The team were up and ready to go with plenty of time to spare at York this lunchtime.
Steve, head of on-course told me that they all enjoyed a lovely tapas meal last night. There was a bit of a disconcerting additional bit of information from Hannah though. She feared that her chocolate brownie dessert enjoyed as a sweet last night may well have not agreed with her, she had vivid nightmares which involved her horse Brian. Needless to say, she’s not having chocolate brownies before bed again.
I’m not so sure that tasty Brownie would have been the cause, mind you, 20 years ago I’d have been at Reading Festival, if you ate one from a random there you be worried…
1:50 – Sky Bet Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 1m 4f
Luckily, Hannah had ‘come down’ before the betting got going proper. There had been some drizzle early on but that soon cleared which helped. Lofty was OK, he’d had the almond cake so was lucid. He told me with total clarity that the biggest bets they’d laid on the fairly quiet opening race were £1000 – £300 Balance Play and £1600 – £200 each-way Marhaba The Champ.
He described business as poor though isn’t known to be over-complementary. Money talks, the field money totalled £1800 which they paid out again plus a grand when Marhaba The Champ won the race under Ryan Moore for trainer Kevin Ryan. Not a great start on the rails.
The Star Sports Hove office fared better, they told me: “We enjoyed a lively start taking plenty of bets, there was a good spread of money and despite being ridden by Ryan Moore the winner was a good start for the office”
The betting shop estate reported modest stakes but one of them outlets did lay laid £1800 – £300 each-way Wootton’sun which finished 12th.
2:25 – Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 2m ½f
Lofty sent me a message with the first bet of note in the second, £2200 – £800 accompanied by a photo of the late great Robbie Coltrane. It made me smile anyway, imagine how much funnier he’d have been if he’d forsaken the almond cake for the chocolate brownie.
You might wonder why I write that sort of thing, well when you are working remotely and the message you get from on-course simply reads, ‘Useless, £2000 take, Robbie for £2000 Courage for £200’ you have to think on your feet.
‘Robbie’ the 11/4 second favourite Coltrane won the race under Oisin Murphy from 5/2 jolly Courage Mon Ami. The book lost £2000 and I’m hazarding a guess the messages will get even less cheerful.
The news wasn’t great from the Star Sports HQ in Hove either, they told me: “Another busy betting heat, where the punters chose to ignore the favourite, the winner Coltrane was more popular and a small loser”.
One of the Star Sports betting shops laid a bet of £1100 – £400 the winner too.
3:00 – Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (2YO only) 6f
Phew, thankfully it was busier down on the rail for the next. The trouble was the punters all wanted to be on the same selection. Unsurprisingly, ‘It’s a one-horse book’ was the message from Steve, Hannah and Lofty at the sharp end. Bets included £1500 – £500, £900 – £300 and £1250 – £500 all on Kylian which made it very lopsided indeed, they got it beaten though.
Lake Forest winning at 16/1 for Tom Marquand and William Haggas was an excellent result for the firm. Lofty’s message was sort of upbeat, telling me, ‘We had a poor book and got away with it, we took £3000 but had the favourite for more than that and had a couple not getting us anything either, but we won £1800 on the race and WILL be laying Big Evs’
The news from the Hove office was similarly positive, they told me: “That was a great result for the office with all the money being on the front two in the betting”
3:35 – Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (2YO plus) 5f
One of the first bets in the rails book for the feature was £1750 – £1000 Highfield Princess. As it turned out, it was the only bet worth writing about but there was still plenty of money flying about. The firm got their way and at the off had Big Evs the bogie losing £2500 with Highfield Princess also losing £1300 holding £3200 on the race.
They got it right, Live In The Dream winning at 28/1 for Adam West under Sean Kirrane was a dream result for the ring. Steve mentioned that one of the owners of the winner was in the same restaurant as them last night. Lofty added that it was hard to miss that fact because he mentioned it more times than Uncle Albert mentioned the war.
Quite right too, who wouldn’t be excited and want to talk about their horse before a big day? In a way of serving Lofty for his slightly churlish remark right, Live In The Dream was the worst winner in the book copping £1200.
The Hove office had a cracking result, their message was: “Another great betting heat, with strong support for the favourite, including bets of £6000 – £4000, £13,000 – £8000 and £7000 – £4000 so a welcome result”
Things were lively over the betting shop estate too, bets included £1000, £500 and £400 for Highfield Princess and £500 Big Evs.
4:10 – Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies’ Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 1m 2½f
Sadly, the momentum didn’t keep up on the rails, Lofty said that they’d struggled to take £1200 in the race before the penultimate. Handily they kept £600 of it when 4/1 chance Reach won the race under Joanna Mason for Michael and David Easterby. That surely could have been a lot worse.
They’d had some excitement in the office though, they told me: “Rowayeh was our bogie, including a bet of £30,000 -£10,000 but it appeared beaten early, Reach winning made it another positive result.”
4:45 – British EBF 40th Anniversary Convivial Maiden Stakes (GBB Race) (Class 2) (2YO only) 7f
The rails only took £1300 on the penultimate and lost £100 on the race when Battle Cry won under Ryan Moore for Aidan O’Brien. It would have been a grand bigger take and a much worse result. As Lofty told me ‘A fella asked for monkey each-way the eventual at 7/1 when it was 13/2 tight.
I was happy to lay him 13/2 and I was just about to go 6/1, then he’s coming back all the time to try and blag bigger said ‘I offered him 13/2! We dodged a bullet!’ Lofty added: “I hope it’s busier tomorrow, it’s been busier on a normal Friday.”
The news from the office wasn’t very exciting, it just read… ‘Level race’.
5:15 – Sky Bet Mile Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO only) 1m
The lucky last saw similar business, a little disappointing on the rail. Steve, Hannah and Lofty did manage to field a couple of grand. Bajan Bandit was the bogie, losing what they’d taken care of a £2000 – £140 trade bet, while Tafreej lost a grand.
The last race was a winning one thanks to previous #BettingPeople interviewee Dylan Cunha’s Silver Sword’s 15/2 victory under Greg Cheyne. A tremendous win for the yard who are going places. Meet Dylan here: https://www.starsportsbet.co.uk/bettingpeople-dylan-cunha/
The book won £600 which nudged made the day a winning one for £1000, described by the team as ‘nothing special’. It was at least another winning day with the on-course crew well in front going into the feature Saturday tomorrow.
Let’s hope the guys and gals have a great night tonight and lay off the hallucinogenic afters.
The office report read: “The last race was the lightest betting heat of the day but another decent result, overall we had a very good day at York.”
The betting shop estate reported a grand bet over the unplaced favourite so they had been kept on their toes.
I’m back tomorrow with all the business from across the firm.
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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