff Banks came to the pitch to tell me that a legendary ex trainer had bet the winner with him and to put it in the blog. I had an inkling he was winding me up because I thought, then confirmed with Lofty and Armaloft, that the said great was in fact no longer with us having passed away some time ago. I thought that the strain must have been getting to Geoff, or that maybe he’d got an ‘in’ to the other side and was taking bets from beyond the grave. I got to wondering if you have to wait to join them in the ‘other place’ before settling, after all everyone says you can’t take it with you. Happily someone that knows more enlightened us to the happy reality that said ex-trainer is alive and well and apparently betting winners with Geoff Banks. Great news it wasn’t with us!
3:35 Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)
Had this been Royal Ascot or Cheltenham the firm would have been braced for a ‘monster’ bet on odds-on Stradivarius. Generally Goodwood isn’t like that as far as big bets go. Flynn was hawking 5/6 at the off but there were very few takers. At the off the jolly was losing just a ‘carpet’ which became a ‘rouf’ with the each-way money. Praise be the big punters didn’t get involved.
4:10 European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Stakes
I went over to the Tattersalls pitch to find out how they’d been getting on. They were happy but quiet, Peter Houghton behind them reported business was the worst he’d known it in 25 years. Tim Brown betting further up the second row described the experience so far as ‘underwhelming’ – despite being one of the few Tatts books to go 1/4 the odds a place in the opener. Back on the rails pitch Lofty was attempting to beat the Sussex record for the use of the word ‘very’ prefixing an intended ‘quiet’ when a punter came in for a £5000 – £1000 Lost In Time which at least halted the ‘very’ trail. That was by far the biggest bet of the race. We got it beaten but the favourite Cobra Eye winning by a short-head wasn’t any good either. Once again the firm ‘only’ did a carpet, but those figures add up when the jollies keep winning. There’s a lot of exes to cover before there’s a sniff of any profit on the week.
4:45 Chelsea Barracks Handicap
Business really dropped off for the penultimate, maybe that was because genial giant Lofty clambered onto the joint. It might have been coincidence that Ellie hopped off the joint just after to collect some free strawberries and cream. Despite Lofty’s best efforts there was a distinct lack of punters.
Green Power winning at 16/1 looked like a good result but the printout revealed several fiver each-way bets at the price. The winning ladies were delighted but their dent in a low holding race meant although the book won, it’s fair to say didn’t get its whack. A positive slant is that it was a case of swings and roundabouts for not doing cobblers on the winning favourites.
5:15 Unibet Fillies’ Handicap
The lucky last was steady, modest, betting at the off the book had three losers, the worst Infanta Isabella for £900. 12/1 winner Maid For Life was a good result and copped most of the book. Good things come to those who wait, get wet and in some cases are ostracised from the Placepot Legends. We’re back tomorrow, they tell me it’s going to be sunny.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring