Thursday, 18 May 2023

A Beginners Guide to Australia’s Caulfield Cup

As an English man who is in tune with UK thoroughbred horse racing, the Caulfield Cup is a race I have heard before but I’m very much a novice. So, this article is a perfect beginners guide to the Caulfield Cup.

It’s a race to savour for race fans across the globe.

The Caulfield Cup.

First off, make note of the date this race takes place: 21st October, 2023.

The Caulfield Cup is a Group 1 horse race which takes place at Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia. It has a rich history dating back to its inauguration in 1879, won by a horse called Newminster. This handicap run on turf is for horses age three years and older over a distance of 1 mile four furlongs (2400 metres). With a race history spanning over 240 years, and prize money of $5,000,000 it’s no surprise to hear this is one of the most popular horse races in the southern hemisphere and holds global recognition. This race is held annually on the third Saturday in October, and the third and final day of the Caulfield Carnival. It’s worth noting horses may qualify for the Melbourne Cup via this contest, which is held some 16 days later at Flemington racecourse.

The Caulfield Cup is restricted to 18 runners (4 reserves) and punters and racing fans are eager to know the Caulfield Cup odds. Entrants are selected by prize money, wins and placings. The best-known horse racing track in Australia, it is called ‘The Heath’ by local racegoers. In fact, horse racing started at this venue back in 1859. The track has a triangular shaped layout and left-handed course. It has three straights with a total circumference of just over 2 kilometres. Caulfield has about 25 days racing each year and home of many significant races including the Caulfield Guineas, Blue Diamond Stakes, C F Orr Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Underwood Stakes and Futurity Stakes.

Located some 9 kilometres from Melbourne Central Business Centre, it is easily accessible by tram (route 3) and takes about 35 minutes. Alternatively trains run from the city centre every 10 minutes. Handily, Caulfield Railway Station is less than 100 metres from the racecourse. The racecourse is located on the Frankston, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

A select number of just 7 horses have won the Caulfield Cup twice: Paris (1892, 1894), Hymettus (1898, 1901), Poseidon (1906.1907), Uncle Sam (1912, 1914), Whittier (1922, 1925), Rising Fast (1954, 1955) and Ming Dynasty (1977, 1980).

In fact the Caulfield Cup has seen 11 winners go on to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup in the same year. The most recent being Ethereal (2001) trained by Sheila Laxon. Other champions achieving the Caulfield-Melbourne double include Poseidon (1906), The Trump (1937), Fast Rising (1954), Even Stevens (1963), Gallilee (1966), Gunner’s Lane (1982), Let’s Elope (1991), Doriemus (1995) & Might And Power (1997).

Bart Cummings has trained the winner of 7 Caulfield Cups.

UK readers may remember Lady Herries trained the winner of the 2008 Caulfield Cup with Taufan’s Melody. In fact, only 6 horses have won this race outside of Australia and New Zealand since 1998. Others include: All The Good (2008) and Best Solution (2018) for Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin, Dunaden (2012) for French trainer Mikel Delzangles, Admire Rakti (2014) for Japanese trainer Tomoyuki Umeda and Mer De Glace (2019) for fellow compatriot Hisashi Shimizu.

In 2022, Durston won the Caulfield Cup for trainer Chris Waller, ridden by Michael Dee.... Race fans from around the world will be anticipating this year’s Caulfield Cup with dreams of heading to the Melbourne Cup.

Good luck to all.

Photo: Canva (free) 

Monday, 15 May 2023

Exploring the Thrills of Great Yarmouth: A Gambler's Paradise

Great Yarmouth, a vibrant coastal town nestled on the stunning Norfolk coast, offers visitors a delightful blend of natural beauty and exciting entertainment options. While many travelers flock to this charming destination for its golden beaches and amusement arcades, Great Yarmouth is also a paradise for gamblers. From the adrenaline-fueled races at the racecourse to the elegant atmosphere of the Grosvenor Casino and the timeless charm of bingo halls, there are plenty of places to try your luck and experience the thrill of gambling in this seaside gem.

