TALES FROM RING

Si­mon Nott spends some rainy days at ‘Glo­ri­ous’ Good­wood

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Si­mon Nott spends a soggy few days at ‘Glo­ri­ous’ Good­wood

DAY 1

The weather was kind for the start of the open­ing day of Glo­ri­ous Good­wood. The usual friendly bookie ban­ter bub­bled about the ring, as it al­ways does at big meet­ings, hope spring­ing eternal. There are al­ways a lot of ‘old’ faces that come out of re­tire­ment to pop­u­late mul­ti­ple pitches.

The ring like a re­sult to start the week off nicely in the opener.They got one, in 12/1 win­ner Dark Red, but then...Stew­ards’ En­quiry.The run­ner-up Fab­ri­cate was still a good cop should it get the race, and that looked likely judg­ing by the Ex­change bet­ting. The worst thing was busi­ness on the next was be­ing af­fected. And still we waited.The Queen’s 20/1 Fab­ri­cate got the race in the en­quiry at around 2.10pm which left 15 min­utes to pay out and bet on the next.

Busi­ness was brisk once bet­ting got un­der­way proper with min­utes to go to the Qatar Vin­tage Stakes. The ring was solid 7/4 Ex­pert Eye and it hosed in but wasn’t backed heav­ily.

Bet­ting was steady but small in the Qatar Len­nox and the sun shone down on the ring in more ways than one af­ter Bre­ton Rock sprang a 50/1 shock.

The lay­ers were buoy­ant af­ter two tremen­dous re­sults so pos­si­bly more bull- ish in get­ting Big Orange into their books than they might have been in the Qatar Good­wood Cup Stakes. De­spite be­ing fore­cast to go off evens,11/8 was hawk­ing shortly af­ter bet­ting opened.There was no ex­pected stam­pede though.As they started load­ing the drift had reached 7/4 with some books but they were soon trimmed. Stradi­var­ius win­ning the race was a tremen­dous turn up for the ring.

There was strange bet­ting in the Ir­ish Thor­ough­bred Mar­ket­ing EBF Maiden Stakes. First Algam was all the rage then bounced near the off. Tribal Quest had been weak but then short­ened but it was all ir­rel­e­vant when 100/1 shot Thechil-

dren’strust won the race to vir­tual si­lence. What a re­sult for the books, well most of them, some went 250/1 and you don’t need to take much at that price to do your money. Nasty.

DAY 2

The sec­ond day will go down in book­mak­ing lore as the worst day ever known at the meet­ing,tor­ren­tial rain that didn’t let up all day.The open­ing Match­book Ex­change Good­wood Hand­i­cap Stakes was a great spec­ta­cle with a flip start in front of the stands for any­one mad enough to brave it but as a bet­ting heat it was a washout.

The Bet­ter Odds With Match­book Bet­ting Ex­change Hand­i­cap Stakes was a hard 5/1 the field race,add to that the con­sis­tent rain and what we had was a recipe for another piti­ful, bet­ting heat. The 9/1 win­ner Lon­dinium wasn’t much re­ward for work­ing in the del­uge, the sav­ing grace was that the rain was warm.

Here Comes When win­ning the Qatar Stakes at 20/1 should have been one of the re­sults of the meet­ing, but the shine was taken off the race when Churchill was with­drawn. Star Sports re­ported tak­ing £5,000 in sod­den read­ies on Ribch­ester at 1/2 but the ma­jor­ity of the books would have been lucky to have taken a cash bet on him at all such were the con­di­tions.

The rain was be­ing whipped up by the wind do­ing its best to dampen in­flated spir­its as we got to work on the Markel In­sur­ance Maiden Fil­lies’Stakes.The pun­ters that did brave the weather cer­tainly weren’t stick­ing their necks out far from un­der their um­brel­las. You could hardly blame them.

12/1 win­ner Thread­ing would usu­ally have been a great re­sult but if you can’t take it you can’t win it. The race­course were public spirit­edly warn­ing peo­ple that they might ex­pe­ri­ence prob­lems leav­ing the car parks. That didn’t bode well for us with three races to go and so it proved with the al­most un­work­able con­di­tions pretty much negat­ing the day as far as busi­ness went.

DAY 3

Mu­sic to ev­ery­one’s ears was the fact there was no men­tion of rain in the day’s fore­cast. Busi­ness on the open­ing Match­book Bet­ting Ex­change Hand­i­cap Stakes was brisk at least com­pared to the pre­vi­ous day but the win­ner Good Omen was well­backed at 8/1 and in hind­sight was a bad omen.

The fea­ture of the day for most was Win­ter in the Qatar Nas­sau Stakes. There was plenty of 11/10 avail­able in the ring early doors but that was soon snapped up. Ben Keith of Star Sports was des­per­ate to get the jolly in but ev­i­dently at the right price. He was stood on the rail scream­ing ‘evens’ to the pun­ters with a phone firmly stuck to his ear. The sun came out just as Win­ter passed the post the clear win­ner. Though he didn’t take any­thing big­ger than grand bets on his rails pitch Ben ad­mit­ted his of­fice had ‘done plenty’.

