Monday, 17 June 2019

Weird and Amazing Facts about Horse Racing

Horse racing is a thrilling and fantastic game for many people. But as there is money involved, it becomes a great sport for betting enthusiasts. Getting to know the amazing facts about horse racing can make you peep into all new world of stallions. 

How it started and a few records?

For the successful horses, the owners would pledge their lives. Yes, they can earn more on stud than on the racecourse, and $100 million is involved in horse racing every year. It all started with the chariot races of Rome, and they are the organized form of horse races, from where today’s horse races are derived. These races trace back to 4500 BC in Central Asia. 

  • Till date, there is no record that a horse more than 18 years of age has won the race. 
  • A racehorse on an average weighs 1000 pounds, and the recorded that is lowest for a jockey is 49 pounds. 
  • The highest aged jockey was Levi Barlingume, who raced till 80 years of age, which was until 1932. 
  • Humorist was the winner of the Epsom Derby in 1921 that ran with only one lung.

Big-hearted horses have more chance to win 

You will also be excited to know about the organs of the racing horses. Yes, only the horses with large hearts have a great chance to win, compared with the rest those who have smaller or average-sized hearts. 

If you are one of the groups who thinks that horse racing is not very animal-friendly, and they have stopped putting money in it. You have options to participate in other sports or you can play casino games at Betfair to get the same thrilling experience. 

Slow or fast? 

If you are looking for something funny then here is some amusing fact for you. Time is significant when it comes to winning a race. In 1945, the recorded time for winning that is the slowest of all time was set. Never Mind II, the horse refused to move from a fence, and the jockey had no other go, but to abandon the horse. But, to his joy, all the runners of the race had either been disqualified or fallen. So, he rushed back to complete the 2-mile race in 11 minutes and 28 seconds. This means he would have been at leisure. 

Facts about different breeds

Most of the times, you will find that the thoroughbred horses are chosen for their speed, agility, and determination. They had Arabian ancestors and were produced in England. The Arabian racehorses that raced more than 1000 years ago are of just ½ the size of the thoroughbred horses. Compared with these, the quarter-bred horses that are specially bred for quarter-mile races are smaller and less muscular. For harness racing, the standardbred horses are used. They are best suited for trot than gallop racing. 

Dangers associated with horse racing

While it can be seen a great sport, no one can deny that many a times horse racing involves the fatal end of the horses on the race course, with broken spines. Horses are also killed because of the use of drugs that are meant for improving speed but are illegal and restricted. Thousands of former racehorses end up at slaughter beds. Even younger horses, say of age 3 and 4 are made to risk their lives on tracks.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Professional Gambler & Bookmaker: Freddie Williams

Freddie Williams Bookmaker & Gambler
It's November 2005. The location: Cheltenham racecourse. It's about an hour before the first race - the opening day of the Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting. 

Under a grey sky, with steadily dropping temperatures, the crowd gathers. In the betting circle bookies are pitching. 

Barry Dennis shouts prices back and forth. Gregory and John Hughes watch the crowd. Andy Smith and John Christie await the first bets of the day. Mickey 'The Asparagus Kid' Fletcher, his face like a 'Wanted' poster, scowls from the sidelines. But Scotsman Freddie Williams, a famed drama actor, hasn't yet arrived.

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Miniature in stature he may be, he's known as the biggest bookmaker at Prestbury Park.

Freddie delays his entrance, sitting comfortably in his Jaguar a hundred yards away in the members' car park. His daughter Julie, and other members of his on-course team are already in place on the pitch. Freddie, the softly spoken boss, confers with them by phone, always monitoring the early activity and estimating the moves of the day.

At the Cheltenham Festival in March 1999, JP McManus - a feared pro gambler of racing legend - has a colossal £100,000 each way at 7/1 on his own horse in the Pertempts Hurdle Final. This wasn't some transaction by chance. It was a very deliberate, planned, almost hand-to-hand combat in the heat and gun-smoke of the Festival. Shannon Gale, trained by Christy Roche, finished fourth and JP collected £175,000 from the each-way part of his wager. If he had finished first, Freddie Williams would have had a payout in the ballpark of the £900,000. To clearly understand what makes him such an accomplished man we need to take a look at his whole life. What makes his story so interesting is not just his enthusiastic embrace of customary betting and his detest for the cautious, corporate approach of the big betting-shop chains but also credit that this is a man came from a modest beginning and earned the right to be a player on the greatest racing stage of them all.

Freddie was born in 1942 in Cumnock, East Ayrshire. His father was a miner, like his father before him. Freddie, like the rest of his male relations and colleagues, would have gone down the pit himself had he not failed the medical exam at the age of 15. Instead he became a mining engineer.

After a few years Freddie went to work for a soft drink company. Everyone knew bet in those days, and the backbone of gambling in the mining communities was 'pitch and toss'. Horse racing, especially jump racing, was exerting a far greater allure.

I was lucky to earn a pound a week at the time. I kept my money in a tin box. There were illegal betting offices all around Ayrshire and I put every dime I could on Pas Seul. He made it to the last stretch but then he fell.' Williams laughs sorrowfully at the memory. 'Kerstin stayed on to win the race.

