I am often asked what I do with my general day to day activities as a runner/pro bettor and I think a lot of people think it’s a glamorous affair with days at the racing and bottles of champagne. Not quite! Although of course I do enjoy many a day at the races with a bottle of champagne or two!
It used to be the case that when a plot was taking place and a gamble was being organised, you would receive a telephone call on a land line (this was before mobiles where such a necessity) and then you would have to then employ various people to help you spread the money around the shops or if you were close enough get yourself onto the course to get the money down.
Nowadays it’s all e-mails and texts and on a daily basis I find myself actually not exchanging a word with anyone. It can be a lonely job this! Spreading the money around involves sending a few texts to various agents and then drip feeding the money onto the exchanges whilst other money is spread around various accounts on-line. They should rename “running” to “sitting.” There are of course many more advantages to working on the internet and having mobiles. If something goes wrong and the horse is sweating up or playing up and the instigator of the gamble gets nervous, it takes about 30 secs to let everyone know that it’s time to lay those bets off. That is why sometimes you’ll see a horse shorten up throughout the day and then suddenly drift on course. It’s all the people that have been involved in the gamble laying their bets off because the horse hasn’t settled as was planned before the off.
It’s an ever evolving game this sport and thinking back to how it used to be how times have changed. I’ll leave you with a story I may have shared with you before but it’s one of my favourites.
A horse would be plotted to win a specific race at a meeting through the week. Nothing fancy and the trainer, owners and jockey weren’t likely to pay their mortgages off with the prize money. However the horse had been purposefully run on ground and trip that wasn’t exactly to its liking several times in order for the handicapper to give it an easy mark. Knowing full well that the horse would run much better over a shorter distance they would find a more suitable race and enter it knowing that it had every chance. The morning of the race the bookie would of course price up on the basis that the horse had never won this type of race before and put it in as an outsider. As the industry was offering 20/1 about this nag, the people in the know organised the plan with meticulous execution. No money was to go down on the horse until the first show on course. Of course as the shops were taking no money on the horse the odds never changed. Back then in the early seventies the on-course bookies would ring the shops up to see if there had been any money on various horses so they could price up accordingly. Forty minutes before the off the bookies made their phone call from the only telephone box on course and found that there was no money for any horse in this race.
The crew then employed a guy to use the phone to call his Mum!! As soon as he was on the phone, all over the local counties, 20 odd people where lumping on the 20/1 outsider and of course the shops couldn’t ring the course to tell the bookies that they needed to shorten up because it was engaged. The crew then lumped on course and of course they couldn’t ring the shops because some brick shit house was talking to his Mum on the phone! Now that is what I call brilliant planning of taking advantage of the bookies. Of course the horse would win and the crew would pick up winnings at 20/1 as opposed to the real price of 2/1!
I’ll be back next week but until then good luck with your punting and have a great weekend.