Good morning all,
The second part of my Bank Holiday weekend is on the main piece, along with a big-priced selection from Southwell tonight.
Chester's May Meeting begins today too, and once we've seen what rain there's been, I'll be looking a bit more closely at that tomorrow.
Sunday, and things look better. The wind has died down, although it’s by no means warm, and there’s no sign of rain. Better still, Newmarket have listened to our complaints yesterday and the tannoy is at a perfect volume. People power has worked!
The Sunday of the Guineas is never as busy as the Saturday, it tends to be more of a family crowd out for the day but there’s no doubting the weather has put people off. By the end of the day, we’ll have taken half the number of bets we took on the Sunday last year.
“We never get two good days of results here” bemoans bookie Paul Johnson. “If it was good yesterday, it’ll not be as good today.” We will see.
It’s slow going to begin with, and I get a lot of requests asking “do you take a pound?” That tells you exactly what sort of audience you’re dealing with here. So I decide that, although it’s more work and it can eat through your change, I’ll take quids, as it might be all I take.
I’m more or less in the same spot as yesterday and it seems I’m still busier than Steve on the rails. I find that amazing. Again, by the end of play, I’ll have out-ticketed him on both days.
Steve’s taken a couple of decent bets on Baghdad in the first and so have I. Two furlongs out I think it’s beat. A furlong out and I still don’t think it’s getting there. But then it hits the rising ground and suddenly there’s only one winner. The jolly wins and I think that perhaps Paul might be right…
Pound punters don’t want odds-on shots either, so Worth Waiting isn't much better in the next. I’ve got one lady betting quids with me on behalf of her two girls, who are telling her what they think, and it’s a joy to see two young ladies enjoy themselves so much. They’re there for the racing and to see the horses. Not for any side entertainments, although they tell me they did sneak a go on the bouncy slide! Sadly they are picking the wrong ones for Mum though!
I find out that one of the IT guys that works with RDT is called Eddie Cochrane. I’m sure someone’s pulling my leg but not sure who. Three steps to getting your laptop working again?
1000 Guineas time. Good spread of money but someone has £40 on winner Hermosa with me. Lady Kaya is popular with the e/w crowd too but it’s a decent result.
Group 1 Gary is helping me out again when needed. He’s off to the paddock for the maiden though, and when he comes back tells me Path Of Freedom looks like the one to be with. Although he tells me he’s not seen Threat, and did he go down early? As it turns out, Threat goes down later than the rest, and looks well. Too late for me, I’ve already backed Path Of Freedom now, and as he runs like a drain, and Threat wins like a good thing at 10-1, Gary goes a bit quiet. Not your fault mate!
It’s good that one or two of the books are betting with each other nearby, rather than all back into the exchange, and Adamson Bookmakers are having a few bets with me. He has a £200-£40 Shambolic and then, he then gives me a fiver and says “I think I owe you this.” I’m puzzled. “Remember when you bet that charity race winner at Newbury with me earlier in the year? Well, I gave you a R4 when I shouldn’t have. So I owe you a fiver.” Winner winner! It’ll pay for the teas.
The last two jollies both win, which puts a bit of a dampener on the day, but I win another fiver off Gavin, one of the IT lads in a match bet in the last. We’ve won small on the day, but over the weekend, it’s been successful. Pack up and back home for 8.
Warwick Monday is the final stop.
Normally we would bet in the ring but on the Bank Holiday Monday, in the middle is the place to be. There’s loads of kids entertainment there, and it’s where all the families park themselves. Of course, it’s all small money but it’s a pleasant enough day. For a change I go on the machine and make the book, and when I lose £200 on the first (after Ferrobin stops to nothing) I think I’d rather be taking the bets. Daren then manages to spill every bit of change we have on the floor, and it’s like a playground scramble. “Always one!” shouts Gordon from the Keith Johnson pitch. “Keep your staff under control Dave!” Somehow I still get the blame for the change going everywhere (“it was the shock of Chutney losing £200 on the first”, says Daren) but I plough on regardless. Someone asks for 50p e/w on one. Even we have limits and tell them it’s a pound e/w minimum. They have a quid e/w on Jabotica at 5-4. Sigh.
There’s little to report as the day goes on but by the close of play I have managed to salvage the situation to some degree and turn a small profit. The good lady is in profit too after backing the first two winners, so she’s happy, and as we go home, we see the field of llamas by the side on the M69 near Hinkley. I think about becoming a llama farmer and whether it would be easier than travelling the length and breadth of the country going horseracing all the time. Probably, but not as much fun…
So on to today, and with the rain coming, things are going to change almost everywhere. I'll be at Southwell tonight and have had a look at the card, and I'm going to try a small win bet (and back her three places as well) om Katie Gale in the 6.35. On last week's running she's no hope, as she was 20l behind tonight's favourite Aphaea, but there are reasons for thinking she might do better here. Firstly, it's 2m not 1m6f, and she needs 2m as a bare minimum these days, secondly trainer Robyn Brisland is among the winners and thirdly, her last two wins have come within a fortnight of being seen on a racecourse and running poorly. So she can bounce back from a bad one, and I have a feeling she'll get a lot closer over this trip tonight.
Good luck with all your bets tonight,