The firm was back on course bright and early, very bright in Hannah’s case resplendent in pink for Ladies Day with a nod to Barbie.
Last night they decided to banish memories of being soaked literally to the skin and doing their money by having a big night out at The Ivy.
That may not have been a bad shout. My great mate and shrewd punter Andrew Mount had a tactic. When he’d had a bad day or was having a bad run, he’d trot off to the bar intending to get lagers but would return with a couple of bottles of Bollinger on ice and a pair of glasses.
We’d celebrate like we’d won, it’s amazing how often the next day would be a betting bonanza. I’d better say don’t try this at home though, always bet and drink responsibly, at least you can get the Bolly on your credit card if you’re ribby!
There had been some lively business in the Star Sports office this morning, they told me, ‘Blue Rose Cen in the 15.35 is best backed by far this morning including £25,000 at 10/11. We’ve also laid £10,000 on Artistic Star at 3/1 in the 15.00’
1:50 – Coral Kincsem Handicap (Class 2) (3YO only) 1m 2f
The first race was busy.
On asked how they’d got on, Lofty on the rails just replied ‘We took some bets’. They did too, the punters kept them tap, tapping away with wagers on the modest-sized, none bigger than a bottle, £200. They fielded £3200 and had the 2/1 favourite Perfuse losing £1800. It was a similar story on the Tattersalls pitch, they took just over £2000 in smallish bets. Luckily, after all that grafting they got a result, well, at least the favourite didn’t win.
Royal Rhyme won the race at 9/1, the jolly was out with the washing. Lofty’s team got The Ivy bill money back copping £1200 while Steve and the Tatts team’s book was a ‘taker’. They won a fiver in the win market but scrabbled £95 on the places to cop £100 on the race overall.
The office started the day in the best possible manner, with a winning race. They told me, ‘It was a busy opener, all about the favourite Perfuse including bets of £9000 – £4000 and £4500 -£ 2000 which was a great result to start Thursday’.
The betting shops were busy but didn’t take many lumps though did get a £1000 bet on the favourite laid and beaten.
💬 Jockey Clifford Lee said: “We have definitely liked this horse for a while. Today he had a great draw and the plan was to get in amongst them, get him to relax, and he has finished off his race really nicely. I thought we went a nice, even gallop.
He always travels so well, and he loves passing horses. Last time out didn’t really help because I was stuck wide and didn’t get any cover. I was in a lovely position throughout and he travelled lovely through the race. Once we went through the three furlong marker today, I knew we were going to pick them off. It was just a matter of pushing the button.”
2:25 – Markel Richmond Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (2YO only) 6f
The second race threw up an impressive winner in the 11/8 favourite Vandeek. Simon and Ed Crisford’s colt bolted up never really giving the bookmakers any hope. Having said that, the Tattersalls team actually won a fiver on the winning side having fielded £2500 with 2/1 chance Sketch the boogie. That despite still offering 6/4 at the off on the front row of Tatts, come racing.
Over on the rail, Lofty and team lost £1300 over the winner having held £4500, the other loser was Nazalan for a monkey.
I was expecting to hear a horror story from the Hove office but they reported a small winning race, a stroke of good fortune which they’d take.
💬 Simon Crisford said: “Vandeek was bought at the Craven Breeze-Up Sale and we were very lucky he was allocated to us – if you get the good horses in your stable, you have half a chance of doing well.
It is nerve-wracking [when a horse has cost 625,000gns] because you don’t want to miss your lines as he nearly did at Nottingham. It makes you think twice about your campaign, but I think with a horse like that having won the way he did at Nottingham, he had to go and do something better. A little bit of juice in the ground suits him, but next year he will go on quick ground. This year as a two-year-old we will keep him to sensible ground and not too firm.
His bones still aren’t mature enough to cope with really quick ground.’’
3:00 – John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3YO only) 1m 4f
Next up and the sort of smaller field that the punters often like to get their teeth into. Aidan O’Brien’s Espionage was the 15/8 favourite but given the connections was maybe surprisingly hard to lay.
Maybe not so surprisingly, Lofty was keen to get the favourite in the book, it was sweating, he told me, ‘We only laid £400 at 15/8 but it’s steady, I’ve got the favourite losing £2000, I love laying sweating favourites’. He added that they were much busier in Tatts. Kyle agreed saying it was busy but there had been nothing spectacular stakes wise then promptly laid £7000 – £1000 Canberra Legend.
The favourite ran no sort of race justifying Lofty’s keenness to get him in the book. Desert Hero won at 7/1 trained by William Haggas got the King. It should have been a cracking result but those royal colours rarely go unbacked. Both books won on the race, with Lofty’s pitch bagging £662 while Kyle’s team were happy with their £1118 winnings.
The office were pleased too, they told me, ‘The strong finish from Desert Hero means it’s another for the firm, helped by the £10,000 we laid earlier on Artistic Star.’
💬 Maureen Haggas said: “It was not the easiest watch, but Tom said he always thought he was going to win. The important thing with this horse is getting him switched off early, which he did really well, and I think if you can do that, you can let the rest of the race unfold. Desert Hero has guts – he wants to win and that counts for a lot.”
3:35 – Qatar Nassau Stakes (Fillies’ And Mares’ Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m 2f
9/1 Al Husn won the six horse feature for Roger Varian under Jim Crowley turning over one of the bankers of the meeting Blue Rose Cen in the process. To be honest, she turned herself over finishing just fourth. As far as Star Sports goes when there’s a short one both on course teams had very good books.
Just the way when you get a result. They copped just over £4000 on the race between them. Lofty pointed out ‘ We kept laying Never Ending Story, clearly lots of Limahl fans out there!’ For younger readers, you’ll have to Google it!
