Posted by Simon Nott in Vintage Tales. Tagged: betting at point to points , Point To Point. Leave a comment. Oh for the days when they were still held mid-week too. Not a lot has changed and 9 years later they are still resisting the light boards! Part of the challenge working in the Point-to-Point betting ring is getting there on time. On time generally being an hour and a quarter before the first race as opposed to an hour at a regular racecourse. With any luck at the appointed hour you have been ushered into the corner of a windswept and often muddy field, after you found the correct turning off of that B road that was partially obscured on the map by one of last years soup stains, looked up just in time to spot the arrow in the hedge pointing to an ajar 5 bar gate and located your betting destination.
The gaggle of bookmakers surrounding the chap with a list all clamour to see if anyone is late or missing in the hope of a bit of a move up the line. The pecking or picking order is preordained by the years the man or woman on the list has been attending the meeting in question.
The line, made of baler-twine is a literal one, laid out as straight as possible with little bits of tape or string to mark each pitch. The difference in joints is as diverse as the bookmakers themselves, some of the equipment looks, and very possibly is, pre war while on the other end of the spectrum hastily adapted up to the minute tatts gear is utilised in the most unlikely of locations.
At a first point fuzzy memories and a multitude of erection permutations ensure that the sound of mallets on metal and cursing over the sound of mallets on thumbs tends to prevail for some time. The sooner the kit has been set up and anchored down the longer there is for study of the race card. The entries fill the card but the declarations are not finalised until three quarters of an hour before the off time of each race.
This is repeated all afternoon with the old boy earning every penny of his wages in mileage alone. Those that have computers tend to use them these days but plenty still use the field book and card tickets. One mistake and you are in it up to your eyeballs.
There is no such thing as the average point-to-point punter; generally the betting is smaller but the players no less knowledgeable especially with the wealth of form available. Stewards' Enquiries and Reversed Results. Types of Bets and How They Work. Types of Horse Races Explained. What the "Going" is in Horse Racing. How to pick winners at the Cheltenham Festival?
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Those that have computers tend to use them these days but plenty still use the field book and card tickets. One mistake and you are in it up to your eyeballs. There is no such thing as the average point-to-point punter; generally the betting is smaller but the players no less knowledgeable especially with the wealth of form available.
The lumps are the ones you have to look out for of course, especially for dark horses or those from afar. The punters generally have lumps on one or if you are lucky, two of the runners, and before you know it the race is off. All the while the events, often unseen by those in the ring, out in the country are related by a course commentator, as with the horses the course commentator is of varying ability but what none of them lack is enthusiasm and more often than not the will and talent to make a race of it.
While the backers of the one in front are given a fright and the bookies and backers of the second are given a glimmer of hope the leader jumps the last and into view and charges to the line. The same procedure continues throughout the afternoon at approximately minute intervals.
Of course there are very often tight finishes where the judge has to deliberate with his assistant as to who has won. There are small fields, big fields, highly competitive races, virtual walkovers, horses that stop to a walk after leading all the way and get collared and races where potential superstars are unleashed, nothing can compare to variation you can expect or rather not expect in the point-to-point.
By the end of the meeting, sometimes prolonged by a split race race-goers will have been filtering out for a while, others retired ruddy faced to the beer tent, the bookmakers themselves may have started to take early baths and legged it early. Those that stayed to the end can be seen packing their mud-splattered gear into open car boots, generally much untidier than when it was unpacked.
They may have won, may have lost but to a man enjoyed the afternoon. Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Like this: Like Loading Add your thoughts here Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Although he frightened my pocket, Jockey Darren Andrews refused to panic and brought the classy gelding with a storming run to hit the front before the last. She will win again. Talk of the South ran creditably here after a 20 months lay off.
Welsh hopes were sunk in the mud in the Intermediate as Rio Bravo to stopped to a walk in the home straight. This left a smile on the layers faces as outside Emperor Renard stayed on well to beat Banco de Logos Mariah McGuinness rode her first winner here on the Emperor and looked very competent on only her second ride..
Another young lady jockey triumphed in the Novice Riders contest as Ella Ortewell steered home Silsol to He should have been on. Having trained the last two winners, Will Biddick got back in his jockey kit to win the Mares Maiden on chance Minella Beag.
She probably will when my back is turned. The getting towed out stakes proved to justify my bet of the day as Martin Fly McIntyre rode ex-Irish five-year-old Le Tueur to 2 -1 fav to victory in the Open Maiden. I think that Le Tueur is French for the killer and he certainly killed off the opposition here. I saw one tractor pulling another tractor pulling a horse box out of the swamp of a car park. Anyway, well done to the organisers at Chipley who got through all the adversities to keep the show on the road.
Buckfastleigh normally provides a strong betting market and the first of three points scheduled there this season saw plenty of jousting between the 18 bookies and several regular, hungry looking faces. Punters had the edge in the opening Maiden which was divided on the day. A nice early goal. The concession of 21lbs proved just too much for the runner up, but he jumped soundly and is a winner in waiting.
Arctic Milly ruined her chance with a blunder at the last, but a Mares race is there for the taking. Freezing Point has an appointment at the sales later this week. It was hard to oppose the top hunter chaser Caid du Berlais in the feature Mixed Open. I expect a few subsequent winners to come out of this race. It all seemed a bit easy at this stage, but the plunge on Unioniste came unstuck in the Veteran Horses Conditions Race excellent opportunities for year olds and over.
