My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe...

One of my favourite quotes is that even a broken watch is right twice a day. As a gambler I think most of us would like to have a better strike rate! Damn Watch.


Nothing changes, hey. I'm either quiet or you suffer from unending prose. The blog timeline details: spam, nothing, more spam, and My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe. [written 2013]

That latter topic sounds much more interesting. This adventure related to my laying horses to lose. That's two-year-old horses. I don't  understand anything else. Now, I'm not going to talk too much about my approach or the philosophy behind my laying tactics because it is a work in progress and rather boring in its written form. 

I must admit I don't find any form of gambling particularly pleasurable. My reasoning is that I have the odds in my favour. As every speculator will appreciate, that betting slip (in mind if not in hand) often morphs into a stick of dynamite.  The fuse burning too damn quick. Lay betting can feel rather daunting. When you've laid the rag and it's travelling with the zeal of a six-to-four jolly it makes the eyes bulge, the heart race, and your pocket has a kind of lost empty feel. Not very jovial. Well, that's the nature of the beast. Equine. You know, those things the commentator keeps talking about. 

So how did the season go?

Well, I was amazed. I know what you are thinking? Is that a good or bad amazing? I just took a double-take to see if my hand had been blown off. 

For the most part it was amazingly good - with a slight disaster at the finish.

I started small laying juveniles to win five pounds a time. That may seem a pittance but it can be a costly affair if a 20/1 shot has an exceptionally long neck. I'm pretty sure I laid a couple of giraffe this year.Last time I go to the bloody zoo and say what lovely creatures. I'm not against laying a good few horses in the same field. Races would come and go. I'd be winning ten, twenty, fifty pound a race. Everything was going well. Amazingly so. After winning several hundred pounds I considered it was time to lay each horse for twenty pounds. I knew it was a risk but time is money and all that. It made me a little nervous. The  bets ranged from laying favourites to huge outsiders. It can be slightly unnerving to lay a horse which could cost a couple of thousand. I always hope they fall out of the stalls and as fat as a pig. In that moment my potential terror of what could be turns to joy. Righteousness. Being right rather than religious. Obviously, there is good reason why I lay such horses. There is understanding, reason, professionalism. I'm not pinning the tail on the donkey - just trying to find it. However, that doesn't mean any horse cannot win. They do. The beasts. Those chestnut giraffe can be killers. 

To be fair I laid an incredible run of losers. In a matter of months I had turned my five pounds to four thousand. In a sizable field of maidens I would win up to two hundred a race. However, this approach doesn't allow you to just take any old race and wave my stick of dynamite. For starters, on many days there would be a limited number of two-year-old races. Certain race types were ignored.

I had a feeling of confidence.

For a moment I considered however fast that fuse burned if I filled my lungs with joyous - winning - air I could blow away that hellish spark.

On occasions I got my fingers burned. You have to remember that although I follow a professional approach there is something very different about working in practice to paper trailing. Thankfully I wasn't hit by a 100/1 shot. That would have been hard to swallow. But if you lay a bet you should never be surprised if it wins. It is probably sensible to imagine it will blow your socks off. I laid a couple of horses which won at 20/1. Not good. Although from my understanding I wasn't wrong in my approach. Horses win, horses lose, that's how it works. I must admit that in those early months of laying what must have been a hundred plus losers on the trot it all seemed ''amazingly'' straight forward. At the back of my mind (often at the front...and certainly in my pocket) I didn't believe it would last. I didn't expect it to follow a scenic path. I've watched  The Wizard of Oz. You have to meet a scarecrow, tin man, lion and a couple of flying monkeys before you get a chance to melt a green-faced witch and steal her bloody shoes. Although - thinking about it -hadn't she already lost them? 

I hit another couple of winners. A few bets cost a good few hundred. Financially it wasn't a problem but psychologically it was tougher. The next few lay bets made me really need them to lose. With a few winning days under my belt I shrugged off the loss and by a week or two I was back to an all-time high. 

However, little by little I hit a plateau. The four thousand pound mark became a wall. Each time I would climb the ladder to look over the other side I would be beaten to it by a giraffe who stuck out an incredibly long tongue. Sure the thing blew a raspberry before it came into view. I went from four thousand. Three thousand. Back to four thousand. Kicked in the nuts by wilder beast. It was a struggle. I didn't feel the approach was wrong. A few of the decisions come down to a photo finish. Prolonged agony. I realised that I needed a tweak here and there. Knock a few trainers on the head because they had done my brain in. That learning curve felt as though it was tying me up in knots. I'm sure that watch stopped when I wasn't looking.