One of the highlights of the gambling scene in Great Yarmouth is undoubtedly the racecourse. Located just a short distance from the town center, the racecourse is a magnet for both horse racing enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy a day of excitement. With its well-manicured track and stunning views of the surrounding countryside, the racecourse provides a picturesque setting for a thrilling day at the races. Whether you're a seasoned punter or a novice hoping to get lucky, the racecourse offers a variety of betting options and a vibrant atmosphere that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
For those seeking a more refined gambling experience, the Grosvenor Casino in Great Yarmouth is the place to be. Situated on the historic Marine Parade, this elegant casino exudes sophistication and charm. Step inside and you'll be greeted by the sound of shuffling cards and spinning roulette wheels, as well as the unmistakable buzz of anticipation. Whether you prefer classic table games like blackjack and roulette or the excitement of slot machines, the Grosvenor Casino has something to suit every taste. With its attentive staff and luxurious surroundings, this casino provides a truly unforgettable gambling experience.
If you're looking for a more relaxed and social form of gambling, Great Yarmouth's bingo halls are the perfect choice. Bingo has long been a beloved pastime in the UK, and the town boasts several venues where you can try your luck at this timeless game. From the traditional bingo halls to modern establishments with electronic terminals, there's a bingo experience for everyone in Great Yarmouth. The friendly atmosphere and sense of community make it an enjoyable and inclusive activity that is suitable for all ages. So grab your lucky charm and get ready to shout "Bingo!" in one of Great Yarmouth's inviting bingo halls.
After a day of thrilling gambling adventures, it's time to unwind and rest in one of Great Yarmouth's best hotels. Among the top choices is the Andover House Hotel, a stylish boutique hotel situated near the seafront. This elegant establishment offers comfortable rooms adorned with modern amenities and tasteful decor. The attentive staff provide impeccable service, ensuring that your stay is as pleasant as possible. With its convenient location and proximity to the town's attractions, the Andover House Hotel is the ideal base for exploring Great Yarmouth's gambling scene and beyond.
In conclusion, Great Yarmouth is a haven for gamblers, offering a variety of thrilling options to tempt even the most seasoned player. From the excitement of horse racing at the racecourse to the refined atmosphere of the Grosvenor Casino and the timeless charm of bingo halls, there's something for everyone.

Monday, 8 May 2023

How To Win At Roulette 101

Roulette is a classic casino game that has been enjoyed by millions of people for generations. The objective of the game is simple: to correctly predict where the ball will land on the spinning wheel. Although the game is based largely on luck, there are a few strategies and tips that can help you increase your chances of winning.

The first step to winning at roulette is to understand the odds. The American version of roulette has 38 numbers on the wheel, including 0 and 00, while the European version has 37 numbers, with just a single 0. Knowing the odds can help you make informed betting decisions and reduce your risk of losing.

One popular strategy for increasing your chances of winning is called the Martingale system. This strategy involves doubling your bet after every loss, in an attempt to recoup your losses and eventually come out ahead. While this strategy can be effective in the short term, it also has a high risk of resulting in a significant loss if you have a streak of bad luck.

Another strategy that is often used by experienced players is the Reverse Martingale system, also known as the Paroli system. This strategy involves increasing your bet after each win, rather than after each loss. The idea is to take advantage of a winning streak and maximize your winnings while minimizing your risk of losing.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when playing roulette is to set a budget and stick to it. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game and end up betting more than you can afford to lose. By setting a budget and sticking to it, you can ensure that you stay in control and minimize your risk of losing big.

Another important tip for winning at roulette is to avoid making single-number bets. These bets have the lowest odds of winning and the highest payouts, which makes them a risky option. Instead, consider making outside bets, such as betting on a range of numbers or on odd or even numbers. These bets have a higher probability of winning, and the payouts are generally lower, but the potential winnings can still be significant. Finally, it's important to choose a reputable casino that offers fair games and transparent rules. Look for casinos that are licensed and regulated by a reputable authority, and make sure to read the terms and conditions before you start playing. This will help you avoid any surprises and ensure that you are playing a fair game.

