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The Knight
02 May 20 14:14
Date Joined: 02 Sep 01
| Topic/replies: 1,038 | Blogger: The Knight's blog
During the past week or so, I have been reading and contributing towards threads about Steve Cauthen the jockey and Terry Ramsden the financial whizz-kid and punter.

Two or three people were kind enough on the threads to say they enjoyed my modest contributions and encouraged me to write some more about my many years of going to the racecourses of the UK.

Hence, today I thought I would kick off a thread about the latter. Other contributions from the experiences of others most also welcome, but please let me request something of all forum users first.

When I joined the Betfair Forum in 2001, it was an interesting place for lovers of horse racing, sport and betting to discuss things. Sadly, though it has declined over the years and now I often see morons and fantasists start hijacking threads with stupid comments. Also, it is not uncommon to see some quite vicious name-calling arise. PLEASE, do not allow this thread to go that way.

If you haven't got anything sensible or relevant to say, then stay off the thread and allow it to be populated by those who will enjoy looking back at tales from UK racecourses and of those who used to populate them.

OK, my opening tale is one only indirectly connected to racing and the tracks but one I think it still very interesting.

From the late 1970's to the mid 1980's I used to attend Newbury Racecourse on a regular basis. From my home in East London, it was the Underground to Paddington and then the racecourse special to the track itself.

I will turn 60 in August, so I am not that old, but I have been going racing since I was a young child (with my dad) and so in 1984 I was only 24. I wasn't a complete wet-behind-the-ears kid, but I did still have a lot to learn and was thus always going to be impressed by some of the gamblers / characters who would also be on the train to Newbury. No more so than one day in mid-September 1984.

By that date, the practice of those in the know boarding the train at Paddington without a ticket, sitting in first class, and then bunging the ticket collector / inspector a smaller amount that the actual fare had almost ceased. But if the train did have a first class section, and if I was enjoying a winning spell, I would treat myself to a first class ticket.

On the Friday of the September meeting at Newbury I was in a first class compartment and found myself sitting opposite a guy who I estimated to have been in his early 50's. He was very well dressed and well-tanned and carried a slim briefcase on the seat next to him. As the train moved out of Paddington, no-one else had come into our compartment so we were on our own.

As the train gathered speed, we nodded at one another and then I took out my Sporting Life to begin reading. He had already opened his case to begin reading something from within it. After a few minutes he looked up and said 'Excuse me, but where did you buy your Sporting Life, I couldn't get one at the station'.

I told him it had been delivered to my home in East London that morning and this started us talking. It turned out, much to his delight, that we had both gone to East Ham Grammar School for Boys (same school as Michael Tabor, BTW). He'd obviously been there quite a while before me but we still had common ground in remembering what had been a brilliant school (one I am still immensely proud of 44 years this summer after leaving.)

We moved on to talk about our current lives - a topic which he had a lot more to tell me about because of my young age compared to him.

It turned out that this guy had worked in a number of fairly ordinary jobs (civil service, banks, etc) after leaving school but, as he came to his late 20's, had identified a gap in the market with regard to spare car parts. He'd astutely and quite quickly built up a big business and then sold it for a great deal of money in his early 40's.

He was married by then and with the proceeds of the sale he and his wife had decided to retire and spend each winter in Spain and summer in the UK. This was all interesting enough but then he asked me if I liked anything at the races that afternoon. I was, and still am, a big form and speed figure fan and so I told him about a couple of horses I fancied and why.

He noted them down but then I asked him if he fancied anything, to which he replied that he 'didn't really follow the horses' but did have some business at the track which he needed to complete' before going back to Spain for the winter, adding he 'would still have a bit on my two tips, though'.

Naturally, I was interested to hear more but didn't want to seem nosy. Hence, I let him continue of his own accord.

It turned out that all of his life this guy had loved athletics, especially track running - now I appreciated why he had remembered so much about PE and the sports fields at our grammar school.

He had always run himself and had continued to do so after retiring, running for amateur athletic clubs in both England and Spain.

During his second winter in Spain about eight years earlier, someone at his Spanish athletics club had drawn his attention to a very young Moroccan boy runner called Said Aoutia - the same Said Aoutia who had just won gold for 5000 metres at the 1984 summer Olympics in LA.

The guy I was talking to had seen a talent in Aoutia almost before anyone else aside from his family had. He had watched Aoutia develop through athletic magazines and imported Moroccan newspapers during his Spanish winters. Through this - and it was no mean feat given we had no Internet back then - he'd formed the view that Aoutia was good enough to win a medal at the Olympics.

He told me that 1980 was too soon for Aoutia but from 1979 onwards he'd been backing him for the 1500, 5000 and 10000 metres at LA in 1984. To start, it had only ever been £5, £10 or £20 here and there because it was incredibly hard to find bookies who would even take a bet that long before the games but all his early cash had been taken at 100/1 and more.

Up until 1983, this guy had been dribbling money on Aoutia on a regular basis but then Aoutia had run well at the 1983 World Championships in Finland. Others started taking notice and so prices about Aoutia for 1984 became easier to find. He still wasn't sure what distance Aoutia would compete at in 1984 but believed the 5000 was his great strength and so began putting more and more cash on him for that event. It was a wise move.

