GAM­BLE AND LOSE

‘Sport of Kings’ rid­dled with CHEATS, says Crewe man

VIZ - - News -

MOST OF US en­joy a flut­ter from time to time. We bet on the dogs, the Grand Na­tional, or on which celebrity will be the next to die. It’s just a bit of harm­less fun. And ev­ery­one knows, as the warn­ing says, when the fun stops, stop! But for one Cheshire gam­bler, the fun never even be­gins. Be­cause al­though Crewe-born Brian Trousers KNOWS who is go­ing to win ev­ery horse race at ev­ery meet­ing thanks to a Red In­dian spirit guide with the gift of sec­ond sight, the crooked prac­tices and dodgy deals rife in the so-called ‘Sport of Kings’ re­peat­edly cheat him out of his right­ful win­nings. Years ago, I used to en­joy the oc­ca­sional flut­ter, just on Satur­days, Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days, and the odd evening meet­ing on a Mon­day, Tues­day and Fri­day,” says the 56-year-old ex-pa­per­boy. “I never won much, but I didn’t mind be­cause the races were run fairly and above board. What’s more, I en­joyed the so­cial com­pany of my mates in the book­ies.”

spirit

But one day, a life chang­ing event oc­curred when Trousers was sud­denly pos­sessed by the spirit of a long-dead Red In­dian chief. The Na­tive Amer­i­can pres­ence took up res­i­dence within his soul and started giv­ing him the names of the win­ning horse in ev­ery race he bet on. For a keen gam­bler, this should have been a dream come true, but Trousers says it has turned into a night­mare. “Cor­rup­tion in rac­ing is pre­vent­ing me from prof­it­ing from the in­for­ma­tion my spirit guide gives me,” he told his lo­cal pa­per The Crewe Ad­ver­tiser. christ­mas

“It’s very frus­trat­ing when you are given the names of the win­ning horses and put all your money on them, only to watch them limp home in last place, just be­cause some trainer has taken a back­han­der or the jockey has thrown the race,” he told the pa­per. “Well enough is enough. It’s time to call out the cheats at the heart of the horse rac­ing in­dus­try.” Now the longterm job­seeker has vowed to do all he can to ex­pose the dis­hon­esty that is eat­ing away at the heart of the sport he loves.

Trousers vividly re­mem­bers the day that the spirit of a Chero­kee In­dian en­tered his body af­ter he wit­nessed a road ac­ci­dent on the A530 just out­side Crewe.

“I sign on in Crewe, so I have to get the bus to Nantwich to do my win­dow clean­ing round. This one day, the bus ran over an old fel­low on a dis­abled scooter, and as we waited for the am­bu­lance, I no­ticed a man dressed like a Chero­kee In­dian get on the bus. He was wear­ing moc­casins, a feath­ered head­dress and fringed leather trousers and waist­coat. house

Sud­denly, be­fore my very eyes, he turned into this smoke, which wafted around the bus be­fore all go­ing up my nos­trils. I felt a lit­tle light-headed and knew at that point that his an­cient spirit had en­tered me. I’m a big Jim Mor­ri­son fan, and I re­mem­ber read­ing some­where that the same thing hap­pened to him.

I thought no more about it, but as the old bloke was am­bu­lanced off and the bus car­ried on its way, the In­dian started to talk to me inside my head. He was us­ing all words like ‘um’ and ‘heap’ and he had a re­ally deep voice. He told me his name was Fight­ing Bear, and that he had been shot by Gen­eral Custer at the Bat­tle of the Lit­tle Big Horn hun­dreds of years ago in cow­boy times.

Af­ter a while, Fight­ing Bear got onto the sub­ject of horse rac­ing. He said that be­cause he in­hab­ited a dif­fer­ent as­tral plane, he could see into the fu­ture, and would I like to know who was go­ing to win the first race at Hay­dock Park later that af­ter­noon. Well, I have to say, I was more than in­ter­ested. He told me that Teddy’s Won­der would romp home ahead of the field in the 1.30. “Him heap walk it,” were his ex­act words.

As it hap­pened, I had a copy of that morn­ing’s Rac­ing Post in my pocket, and I looked up the form for that race. I was a lit­tle sur­prised, be­cause Teddy’s Won­der was on at 200-1 as it was its first time over the sticks. But who was I to ar­gue with a spirit guide? wooster

I got off the bus in Nantwich and went straight into a branch of Wil­liam Hills that I have oc­ca­sion­ally popped into once or twice in the past. Julie, the man­ager­ess said hello and gave me a cup of tea in my mug. Such was my con­fi­dence in Fight­ing Bear, that I put a £100 each way bet on Teddy’s Won­der. When the tape went up I was al­ready men­tally spend­ing my £20,000 win­nings, buy­ing a new out­fit for my lovely wife Denise, tak­ing her on a lux­ury cruise or pay­ing off some of my debts.