Then things went from bad to worse in the Tele­graph Nurs­ery Hand­i­cap Stakes when the likely good re­sult Cheeky Ras­cal was col­lared un­der the judge’s nose by jolly Billesdon Brook.It could have been a lot worse, though, and was for some. In­trepid Ex­change play­ers try­ing to scoop up the in-run­ning money on the jolly laid at 999/1 when she looked beaten and hemmed in on the rail.There was another short one for the ring to get in the book in theVic­to­ria Rac­ing Club EBF Bri­tish Stal­lion Studs Maiden Fil­lies’ Stakes, Roulette, bet from 5/4 into into even money as they loaded into the stalls,then led from start to fin­ish which was a body blow and re­ally a turn­ing point in the for­tunes of the book­mak­ers.

DAY 4

At long last‘Glo­ri­ous’Good­wood lived up to its name as the sun shone. Sadly the dam­age had al­ready been done as far as 20 plus non-run­ners were con­cerned but the day’s rac­ing still look fiercely com­pet­i­tive.

The open­ing Betfred Glo­ri­ous Stakes was a busy bet­ting heat but 7-4f Poet’sWord win­ning wasn’t a great start.It was more of the same in the Bon­hams Thor­ough­bred Stakes.The open­ing show of 2/1 Beat The Bank was soon smashed into 7/4 and duly obliged.There was a pos­i­tive as­pect to the day af­ter the bad re­sult,I got the chance to say hello to amaz­ing young fund-raider ‘Jockey’ Jack Lan­der and his dad when they went to the Star Sports pitch on the rail

Things looked to be get­ting ex­cit­ing when Ryan Moore won the Betfred Mile on 6/1 shot Mas­ter The World com­plet­ing a treble.The ring braced it­self for a del­uge of money for his next mount Wash­ing­ton DC. Moore’s rides were well-touted in the morn­ing so hedg­ing money could flood into the course to shorten up this next one.

The ap­pear­ance of a chap with a phone stuck to his ear call­ing bets into the rail alerted us that the ex­pected trade money had ar­rived but it was small. It looked as if the off course firms were hedg­ing on the ex­changes in­stead,a bad devel­op­ment for the ring. By the off Wash­ing­ton DC had short­ened to 4/1 but could man­age only fifth be­hind 9/2 win­ner Bat­taash. Moore didn’t have a ride in the next, the Betfred Mo­bile Nurs­ery Hand­i­cap Stakes, and although the buzz had sub­sided there was still money about and the 11/2 win­ner Red Ro­man wasn’t a great re­sult for the ring.

Moore was rid­ing Ask­ing in the L’Or­marins Queen Plate Oak Tree Stakes but at around 9/1 the an­tic­i­pa­tion wasn’t there for the filly. Money was steady again and some firms made the de­ci­sion to go down the book with jolly Al Jazi at 9/4.Bad move. Al Jazi first, the rest nowhere.

DAY 5

The fi­nal day started with beau­ti­ful sunshine which lulled pretty much ev­ery­one into a false sense of me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal secu- rity.The books were ready for the pun­ters but not the mini hur­ri­cane that blew through half an hour be­fore the first. At least two book­maker’s um­brel­las came sec­ond to the weather.

The open­ing Qatar Stew­ard’s Sprint Hand­i­cap Stakes looked fiendishly hard hence the very open bet­ting. That given, you couldn’t blame Ben Keith at Star Sports for get­ting to work lay­ing the favourite Scorch­ing Heat.The firm took plenty at 5/1 be­fore hav­ing to clip the colt into 9/2 then watched it bolt up. Keith con­fided that it added another four-fig­ure loss to Fri­day’s five-fig­ure disas­ter.

The Qatar Summer Hand­i­cap Stakes was a sim­i­lar heat,the 11/1 win­ner Sol­dier In Ac­tion wouldn’t have been a great re­sult.

Only five went to post for the Qatar Gor­don Stakes, 6/4 favourite Crys­tal Ocean win­ning was another nasty re­sult

The Qatar Stew­ards Cup was a manic punt­ing heat,the back­ers re­ally wanted to have a go.Lancelot Du Lac win­ning at 25/1 was just the sort of re­sult the bet­ting ring were look­ing for de­spite Frankie Det­tori be­ing on board.

In the Qatar EBF Stal­lions Maiden Stakes turnover was re­ported as piti­ful but at least the mas­sive black cloud that had been threat­en­ing the bet­ting ring gave it the swerve.Rogue was the best-backed horse in the race 7/1 into 9/2. He had been tipped up in the morn­ing by a book­maker to any­one who would lis­ten. If any­one did they did their money but so did most of the ring when Dee Ex Bee won the race 5/2 joint favourite.

Busi­ness had gone by the sixth, the Qatar Hand­i­cap Stakes. The pun­ters ap­peared to have lost in­ter­est and the book­ies thrown in the towel. The win­ner, 7/2 shot Bat­tered, wasn’t favourite but still no good for most.

The lucky last was the 17 run­ner Qatar Ap­pren­tice Hand­i­cap Stakes.The pun­ters did make the most of their fi­nal op­por­tu­nity of the meet­ing to have it on.They didn’t want 25/1 Storm King which stole the race from a poorly judged ride on run­ner-up 5/2 jolly Born To Be Alive. At last a de­cent re­sult,it was a nice way to end the meet­ing even though it was a los­ing one.Still Good­wood may be hard to win at but it’s still a lovely meet­ing to visit, but those book­ies pay­ing huge ex­penses can’t live on glo­ri­ous scenery alone.

The books were ready for the pun­ters but not the mini hur­ri­cane that blew through half an hour be­fore the first

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