Pas Seul made no mistake the next year, though.' Freddie's was not alone in his love of a punt.In fact it was shared by his workmates at Currys.

He bought his first bookmaking pitch at Ayr in 1974, followed by one in Hamilton and one in Musselburgh. He would go on to own seven betting offices. After Currys was bought out again in 1991, Freddie, already worth over a million, started his own bottled-water business called Caledonian Clear.

Some of competitors like to say that it must be very nice to try bookmaking when you have another job paying your bills.However, Freddie emphatically denies racing job is some sort of sideline. 'Bookmaking is my livelihood and my passion in life.' Freddie has said.

The enthusiasm and nerve Freddie brings to his job is something the Southerners had not witnessed for themselves until the massively overdue reforms that allowed racecourse pitches to be bought and sold at public auction in the late 1990s. The old-fashioned system of Dead Man's Shoes, the bookmaking pitches were restricted to successive generations of the same family, was a sort of Masonic protection swindle that shut out new money and new faces from the ring.

The Scotsman got an early start on 1st January 1999 and again in March. It didn't take McManus to seek him out. As well as conflicting Shannon Gale, the bookmaker also accepted Nick Dundee. Dundee was the Irish banker of the week. The young novice ran in the colours of McManus' close friends John and Sue Magnier. But Freddie didn't fancy Nick Dundee. 'I was going 11/8, One gentleman wanted £80,000 on, and I laid it to him, but I didn't take down the price. He looked at me for a moment then asked for the bet again. So I laid him another £110,000 to £80,000, but I still not taking down the price.'

It was a close-run race. Then it happened Nick Dundee's legs buckled landing over the third last fence. Plus, presumably, the sound of one Scottish heart beating faster. Freddie was not always so lucky.

Although the bookie and punter seem to be natural enemies, they also tend to respect each other alot. 'We're friends,' says Williams sincerely. 'John was in business as a bookmaker for 15 years. He had a good bet on Dawn Run when she won the Gold Cup in 1986 and that helped him to change his life. However, he told me that if she'd lost, he'd have been skint the following week.'

Freddie admits, 'Festival trading is totally draining, which is why I stay in a nice, quiet hotel. When you get back, all you want to do is eat and sleep. I'm afraid I'm well behind in the entertainment stakes.'

There was plenty of entertainment on November '04, though: The Rising Moon, running in the McManus colours, was the medium of a £100,000 plunge at 3/1. Half an hour later, JP's Spot The Difference won the Sporting Index cross-country chase. Someone stuck on £28,000 at 7/1 for a payout of nearly two hundred grand.


Frederick Sidney Williams, soft-drink manufacturer and bookmaker: born Cumnock, Ayrshire 28 October 1942; married Sheila Edwards (two daughters; marriage dissolved 2006); died Cumnock 21 June 2008


Freddie Williams: Bookmaker of amazing boldness by Tony Smurthwaite, The Independent 

Freddie Williams was the buccaneering bookmaker who left onlookers amazed by an incredible boldness that, at the end of one remarkable day at the races, had cost him £1m. He attained celebrity status as the immovable object that met the irresistible force of J.P. McManus, the singularly audacious punter whose huge wagers during the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival each March are one of horse-racing's constants.

Their personal conflict might have bankrupted lesser players, yet relations were always cordial amid McManus's six-figure investments. Such Corinthian spirit, made easier by each man's wealth, captivated many who followed the betting moves at the leading racing and greyhound meetings, and made Williams a hugely popular and high-profile bookmaker.

Williams's most bruising encounter with McManus came on a day he would never forget, as it was to end in terror. It began at the Cheltenham Festival on 16 March 2006. McManus had struck a £100,000 bet to win £600,000 on Reveillez, who won, then followed up with £5,000 each way on Kadoun, another of his horses, at 50-1. When Kadoun won, in the last race of the day, Williams owed McManus more than £1m. As if that were that not bad enough, on driving away from the course in his Jaguar with his daughter Julie and her boyfriend, Andrew, Williams was ambushed by an armed gang. Though the three escaped physically unscathed, the ordeal shook them badly. The assailants were said to have made off with £70,000.

It had long been Williams's ambition to be a bookmaker at Cheltenham. Born in the coal-mining heartland of Cumnock, South Ayrshire, he developed an aptitude for laying odds at a young age, watching the miners playing endless games of pitch and toss. "There was nothing to do then but work and gamble," recalled Williams, whose grandfather and father had both gone down the pit. Freddie's first role model was his great-grandfather. When a pit accident robbed him of an arm, cut off in an accident, he recovered to set up in business as a coal merchant.

Freddie was bedridden as a child and missed out on pit life after failing a medical as a result of polio. He swept floors in the local Curries of Auchinleck lemonade factory, and acted as a bookie's runner before graduating to lay his own odds in a small way at Auchinleck greyhound track.