My horse started badly, and as the race pro­gressed, it dropped fur­ther and fur­ther be­hind. How­ever, I wasn’t too wor­ried; af­ter all, my Red In­dian spirit guide had told me how it was go­ing to end. As the field ap­proached the fi­nal 440-yard run-in to the fin­ish, I started to get ex­cited. Teddy’s Won­der was in last place, clearly pac­ing him­self about 20 lengths be­hind the leader. I knew we were in for one hell of a spec­tac­u­lar fin­ish. teryaky

But that spec­tac­u­lar fin­ish never hap­pened. The favourite, Mr Bo­jan­gles, took the win­ning post by a head with my horse limp­ing home a full half fur­long back. I couldn’t be­lieve it. I told Julie be­hind the counter that the wrong horse had won, but she just chuck­led and asked me if I wanted an­other cuppa. As I sat and

drank my tea, it was quite ob­vi­ous to me that some­thing shady had oc­curred to rob me of my right­ful win­nings. And I was right.

A few weeks later, the same jockey who had been rid­ing Teddy’s Won­der was banned for 21 days for ex­ces­sive use of the whip. And any­one who is ca­pa­ble of that is also ca­pa­ble of throw­ing a race af­ter tak­ing a bung in the weigh­ing room.

Nev­er­the­less, Brian chalked his loss up to ex­pe­ri­ence and con­soled him­self with the thought that race fix­ing was ex­tremely rare in the sport. The next day, Fight­ing Bear once again spoke to Brian. It was ter­ri­ble weather, so I thought I’d give the win­dow clean­ing a miss. My wife was at work de­liv­er­ing the Yel­low Pages, so I had the day to my­self. I cooked a nice tin of spaghetti hoops and set­tled down to see what was on the telly; I was look­ing for­ward to per­haps watch­ing an im­prov­ing doc­u­men­tary about the Wars of the Roses, Re­nais­sance art or some­thing to do with science. How­ever, there was only rac­ing on - the af­ter­noon meet­ing from Towces­ter - so I thought I might as well watch that in­stead. By co­in­ci­dence, that day’s Rac­ing Post was on the arm of the chair, so for want of any­thing bet­ter to do I ca­su­ally pe­rused the form. bear

At that mo­ment, the veils parted and I heard Fight­ing Bear’s deep voice echo­ing in my head. “2:30 heap close race,” he said. “But Steal My Thun­der win by um length.” I looked at the run­ners and rid­ers and sure enough, there was a horse by that name run­ning in the 2.30. I im­me­di­ately took the house­keep­ing money from the kitchen drawer and popped round to the Joe Coral’s on the cor­ner which I’d oc­ca­sion­ally been in be­fore.

San­dra, the woman who works there, greeted me with a cheery hello and with­out ask­ing made me a cup of tea with three sug­ars. I slapped my money, £120 in to­tal, on the counter and told her to put it on Steal My Thun­der at 15-2. And I wasn’t mess­ing about with an each way bet… I put it on to win. I was go­ing to buy my Denise a pair of cou­ture shoes with the win­nings. Or per­haps pay off some long-stand­ing bills I’d run up. adams

Know­ing who was go­ing to win took the ex­cite­ment out of the race a lit­tle, but I still joined the oth­ers gath­ered in front of the TV, look­ing up at the screen in­tently. Af­ter a false start, the race even­tu­ally got un­der­way with my horse in the cen­tre of a tight field.

Fight­ing Bear had told me it would be a close race, so I was a lit­tle sus­pi­cious when, with half a mile to go, the field started to spread out. Af­ter a rather un­ex­cit­ing last fur­long, Tim­ber Wolf romped home by five lengths from Tip Of The Ice­berg with Steal My Thun­der com­ing in a rather lack­lus­tre third. brown

I knew im­me­di­ately what had hap­pened. A week be­fore, I had been chat­ting to a man in Lad­brokes in Crewe who told me that he knew a jockey who had once been paid to nob­ble a horse by dop­ing it be­fore a race. Steal My Thun­der looked half asleep that day, and it was clear to me that he too had been nob­bled. Ex­actly how, I wasn’t sure. Per­haps a groom had slipped him some tran­quiliser on a su­gar cube, or given him a Mars Bar laced with sleep­ing tablets. What­ever they did, they had got away with it scot free.

