York Saturday – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

Firstly, I have to apologise for an inaccuracy in yesterday’s blog. Hannah’s horse is called Violet and Brian is in fact her boyfriend’s name. She still dreamed of her horse not Brian, make of that as you will, but Brian is definitely not her horse.

Dreams, not Hannah’s this time, but Lofty’s were the topic of last night’s meal conversation. Apparently, our hero has some vivid ones, those conjured up recently include getting to the semi-finals of the X-Factor and making it to the live shows, the other was playing the lead in a bet365 documentary, which sounded alright until he added his role was to play Denise Coates! You might think that those were farfetched, but the cherry on the top was scoring the winning goal for Portsmouth against Southampton!

Hannah swears that Lofty was chattering in his sleep last night, she heard him through the wall before anyone asks. He denies it and she admits she could have been mistaken having been already on high alert as she expected the piano downstairs in their digs to start playing Scooby Do manner during the night.

It seems that our nocturnal two deserved the posh breakfast Steve treated them to this morning. All that imagination must work up a hunger. Fed, they were up and ready to bet at York at 11.44am. It’s lucky they have power on the rails these days, the batteries would never last. They weren’t the first though, they were short-headed by fellow bookie John Hughes and you have to get up early to be up before any Hughes brother.

At least Lofty and Steve were working, Hannah was busy meeting Goldream, racehorse rehoming charity New Beginning’s equine ambassador. She told me that they’re an amazing registered charity helping racehorses find homes of which Kevin and Pam Atkinson are the founders. You can find more information here. https://nbhorses.org.uk/meet-our-team/

It’s not all about the betting but it will be from now on. The Star Sports betting shop estate have been busy all week, but extra busy this morning, the bets laid in the morning included £2000 at 5/6 Nostrum in the first and £1500 at 10/3 Kinross in the City Of York Stakes at 3.00.

1:50 – Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m 1f

There was a bit of negativity from the rail after the opener. Lofty wasn’t happy. He said that the rails had totally gone at York, that is since they banned people from taking their drinks onto the lawn. He added that it was rammed in Tattersalls but you could have played a game of five a side in front of the pitch. In amongst that aura of misery they did manage to lay stand out bets of an even grand and even monkey the favourite Nostrum in a book where they held £3700. That was ultimately very handy as Nostrum ran no sort of race behind the 6/1 winner Spirit Dancer. The book won £1700 over the ‘worst winner in the book’.

The office reported that they’d had a one horse book, Nostrum including a bet of £8000 – £10,000 in addition to plenty of smaller bets and the selection also the first leg of the ‘paper bet’s Spirit Dancer was a ‘right result’.

The betting shops had a good start too including the £1000 bet laid this morning.

2:25 – Sky Bet Melrose Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO only) 1m 6f

The mood on the rails wasn’t that much more cheerful after the second heat. They only took £1500 on the race, that included a single bet of £300. At the off Middle Earth was the only loser in the book. Middle Earth (pictured below) won the race and the book lost £1800 with the places.

The office news was ‘That was a much quieter race, the winner was the bogey but only a small dent from the first race.’

3:00 – Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 7f

Lofty messaged just as the last of the horses were going into the stalls. His news was that they’d just limped over the £2000 take mark there. On a Saturday, on the rails at the biggest meeting of the day, representing a firm that advertises the fact they are there to take big bets, that’s pretty poor. They had Kinross the worst in the book losing £1200 but also with another for £400 and a taker in the figures. I imagine Lofty was seething as Frankie gave a little salute as he passed the post first on Kinross. There was a glimmer of good news though, with the places, they only lost £1100.

Whilst the crowds roared Frankie like a pop star up at York, Ed messaged, ‘We were up the front two in market there. Bets of note were £11,000 -£4000 and £5500 – £2000 Sacred and £10,000 – £4000 Kinross, plus plenty of other smaller bets, the winner was the lesser of two evils there’.

On top of the £1500 at 10/3 they laid Kinross in the morning, the betting shops also ran into another £600 at 5/2 the winner but also took money for Sacred including a grand at 5/2.

The Star Sports reach spread across the Irish Sea again today where Neil and Jennifer were representing the firm at The Curragh ….

