We’re heading toward the flat season now and it won’t be long before the jumps are a distant memory. It is also the exiting time of year when the clocks go forward and the evenings become longer. Around five years ago it was also the time of year that we would start to focus on the flat and a little operation called the Hen Do Plan!
I was working for a group of connections and apart from their own horses they used to get large sums of money down on others. It got to be such a huge operation that they would actually hire a mini bus to fit in as many runners as they could who would all then run around the town closest to the course to get the money down. It got to be such a regular thing that the high street bookies would actually have traders in the shop assessing the faces of everyone walking in trying to stop the runners getting the money down. We used to wear baseball caps, false mustaches and one guy even wore a blond wig so as not to be recognised. Once we had “attacked” the shops it was then onto the course to attempt phase two and get more money down on the first show.
One of the best tricks in the book when attempting to get money down on course is to chat up a group of ladies that are out on a hen do! I’ve seen all sorts of runners going round looking for the hens and telling them about what their plan is. A lot of the bookies get to know your face and who you’re connected to so you need to be smarter than them. The hens always oblige and go and put 20 quid on for you and 10 hens later you’ve got another 200 quid on the horse you’ve been told about! All you tell them is that if it wins you’ll buy them all a drink. Of course you stay with them because it’s so much more fun cheering a horse home surrounded by a load of inebriated women!!
We didn’t always win of course and that was a bit of an anti-climax but generally on the whole we did and after the racing had finished it was off back to the town we’d started in that morning and we’d party all night. Unfortunately those days are mostly over now as it’s easier to get money down on-line and of course getting money down on the first show can be done with better prices on the exchanges.
That’s it for this week, I’ll be back next week with my thoughts on the Grand National.