The end of the two-year-old season was on the horizon and I was looking forward to a rest. One of the last bets was a killer blow. It didn't finish me off but it dampened my spirits which were already low. Of all days. I had been to the funeral of my aunt and switched on the races to see a Luca Cumani debutant which I laid for twenty pounds. The favourite struggled. In turn I had an uneasy feeling...which continued to cause concern. The beast travelled like a gazelle. I gave up trying to work out whether its neck was long or short. Its legs moved fast. It hit the front, cruising Kempton's final bend and lengthened clear into the straight. The loss I had expected materialised costing nearly eight hundred pounds. It wasn't the best of feelings. 

I'll be back next year with my tranquilizer dart.

3:30 Lingfield Racing Tips (8th March) MAIDEN STAKES (Class 5) (3yo) Winner £2,911 6 runners 1m2f Standard ATR

Racing tips today
A Maiden Stakes over 1m 2f on Standard going. 

Six three-year-olds take part: three colts, two geldings and one filly who is the only debutante in the field.

A varied mix of trainers. 

Very interested in Solajan. This son of Lope De Vega is trained by Ed Dunlop. He ran a promising race on debut when finishing runner-up. Saeed Jaber's charge cost 200,000G when purchased at two & fancied in the betting on debut when competing over one mile and half a furlong. He was denied by a head in a gritty finish. If you love Horse Racing Betting I'd advise this as a hot tip.  

Dunlop is a superb talent & this step up in distance looks ideal. To be fair, the betting odds today may not leave much meat on the bone but this will be a tough horse to beat.

Definitely worthy of an interest especially if drifting in the betting.

Denis Quinn is making a name for himself in the training ranks. Arsenio Lupin has raced twice finishing third and fourth. This bay colt was purchased for just 9,000G when almost putting a smile on bookmaker's faces when beaten less than one length. He was priced 100/1. 

By all accounts, even a place looked unlikely after a slow start, toiling in the rear, but finished with verve - not quite reaching the leaders. With a few extra yards, this son of Delegator would have won. Racing over the same distance of one mile on his second start at Lingfield, bookmakers were more fearful priced 6/1. This April foal dropped in class, by race type, being at auction race. He ran a fair race in fourth. 

The only filly in the field is Cookie's Star. Philip McBride is a sharp-eyed trainer who knows his horses. This daughter of Kyllachy was a very cheap purchase at just 2,500G and part owned by McBride [& Howard Cooke]. It is slightly concerning this bay filly has such a paltry price tag although it isn't a damning sign for every horse. The betting is the best guide. If seriously backed, I would take note. Although, the trainer's debutantes often improve for the run unless the money is down.   

I often give Richard Hughes a hard - because, in my opinion, he was a better jockey! He has many fancied horses which disappoint. Waterville Dancer is a son of Nathaniel who wasn't fancied on debut start at odds of 33/1. This 50,000G yearling purchase finished third of five. There should be improvement stepping up in distance but a difficult horse to assess.  

John Best has lost horse numbers over the last few years, which is a shame because he has achieved great success in his career. Padrinho raced twice last year, down the field over seven furlongs, unplaced both starts at odds of 100/1. This bay gelding hasn't been seen since September when racing at Ascot. That may indicate Best holds this horse in some regard. This step up in distance will help. Not the easiest horse to assess but worthy of note if fancied in the betting.     

Jose Santos is one of few trainers to have a winner priced 200/1. Flying Flynn has been relatively fancied compared to that surprise package. A couple of well-beaten placed effort see at horse rated just 60. 

Conclusion: Time may tell this isn't the strongest race. Solajan will take some beating. If drifting a touch in the market, will be a worthy wager. 

Cheltenham Gold Cup Memories: Desert Orchid

Henry Ford once said of his cars: ''You can have one in any colour, as long as it is black.'' 

Thank the Lord he didn't breed racehorses! 

Where would we have been without ''Dessie''? 

It is difficult to put a finger on it, but there is something special about grey horses. Even from afar they eclipse the bays, chestnuts and their like. Lady luck invites us to bet on the grey. No one asks: ''Which one's mine?'' And when they win... it's like watching Pegasus without wings. 

You know, I believe one grey horse was truly magical. Why? Because if you ask someone to name a grey I bet they will give one reply. Such elegance, beauty, captured in a gritty determined winning style. I'm convinced he was born a unicorn but some vagabond stole his magical horn leaving him with a story which foretold one day you will run like the wind, fly over fences and be crowned a champion racehorse.

His name was Desert Orchid.

Born on the 11th April 1979, this son of Grey Desire, out of the mare Flower Child, became an icon of National Hunt racing. With his front-running style and iron will this much-loved horse was simply the peoples' champion.  

His greatest victory came in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Desert Orchid, trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Simon Sherwood, had been in superb form leading up to this race where he was made 5/2f. Running over 3m 2f, jumping 19 fences in heavy ground, would be a remarkable test for a horse who was once thought a two-miler at a course he did not favour. This noble grey jumped well, leading to the 14th fence, he was left in the lead 3 out, only to be headed by the brave mud-loving Yahoo. Over the last fence it looked as though Desert Orchid was beaten. The crowd watched in awe as racing commentator Peter O'Sullivan echoed those famous words: ''Desert Orchid is beginning to get up.'' He won by one and half lengths beating Yahoo, with Charter Party finishing third. Simon Sherwood said: ''I have never known a horse so brave. He hated every step of the way in the ground and dug as deep as he could possibly go.''

Dessie was without question the peoples' champion. A quote from a race fan remembering this day detailed what so many felt.

 ''When Peter O'Sullivan started 
to say Desert Orchid was beginning to get up it sent shivers down my spine. It was like watching England win the World Cup. I wanted to streak up the road I was so delirious''

Few race meetings capture the anticipation, excitement and passion of the Cheltenham Festival. The Gold Cup the pinnacle of equine star. Which horse captures your imagination like Dessie? What's your idea of a good horse racing bet? Bring sports alive with the best odds available at Bet Victor

5:45 Newcastle Racing Tips (3rd March) MAIDEN FILLIES' STAKES (PLUS 10 RACE) (Class 5) (3yo) Winner £3,073 8 runners 1m5y Standard ATR

high class equine
A Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10) over 1m 5y on Standard going.

Eight three-years-olds take part over this straight mile. 

This could, potentially, be a hot race with the Plus 10 being up for grabs. The betting suggests this is a four-horse race. Not that the betting always tells the story, of course. 

I will give a quick rundown of these. 

Kevin Ryan has Eyes Of Asha making her debut for loyal patron T A Rahman. This daughter of Redoute's Choice was a fantastic yearling purchase at 75,000E because she was sold at two for 775,000E. Purchased by Stephen Hillen. A colossal sum of money, and it looks like some pin hooker had it right off. Ryan is capable of winning with his debutantes although they can be a touch difficult to regard at times. With this mighty price tag for all to see I imagine connections will be wanting to enjoy a pretty smart performance.  

Mark Johnston fields Fiendish. This daughter of Street Cry is out of a dam called Evil. Fiendish is related to Tiz Wonderful. This homebred is well owned and pretty fancied in the betting at the time of writing at 5-1. Johnston is a trainer I respect, but one I find quite tricky to call with his debutants. As I always say, he has easy winners or poor losers. I'd take a watching brief. 

Hot Natured is interesting. Karl Burke is a fantastic trainer and if you take a look at his performance it isn't difficult to find how to win good money on his horses. John Dance owns this daughter of Canford Cliffs out of a mare called Teddy Bears Picnic. She cost £65,000 at the yearling sales. It was interesting how weak Hot Natured was in the market on her racecourse bow over course and distance. That had much to do with William Haggas' Signe who, if I remember correctly, cost over 1 million euros. She was very well backed and Hot Natured drifted to 12-1. I suspect, the way she ran, that connections quite fancied their chances that day although fearful of a potentially smart opponent. Burke's charge was beaten fair and square at the line. That initial experience will see her well today and if drifting in the betting to an each-way price (yes, I know it looks next to impossible) would be a good bet. 

John Gosden has teamed up well with Godolphin. Lady Hester has raced three times and a touch disappointing. An easily beaten favourite on debut, still out of the frame second and third start when no bigger than 5-1. She isn't a good horse being a few lengths behind a winner rated 71. This step up in distance may be something to grasp hold but probably a horse for handicaps unless she has been disappointing on course so far.

Magical Approach is priced on this racecourse bow as if not at all fancied. David Simcock is a talent and if the money comes worthy of respect. If a huge price at the off she must be limited or in need of the race.

KeithDalgleish can ready a debutante and he has done well for the owners of R U Mine [Wldspec Glasgow Limited]. This daughter of Elzaam cost just 11,000E when purchased at two. On balance, I would take a watching brief. 

Rosemay and Sulafah are best watched. 

Conclusion: If money talks there is a decent debutante chomping at the bit. Eyes Of Asha cost serious pounds, shilling and pence (I mean euros). A price tag of 775,000E is enough to make a buyer, trainer, owner, jockey and punters to think seriously about winning that all-important first race. That is particularly true of a filly. Definitely, a horse to respect although I am not keen betting debutantes at the best of times especially at cramped odds. Interesting horse to consider and she may well be smart. Fiendish represents Mark Johnston and a mighty owner. I find him difficult to judge with debutantes and would take a watching brief. I'm hoping there is a wealth of money for the favourite and Hot Natured drifts markedly in the betting. I think she will go well whatever price but if touching 7/2+ I'd be tempted to go each-way even if losing cash if placed. Intriguing race. 

Juddmonte boosted to £1 million prize money

York, Juddmonte International,
York's Juddmonte International, will be worth £1 million for the first time this year for the Ebor meeting. 

Additional funds of £10,000 for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, with both now worth £350,000, while the Betfred Ebor is up £5,000 to £285,000. 

On international rankings, the Juddmonte International is rated the best race in Britain being won by some of the biggest names in the sport with the such as Frankel, Sea The Stars, Australia and Postponed.

In boosting prize-money by £100,000, York is aiming to continue to attract the star names for the contest, which will be run on August 23 this year. 

York chairman and racing manager for Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: "Attracting the best horses to run in competitive races on the Knavesmire is what we are all about; so I am pleased that the unstinting support from long standing sponsors has allowed us to increase prize-money for our feature races again this year.

"The Juddmonte International will reach a notable landmark demonstrating the generous support of Prince Khalid for a race that I know he cherishes." 

The Juddmonte International received a boost of £50,000 last year as part of a wider prize-money increase across the whole of the Ebor meeting.

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Coroner reports Walter Swinburn died after tragic accident

Swinburn victorious on Shergar
Coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe reported: "A tragic accident" resulted in Walter Swinburn losing his life at his London home.

Westminster Coroner's Court detailed, Swinburn's death was attributed to the head injuries he sustained after falling 12 feet from his bathroom window. 

Wally Swinburn's [father], found his 55-year-old son at his Belgravia maisonette. His father theorised that the jockey of 1981 Derby winner Shergar had been left shaken after suffering an epileptic fit. Trying to close a very stiff window, he fell from the sill onto the courtyard below.

Coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe expressed her "deep condolences" to the family, and said: "It seems there is little doubt his tragic death was due to an accident." Speaking outside the court, Swinburn's brother Michael said: "As we thought, it was a tragic accident. The whole thing has been a big shock to us. It was a tragic, tragic accident."

God Bless.

Cliffs Of Dover in Doubt for Triumph Hurdle

cliffs of dover, paul nichols
JCB Triumph Hurdle fancy, Cliffs Of Dover, is doubtful for Cheltenham, trainer Paul Nicholls revealed on Tuesday. 

Formerly trained by Charlie Hills on the Flat, this son of Canford Cliffs has been a revelation since joining Nicholls, winning six of his last seven outings over hurdles. 

This four-year-old is fancied for the Triumph Hurdle but his participation could be in doubt after taking a knock while schooling. 

Nicholls, who trains the 140 rated gelding for John Cotton and his wife Barbara, said: "I schooled him just before he was going to go to Musselburgh last week and he knocked himself. It might just be a race against time to get him there. If he doesn't come right he might have to go to Aintree."

Better next season 

Nicholls' added: "He's won six - I suppose we've placed him well - but he's a good horse. 

"If we'd known more about him he wouldn't have been beaten at Market Rasen - we rode him wrong that day. He's a good horse and if we can't quite get him right this season for whatever reason he'll be better next season when he'll be a really good hurdler.

