I used to spend a lot of time at Kempton when I worked for TurfTV, I got very used to the A303 up from Devon so much so that I actually wrote an e-book ‘P stops of the A303’ which is still downloadable on Amazon and has so far sold two copies writes SIMON NOTT. No demand for knowing which laybys are most suitable for a quick call of nature it seems! And there was me thinking it would be a best seller.
I’m off to @kemptonparkrace and will be writing a betting ring report live from the @StarSports_Bet pitch. Come and see us on course if you are going. #horseracing @BenStarSports pic.twitter.com/jwN5dYc9Hw
— SimonNott (@SimonNott) January 13, 2024
These days I’m an infrequent visitor, so it’s a treat rather than a chore to set off at 7am and point the car back up that familiar route to Kempton Park, these days my knowledge of laybys comes in handy at least once, it’s an age thing no doubt.
Nothing much has changed at Kempton, it was a pleasure to be back. The team today, just on the rail were Steve and Lofty. Neither look very cheerful in the photo do they? It’s OK though they were happier than they looked, despite the weather being a bit in the fresh side.
12:20 – Play Coral ‘Racing-Super-Series’ For Free Juvenile Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4YO only) 2m
The first race was all about one horse, Kalif Du Berlais (pictured below) which was backed from 7/4 into 10/11 pretty much with exception to anything else. Star Sports didn’t get involved until the Paul Nicholls horse was 11/10 where they laid £880 – £800 and £220 – £200. At the off he was losing £1600 and never looked like getting beaten after poaching a four length lead at the off. ‘We’ve done it in cold blood’ was Lofty’s summing up, Rucker betting as Paul Wilkinson in Tatts was less polite. It could have been worse though, you could be a punter betting at SP, the winner retuned 4/5, where do they get these prices?
12:55 – Coral Get Closer To The Action Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 3) (5YO plus) 2m
I was speaking to Rupert Mackeson as I tend to do when the Bad Baronet is in attendance, he was quite looking forward to watching Stephen Little’s appearance on tomorrow’s Luck On Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see how a professional interviewer handles the often verbally understated king of the bookies. It’s a must watch tomorrow.
Back down in the betting ring, it was once again the one horse book. This time Nicky Henderson’s Gentle Slopes was backed from 11/8 into 4/5. Lofty and Steve laid one chunk, £2000 at 11/8. The punters that backed the favourite got a lot more value for their money than they’d hoped for. Gentle Slopes just managed to scramble over the line a nose in front of Gary Moore’s tenacious Junkanoo but before his backers could celebrate too wildly, or more importantly for the bookmakers, draw, a steward’s enquiry was called.
The bookies had a glimmer of hope, more than a glimmer when the head on appeared to show the jolly (pictured below, right) had carried the runner with a slight contact and James Best had the whip in his wrong hand. The longer it went on the hope the ring had, but at quarter past one, those hopes were dashed. The stewards allowed the favourite to keep the race.
1:30 – New Bet-In-Race With Coral Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (5YO plus) 3m
Next up and the firm laid a bet of £5000 – £2000 the jolly Chianti Classico and a £3300 – £300 De Rasher Counter and £1100 – £400 Latitude but the rest of the £3450 field money was made up of bets of £100 and under though business was brisk enough to keep Steve and Lofty warm.
At the off the favourite was a loser for £3729 and De Rasher Counter was bad £160. This time, the punters left it behind, Dan Skelton’s Flegmatik (mentioned positively in Harry’s blog on this site today) was too good for them, beating Chianti Classico into second by a comfortable couple of lengths. The book copped £1540, stopping the rot. Between races I saw a couple of bookmakers having ‘a cup of tea’ a pint to you and me. My oft mentioned first bookie boss Jack Lynn wouldn’t have approved, his words from beyond the grave from a racecourse of old came ringing into my memory. ‘No drinking at the races Simon boy, you can’t work with your cock in your hand!’ He was a sage, RIP Jack.
2:07 – Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5YO plus) 2m 4½f
The biggest bet of the day came in the next race, a bet of £12,500 – £5000 Edwardstone and a monkey at 10/3 Banbridge, the rest of the business was quite modest. Edwardstone was arguably the first beaten but Banbridge was still in the game turning for home. If you didn’t know the colours you were stuck knowing which horse was which as the jumped the last two, the commentary was lost for whatever reason. Banbridge won the race, to the roar of the crowd, and Lofty and Steve, the book copped £4500.
✈️ Latest starsports.bet price on Banbridge (pictured below, right) for the Ryanair ⭐
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2:42 – Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4YO plus) 2m 5f
3:15 – Coral Racing Club Join For Free Handicap Chase (Class 3) (5YO plus) 2m 4½f
3:50 – Coral Committed To Safer-Gambling Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (4YO plus) 2m
Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.
Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
available on Kindle CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS