I mentioned last week how you would need to be shrewd if you were to make it as a runner. You wouldn’t believe the fun and games that go on behind the scenes as those in the know attempt to get their money down. As we start Glorious Goodwood today I thought I’d tell you about some of the scenes I’ve witnessed as I’ve ran around trying to get money down.
I worked for a group of connections around five years ago now who apart from their own horses used to get large sums of money down on other horses. 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 moustaches 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.
So I’ll finish off with a word of advice. Remember that festivals, especially Cheltenham and Goodwood are marathons not sprints and we need to spread our bank out over how many days there are to bet on. For example we’ve 5 days at Goodwood so I would take a 100 point bank and divide it by 5 to leave me with 20 points a day. If you would like all the hard work taken out of your selection process then head on over to here where I will be tipping up my selections that derive from many inside contacts over every day of the festival.