He was rated in his hey day but like most of us he is not the force of old. In the end Three Faces West drew right away with Millanisi Boy leaving his recent form behind in second. The seven years plus Open Maiden attracted a large field and a very easy winner with a large name in Gottagottagetaway.
The more experienced On Raglan Road outran his odds to finish runner up. Clever Des Assence jt fav is in a good yard and took third as Chicago Lady was disqualified. Apart from this useful mare she has bred Marcle Ridge and promising young hurdler Shishkin, who may be Festival bound for Nicky Henderson. Chosen Lucky touched set the trend for a succession of odds-on favourites when beating sole rival Acadian in a disappointing turn out for the opening North Cornwall Hunt Race at Wadebridge.
Mixed Open winner Navanman like Chosen Lucky a son of Well Chosen is an admirably consistent pointer returned at having touched Navanman, ridden for the first time by Darren Andrews, was on the back foot after a slowish jump three out and left himself a bit to do in the straight. Both horses gave their all after jumping the last with the favourite only getting on top in the last 75 yards.
Despite a field of 12, punters would not hear of defeat for Nickelsonthedime to in the Open Maiden for four to six-year-olds. The official point-to-point form book intimated that this useful looking Shantou gelding was sure to improve after his Wadebridge outing before Christmas and this was certainly the case. He looked rules material with a convincing eight lengths saunter. The Chris Barber trained five-year-old looks a good sort and was not disgraced in finishing third.
Mustmeetforapint evens to had been yet another eye-catcher at the pre-Christmas meeting on the showground and duly obliged here under Darren Edwards in the Open Maiden for seven-year-olds plus. He never looked like being caught from four out and his shrewd connections can get a few more races out of him.
Exhibit A just pipped front running Stevan Steel for second place. The Galloping Bear and Voie Dans Voie started joint favourites both from in the Restricted and battled it out together from a long way out. In the end The Galloping Bear just prevailed. He is a likeable sort by the St Leger winner Shantou same sire as Nickelsonthedime.
His year-old rider Dylan Kitts was partnering his first winner. Mister Dick was clearly second best as the well supported Kernel Victor fav from could never get on terms. Mr Mourinho was reminding us of an original Nelson Mandela saying. I learned a couple of things at Wadebridge. I envied the bookies on Sunday.
Seriously though, the Wadebridge barn is really useful in bad weather for everybody. This course also has the best car park in the country. Nobody will get stuck on the hard roads there. Hello George was the odds-on culprit in the first. Originally chalked up at , the Will Biddick trained gelding was forced into by the big boys, but could not cope with Peterbrown who was sent off friendless at The first Maiden was quite informative.
They had both had a run and looked ready. Nickelsonthedime finished well in third and should win a maiden at least. The other Maiden division was run in driving rain and hail and was 11 seconds slower. It was difficult to race read in the conditions, but at the business end two well backed horses came to the fore. Runner up Mustmeetforapint was a bit unlucky having fluffed the last.
He had 15lbs to find on official ratings with Thomas Campbell to 2-s. The latter was making his pointing debut and this ex-Nicky Henderson gelding, now with Ed Walker, was given a good waiting ride by Chloe Emsley to pass his market rival on the finishing climb. The winner needs little introduction to Westcountry followers and was notching his eighth win in this sphere. El Bandit had been kept in good company under rules rated and should find things easier in points if retaining his enthusiasm.
The six-year-old was idling and looking around by-passing the omitted last fence and won with something in hand. The Roestone finished his race well and came storming up the finishing hill. She goes well here and her day will come again.
Bridge of Spies won a Restricted here last year but was easy to back at He will be fitter next time. Nine of the ten entries for the second race Conditions turned up. Punters got it right in the Intermediate with Waterloo Warrior There was some entertaining jousting between the layers and the faces on this six-race card with a total of 42 runners. Lawsons Thorns fav touched struck the first blow for the followers of the horses for courses theory.
The useful young mare Cloudy Music evens from was well held after looking dangerous at the penultimate. The basher had shown a bit of form when runner up at the Dulverton West meeting here. I met a man from Llanfairpwllgwyngyll just before the third race and he told me to plunge on the Welsh nag Holy Water ridden by the capable Byron Moorcroft.
I had a feeling however that Soul Kaliber to fav was the goods, and this ever improving gelding won easily from Holy Water. Dean Summersby has done what Gordon Elliott failed to do with Soul Kaliber win a race and I needed more than holy water after that. His trip down the M5 paid dividends with Amy Cox again in the saddle. There was little in it all the way up the finishing climb with the pair virtually dancing cheek to cheek close to the rails.
I had the misfortune to bump into my friend from that Llanfair thingy place again just before the last. He offered a tip for Seniergues is that Welsh? I knew that this horse had beaten Basher Brian previously and was by Midnight Legend so went along with it. Well done James King who completed his first treble. Fish and chips again for me instead of steak. Nos da nohs da as they say in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. Email Address Subscribe. Like this: Like Loading Mixed bag as pointing resumes: Six races, six bookmakers, one complete outsider wins and two odds-on shots beaten The relentless rain stopped just in time for the first race as the final Wadebridge meeting of the season got under way on testing ground at the showground.
Chipley Park is a long course with an incline to climb three times, so in a mud fest times of seven minutes plus tells all In contrast the Restricted produced a quality field of nine and a lively betting market. Lawsons Thorns Leading horse c Megan Cobley Photography Lawsons Thorns fav touched struck the first blow for the followers of the horses for courses theory. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.
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