Good morning all,
Dark outside as we set off for Fakenham then, who doesn't love getting up in the middle of the night to go racing? 😉
Plenty of runners for a change though, looking forward to a good day.
I was at Newbury last weekend, as you all know, and a Tale is on the main piece. Hope you all enjoy it!
We arrive at Newbury at 10, having already worked the Friday there (which was a steady day, nothing special) and stayed at a hotel nearby. Friday night was good fun, we went out with the Corals and Christie lot for a few jars and a meal in a Nepalese restaurant. Never tried Nepalese before and it was rather nice. Sadly at the end of the evening, as we piled into a taxi, I absentmindedly put my hand on the taxi just as Colin was closing his door, and I managed to get my hand trapped in it. Thankfully it was the ball of the hand rather than the fingers, but it’s painful and I start Saturday with a minor injury. Don’t drink, kids.
The pick is at 10.40 (always an hour and a half before the first on Saturdays) and we are on the front row, which is good as it’s raining. When it rains, you always want a front row pick – punters tend to dive out from under the stands, place their bets and dip back under. If you’re on the back row, it won’t matter what prices you’ve got on your board – the punter simply won’t make it that far.
Martyn Of Leicester, in good form, comes over and offers me a day’s work on Tuesday. At this time of the year, every day you pick up is a bonus. Christmas is around the corner, and Ipads for the kids aren’t going to buy themselves.
We start betting an hour before the first and although we’re not expecting much with the weather, it’s steady enough, Sadly for us, Harry Cobden has opened his trap in the pre-race preview and told punters that Posh Trish is by far his best chance of a winner and they’ve latched on. 9-4 opening show into 11-8 at the off. We can’t keep them off it, loads of scores and forties, and from some way out it’s clear it’s one-nil to the punters.
Along comes race 2. A rather posh girl and her boyfriend come up to the joint. He gets a bollocking off her for having £15 on one (“that’s far too much” – I should add she’s holding four glasses of £8 prosecco at this point) before she has her bet. “£3 on number 4” she says, after much deliberation. Nick (who is working with us today) informs her it’s a £5 minimum. So she has another go. “£3 on number 2 then.” I look at Colin, who in turn looks at me. We both look at Nick, who has a face of resignation. After another explanation she gets the hang of things and at the third attempt, manages a fiver bet.
I like working with Nick. His speciality is puns. Poor, poor puns. And jokes. All day long. “That David Bass – something fishy about him” is the general standard that you get with him. You’d think that’s gets wearing after a bit and you’d be right. But rather that than some miserable sod that doesn’t say a word. Don’t change, Nick. 😉
I don’t need to tell you Santini is another shocking result for us and we’re 2-0 down. One bloke is having £75-£80 a race on in various tenners and fivers – he’s clearly putting on for the family. “Have a free pen” I say to him (we’ve giving away pens emblazoned with the MT Racing logo on), at which point he pulls out from his pocket the pen we gave him last year! “Advertising – it works!” crows Colin, who looks delighted. You can see his point – 7 races at £80 a go, £560 worth of business. How much does a box of pens cost?
Bryony to the rescue. Kapcorse is a belting result for the book and as she goes over the line well in front, Colin makes a remark about what he’d happily let Bryony do to him and we’re back in the game. Not for long, though. It’s like hearing parrots. “£20 win Champ.” “£20 win Champ” “£50 win Champ”. Three figure bets too. Can’t get them off it. They’ve looked at the green and gold, a ruck of 1’s next to its name and decided this is the one. They’re right too. The payout queue stretches back to Thatcham.
There’s a good spread of money around for the Gerry Feilden, business is brisk now and there’s plenty of money flying around. Global Citizen, 8-1 to 5-1, is popular but it’s Mont Des Avaloir and Whatswrongwithyou that they really want, and despite the gamble it’s a fair result for us. On to the big one and we’re in full flow now. I give Nick a taste of his own pun medicine. “Backed American in a Yankee here mate” “Have you? Oh, f… off ” as he looks at me laughing and realises he’s been had. Plenty of 3-figure bets around for the likes of Thomas Patrick and Elegant Escape, but when one of the bogeys fades away on the home turn we know we’ve a chance. Sizing Tennessee is a cracking result for us, although Dingo Dollar rolling into the frame in third takes a bit of the gloss off (very popular e/w). I’m happy enough too, with West Approach and Beware The Bear both hitting the first five.
Lucky last time – “time to win your bus fare home, ladies and gents” – and they pile onto the favourite, Lady Buttons, like it’s already home. She romps in on the snaff and instead of getting out to the car park in ten minutes, we’ve another very long payout queue to deal with! Never mind, a winning day. Next stop Fakenham….might not be as busy there, you know….
Not a lot to get stuck into today but the 3.00 at Southwell is quantity rather than quality and looks winnable. I wouldn;t be surprised to see a better effort from Scartare after a wind operation but Oologist looks on the countdown to a win and despite being nudged up a couple of pounds for finishing second to an improver last time out, he's still on a mark below his opening handicap mark. Conditions and trip look fine and it's hard to see why he won't run his race again.
Today's selection – Oologist 3.00 Southwell
Good luck with all your bets today,