3:35 – Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (4YO plus) 1m 6f

You’ll no doubt be glad to know, I’m certain I was, that things picked up for the feature race. Steve, Hannah and Lofty laid £4000 – £200 each-way Yashin, at least that was a bet of some sort of note, but then plenty more after that. At the off the grumpy one messaged to say they had Sweet William losing £4000, Yashin £2000 and Jackfinbar a taker. ‘Good Old Frankie’ was Lofty’s response, a phrase your rarely hear, when Absurde won at 7/1 for Willie Mullins. The trainer was all praise for the jockey too, but he’ll have copped more than the £1300 that the rails pitch did, still, they tell me Lofty cracked a smile.

Ed Dark in the office was happy, he told me, ‘Absolute one horse book. We laid bets of £11,000 – £4000 and £4500 -1500 twice plus plenty of £500 and £1000 bets so it was a really really busy race and a good result even with the Frankie factor.

The betting shops took some decent money too, pretty much all on Sweet William, including £2500 at SP £6000 – £2000 and £3000 – £1000.

4:10 – Sky Bet Constantine Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 6f

The next kicked off in style on the rails with a £4000 – £400 each-way Lethal Levi. That was the only bet worth writing home about, but the team managed to take another £2000 on top with plenty of that for Summerghand and Aberama, both losers at the off.

We were treated to a cracking race where Dave Phillip’s old ‘judge calls for a print’ tactic of getting stuck into whatever the punters were happy to be odds-on would have paid off again. As Summerghand and Albasheer flashed past the post most observers and the machine favoured Albasheer. The longer it took to call, the less confidence there was for Hollie Doyle’s mount, it wasn’t a huge surprise when the result was called a dead heat. The rails book won £800 but would have preferred Summerghand beaten outright and not had to explain to winning punters how a dead heat payout works.

Ed in the office told me that there had been a good spread of business in the race but they hadn’t laid any lumps and still had the favourite a loser. The photo was a £26,000 swing for the Hove HQ so they were understandably disappointed that Summerghand wasn’t beaten outright. Ed added that although it was a losing race it could have been worse.

4:45 – Julia Graves Roses Stakes (Listed) (Class 1) (2YO only) 5f

Sadly, it seemed that from an on-course betting point of view the Ebor meeting was fizzling out with very little fanfare. News from the rail was that there had been nothing to crow about from a book that held £2000. Then very late on the second-in Baheer was withdrawn after being upset in the stalls so those stakes had to be returned. The gelding was a loser in the book so took up a monkey chunk of the meagre field money. Of course, had he run he could have won, but when 6/1 chance Inquisitively beat the 9/4 favourite Purosangue it was seen as money given away. On the positive side, the book still won £750.

The office did OK, they told me that they’d had another one horse book having laid bets of £4000 -£2000 and £3000 – £1500 the jolly so a winning race for them.

5:20 – Sky Bet Finale Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3YO plus) 1m 2½f

Going into the lucky last, Lofty told me that they were £1400 up on the day, I worked out that they were £24,650 in front on the week. Given the level of business today it was unlikely that they were going to knock it out here. They were still tryers though taking a bet of £3000 – £1000 Astro King off the floor. Lofty assured me that they weren’t going to knock the week’s winnings on the race but was keen they won on the finale. They had gone ‘up the front two’ the best they could. Astro King was the bogie losing £2100 while Haunted Dream lost £900 on the race. Anything but those two in the last would cap off the third winning day of four. Sadly, for the bookmakers at least, Astro King obliged for the punters and won quite cosily under William Buick.

Over at Star Sports Hove HQ they reported, ‘Oviedo was our only loser after laying £11,000 – £2000, everything else was a winner but the popular favourite sadly took the book, but we’ve had a winning York – roll on the Dante!

Final word came from the betting shops, one of which laid £750 Haunted Dream at SP which was handy for them.

So, that concluded a fantastic four days of sport, and my virtual summer of big festivals being watched and reported on from home. It’s true you can watch every race and have no strange beds to sleep in or road miles to cover, but one thing I do know, there’s nothing like being there and I’ve missed it. Normal service will be resumed very soon. Safe home everyone who has now got a lot of driving to do. Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed the reports.


Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.

Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring




Author: Eugene Morris