Though his schooling was interrupted and his education compromised, Freddie Williams had an aptitude that allowed him to rise to manager at the lemonade plant. A buy-out among staff increased his involvement, and later he took over the business. In 1991 he sold his stake and four years later opened the alcopop manufacturer Caledonian Bottlers, which boasted a state-of-the-art factory employing 50 full-time staff, and used natural Scottish spring water.

Williams maintained, however, that bookmaking, not bottling, was his livelihood. He had established a bookmaker's pitch at Ayr racecourse in 1974, where he became known as a daredevil, and then put his name down for a coveted spot at Cheltenham. But the "dead man's shoes" system of bookmaker pitch transfer was a source of great frustration, and Williams languished on the waiting list for 20 years. In one interview, he said: "I started off at 120 on the list and by the 1990s I was at number 40. It was never going to happen, but then the rules changed and you could buy a pitch. I was the first to buy one. I thought, 'Here I am! I'm not just here for a day out – I'm taking on the biggest hitters in the game.' "

So it was that on 1 January 1999, Williams arrived for Cheltenham's traditional New Year's Day meeting. McManus tested his nerve immediately, placing £90,000 on the Queen Mother's runner Buckside. The 2-1 favourite led at the last fence, but faded into second place. Seven weeks earlier, Williams had undergone a quadruple heart bypass.

He never looked back. In March 1999 he took on McManus and other big hitters over the three days of the National Hunt Festival. He clearly loved the cut and thrust, never flinching no matter how high the stakes. "Fearless" Freddie was soon in his pomp, making appearances on Channel 4 racing where he shared his love of the betting ring, and the game of wits, bravado and instinct he waged with customers, who ranged from heavy hitters to £2 punters at Glasgow's Shawfield greyhound track.

Shannon Gale marked the start of battle royal with McManus. Williams accepted a bet of £100,000 each way on the 7-1 chance. Honours were shared when the horse ran fourth, ensuring an each-way payout of £175,000 rather than the £875,000 had it won.

Williams enjoyed studying his clients as much as the horses, seeking give-away signs of confidence or uncertainty. He stood at other racecourses and at greyhound tracks, and owned a string of racehorses. In 2004 he bought the 78 St Vincent Street restaurant in Glasgow, installing his daughter Julie as manager, it was said to stop her following him into the betting game. When his marriage broke down in 2006, it was reported that a £1m divorce settlement had been agreed.

Williams worked until he dropped, suffering a heart attack after a day spent working at Ayr races and an evening working at Shawfield. His philosophy was summed up in the view that the final race each day did not mean an end to the winning or the losing. "There is no last race," he would often say.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

How Do I Use Betfair While In The USA?

Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, Florida
It's great to go on holiday. Even better the chance to visit West Palm Beach, Florida. All parts of the state are beautiful and there is plenty to see and do. 

But there's a problem. I love UK horse racing. In fact, it is my business to follow the Flat racing season. Also, I need to place bets on the betting exchange. I have a Betfair and Betdaq account. So what's the problem? Have you ever tried to access the betting exchanges while on holiday in the US? If you have, you will know what I'm talking about. 

Your access to the site will be blocked!

Annoying. You may question why this is the case. America has a very different view of gambling than other countries. To be fair each and every country has its own little ways. Many prohibit gambling full stop. The main problem with the US is that they are interested in looking after the bandwagon which is known as Las Vegas. No wonder the city in Nevada is synonymous with gambling. The Strip. The shows. The casinos. The lobbyists who are paid good money to make sure that potential wad of cash goes into the pockets of the few.

I think the only state in America where you can access Betfair is New Jersey. However, that's not much good if you are in Florida or any other state for that matter. 

So what do you do? 

You may have heard people using VPNs which help disguise where you are accessing the internet and website. However, this isn't legal and it has been known for Betfair to suspend people's accounts because they realising they are breaking the law of the land. 

Another alternative may be to use Team Viewer. This still may be illegal but it would probably be very difficult to prosecute. Team Viewer allows you to access another computer even from a different country. So you could have a laptop switched on in the UK and access it in Florida. So technically you are using your laptop at home. It makes life easier. It is also a lot easier to access all those things on your laptop at home because it's not practical to carry your desktop and monitor across the pond! 

Anyway, it is a way to gain access to your Betfair account as long as you have wifi. 

Don't be restricted.

Personally, I phone my brother in the UK to place bets for me as it is both legal and easy to work. 

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Hilary Needler Trophy Fillies' Conditions Stakes 2019 (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo)

Hilary Needler Stakes 2019
The Hilary Needler Trophy Fillies' Conditions Stakes 2019. 

One of the jewels in the crown of Beverley racecourse which has its share of two-year-old races throughout the season. 

The race is named after Hilary Needler who passed away in London 14th April 2012. Aged 91, the family had sponsored this notable contest at Beverley since 1965. Her husband, Harold, was one-time chairman of Hull City football club, had been a loyal supporter of Beverley racecourse.

In fact, such is their patronage of the course and this race that the Hilary Needler is the longest private backing of a British horserace. 

The Hilary Needler is run over 5f. 

Sadly, it was downgraded from Listed status in 2011, after being awarded that classification in 2001. 
Last 15 Winners of Hilary Needler 

2003 Attraction - Mark Johnston 11/10f
2004 Miss Meggy - Tim Easterby 16/1
2005 Clare Hills - Karl Burke 16/1
*2006 Roxan - Kevin Ryan 3/1f
2007 Loch Jipp - John Wainwright 20/1
2008 Knavesmire - Mel Brittain 40/1 
2009 Don't Tell Mary - Tom Dascombe 11/4f
2010 Geesala - Kevin Ryan 8/1
2011 Dozy - Kevin Ryan 9/2
2012 Jadanna - James Given 7/1
2013 Ventura Mist - Tim Easterby 14/1
2014 Abandoned (waterlogged)
2015 Easton Angel - Michael Dods 9/4f
2016 Grizzel - Richard Hannon Jnr 5/2
*2017 Chica La Habana - Robert Cowell 6/1 
2018 Kodyanna - Richard Fahey 4/1 

Hilary Needler Trends:

So what can review the last 15 winners reveal? The Hilary Needler is a quality race and generally speaking, goes to a fancied horse with experience. Three favourites have won since 2003. Including - Attraction 11/10f (2003), Don't Tell Mary 11/4f (2009), Easton Angel 9/4f (2015). It is interesting to note that a couple of debutantes have won and that they were both fancied in the betting. Roxan started favourite for Kevin Ryan (2006), while Robert Cowell's Chica La Habana was 6/1. However, there have been a number of big priced winners over the years. Five horses have won at odds bigger than 10/1. Mel Brittain's Knavesmire won by a neck at odds of 40/1, beating stablemate Caronbola (12/1), a year when Percolatopr (the 11/4f was a late withdrawal). Ten of the last fifteen winners of the Hilary Needler have been priced 8/1 & less.  Kean has won the race three times in recent years.  
This horse race has seen a number of exciting and very talented fillies win over the years. 


2003 saw Mark Johnston's classy filly Attraction win, drawing clear of the field and then eased in the final furlong to beat Tolzey by two-and-a-half lengths priced 11/10f. This daughter of Efisio was often criticised as having crooked legs and poor conformation. However, it didn't stop her from winning her first eight races. She was recognised as a superb sprinter but defied her critics by winning the 1,000 Guineas. In a career of 15 races, this gritty bay won 10 times. Her owner the Duke Of Roxburghe's star filly achieved the highest official rating of 119. A truly remarkable filly who concluded her career winning at Group 1 to become a broodmare. 

Other notable winners include Michael Dods' Easton Angel (2015) who went on to finish unplaced in the 2016 Nunthorpe Stakes Group 1.  

2017 Winner Chica La Habana

Last year's winner Kodyanna which won by a head from 50/1 shot Deia Glory.   

2019 Hilary Needler Stakes: 

To be updated... 

2:00 Hilary Needler Trophy Fillies' Conditions Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 5f ITV

Eight two-year-olds are declared at this final stage. Interesting that Richard Fahey fields a debutante in Moon Of Love, who is owned by The Cool Silk Partnership who have done well in this race over the years. 

1)   41  - Bella Brazil    - David Barron  -  10/1 
2)    1  - Execlusive      - Archie Watson -   5/1 
3)  102  - Lady Quickstep  - Gay Kelleway  -  12/1 
4)    1  - Liberty Beach   - John Quinn    -   7/1 
5) 2411  - Rose Of Kildare - Mark Johnston -   5/1
6)    1  - Three Coins     - Richard Fahey -   5/1 
7)   42  - Yarrow Gate     - Michael Dods  -   8/1
8)       - Moon Of Love    - Richard Fahey -   9/2

Click this link if you want to know the best two-year-old racehorses in training

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes (Conditions Race) (Plus 10 Race) (Class 2) (2yo)

Woodcote Stakes 2019
A quick preview to the Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes

2:00 Epsom. Going: Good. Just seven two-year-olds (2yo) taking part for this Class 2 race with win prize money £37,350. 

Interesting history to the Woodcote Stakes. Run over a distance of 6f 3 yards, it is open to two-year-old thoroughbred racehorses. Originally named the Woodcot Stakes, it was first to run in 1794. Although, in those days, it was run over four furlongs. 

In this modern era, winners since 1988 detail a number of very talented juveniles. 

Readers of a certain age may remember the likes of Champagne Gold (1989) who won for trainer Denys Smith, ridden by Willie Carson. 

In 1991, Showbrook ran a sparkling time of 1:07.85, for Richard Hannon's stable, ridden by Bruce Raymond in the familiar silks of Tony Budge (known as ''King Coal'').  Showbrook went on to win the July Stakes and Mill Reef Stakes.  

Other popular winners of this race include Ron Boss, Clive Britain, Richard Hannon (Snr), Ian Balding, Paul Cole, Mick Channon, Mark Johnston, Alan Jarvis, Peter Chapple-Hyam, Neville Callaghan, Rod Millman, Kevin Ryan, William Jarvis, Karl Burke, Richard Hannon (Jnr) & even Irish-raider Tommy Stack (2010) with High Award. 

Last year saw Richard Fahey's Cosmic Law run out an easy six-length winner for owner John Dance, ridden by Partick McDonald. 