The office simply said it had been the best result of the week for them so far.
There was a dampener when the betting shops reported laying £5000 – £500 the winner in their flagship Curzon Street shop.
While all the focus for these blogs has been the Goodwood business. Star Sports are also being represented in the ring at Galway. They reported bets of €10,000 – €700 each-way third placed Higher Kingdoom and €5000 – €900 each-way the unplaced Sirjack Thomas in the 3.20 and €4600 Blue Rose Cen at SP on the aways at Goodwood.
💬 Roger Varian said: “Al Husn is a remarkable filly. I think she has won seven of her last eight now. The truth is none of us really knew how good she was, because she is one of those who just beats what is in front of her and is never particularly flashy. She has such an admirable attitude. We thought we would come here and run very well, but I am obviously delighted, and delighted Sheihka Hissa is here. To have a Group One for her and with a homebred filly like this, it’s fantastic.”
4:10 – Jaeger-Lecoultre Nursery (Class 2) (2YO only) 7f
Next up and the elastic bands hadn’t really snapped around the winnings, the teams were off for their lives but business was light. Lofty had Gray’s Inn losing £1300 in a £2000 book. Kyle reported ‘Really not a bad little betting heat this.
It isn’t big stakes, just taking it as it comes. Laying a lot of runners. ‘Nice little book’. Mission To The Moon winning for Roger Varian under David Egan was a taker in Kyle’s book and copped a grand for Lofty’s team.
The Office reported light betting but a great spread of business and another favourable result.
💬 Roger Varian said: “Mission To Moon has been a work in progress, and was very green on debut. He didn’t really do himself justice but ran fine the last twice. In those small-runner novice fields he had to make the running twice and just got passed by one with more experience on each occasion. I thought he would run well today and the festival set-up would suit him with a big field and strong pace.
He was able to get a good position, but not lead, and David gave him a nicely timed ride and the horse got through the ground okay and was strong through the line. The Goffs Million is definitely something to think about, but we have no big plan and I was encouraged by the way he handled the ground. For any autumn races we won’t have to be shy about soft ground and hopefully he can keep progressing.”
4:45 – Buccellati Handicap (Class 3) (3YO only) 1m
As expected, the race before the penultimate was a small staking affair with 17 runners. Both teams reported betting modest with the punters making their books. Field money for both pitches was only around £1600 in each book with plenty of losers as they laid them.
Gary Moore’s Novus winning at 7/2 wasn’t what the books were looking for, but you have to give credit to Tom Queally getting her home despite all sorts of trouble in running. Lofty’s pitch lost £30 with the places and Steve’s £240 but both teams felt like they’d got away with it considering the jolly won.
The office fared worse. they said ‘Finally, one for the punters with Novus overcoming trouble in running to win, a small loser in our book.’
💬 Tom Queally said: “I got Novus more focused today, we didn’t have time to declare cheekpieces, but she needs a bit of help concentrating so we put a fluffy noseband on instead. It seemed to help me get to where I wanted to be in the race. We were riding the race to use the cutaway to our advantage, but at that point where I made the beeline towards the rail four other people did as well, and I came out worst of it.
She did well to rally, she did well to win. Arguably she shouldn’t have won so I hope the handicapper will handicap her on the winning margin rather than the fashion in which she won. We could now aim a bit higher and maybe get a bit of black type, which would be nice for her going forward when she becomes a mare. Heading into the autumn, you would like to think this ground will be around more often than not and off her mark I still think she has a job to do. She could be a bit better than just a handicapper.”
5:20 – Tatler British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (GBB Race) (Class 2) (2YO only) 7f
By the penultimate, the betting on course had taken a definite downturn, but to be fair it was a maiden with very little for the punters to go on. They knew though, Dominic Ffrench Davis’ Ornellaia justified being sent off the 7/4 favourite by a couple of lengths under Kevin Stott. Kyle’s team fielded £1600 on the race with no bets of note and managed to cop £600 over the winning jolly with the places.
Lofty’s team lost £40 and reported that the places were kind, adding that the result was more like a Goodwood book with the first three in the betting the first three home. A bit negative there Loft.
Then after reading that Steve’s team won on the race, Lofty sent a big swinging dick emoji over to them! No, not a selfie.
The office weren’t so keen on banter, they reported that the punter comeback had continued and that the easy winning favourite was a loser in the book.
5:55 – World Pool Handicap (Class 3) (3YO only) 5f
Before betting on the last Kyle came on to confidently say ‘We can’t lose today’ adding that the punters appeared too refreshed to bet. Steve’s team ultimately fielded £1500 on the race and took it tidily. Lofty said he had a similarly filled hod and tidy book. Those tidy books were just as well as the 9/2 joint favourite JM Jungle obliged for the punters, trainer John Quinn and jockey Jason Hart.
Steve’s team won a carpet on the race and £4000 on the day, Lofty’s team lost about the same amount and reported copping ‘£3500 for the reserves’. That concluded another winning day with the rot stopped after yesterday. I told you Andrew Mount was shrewd didn’t I, there must be somewhere swankier than the Ivy to dine at tonight guys. Have a press-up!
The office were in football mode after the last, their message was that it had been a day of two halves, but concluded that overall it had been their day at Goodwood.
Meanwhile, the Star Sports pitch over at Galway had been doing some good business they managed to cop £2335 in the penultimate there despite the favourite winning. To top it off they laid £5000 – £4000 Stroke The Fire in the 5.40 and got it beaten. Happy days for Star in the Emerald Isle.
The last word went to the betting shops, they had been sending over plenty of £400 and £500 bets today, they won on the day too but reported that business had been a bit lighter than yesterday. We’re back tomorrow. I can’t wait to write up the night’s staff welfare!
Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.
Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
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