"He wants looking after and we could do with a few more like him." 

The CRAZIEST odds to ever come in

betting odds,
More often than not (usually, a lot more often than not) the football accumulator you spent half an hour pains-takingly putting together on a Saturday morning falls at the first hurdle when an odds-on relegation candidate stuffs one of the Premier League elite in the early kick-off, sending you into a downward spiral.

Leicester were given absolutely no hope of winning the Premier League title in June 2015, listed at odds of 5000-1. To put that into context it was considered more likely for Piers Morgan to become Arsenal manager, the Queen to have the Christmas number 1, Kim Kardashian to become the US president and Dean Gaffney to win an Oscar. DEAN GAFFNEY.

Thankfully the comparisons came nowhere near to coming true, but on 2nd May 2016, Leicester won the English Premier League title. This meant everyone brave enough to put their money where their mouth was at the start of the season were rolling in it. A £10 bet at odds of 5000-1 would have paid out a staggering £50,000!

See below for a selection of the CRAZIEST ever bets to win, with odds that defy belief:

5.) 1,000-1 – During the 2010 African Cup of Nations Mali were 4-0 down against Angola with 11 minutes left on the clock. One punter saw something that nobody else did and risked £5 on a comeback at 1,000-1. Mali scored two goals by the 90th minute and squared up the scoring in injury time. The match ended 4-4, gifting the lucky punter £5,000.

4.) 1,250-1 – Lewis Hamilton has been pretty dominant in F1 for a number of years, few were surprised when he won his first F1 World Championship with McLaren in 2008 having been tipped for greatness from an early age. One lucky punter must have seen the potential first, having spotted Lewis when he was karting at 13 years old. He promptly put £100 on Lewis to win the sport’s most prestigious prize. When Lewis delivered the lucky and mysterious chap walked away with £125,000.

3.) 25,0000-1 – The bookies were so confident that Frankie Dettori wouldn’t win all seven races at Ascot in 1996 they gave odds of 25,000-1 of it happening. On the day Frankie created one of the greatest moments in horse racing history by defying those odds and winning all seven. The only person who came close to being as happy as Frankie that day was probably Darren Yeats of Morecambe. Darren put £59 on the outcome at 25,000-1 and walked away with more than £550,000!

2.) 1,666,666-1 - A man from Staffordshire placed a 30p bet and correctly predicted the winner of the top five English leagues, 3 divisions of Scottish football, Leicester to win the rugby union Premiership and Surrey to win the county cricket championship at 1,666,666-1. His thirty pence stake won him an impressive £500,000.

1.) 2,000,000-1 - In 2008, Fred Craggs from Yorkshire decided to put 50p on an eight-horse accumulator for his 60th birthday. This resulted in what is believed to be the world record odds for a winning bet at 2,000,000-1, winning him a staggering £1,000,000.

Cheltenham to target boobs and boozy beer drinkers

Cheltenham Festival is stepping up security for next month's meeting. The local council is introducing new measures to stamp out boozy drinkers, tickets touts, street sellers and girls who take a fancy to getting their boobs out. 

Traders selling scarves and hats in familiar racing silks [JP McManus, Jean Bishop or Brocade Racing] will be prohibited.

In addition, people handing out promotional material - including flyers, newspapers, stickers, scarves and hats - during the course of the festival week must apply for a permit. 

Cheltenham council and the police will also be cracking down on ticket touts operating on public land and the sale of counterfeit tickets. 

Alongside police, Council officers will issue on-the-spot fines to anybody who refuses to cease heavy boozing if refusing to stop. 

Ian Renton, managing director of Cheltenham, said: "We're very pleased to have a strong relationship with the police and council that has enabled us to work together on the areas around touts, excessive drinking, illegal taxi activity and commercial flyering. 

"We recognise the importance of all parties working together to minimise the disruption to local residents during the festival, while at the same time providing a safe and enjoyable week for our 260,000 customers." 

Taxi activity will be monitored carefully to ensure the safety of the public and that taxi drivers are not unlawfully plying for trade.

Inspector Roddy Gosden of Gloucestershire Constabulary said: "We'll be running increased patrols in the town, particularly during the night-time economy, to help keep people safe and for the first time we'll have a base at the former tourist information centre in the promenade. Members of the public can come and see us there if they have any problems or concerns."