Click this link to see the result on the Racing Post. 

2019 Investec Woodcote Stakes 

This year sees a small field of just seven contenders (the same as last year). 

Pinatubo (Charlie Appleby) Price: 11/4

This bay colt is a son of Shamardal, a homebred from Godolphin.  He ran out a tidy winner when racing at Wolverhampton on debut. The second horse, Platinum Star, has since franked the form. Charlie Appleby has a number of two-year-olds who could have gone for this race. 

Misty Grey (Mark Johnston) Price: 4/1

This chestnut (looks grey) disappointed on debut but improved significantly second start at Ripon leading all the way and winning by seven lengths. There was a lot to like about that victory.

Oh Purple Reign (Richard Hannon) Price: 11/2

This son of Sir Prancealot wasn't overly fancied when winning on debut at Nottingham. However, the 12/1 starting price didn't stop this bay colt from battling for victory. 

Rayong (Karl Burke) Price: 8/1

Karl Burke has a fantastic strike rate at Carlisle and Rayong ran a sterling race to win by three-quarters of a length. I get the feeling that was a fair race. This step up to 6f should be positive. In the ownership of King Power Racing Ltd, this two-year-old needs to improve but could well fight to the line.  

Dancinginthewoods (Dean Ivory) Price: 11/1

Dean Ivory isn't known for his debut winners and that may explain why this son of Garswood won at odds of 50/1. Victory looked unlikely right up to the last stride, winning by a nose. Not the easiest horse to assess and this is a step up in class. 

Dragon Command (George Scott) Price: 14/1 

This attractive son of War Command ran well on debut at Doncaster. He was a little short of room and finished with spirit giving the impression better would be seen on his second start. Owners, The Black Dragon, must have thought they had a favourites chance next start at Carlisle. However, they couldn't beat Rayong, who held a small advantage. On the form, looks held by Karl Burke's charge. 

Barry Magoo (Adam West) Price: 100/1 

This bay gelding has been a big price on both starts to date and not shown a great deal. Not been seen for over a month, needs vast improvement. 

Conclusion: I wouldn't look beyond Pinatubo and Misty Grey. 

2019 Woodcote Stakes Winner Pinatubo

Monday, 27 May 2019

Pro Gamblers: Proud To Be A Betting Man

An old story originally published in the Northern Echo, 2002 by Ruth Campbell. A fascinating read about professional gambler Paul Cooper. 
For most gamblers, having a flutter is more of a bit of fun than a serious attempt to get rich. But Ruth Campbell meets one man for whom a day at the races means earning a living.
PAUL Cooper greets me by the gate of his imposing five-bedroom Georgian farmhouse, set in 100 acres, in North Yorkshire. There is a gleaming four wheel drive and an Alexis with the personalised number plate PC2 parked in the courtyard.
The former public schoolboy is charming and polite, and surrounded by the trappings of his success. If I were a betting woman and were asked, from first impressions, to guess what he did for a living, I would plump for accountant or stockbroker, or something in the City.
I'd be wrong. Paul Cooper is a professional gambler. It is hard to know what a professional gambler is supposed to look like - there are not many working in the UK and just two or three, like Paul Cooper, are big players.
Cooper, 43, has bet £44m over the last 23 years and made just under £1m. He started with just a few pounds, which means he has enjoyed some spectacular wins, but at the same time endured some horrendous losses.
"I would almost bet on the proverbial fly crawling up a wall if I thought I could win. I more or less bet every day," he says.
He lost £26,000 on David Chapman's sprinter Glencroft in the 1988 Bovis Handicap. But the following year he won an incredible £250,000 after laying out just £432 on a tricast (guessing the first three horses in order) at Thirsk.
And then there was his nailbiting near miss in the States. Tantalisingly close to winning $5m after placing the winners in six out of seven races, his horse in the seventh race missed by a nose.
These are the sorts of highs and lows which would reduce the rest of us to jittery, nervous wrecks. But Cooper is cool, calm and measured. To him, it may as well be just another day at the office. There is none of the impulsiveness or recklessness we associate with habitual gamblers.
His wife Danielle, an interior designer, takes the ups and downs of her husband's unusual career in her stride: "I was surprised at what he did, I had never met a professional gambler. But you marry the person you marry, I accept it."
The couple have two children Clementine, two, and Cordelia, four months: "It is like a volatile business, no different than being married to a stockbroker," adds Danielle. Indeed, Paul regards the £44m he has laid out over the years as turnover and keeps detailed accounts. "I lost money last year and this year I am level. I could do with another quarter of a million pound win," he smiles.
His analytical, computer-like mind, combined with an instinctive eye for a good horse, is complemented by his incredible discipline: "I am not flippant about it, it is an art form if you like. It is quite mathematical." At one point he did work as a Lloyds insurance underwriter: "Insurance is similar, but a lot more risky than gambling on horses."
The son of a farmer, Cooper's gambling career began at the tender age of four when his parents took him to Derwent point-to-point. He bet four shillings on a horse called Paul's Diamond, which won at 100-1, and was hooked. He left Stowe public school at 17 to work on the racing magazine Stud and Stable. Out of his first wages, a £1.90 stake on the ITV seven, won him £800. Within two years, he had collected £13,365 for a £3 accumulator. That bought him a plush London flat overlooking the Thames. By then he realised he could live off gambling and turned professional. His parents didn't mind: "My mother was amused," he says.
Although he wouldn't want his own children to follow in his footsteps, he never thought of doing anything else: "It is what I know and understand." Much of his success can be put down to his meticulous research of times, trainers, form and track bias.
Immediately before a race, he views the horses, then takes about five minutes to weigh up odds and make a decision, staking between £50 and £1,000 a time. There is no adrenaline, no nerves: "I am as relaxed as can be. It is conditioning."
Cooper has his forensic approach to thank for his incredible £250,000 win at Thirsk (which got him into the Guinness Book of Records), followed by a £178,000 win there the year after.
He doesn't pick favourites, as they give poor value. "On days when a whole string of favourites win, I tend to lose." He likes discovering trainers who are underestimated, he virtually never backs a maiden and homes in on high quality races: "I love group races and big events."
Whatever happens, Cooper keeps a cool head. Like a good poker player, he rarely betrays emotion. He recalls that, despite losing £61,000 after three days at Ascot one year, friends assumed he was having a good run. "Most people would not be able to tell how I was doing," he explains. (Incidentally, he adds, he won all the money back again by the Friday.)
He appears to dismiss huge losses easily, but admits: "It is a rollercoaster. I don't think anyone enjoys the lows." He regards the bookies as public enemy number one. The feeling is probably mutual. He has had 41 credit accounts closed over the years. "It is an incredibly unfair service," he says.
He plays the lottery, £8 every week but has won nothing - yet. Because most people pick birth dates, he goes for numbers 32-49 which are better value and linked with higher wins. "There is an edge to picking the high numbers." Beating the system intrigues him, he says, financial rewards come second.
In addition to his gambling, he is now in charge of sponsorship for, a betting exchange launched in June 2000 which links people who want to bet on anything, from horses to the stock market.
Where bookmakers make about 20pc on every race, Cooper points out Betfair, which now has a turnover of £17m a month, takes just 2-5pc commission. "It is rather like buying stocks and shares without the need of a stockbroker," he says.
Cooper has recently returned to his roots, buying the house near Thirsk where he was born and enjoyed a happy childhood.
Occasionally it does cross his mind that his life may be misguided. But betting is in his blood. "Yorkshire people love horses, it is in our roots," he says. "I am not leaving home again. This is home for the rest of my life."

Thursday, 23 May 2019

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 giraffes 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. At that moment my potential terror of what could be turns to joy. Righteousness. Being right rather than religious. Obviously, there is a good reason why I lay such horses. There is an 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 giraffes 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'' straightforward. 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 a 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 the 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 tranquillizer dart.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Bookies Glean Information From The Bets They Accept

There is an old story of the punter who liked to back short-priced horses. He seemed to believe that the shorter the price, the more market confidence it carried; so, therefore, the bigger the certainty it was. He used to attend race meetings and had an entourage of different punters to place bets on his behalf. The story (not to be taken too literally) goes that one day he instructed his punter too, ‘Hurry up and take the 10/11 before if goes Evens,’ about a certain horse. 

Such thinking, if it ever existed in real life, has long been eclipsed by the value-seekers; those looking for odds they feel represent a cut above true odds. I have addressed this subject before; pointing out that Indefinite Odds as opposed to Absolute Odds [those that are incontrovertible], are based on opinion.

As a result, it is very important that punters back horses they fancy rather than getting sucked into bets purely because of prices on offer. Overpriced horses are often overpriced for a reason. Some horses fail to win. Welsh Emperor is a prime example. He always has a greater chance in Listed and Group 3 events than his price suggests, but he rarely wins. In his case, although his technical chance is greater than his odds reflect, his track-record means he is an unlikely winner of whatever race he is contesting. Horses like him make up the numbers, take up a percentage, but invariably get in the way.

Be aware that the danger of seeking out value for value’s sake can mean you are about to step into a minefield.

Bookmakers know what they are doing most of the time. Vulnerability tends to exist when they are pricing races the day before. As race time approaches, the more likely they are to be correct even if they have to make several adjustments. Their vulnerability crumbles as bets start to trickle then flood in and before long, the position between punter and bookmaker becomes reversed. Whatever advantage you felt you had over the bookmaker a day before a race, dwindles as the bookmaker’s intelligence system kicks in. And as he starts to record bets, so a pattern unknown to you emerges. Every customer that wins money (distinct from a winning account), or has a proven record of backing the right horses from certain yards, is tagged-up. That is to say, within seconds of certain bets being placed, traders are informed. The bet may be small it may be large. Some big punters have an incredible strike rate with certain yards. But once they get in front, they start having £100 Yankees and backing race by race, often with their thought processes considerably diluted by champagne or wine and can lose everything they won and more on a cleverly crafted coup by throwing money at hunches. Others can be small players – £5 or £10 a throw being all they risk – but the fact they have a 64% strike rate with a particular yard means their transactions will not go unnoticed. They could be a friend of the trainer’s family, a cleaner, the bloke who delivers the paper. The fact is that once a bookmaker has established a link, he is getting his card marked merely by laying a bet. 

Consequently, a race you might have considered a three-horse affair may contain six serious contenders as far as the bookmaker is concerned. In blind ignorance, you stick to your theory that a certain horse is overpriced but if you knew what Jolly Joe knew, would you be so keen to take the odds? On such occasions, bookmakers hang on to their prices for a long time, confident that they will field enough money to be in a position to make a book. As time goes on and their odds remain the same, it becomes increasingly obvious that whilst there may be nothing wrong with your logic or information, your horse faces serious competition. When bookmakers slash a price, trying to wriggle out of their odds, you know they are genuinely worried. 

Pricewise is a good indication of how the situation is developing. We all know that when Tom Segal is in form, which he is now, there will be money for anything he nominates. Everyone gets involved. Those that arb will take a price they know can be sold back later and Joe Punter will back the selection because it is the closest thing he gets to have an edge. So bookmakers are under siege. Stormtroopers are busting down the doors to avail themselves of the 10/1 and the expectation is that the horse will start in single figures. Now, there have been occasions when Tom Segal, just like the rest of us, has made a mistake or been forced to nominate a horse he thinks is a poor effort – a half-hearted attempt at coming up with something in a race he has no particular feel for. At first, the odds tumble. Then, let us say someone with a connection to the yard comes on for a bet but it does not include the Pricewise selection. Even better, from the bookmaker’s standpoint, he actually backs against the horse. Ask yourself what you would do in such a position. Try if you can to see inside that thick hide beneath which lurks the bookmaker. Instead of shortening the horse further, now he is prepared to stand up to it. He is not going to risk going skint. If he has been in the game five minutes, he knows what can go wrong, but he has a major mark against the horse – a big clue that it may not win. There have even been occasions when Ladbrokes have pushed out a Pricewise selection. Like them or love them, they are the best in the business. Their information is the best. No doubt, they pay for it one way or another – either by lavish entertainment or by allowing widespread facilities to those who bet with them and whose bets can be used as cast iron marks. We know they are in cahoots with several high profile stables and I make no comment on that. It is their business and they run it well.

But with the advent of Betfair, all be it a depleted market these days, punters do not have to be railroaded into showing their hands quite so early. At one time bookmakers would see a tremendous amount of warm business between 8.30 and 9.30 am. It was almost a game of musical chairs. Those with the information would be on to the traders, shopping their business in return for an inflated price for a few hundred pounds. The bookmakers had the mark for little potential outlay and could protect their morning business by ensuring the 16/1 laid was no longer available. That was the way it used to work. These days, times have changed. But the principle is the same. With the slow advance of the hands on the clock, so the bookmaker becomes better informed. Most information is like water; it will leak. Some, however, known to perhaps only the owner or trainer, does not enter the public domain until much later and can, at times, wreck the best-laid plans of the layers.

This leads me to mention the information trail that most novice punters are so desperate to pursue. Information is useful in a wide range of capacities. Often what you are not told (unfancied horses) can be more useful than what you are. Never forget though that information is only someone else’s opinion. And very often that opinion, unless it concerns something of such magnitude you could not possibly know, is not as good as your own. Some yards are very good yards. They churn out winner after winner and you might be tempted to believe that if only you had someone who could help you with such messages, you would have it made. You may be surprised that some of these yards, good though they undoubtedly are, will iron you out if you listen to what they actually tip. Some stables, like the Richard Hannon yard, send out horses fit and ready to win 90% of the time. If they are not fit, they don’t run. So it is a good yard from a punting point of view and one where you are capable of marking your own card. Form an opinion about one their horses and invariably you will get a run for your money and if it fails to win, it is more likely to be you that has called it incorrectly. Sadly, not all yards operate in such an open and straightforward way. When I have worked out how to ensure I am not leading our lawyers down the Private Eye route, I shall return to this issue and make a few observations you may find helpful. Source: Horse Racing Pro

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Casino Players: Devil Vs Angel

Devil vs Angel
If a gambler had two tattoos - one on each shoulder - the pessimist would probably suggest a devil while the optimist would have their sights on an angel, both whispering words of wisdom. ''Keep that ace up your sleeve''. 

There are so many forms of gambling: horseracing, the stock market, lottery, casino... 

You name it.  The big question for many is where to bet. That's where Codeta Casino come into play. 

Assessing whether gambling is a good idea relates to one major factor: whether you are a winner or a loser. That point varies from one person to the next. Because even though many puritans suggest that gambling is an offensive word, there are many punters who make their betting pay. 

The first time I went to a casino made of bricks and mortar was at the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth. To be honest, it was a brilliant evening. I managed to win a few quid in the process. I would recommend the experience to anyone. As long as you bet what you can afford to lose you will leave with a smile on your face and not losing your shirt. Far too chilly over this winter period to be half naked on the Norfolk Broads. 