As many will know, Aoutia won the 5000 metres gold in 1984 and so this guy on the train had pulled it off. He was reluctant to tell me what he'd won overall but I coaxed it out of him and he let on that he had cleared over £100K, before showing me a hand-written log of all of his bets. Hence, if he had been making it all up he'd gone to great lengths on the off chance he would even talk to anyone about it!

He'd actually been in LA for the games but was now back in London to finish collecting the cash. His trip to Newbury was because he'd laid off some of his bets for a profit either way with a couple of rails bookies in July and this had been the first opportunity he'd had to settle up with them.

I was stunned at his tale and believed him completely. I asked him if he was following any other young athletes I could make a killing on but he said that he 'just had this incredibly strong feeling and instinct every time he saw Aoutia' (he seen him compete live twice in 1982 and 1983) and 'never expected for something like that to happen again'.

Like I say, I believed him - and still do - and was embarrassed when the horses I had told him about were well beaten! But I never saw him again, I think he might have taken a taxi back to Newbury Town before the races ended and caught a London train from there.

It was a truly amazing tale and I will never forget the quiet and cool way he told me about winning £100k from what must have been one of the best non-racing ante post gambles of all time!

Another tale in a few days.
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Report lovegod May 6, 2020 9:49 AM BST
Does his first name begin with D?
Report clayfield1 May 6, 2020 10:37 AM BST
Big fella ?
Report Platinum May 6, 2020 10:38 AM BST
Well done The Knight,and all contributors, a fab thread, most unusual for the horse racing forum!
Report seaside May 6, 2020 11:22 AM BST
3 Valleys

That's a good one.
Report seaside May 6, 2020 11:30 AM BST
Eddie The Shoe and I are coming back from Fontwell one day as the train gets near the station we make our way to the front of the train ending up in first class.

I spot this old man trying to put his over coat on he had put his arm down the lining so I help him get his arm out and put it in the sleeve.

We get off the train and Eddie say's to me you know who that is don't you ? I never had a clue so said no Eddie tells me he is one of the richest men in the country he had been to watch one of his horses that afternoon Eddie tells me it was the Duke Of Argyll
Report chavman May 6, 2020 11:53 AM BST
alan balding asked me for a light at lingfield Cry
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 12:50 PM BST
Hi foxy and others...

Yup, some have got the TV big shot already!

'Big Fella' is correct.

Another clue is how we was summoned by, so he says, the IRA to mediate over the kidnap of Shergar. He went to Ireland with Lord Oaksey but it came to nothing

Had we known then what an annoying g*t he was to become, the best result would have been for the IRA to have swapped the horse for 'Big Fella'. Then Lord Oaksey could have led the horse back and we would have been spared the following:

1/ 'Hayley Head Turner'

2/  'THAT'S CLOSE - I'll leave it for the judge'

3/  'Please visit the best little sweet shop / cake shop / goodies shop in the world'

Plus much else, bless him!
Report democrat May 6, 2020 1:00 PM BST
I wonder if he knows how much he is vilified ? I suppose if he does  it would not worry him a jot if he is still getting work !
Report foxy May 6, 2020 1:05 PM BST
You have missed the most annoying one hanagan the managan my next door neighbor.
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 1:12 PM BST
It totally amazes me how he tracks just don't get it how their regulars despise him.

My heart sinks whenever he is commentating, no matter what the track.

I'v mentioned it in passing to nearly all the track management of all my regula gaffs. But they all think he still appeals to the 'masses', and we all know that pulling in as big a crowd as possible of non-racing numpties is chief aim nowadays.

Hence, big fella seems set to endure.
Report themightymac May 6, 2020 1:26 PM BST
Words are beyond me Knight. Terrible way to treat your brother. What an ignorant man doing that. Hope your brother is well.
Report FELTFAIR May 6, 2020 1:31 PM BST
Back in the eighties my bricklayer friend was doing a lot of work at Newmarket stables and got a lot of good information, in particular Chief Singer(before his Coventry success) and Unite( before his Oaks win). Probably his most frequent tips came from Bruce Hobb`s yard via Geoff Baxter and a yard that had some classy inmates and the information was fairly reliable.

In 1981 the Champion Stakes was upcoming and my friend contacted me to say that the stable were confident that their horse Amyndas would get in the frame. Amyndas was a decent handicapper but in my opinion would struggle against Gp1 performers.Despite my doubts my friend insisted that Geoff Baxter was convinced the horse would run a big race.

I was at Newmarket on the day of the race and was wandering around the bookmakers looking at the price of big outsider Amyndas. One bookmaker along with a few others was 66/1, so convinced I was giving money away I asked if he wanted to lay £100-£1.50 each way and was accommodated.

The race was run and was won by the French trained Vayrann and to my surprise and not a little excitement Amyndas finished really strongly to pinch third place. After the weigh in off I went to collect my £21.50 but to my annoyance the bookmaker tried to palm me off with a tenner. Given that I had asked if he wanted to lay the each way bet I was a little miffed that he did not want to pay out in full a really small bet. Despite my protestations he refused to pay the full amount so I informed him that I was going to get the Ring Inspector. The bookmaker suggested that I could get who ever I wanted.

Off I went and luckily, on such a busy day,I found the Ring Inspector who immediately accompanied me to confront the man refusing to pay. Me and the Ring Inspector made our way through the crowd and were about five steps away from our target who looked up and saw us approaching and I heard him say to his clerk "pay him out". Apart from those three words no other words were exchanged by anybody and I got my money. Not a large amount of money but in those days it was a days wages for me.

Sadly for all those interested I don`t remember who the bookmaker was but I have never had to call on the Ring Inspector again.I have been bluffed a few times but never a refusal to pay out before or since.
Report The Knight May 6, 2020 1:33 PM BST

Still with lives with us but has Dementia now, common in older Down Syndrome adults. Not in a good place, although on a new drug that has helped quite a bit. Thank you for asking.

Funny part about it (if funny is the right word) is how if he had been suffering from his Dementia back then, he would have thrown a mighty strop when the TV guy took his fish and chips! And I mean a right strop!

Back then, however, he was so placid and it took a lot to wind him up.
Report themightymac May 6, 2020 1:41 PM BST
Very sorry to hear that sir. Having witnessed it at first hand, Dementia is such a terrible illness. Total respect to you and your wife for looking after him. He is lucky to have such a good brother. All the best.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 1:41 PM BST
Feltfair Peter walwyn won the cesaravitch that day I remember it well especially as your only 21 once.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 1:42 PM BST
Of course vayraan lost the race a few months later.
Report FELTFAIR May 6, 2020 1:55 PM BST
Had forgotten that foxy.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 2:02 PM BST

Was the horse you backed in the tyranovous/ tolmi colours?
Report FELTFAIR May 6, 2020 2:45 PM BST
Yes Cambanis colours as I recall.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 3:22 PM BST
Well it’s a story thread

Back in 1980 I entered the lift at York to go and watch the Mecca Dante as it was called back then,in the lift was Phil bull who was telling his associates that tyranovous has improved in himself so much since the 2000 Guineas I have not only backed him for today I have also backed him for the derby,so when they left the lift I press the down button and went and backed the horse ,he got beat,but not to worry I will back him for the derby he again got beat,come Irish derby day he was a 25/1 chance I thought to myself Phil bull couldn’t have been that wrong and I will have to give him one more chance,master willie and rankin were both in the race and had both run well at Epsom,the ground was much softer than Epsom and to my delight tony Murray made all ,to this day I remember who I had the bet with it was a credit firm called pts I think based in Epsom although not certain about the last bit.

So when you mentioned your horse feltfair in the champion stakes it brought back happy memories of thos colours.
Report seaside May 6, 2020 4:39 PM BST
Talking about the ring inspector I was at Haydock one day and it was a photo I thought it was close but to my eye one of the horses looked to have won the race but I was unsure when my friend said if it has not won it will get it in the stewards
so I bet an £100 to £800 on the photo is called a dead heat followed by a stewards the horse I backed gets the race so off I go to collect my £900 the bookie only wants to give me £450 he say's I was betting on the photo I told him the rules are you bet on the result and my horse won the race even the bookie next door to him said I was right any way he would not pay me out so I told my friend to watch him and don't let him leave before I come back I find the ring inspector and tell him what had happened and he agreed I was right so I said well would you come and tell the bookie that we march back to the bookie and without a word being said he paid me.
Report clayfield1 May 6, 2020 5:31 PM BST
Back in the 70s one of the local pubs had a trip to York races, a few days later word goes round town that someone on the George racing trip had found a wallet at the races he opened it and found out that it belonged to one of the Easterby brothers, not sure which one. Anyway he put it in his pocket and when he got home rang Easterby the next day to tell him he had found his wallet. He told him to take a £20 note out and send him the wallet to the address he gave him and put the £20 on a horse that he had running the following Saturday.As I said word went all round our town about this story and almost everyone backed this horse, You guessed it the horse was unplaced. No one could find out if anyone DID find a wallet in the first place, But the local bookies were laughing. Just shows how greedy we all are when we think we can get money for not working.
Report foxy May 6, 2020 5:45 PM BST
I saw the end coming there clayfield when you said one of the Easterby brothers said take 20 for yourselfWink
Report sixtwosix May 6, 2020 6:38 PM BST
Reading through all these terrific stories and lo and behold ....they are talking about 1/1/1970 ,one of the default day zero using in some computer languages.
I too was a mainframe programmer  , ICL 2955/ 2958 to be exact.

I took my son around Manchester UNI when he was choosing a uni.
They had some 'museum' pieces of old IT kit , including parts of this machine.
I told the lad showing us around I programmed on one......he looked at me like I was Methusulah .Cool
Report Gordon63 May 6, 2020 7:02 PM BST
nice to read all the tales - I've not got anything to compare but many happy and some painful days at the races over past 40 years

1 standing right next to Charmaine Hill on top of a long ago destroyed building about the half furlong marker when dawn run won the GC

2 walking to epsom from chessington, staying with relatives, to bet dancing brave and the rest is history, the walk back felt twice as long

3 collecting bundles of French Francs at Auteuil when French Holly won the Prix Barka - horse owned by a friend of a friend of mine, I was living/working in Toulouse at the time so went up for my lingo skills which are now sadly diminished

4 watching Horage win fto at Ayr and following the horse every race from then till end of his career

5 being at Ascot on Magnificent Seven day and not backing any of them

6 rushing home from a very hard day picking tatties just in time to see dancing brave win the arc (repeat a few years later with rainbow quest) - who doesn't love the Prince's horses??

7 watching from a pub in Cahir as a horse in which i had a small share won its only race at Ayr - I'd seen it run in person about 5 times prior and about the same since and closest it got was 2nd - at least I had a lovely day at Cork (fav course in Ireland till now) the day before

8 being marched to headmaster's office as a 16yo along with a couple of mates as we'd been very successfully backing Peter Easterby horses (King Weasel and the like) at the locals Hills shop - convinced it was because we were winning rather than being under-age!!

9 following all Mick Easterby horses at the same Hills shop when a local hotelier who owned Lochnagar came into bet, invariably they won

this lockdown helps you to realise never to take the good times for granted...hope to see a racecourse again soon

Hi Foxy - the chipper at Catterick (across from The Angel) I think is better than Sedgefield and for those up north there is Chinese takeway/chipper in Perth which sells the best white pudding supper south of Aberdeen
Report foxy May 6, 2020 7:06 PM BST
Some good ones there Gordon frankie day was very special for anyone there I did manage to back one of them the 5 th winner faithfully,lochnager was owned by one of your natives Henry Micheal.

Chinese takeaway not for me anymore.
Report Gibberish May 6, 2020 8:11 PM BST
Some great tales on here guys...very enjoyable read Happy

PS - as for the 'big-fella' comments...'Artie' will probably be along shortly and he'll be livid! Crazy
Report FELTFAIR May 6, 2020 9:13 PM BST
Back in the eighties on a Friday night I used to go to the local village club for a few beers with three mates, one had a couple of betting shops and the other two liked to have small bets every day. We were out as usual on the Friday before the 1984 2000 Guineas and on reflection probably one of the best in my lifetime. I had no ante post bets and was not sure what I was going to back. However, one of my mates had happened to watch an interview with Vincent O` Brien who had stated that El Gran Senor was the best horse he`d ever trained. Given that he had trained the likes of Sir Ivor and Nijinsky my mind was made up despite many trainers bigging up their horses it was not the sort of comment the maestro made lightly.

I was at Newmarket for the race and seem to remember it being a lively market with several fancied including Chief Singer, Lear Fan, Rainbow Crest and of course El Gran Senor who was available at 9/4. A bookmaker called Bill Bailey who liked to get the favourite layed went 5/2 and I managed to get £100-40 before he got swamped. What the starting price was I don`t remember but needless to say I was chuffed and glad that my friend had imparted O`Brien`s opinion.

My thoughts immediately turned to the Derby and decided to stop at my betting shop owner friend`s house on the way home to see if he would give me a price for Epsom. He did not have a very good knowledge of horses but enjoyed taking money off people and unbelievably he offered me 5-1. Being a friend I couldn`t take advantage of him and agreed that I would take whatever price was available on the Monday morning.

£175-100 was agreed on the Monday morning and a month of anticipation and expectation lay ahead. By the time the first Saturday in June arrived El Gran Senor was a shade of odds on and I had laid a little evens to a friend. That year I was making a book at Epsom and had a pitch on the stands side about four furlongs from the finish and I don`t remember much about the day except for the Derby itself. I hadn`t particularly avoided laying the favourite but went market price and took whatever I could and then they were off with me holding my radio hard against my ear.

The field came sweeping down Tattenham corner and I could see the Sangster colours sitting just off the pace and going very easily and as the crowd started to roar the last words I could hear on the radio were "El Gran Senor is absolutely cruising" and after the roaring subsided I expected to hear that the favourite had won and to find out the placed horses. Instead I heard " for my money Secreto has got up", I couldn`t believe it.Not only had El Gran Senor been beaten but Secreto was  the only loser in the book.

Perhaps one of my top three biggest disappointments of all my years of horse racing, no not perhaps, definitely.When watching the race back many times since there is an argument that Pat Eddery should have kicked on much sooner but who knows. One thing is for certain if the race was run nowadays El Gran Senor would of won because Christy Roche would have run out of whip applications fully two furlongs out, it was a brutal ride.

C`est la vie.
Report ItsMeSwaddle May 6, 2020 10:05 PM BST
Brilliant thread ive enjoyed it.

Mine not the most interesting no doubt but certainly the most recent Grin.

MidMarch 2020.

I'm keen to see as many new tracks as possible and aware Covid was coming I had a good idea we wouldnt get much racing for awhile.

I was overnight in Newcastle the Saturday night and at this point had been going pretty well punting wise.

Seeing the WORST possible card was on at Carlisle on Sunday I hummed and harred but on the basis I had absolutely no plans I decided to try and tick another course off my list and attend.

The card may be in the recent memory for some of you, it was a 6 RACE CARD AND A TOTAL OF 30 RUNNERS! ON HEAVY.

I decided to set off in plenty of time from Newcastle, it takes approx 1h and I left 1h45

Anyway within a few miles of getting onto the A69 there was a huge queue, I presumed there had been an accident, the traffic was slow moving.

It turns out I was actually stuck behind a truck carrying a portakabin taking up two lanes (to make sure nobody could get by there was 2 vans with flashing safety lights)

Anyway I followed it all the way up the a69 (it stayed on for 50 odd miles with f'ing pulling over), my satnav or maps kept on slowly losing minutes of the expected arrival until I was scheduled to be late!

I arrived at 2:03pm ish and dumped my car in the nearest safe place, a field that could of been a carpark!, The first race was a maiden hurdle over 2m and off on time, with 3 runners.. I sprinted into the track to see a tightly bunched 3 (quite literally nothing between them jumping the last) only for a bit of bumping and barging up the horse lost...but then a stewards was announced...I watched the replay and decided interference was minimal...I was offered 40 odd of my 120 stake back, i "redded up"... sure enough 20 odd minutes later bing bong... placings reversed...I would of won. So i start the day with a loser.

The 2nd race included a 1/16 ish fav.
First Flow Kim Bailey

I did not really want to be involved in the race but being at the races I backed the wrong one in the forecast! Race 2 gone.

Race 3, 4 and 5 I was 2nd in every race! The distances beaten on heavy ground were (1.5 race 3, a head in the veterans feature race of the day, 1.75 in the 5th race and a victim of Maurice Barnes)

It came to race 6 and the tank was running actual fancy was the favourite Just a Par...but being about 600 I saw a 6/1 shot, Ultragold, that would of been my 2nd fancy to Just a Par rather than the actual 2F (Jack **** which hadnt in public for awhile) so I backed the 6/1 shot Ultragold. It raced far too keen all the way round and was beaten by Just a Par 33L!

I wouldn't describe the course as busy this day but it wasn't exactly dead for the dross that had just been served up... so I rushed out to my car wanting to be first out of the carpark. When I got back to the carpark I realised I was the only car in a certain section of the car park that was better described as a boggy field behind the grandstand. In a rush I gave no thought to the position of the car, anyway a few revs later I was completely stuck and my car absolutely no hope of making it out the carpark without assistance. To say I was annoyed by this point was being polite!

It transpired a man with a tractor was making his way down the carpark for a few cars with the same problem, I was last in the queue and eventually was pulled out the mud an hour later and on my way, 600 odd lighter!

Thanks to the tractor bloke if you are reading this!
Report ItsMeSwaddle May 6, 2020 10:36 PM BST

May 6, 2020 -- 9:49AM, lovegod wrote:

Does his first name begin with D?

He ruins Sedgefield imo.

Report foxy May 7, 2020 9:43 AM BST
I know that tractor driver swaddle he is also one of those racecourse bookmakers you likeSurprised
Report FELTFAIR May 8, 2020 10:51 AM BST
Back in the late sixties I was at university in London and used to skip lectures to attend Royal Ascot. The memory has severley faded but one episode sticks in my mind when after backing the first winner I made my way to one of the many bars and ordered a large whisky. Drink in hand I turned from the bar and collided head on with a thirsty but very pretty young girl thus dropping my glass and its contents on the floor.

Tonia, which she told me later was her name , insisted on replenishing the loss;one thing led to another and we passed the afternoon together,leaving Ascot with money in our pockets and alcohol in our stomachs. More drinks followed as we made our way back to London and I plucked up enough courage to offer her a night cap which she accepted. I had concluded that Tonia was not only very attractive but also well educated, a BA in history as I recall.Wanting to impress father`s sherry and port was offered.

"Oh sherry by all means" she replied."Sherry to me is the nectar of the gods. Just looking at it here in the crystal clear decanter fills me with the anticipation of a heavenly thrill. When the stopper is removed and the gorgeous liquid is poured out into the delicate slender glass I inhale the delicious heady fumes and am lifted on the wings of ecstasy. It seems that I taste the magic potion and my whole being seems to glow and a thousand violins throb in my ears"

Then she said "On the other hand port makes me fart"
Report foxy May 8, 2020 11:40 AM BST
Marvellous Laugh
Report foxy May 8, 2020 11:41 AM BST
You will never beat those days at royal ascot as a young man.
Report 3 valleys May 8, 2020 5:19 PM BST
I did promise a breakfast story the other day. For a number of year my wife and I used to take a October break to take in Tatts Sales and Ces/ Dewhurst weekend. 1st year we decide to go to the restaurant and have a cooked breakfast, stood  in line behind some of "the boys in blue" Collected our full English and went and sat down - lovely breakfast - repeated next day. Next year same routine except first day stood in queue behind Johnny Gosden had our pick and walked past till etc and again next day. Year 3 full English again just walking past the till and the cry went up "that will be ££ sir" I replied isn't it free ? Ironic laugh from the cashier - quickly realised no point making a scene as we'd obviously had 4 full English a week for past 2 years
Can recommend a morning at sales marking your card to look out for likely looking 2yo to track and then a short trip to racecourse for a lovely (hopefully) day at races
Report 3 valleys May 8, 2020 5:26 PM BST
On the lucky theme - who can remember the name of the horse that was called the winner on the blower mid/late 70's - I think it was Sandown - as they put the wrong number in the results board that they used to refer to. I was in bookies in Norwich - Gentlemans Walk - is it still there? and decided to get paid out rather than pop in next day , you can imagine the surprise when next morning I read about the clanger and had been paid out on a 2nd wrongly declared as winner. Went into bookies next day and to their eternal credit they said keep it
Report 3 valleys May 8, 2020 5:28 PM BST
Just checked its a Ladbrokes now - so they would either have asked for their money back or banned me
Report clayfield1 May 9, 2020 10:23 AM BST
3 valleys, think that was about 1973, I was in the bookies and backed as I thought the second chucked my ticket away and went home, about 15 minutes later my uncle called in he'd been in another betting shop and told me that they had given the wrong result out, I had a mad rush back to the betting shop looking all over the floor for my ticket.
Report 3 valleys May 10, 2020 12:37 PM BST
C1 I was living in Norwich so has to be 1976 to 1978 - I'm pretty sure it was the same year as Jellaby stepped in a divot in the Lockinge and exited Brian Taaylor out the side door as it was going clear -was probably 5 clear at the time - guy next to me had had a century on it was virtually in tears - so that would make it 1978
Report clayfield1 May 10, 2020 12:59 PM BST
3v, The one i'm on about was earlier 73 could even have been 1972. be a different case to the one your on about.I can remember looking all over on the bookies floor for the ticket most I would have had on them days would have been a couple £.
Report Llamedos May 10, 2020 2:49 PM BST
Enjoying this thread, perhaps I can offer one of my little racecourse tales. In 1997 I found myself with my wife at Longchamp for the Prix De L'Arc de Triomphe, she had bought one of those weekend away trips for my birthday earlier in the year. We had done the sightseeing trips over the previous 2 days, on the Sunday we arrived at the course relatively early so we could have a wander round.The wife went off to freshen up and have a look around so arranged to met her half an hour later at a certain point. Not sure what the course is like now especially after the alterations but I found myself stood on that raised walkway between the what was the more modern stand and the Old stand which I think is those days was used by the tote for its customers. I was looking out onto the course when I found myself stood next to this late middle aged lady whom was dressed very elegantly, I commented on what a lovely view this was to which she agreed , by her reply I knew she was French, we then had a very long conversation about Paris and where to go, I had asked her where she lived and she had said Paris , we talked about English racing and she told me she had been to Ascot a few times and that she occasionally visited the UK , I told her about my local track (Plumpton) and how I preferred National Hunt racing and the enjoyment from mid week meetings at provincial tracks, partway through our chat I introduced my self and she introduced herself as Bernadette. We carried on talking for ages, about her love of horses from an early age, how I had got involved in enjoying horse racing and many other things. In no time my wife arrived back, I introduced her to Bernadette, we carried on talking for a while, just before we parted I gave her my telephone number and address and said if ever she was coming to the UK she should call me and we could met up or I could give her advice on where to go, she smiled said thank you and we went a separate ways. Late in the afternoon my wife and I where in the paddock area when the was a sudden commotion of a crowd building up, people reaching to get a glimpse of someone obviously important, asking who it was I was told it was the French President Jacques Chirac, the wife and got higher up in the paddock to get a look, when we did, my wife said isn't that lady with the president the one you were talking too, it was, I asked somebody nearby who she was, her name was Bernadette Chirac the was the first lady of France. I often wonder if she had a good laugh on me after we had our long conversation, me chattering away not having a clue who she was. Surprisingly  she never called the next time she came to the UK, I think she got all the advice she needed from the lady at Buckingham Palace.
Report FELTFAIR May 10, 2020 4:00 PM BST
Shame she never sent you a french letter.
Report themightymac May 10, 2020 6:31 PM BST
Jellaby was a very good horse and didn`t deserve what happened with the Lockinge at his mercy.

Very hard to trace film of the incident, but I found it, if any of his backers want to suffer again Cry

It`s about 2 mins in but the whole clip of about 3 mins is well worth watching. Some spectacular incidents, especially the jumps race in Australia. Brave men are jockeys.
Report themightymac May 10, 2020 6:35 PM BST
.... Brave people, I should say. No offence Bryony, et al.
Report The Knight May 11, 2020 10:37 AM BST
Jellaby was indeed 1978.

In the Timeform Rachorses of 1978 a whole page of photos show the various stages of Jellaby's stumble and unseat.

Very sad, and ironic really, that Brian Taylor died after another fall in Hong Kong (I think it was HK) in 1984(?).
Report TheAnorak May 11, 2020 10:47 AM BST

There was a case of a wrong winner being given by Extel that I remember. It was the final race on the Friday of the big Goodwood meeting, a 12F handicap, in 1970.

The actual winner was called Buff's Own, but I can't remember what the 'wrong' winner was called. You can make an educated guess as to why I remember this particular incident!
Report seaside May 11, 2020 3:19 PM BST
I am at Epsom one day with my mates I did have some in those days lol one of my friends turns around and say's there's Omar Sharif

I said I will go over and say hello I walk over to him and he greets me warmly I look over at my friends there faces on the floor as I chat away to him.

What my friends did not know was that he often came into the casino where I was working as a croupier and as we were both interested in horse racing we would chat.

Another horse racing man that would come in the Casino was Captain Marcos Lemos I am sure some of you older boys will remember him owned some good horses in his time 'never tipped me a winner'
Report Try My Best May 11, 2020 3:42 PM BST
Think it was Jellaby who was so big he could hardly fit in the stalls
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 3:58 PM BST
Seaside - Marcos Lemos - Royal Blue, White hoop and hooped cap.  Most of us remember them!

Omar El Sharif - Black and Rose hoops, Black cap.  I remembered that they were stylish but still had to look them up.
Report The Knight May 11, 2020 4:03 PM BST
Did not Marcos Lemos own Pebbles when she won the 1984 1000gns?
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 4:41 PM BST
Capt Lemos did own Pebbles originally.
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 4:45 PM BST
He bred her. He had some very good horses over the years. Julio Mariners the Leger winner springs to mind.
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 4:51 PM BST
Report verbotene liebe May 11, 2020 5:05 PM BST
The Jellaby sequence below from Pacemaker which imo was the most interesting racing publication on the market from the mid 70's to the late 80's.

Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 5:18 PM BST
HRAC trained for Marcos Lemos until the latter decided to have his horses privately trained by Clive Brittain in 1973'ish.
Report foxy May 11, 2020 5:29 PM BST
Mac can you remember the very good horse Julio mariner beat in the st leger ?
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 5:33 PM BST
Foxy - Le Moss.
Report ribero1 May 11, 2020 6:09 PM BST
Ile De Bourbon was fav for that Leger,remember it well,had just got my money for the day on Devon Ditty and was talked into betting a 5/4 on Ile de Bourbon ffs.
Report ronnie rails May 11, 2020 6:16 PM BST
we must be getting old it was my 1st leger I also backed ille de bourbon
I also remember betting music boy I the first at odds on a 33/1 shot beat him
remember sending a kite to ling lane.

hope you are well
stay safe
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 6:19 PM BST
Foxy, it would be Ile de Bourbon and Le Moss as Blackbarn and Ribero have posted. There were some real good horses in the race apart from the main protagonists. Here is the video for the race.
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 6:21 PM BST
Verbotene L - Pacemaker was indeed a wonderful publication.

If you missed it, I posted a video link of the Jellaby race earlier in the thread.
Report foxy May 11, 2020 6:48 PM BST
Blackbarn gets the prize ,not sure of the answer to this one did le moss ever get beat after that I know he won the stayers triple crown twice,beating ardross n a few occasions.

Ribero I was a huge fan of Devon ditty one of the first horses I followed as you did back then pretty sure it was Greenland park to use to beat as a 2 yo,she didn’t get the trip n the 1000 Guineas,not as good as Marwell but I always had little comparisons.
Report foxy May 11, 2020 6:52 PM BST
Ascot,goodwood,Doncaster not the Lonsdale
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 6:53 PM BST
Think he got beat in the Prix Gladiateur at the end of that saison mirabilis.
Report onthejim May 11, 2020 6:56 PM BST
Ribero1,did Devon Ditty win at Ponte early season,?, maybe that conditions event on the May Friday night?
Report foxy May 11, 2020 7:04 PM BST
Won the Hilary needler after ponty onthejim
Report foxy May 11, 2020 7:05 PM BST
Thanks blackbarn had a feeling there was a defeat somewhere
Report onthejim May 11, 2020 7:10 PM BST
I seem to remember it drifting alarmingly when winning at Ponte, well laid at 5/2, 11/4 and went to about 5/1 !!
Report ribero1 May 11, 2020 7:24 PM BST
Hi guys,it was Ponty which made me realise what a good horse Devon Ditty could be,as they say you can't beat what you see with your own eyes and I was taken aback how she quickened up the hill after looking in a little bit of trouble and decided she was for me,think she won from a rough draw at Beverley then to Ascot where she wasn't quite fast enough for Greenland Park,when it came to the Lowther I was convinced she'd beat Greenland Park over 6 and think I had my first bet at 3s  then again 7/2 and 4/1 think she started 9/2!
Yes Onthejim I thought she was 5/1 ish at Ponty and I think the owner Mc Alpine turned up a helicopter opposite the members which obviously aroused plenty of interest.Fantastic horse.
Report foxy May 11, 2020 7:30 PM BST
I think she was always a better price than she should have been.
Report foxy May 11, 2020 7:31 PM BST
Wasn’t as good when Sangster bought her
Report ribero1 May 11, 2020 7:36 PM BST
Indeed,they tried her in the guineas before dropping her back.
Report foxy May 11, 2020 7:40 PM BST
She won the Gus Demmy stakes at Haydock the same race as Marwell won,after the Guineas.
Report ribero1 May 11, 2020 8:08 PM BST
Have you seen the photos of Selwyn on twitter Foxy?
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 8:14 PM BST
On The Jim - Re Devon Ditty at Ponty, I think you may be thinking of Beverley where she did drift. Of Ponty, Timeform says she started at 9/2 having opened at 7/1. This opening price does not seem surprising as on her debut at Sandown she had finished 5th, beaten 16 lengths by Carrie Red who finished the season rated T86 having been beaten four times after that win.
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 8:16 PM BST
Le Moss was an exceptional stayer, one of the greatest in Turf history.

When he easily won his first Gold Cup, he started second fav behind his stable companion Buckskin (That`s another story).

His battles with Ardross are legendary. I remember the Gladiateur, the only race he disappointed in, when he got beat by a French filly. Can`t remember her name but it was a shock!
Report sixtwosix May 11, 2020 8:18 PM BST
Would Ardross have won the battles with the jockeys swapped?

A stride from winning an Arc , Ardross was some horse.
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 8:26 PM BST
In the Gladiateur, Le Moss was beaten by a rare poor ride from Smokin Joe. He was beaten by a top class (but probably a stone inferior) mare called Anifa. She won the Washington International among other good races.
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 8:30 PM BST
Anifa won the Turf Classic NOT the Washington International. It was the latter race that ended her career.
Report themightymac May 11, 2020 8:36 PM BST
Thanks Blackbarn.
Report G Hall May 11, 2020 9:07 PM BST
Great stories I remember Pat Eddery who was I think married to Joe Mercer's sister, not sure though, saying that Joe would win on the ones that should win

I have great memories of a few favourite horses namely Mailman, Swinging Rebel and Jonacris.
Report blackbarn May 11, 2020 9:19 PM BST
Hi GH,  Pat Eddery was married to Carolyn Mercer the daughter of Joe Mercer's brother Manny (deceased).  For the avoidance of doubt, I was one of Joe's greatest fans; He was a great jockey, but they all make mistakes and he was apparently outridden in France, although it seems that they (the French Jockeys) set out to get him and Le Moss beaten by setting a very slow pace. It is interesting that in HRAC's 1983 autobiography, he devotes two full pages to Le Moss but he dismisses that defeat in just part (12 words) of one sentence. It is well known that HRAC was a huge fan of Joe.
Report workrider May 11, 2020 11:37 PM BST
Feltfair , you brought back some memories, I stayed in Saley Hall golf and Country club a good few years ago , you said it was a little tired , what a lovely statement . To me it was exhausted, having left my clubs behind in Ireland I decided to play a round and asked the pro how much was it to hire clubs , having absolved the shock I decided against playing. I found it very old and drab and the food poor I had a room overlooking the course and I must say it looked like a very good course. I was heading to Kelso for the races and will never forget the drive across from Northumberland it was simply stunning and I intend to take that drive again. My racing story involves a English work-rider who came to work for Mick O'Toole in 1971/72 Him and myself hit it off and would have some great chats about horses we had ridden over a few pints, one night he came into the pub and called me aside , we started to chat and I could see he was really excited , he told me he had ridden a piece of work on a horse that morning that was unreal.
The horse was due to make its debut in a bumper at Leopardstown the following Sat and was a absolute cert according to him, not only should I back it on Sat but I should also back it for, wait for it! Royal Ascot. It won at Leopardstown at 1/1 and went on to win at Royal Ascot @ 33/1 the horse was called Balloi .
Report FELTFAIR May 12, 2020 8:37 AM BST
Yes workrider Slaley`s only saving grace are the two golf courses and the scenery.Great when it first opened but little or no investment since.
Report clayfield1 May 12, 2020 9:29 AM BST
Anorak, That would have been the one i'm thinking of. 1970 seems about right.
Report blackbarn May 12, 2020 9:40 AM BST
Clayfield/Anorak - Buffs Own beat Welsh Windsor in the Trundle Stakes at Goodwood
Report ribero1 May 12, 2020 9:47 AM BST
Ronnie,you are getting old,Music Boy was 75 and got beat by 100/1 Hittite Glory.
Report foxy May 12, 2020 9:58 AM BST
Good morning ribero not seen selwyn on Twitter,to be honest I have found it very complicated to use.
Report ronnie rails May 12, 2020 10:01 AM BST
as I said WE are getting old you are correct where have all the years gone 45 since music boy.
should be getting the suits out of the cleaners today   do you think our paths will cross at York this year.
hope you are all well
stay safe
Report michael59 May 12, 2020 10:09 AM BST
hittite glory ridden by F Durr owned by ravi tikoo , 100/ 1 ffs
Report alun2005 May 12, 2020 10:19 AM BST
Some great stories here guys, keep them coming.

Special credit to Llamedos for his encounter with France's former First Lady Bernadette Chirac. In some countries, no doubt the over-zealous Security teams would have disposed of you in the boot of a car !!

Anyway, as a reward for that great tale, I've found a YouTube video showing the Great Woman and her hubby over the years. Hopefully there may even be a glimpse of how you visualised her in 1977.

A bientôt

Report ribero1 May 12, 2020 10:50 AM BST
Hi Foxy,know what you mean re twitter. Richard Peter has opened an account called "Lords of the ring" and there's a couple of photos of him at an animal sanctuary plus one of him at least 50 years ago on the stool.
Ronnie,unfortunately I cant see it.
Report foxy May 12, 2020 10:59 AM BST
I remember going to his house with all the animals in the back and two great big rotwillers in the house called Tyson and Bruno.
Report foxy May 12, 2020 11:09 AM BST
Just on it now ribero is that Neville clerking for t Webster?
Report ribero1 May 12, 2020 11:59 AM BST
The photo I think you're looking at (so many) its Johnny Angel who then clerked for John Burrows.
Report Knight Commander May 12, 2020 2:12 PM BST
ribero1 - see if this link works

Great thread guys. Thanks for all the tales Happy
Report postmannick May 12, 2020 7:21 PM BST
what a great thread guys as iam 63 most of the tales are from my early punting days happy happy days back then keep them coming
Report intheknow May 12, 2020 7:51 PM BST
Workrider - yes I found Slaley Hall to be a disappointment too & I'm not a golfer. I remember getting what I thought was a good DBB deal at the time but checked out in the morning saying 'never again'

If we do get up & running later this year then PM me, plenty of good places to stay in that area if you're heading for Kelso
Report workrider May 12, 2020 11:33 PM BST
Thanks Intheknow will do..Glad someone else found Slaley Hall to be less than grand...
Report G Hall June 25, 2022 1:08 AM BST
Some great stories
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