In conclusion, roulette is a fun and exciting game that can offer the chance to win big. While the game is largely based on luck, there are a few strategies and tips that can help you increase your chances of success. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, it's important to understand the odds, set a budget, and choose a reputable casino. By following these tips and being mindful of your bets, you can maximize your chances of winning at roulette and have a great time while doing so.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Monday, 1 May 2023

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 the 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. 

  • To 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 of 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 time, 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 times horse racing involves the fatal end of the horses on the racecourse, 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 ages 3 and 4 are made to risk their lives on tracks.

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution but given

Friday, 28 April 2023

Betting Industry Expert: Who Is Matthew Trenhaile?

Who is Matthew Trenhaile?

I always love a good YouTube video and the betting industry offers a mix of individuals from those with true wisdom to chancers who really have little to offer as far a true insight and  intellect go.

Introducing Matthew Trenhaile, who was interviewed by Star Sports Bet TV in this four-part series and illuminating conversation. He really offers a great perspective compared to the conventional punter approach which can often feel quite limited. 

Part 1 - 

Trenhaile has 20-years experience within the betting industry. First starting within the spread betting sector, golf and rugby, before working in the city as a risk manager in currency markets. In addition, he worked for betting syndicate.

One of the most respected opinions in the betting industry. Trenhaile describes himself as a 'Betting Industry Nerd'. In this video he talks about working with Mustard Systems (a golf betting syndicate), spread betting, tissue pricing and appreciating information within the game.


Part 2 - 

Talks frankly about working in the city and a change of career based on personal reasons, how investors were placed in book A or B and hedging on the cheap. Insight regarding risk management with reference to boomakers and his thoughts on liabilities and closing accounts when a sharp punter bets.


Part 3 -

Matthew why a betting syndicate often starts with three opinions, what inside information can mean depending on the sport/market, and how to understand markets. Insight about how bookmakers assess punter performance and restricted accounts, and details how things are not always as they seem from winning punters keeping accounts to some punters being stopped after one winning bet.

Part 4 -

Here Trenhaile (Trent to his friends) details the sharp money on the exchanges, Commission Agents and ''dark pools''. Insight about his own betting, and how some betting on the exchanges get burned out. Makes reference to Harry Findlay in the good, old days finding value betting odds-on and how that has changed.

Comments include: 

Richard Walsh: ''Superb stuff, could listen to Matthew all day. Please tell him to come back doing podcasts.''

Lee Horton: ''This bloke definitely knows his stuff, well part from thinking Harry Findlay was a Really enjoyed it.''

M.F. Oi: ''This is content for anyone who likes gambling. Thanks for making all these videos.''

Jay Rocc: ''This is my favourite of all the people you've interviewed. Could listen to that chap for hours.''

Eric Campbell: ''Great interview. Superb knowledge.''

Steve Buxton: ''As sharp as a blade.''

Source: Star Sports 

Additional: Podcast 

Inside Betting | Listen Notes

Saturday, 8 April 2023

How to Play Online Keno

How to Play Online Keno
Keno is the game where players get to pick numbers from 1 to 80 to match at least some winning numbers on an electronic display you can choose a casino from new casino websites and play keno. The player who picks the longest sequence wins the prize. For example, you can bet $1 per number or play 100 numbers for $10. Below is how you can play online Keno.

How to Play Online Keno

The following steps explain how to play online Keno:

Step 1: Select your stakes and number of games. You can either choose a fixed amount that will be won by matching all the winning numbers in one go (this usually ranges between $0.50-$100) or select several games that will win a set amount after being matched (usually between 1-300). If you are playing more than once in a row, make sure to clear your previous bets before beginning a new session.

Step 2: Place your bet and click “Start Free Game” to start playing. Note that if you don’t have any money in your account yet, there will be a $0 balance shown as the starting amount. You can also choose to place another bet by clicking the “Bet Now” button.

Step 3: Pick your first five numbers from 1-80.

Step 4: Click "Next" until you finish picking all of your 5 numbers. Alternatively, you can pick up to 50 numbers with one mouse click. If you want to stop selecting numbers and keep going, simply click “Finish” when you are done.

Step 5: Your scores from each selection will appear below the game area. You can see which number(s) won the game. At this point, you can either continue to select more numbers or quit. When you are ready to end the game, click “Quit”stellarspins casino has the best poker games you can choose from.

After you win, Keno will tell you how much you earned. It will probably say something like “You won $5!”


To view the current amounts, just click on “Account Info” near the top right corner of the screen. This will show you your account balance and allow you to deposit additional funds into your account.

You must deposit funds using your credit card before you can play Keno online.

You should always use a secure website so that your personal information remains private.

Friday, 31 March 2023

Hard Times Gambling Tips to Make Money

As the economy worsens and many people find themselves in a downward financial spiral, many will consider trying to win money to solve their economic problems. I've owned and raced horses, handicapped horse races for profit, and counted cards at the blackjack tables in casinos. I've made money at those things, but never got rich and found it to be more work than a regular job. It isn't glamorous or sexy to sit at a blackjack table for hours with drunks trying to tell you how to play your cards and the pit boss eyeing you suspiciously.

There is also nothing fun about walking out of a race track with empty pockets. The truth of the matter is that if you are one of the consumers of gambling, that is, not the casino owner or owner of the race track, then the game is against you from the get-go. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to quit playing, but I hate to see people risking what little they have trying to get lucky.

If you really want to get lucky, work for the casino or at the race track. I've never worked for a casino but have worked at a race track and I got paid every day no matter who won the race. If none of this has discouraged you or convinced you to quit, here is a little advice that might help.

First and foremost, set limits and know when to quit, especially when you're ahead. At some time in their visit to the casino, almost every gambler has a time when he or she is ahead and yet, most leave a loser. How do you know when to quit? Gambling, like most things in life, is streaky, or cyclical. You will have times when you win a few bets at the horses or hit a jackpot at the slots or a big pot at the poker table.

Nine out of ten gamblers proceed to keep betting and playing and give it all back. The longer you play the more likely you are to lose due to something called churn. Casinos and race tracks love churn. It simply means that each time you bet, the house or track gets a piece of your bet. It may only be a few percentage points in the casino or 20% at the track, but it adds up.

One of the few successful gamblers that I know is a lady who plays trifectas at the horse races. She is one of the cheapest people I know, but she still takes $60 per week and plays the ponies. If she loses it, she goes home and waits until the next week. When she wins, and she does, she usually hits trifectas that pay well. She will take the money and put it in the bank and use it to pay her bills or buy things she couldn't usually afford.

The next week, no matter how much is in the bank account, she only takes $60 and goes back to the track. She loves to handicap and doesn't look at it as the only source of her income. She knows that if she loses, she hasn't lost everything. In other words, there is no big pressure on her to win. She simply does her best to pick good trifecta combinations and then she plays them.

Over the years she has spent quite a bit of money on good books about handicapping and money management, which brings up another important point. Invest in yourself first. An investment in good information that you can use or a good education is the best investment most of us can make. She doesn't gamble with scared money and can stay within her limits.

So when you get hot and find yourself ahead, be realistic and quit. Take whatever you have and call it a day. The race track or casino will be there next week. Use most of the money to pay down that credit card or mortgage and just save enough for your next trip to the track or casino. You will be amazed if you follow this simple gambling advice at how you cut your losses and maximize your profits.

Author: Bill Peterson

Article Source:
About the Author

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to and get the truth. Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill's horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill's handicapping store.

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution but given 

Thursday, 16 March 2023

3 Rules of Playing Casino Games

3 Rules of Playing Casino Games
Playing casino games online has become exciting! There are hundreds of best online casinos usa offering thousands of games from poker to slots. However, there are certain rules that you must follow before signing up for an account. These rules will ensure that you get the maximum benefits from gambling online.

Understand the Risks.

This is a no-brainer. You should always be aware of the risks involved in playing any game. It’s your responsibility as a player to understand what these risks are and how they can affect your financial status. The most common risk is the ones related directly to the site itself, including identity theft or fraud. Other less serious risks include losing money due to technical glitches. These problems may happen when trying to access the site or playing a game while connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Check the Site License and Terms & Conditions.

You may not know this, but some sites are just regular websites with a few extra bells and whistles. This means that you won’t receive any monetary rewards on top of your losses. Some sites are only licensed by specific jurisdictions, so make sure to check whether the site license applies to where you live. Other things you need to look at are the terms and conditions. Each site often comes with its own set of terms and conditions and regulations. These are usually very clear regarding what happens if you breach them and what actions you will have to take. Also, read through the privacy policy and how data is handled. If you don’t feel comfortable with these aspects then it might be best to avoid the site altogether.

Keep Your Personal Information Safe.

When using an real money online casino, you entrust a lot of information about yourself with the website. It could contain your name, address, phone number, date of birth, credit card details, and much more. Make sure to think twice before giving out these kinds of details and be careful whom you do business with. Any unauthorized use of this information is punishable by law and could lead to further consequences.

In conclusion, online gaming is one of the safest ways to spend time and money. Just like any other form of entertainment, you need to learn about the risks involved before playing.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Who Owns The Rank Group?

The Rank Group is a UK-based gaming company that owns and operates a range of casinos, bingo halls, and online gaming sites. The company was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Maidenhead, England.

The Rank Group's ownership structure is publicly traded, with shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. The largest shareholder in the company is Guoco Group Limited, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that owns a 56% stake in Rank.

Guoco Group Limited is itself owned by Malaysian businessman Quek Leng Chan and his family. Quek Leng Chan is one of the wealthiest people in Malaysia, with a net worth of over $9 billion according to Forbes.

While Guoco Group is the largest shareholder in Rank, the company is also owned by a number of institutional investors, including asset management firms and pension funds. These investors hold significant stakes in the company and play an important role in shaping the direction of the business.

Despite being publicly traded, The Rank Group has a strong focus on responsible gambling and has implemented a range of measures to ensure that its customers are able to gamble safely and responsibly. These measures include self-exclusion options, where customers can choose to exclude themselves from the casino for a period of time, as well as trained staff who are able to identify and assist customers who may be experiencing problem gambling.

The Grosvenor Casino

Grosvenor Casino is a well-known chain of casinos in the United Kingdom, with a rich history dating back over 50 years. The brand is owned and operated by The Rank Group, a gaming company that was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Maidenhead, England.

The first Grosvenor Casino opened in 1970 in Nottingham, and the brand has since grown to include 55 casinos throughout the UK. The casinos offer a range of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and poker, as well as dining and entertainment experiences.

The ownership of Grosvenor Casino has been stable for many years, with The Rank Group holding the majority stake in the company. However, in 2020, The Rank Group announced that it was in talks with 888 Holdings, another gaming company, regarding a potential merger.

The proposed merger would have created a new company with a combined value of over £3 billion and would have brought together two of the largest gaming companies in the UK. However, the talks ultimately broke down, and the merger did not go ahead.

Despite the potential merger, The Rank Group remains the owner and operator of Grosvenor Casino. The company has a strong focus on responsible gambling and has implemented a range of measures to ensure that its customers are able to gamble safely and responsibly.

These measures include self-exclusion options, where customers can choose to exclude themselves from the casino for a period of time, as well as trained staff who are able to identify and assist customers who may be experiencing problem gambling.

In addition to its focus on responsible gambling, The Rank Group is committed to sustainability and has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. These include reducing waste and energy use, as well as promoting sustainable procurement practices throughout the company.

The Rank Group is also involved in a range of philanthropic initiatives, including supporting local communities and charities throughout the UK. In 2020, the company donated £1 million to support food banks and other local charities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, Grosvenor Casino is a well-established brand in the UK gaming industry, with a strong focus on responsible gambling, sustainability, and philanthropy. While the proposed merger with 888 Holdings did not go ahead, The Rank Group remains committed to growing and developing the Grosvenor Casino brand and providing a safe and enjoyable gaming experience for its customers.

Photo: Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth (Copyright Jason Coote) 

Friday, 10 February 2023

Professional Gambler & Bookmaker: Freddie Williams

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. I bet he was never tempted by pokies online or any other slots for that matter. 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. He wasn't interested in betting for fun although many a punter has been tempted to visit gambling360 online casino to see what all the fuss is about. Unlike the Williams family I really should have considered the probability of winning and losing. 
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.