However, joking aside, it's an opportunity to celebrate a special occasion. If you turn up on your birthday month, you'll get a free drink, a handful of free chips to bet and even a birthday cake if you ask nicely. 

The razzamatazz of traditional casino is all good and well but sometimes you just want to bet from the comfort of your home. That's where online casinos come into play. 

Take a look at Codeta Casino because it is a touch different from the avergae online experience. I've just looked and surprised.  

Codeta Casino Review:


Male and female dealers: young, attractive, dressed smartly.

Quote: ''All the dealers at Codeta live casino are good looking young men and women who appear to be in their 20s. 3 of the dealers were Eastern European, while Jake – the dealer for the London Roulette game – was a young English guy who sounded like he was perhaps from Essex. The background for the London Roulette game was very much like an upmarket European casino – ie the sort of thing you might expect to find in the Ritz in London.

The dress code is standard real-world casino, with each dealer, dressed appropriately for if they were in an upmarket casino in a hotel or on a cruise ship. Hands are well-manicured and certainly, there were no physical blemishes on display that could distract you from the gameplay.''

Dealer's Interactivity:

You will find the dealers personable and friendly.

Quote: ''As with many other online live casinos, you can hear other table games being played in the background – especially during the card games. This doesn’t put you off, though, and actually adds to the feeling that you’re taking part in a real-life casino scenario.''

Codeta Casino Technology:

Decent quality and speed of games. 

Codeta Casino Games:

Roulette, blackjack, poker etc...


10% Top-up/Cashback on losses

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

How To Wage A Horse Racing Superstar Like Preakness Stakes 2019

The race track of Pimlico Park in Baltimore, Maryland is now set and ready for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown Series which is the Preakness Stakes. Following the Kentucky Derby which is the first leg and succeeded by the Belmont Stakes which is the final leg, the Preakness Stakes 2019 is expected to be attended by hundreds and thousands of horse racing fans across the world. 

Moreover, on May 18, 2019, marks the 144th edition of the Preakness Stakes and that it is expected that the horse entries who graced the Kentucky Derby will once appear in the Preakness 2019 showing off their true skills and abilities. For those who still don’t know, the Preakness Stakes like the other two jewels of the Triple Crown Series is a race of three-year-old thoroughbred races all competing in the Grade 1 Stakes category. 

Hence, as you excited to take part in this year’s edition of the Preakness Stakes, you might still have a hard time choosing for your bets and still confused on how to bet for your desired horse racer. That said, let us give to you some last minute realistic tips on how you can wage effectively for your most coveted horse racer. 

Stay Simple 

The Preakness Stakes 2019 like other horse racing showdown in a sports gambling game is attended by both newbie and professional sports bettors. Take note that unlike other sports, the categories of sports betting in a horse racing tournament comes in various and different categories; thus, betting in a simple manner will help you win your game. 

That said, you don’t need to go to high-level betting as you might end up losing the betting game. It is highly recommended that you need to bet for the basic categories especially that this year’s edition of the Preakness Stakes is attended by strongest contenders of horse racers in the horse racing industry. 

Outline A Budget 

In general, sports betting is expensive and that you need to outline the right budget before you head on to any horse racing betting game like the 2019 Preakness Stakes. In making a budget, make sure that you prioritize first your needs and wants and your bill of course so that everything is settled before you take part in wagering. 

Besides, this will ensure that you only spend the right amount of money and you do not go over your budget. Outlining a budget will also help you understand that horse racing is gambling and that the result is between winning and losing; thus, it will help you manage your expenses. 

Play With A Team 

If you would like to take part in a profitable and effective betting, you might want to involve yourself in creating a team to formulate your bets. You can have as many team members as you like. Make sure that there is an individual who is an expert in horse racing betting and plays like a leader. Brainstorm with the type of bet you all want to indulge and study each horse racers capability. 

In this way, you will be able to limit the amount you would like to wage and most especially you have a higher chance of winning.

Obtain Tip Sheets 

This might sound like you are a beginner, but this will entirely help you in betting effectively. Even sophisticated and expert bettors are using this betting style. The tip sheets include valuable information of all horse racers. It also includes their previous records in all pre-Preakness Stakes season. Through this, you will have a thorough understanding of how your desired entry will perform in the racing field. 

Bet For Best Names 

Throughout the course of all minor and major horse racing shows, best names or offspring of the previous horse superstars normally carry their culture and tradition of winning. Although there are horse racers who have been doing their best to emerge as a winner thought their parents didn't make it to racing shows like Preakness, most winners recorded like in Triple Crown Series comes from best names.

If you are looking forward to betting for the upcoming Preakness Stakes, you might want to bet for a horse entry who deems the family winning tradition. 

Bet Surely By Looks 

As a better, whether you are professional, one thing that will help you wage the right horse entry is by looks. All you need to do is to take closely each horse entry and study how they stand physically. An efficient and strong horse racer contender possess strong and healthy energy before the racing starts. That said, that particular horse racer entails a winning look so you might want to consider in betting him. Lastly, a horse racer with dapples along his coat is more likely to win than a horse racer with a dull coat.