Gam­bling is a mug’s game, which is why Brian never in­dulges, ex­cept for the odd flut­ter for a bit of fun a few times a week. But even he gave into temp­ta­tion and put some se­ri­ous money on a cou­ple of horses af­ter his Red In­dian spirit guide pre­dicted the win­ners of con­sec­u­tive races. Some­one had dobbed me in for work­ing whilst claim­ing ben­e­fits, so I was keep­ing a low pro­file from the win­dow-clean­ing for a while, and I found my­self at home with noth­ing to do. I took a walk to the newsagent to get some­thing to read, per­haps a copy of or HisBut when I got there, they had sold out and all they had left was the Rac­ing Post. I bought a copy and be­gan idly flick­ing through it while I walked home.

Sud­denly, Fight­ing Bear started talk­ing to me in my head. “Trial And Er­ror win 2.15 and um next race won by Rag­dolly Anna,” he said in his thick Chero­kee ac­cent. “Put on um ac­cu­mu­la­tor, but pay um tax on it first,” he added. griz­zly

My wife Denise had saved £300 for a new wash­ing ma­chine. She kept the cash in her un­der­wear drawer, and as there had been a few bur­glar­ies of late I had taken it with me for safe­keep­ing when I went to the newsagent. So, as luck would have it, I had quite a bit of money on me.

I popped into a Lad­brokes that I had never been in be­fore and didn’t even know was there and handed the roll of notes to Gly­nis be­hind the counter. The odds she gave me would see a re­turn of £4700 when my horses both won, as I knew they would. My win­nings would be enough to buy my Denise a whole new kitchen, not just a wash­ing ma­chine. Or to set­tle a few mis­cel­la­neous debts that I had run up.

vic­to­ria

The 2.15 was a photo fin­ish with Trial And Er­ror tak­ing it by a nose; no sur­prises there. But it was a dif­fer­ent story in the 2.30. The crooks had been up to their usual tricks again, be­cause it was La Cu­cu­racha at the line with my horse Rag­dolly Anna com­ing home fourth. I knew im­me­di­ately what had hap­pened. It was a hand­i­cap race and clearly the of­fi­cials in the tack room had been paid to fill the win­ner’s sad­dle with feath­ers while packing Rag­dolly Anna’s with lead to slow her down. I was fu­ri­ous. kyau

I told Gly­nis what had hap­pened and asked her to hand over my right­ful win­nings, as there would al­most cer­tainly be a ste­wards’ en­quiry fol­low­ing such a bla­tantly fixed race, but she just laughed. I’m ashamed to say that I was so frus­trated and cross that I may have got a lit­tle ag­gres­sive with Gly­nis and she got Big Ron to come out of the back and throw me out.

As I walked home, I was get­ting more and more an­gry with the the cor­rupt crooks who run the horse rac­ing world. But it was my wife I re­ally felt sorry for. Fight­ing Bear had told me the win­ners, yet th­ese face­less fix­ers had de­prived Denise of her new wash­ing ma­chine. Even worse, I couldn’t ex­plain to her what had hap­pened, as she didn’t un­der­stand the hand­i­cap­ping sys­tem in horse rac­ing or how ac­cu­mu­la­tor bet­ting works. So I told her we’d been bur­gled in­stead; it was the kind­est thing to do.

Rather than give up on his oc­ca­sional recre­ational flut­ter, Brian has de­cided to be­come a whistle­blower to out the cheats that he says are spoil­ing the na­tion’s favourite sport. And last night, he sent a 200-page dossier to the Jockey Club, rac­ing’s gov­ern­ing body, out­lin­ing at least 2,733 races that he claims have been fixed this year.

“Whether they will take any ac­tion or not, I sim­ply don’t know,” he told the

Crewe Ad­ver­tiser. “If the Jockey Club are gen­uinely in­ter­ested in want­ing to clean up the sport of kings, they will.”

“But if they are merely part of the prob­lem, then hon­est gam­blers like me will con­tinue to be ripped off at their hands,” he added.

“Af­ter all, if I can’t win with the help of a Red In­dian spirit guide who can look into the fu­ture, what chance does the or­di­nary punter in the street have?”

Teddy’s Won­der was in last place, clearly pac­ing him­self about 20 lengths be­hind the leader. I knew we were in for one hell of a spec­tac­u­lar fin­ish I popped into a Lad­brokes that I had never been in be­fore and handed the roll of notes to Gly­nis be­hind the counter

Bet you can’t: Brian’s tips from Na­tive Amer­i­can spirit guide Fight­ing Bear (in­set) never paid off.

Tote’s un­fair: Were races fixed to pre­vent Trousers’ wins?

Tough bookie: Bet­ting shop suc­cess slipped away from Trousers.

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