It is common knowledge within the industry that some of the big players struggle to get their money down and often use runners to get on.
One person in particular who has even written in a book about his team of runners was of course Patrick Veitch.
I've just read a very interesting article in this months Smart Sigger by Peter Phillips, about how bookies runners operate.
Within the major book-makers there are whole departments devoted to trying to identify who these runners are and who they're running for.
I spent five years working for a major bookmaker and was often very impressed with the lengths these runners would go to.
I am obviously unable to divulge specific names, but I can say that there where at least 12 successful running teams at any given time in the UK responsible for hundreds of thousands of pounds per year being placed over the counters of the high street bookmaker. Some of these teams would have up to 20 people spreading bets all over a region.
So how do these teams operate?
Well it seems that they have to place bets at relatively low, £25, stakes. And they have to resort to wearing disguises and even disguising their handwriting on their betting slips!
But the most interesting tactic they use is that of the “guise gamble” which is used to trick the bookmakers and frankly to trick the betting public into making bad bets also!
Here's how Peter describes the Guise Gamble…
Once a few hundred pounds has been placed on a runner, the bookmaker will become alerted to this horse and consequently cut its price in the market.
The runners then allow a period of time for the mug punters to start following the money, and as a consequence the price on the horse that they really want to back is often pushed out to better odds.
They then drive to a different county and using the same technique of small bets spread over many betting shops, they're able to snatch the bigger price and as a consequence have their required margins over the bookmakers.
So essentially they start a fake gamble on a horse they are not interested in, knowing that punters like to get involved in a big gamble.
And that fake gamble will cause all the other prices to increase which will give more value on the real selection.
Devious stuff, hey!
You can get this months Smart Sigger magazine for free here – Click Here.
Today's Selection courtesy of Pure Racing