Free Daily Post: 09/01/20 (complete)

Debate on bookies/trainers etc + Video… a look at ‘hot form’ …

First up, in case you missed it…

A new feature post HERE>>>

An ‘over the shoulder’ look at ‘Hot Form’ , a recent example, and some horses to follow.


Bookmakers + Trainers + Jockeys

The following is a repeat of a reply i’ve just made in today’s members’ post – after the Altior debacle there’s been some discussion on bookmakers in general and their relationship with trainers/jockeys etc – and indeed a bit of politics.ย 

I’ve just repeated it as is – i’ve some views you may agree with or disagree with, but i’d be interested in your views on the current state of play, and indeed what the solution is – or is this situation being overblown?ย 

So, have a read, and post away if you’ve any strong views, or think i’m talking nonsense! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


My reply to a thread in members’ post >>>


I don’t, and have never understood, some of the anti bookmaking brigade on this site – I mean by all means be anti corporate greed/big business in general, and plenty there to get stuck into inc bookies – but given the game we are playing and our engagement with racing, being anti bookmaker seems a bit strange to me. We would all have to look for something else to occupy ourselves with if we banned bookmakers, which Colin would probably do tomorrow if he could haha.
There would be no horse racing in UK/Ireland. End of.

There are clearly issues but I wouldn’t say governments introducing ยฃ2 casino limits etc is an indication of MPs being in their pockets – clearly more needs to be done with problem gambling and some of their practices are abhorrent with certain ‘high value’ individuals who may well have addictions/be ill/need help.
But that shouldn’t detract from the vast majority who bet responsibly. Humans have always had vices, and if it wasn’t gambling for some, it would be something else. Although there are clearly some big issues on gambling addiction that gvt and betting companies could be doing much more on.
It’s a big positive for those of us who enjoy racing for MPs to have a vested interest in the sport – especially with whats coming down the line in terms of the whip / animals rights agenda etc etc. The more MPs that understand the sport the better and bookmaking is big part of our game.

That’s one complex area of debate where some of us would just go around in circles on these pages. There’s valid opinions on all sides of that one and no ‘right’ answer.


Bookmakers and Trainer/jockey sponsorship is a ripe area for discussion on here, and indications are that it’s an issue that will be discussed more by the sport/powers that be.

Ralph Beckett’s article on RP makes plenty of sense – that idea of just ending all sponsorships so there isn’t even a question of integrity etc.

As an aside… IF one of the main concerns is ‘inside information’ and bookmakers profiting from it (which when it comes to these high profile trainers etc I think is generally bollocks – doesn’t make logical sense in my head and if anything would lead to more transparency) – lets say all these relationships ended. IF that inside information was the drive, are we really to believe that such links wouldn’t continue but just not publicly?? Trainers can back their own horses and many have accounts with X bookmakers, and that’s information bookmakers get – what do we think happened 20/30 years ago? It’s naive to think that bookmakers wouldn’t find out such info if they so wanted. I suspect to some degree that may have always happened, although I do think we can overestimate such things.

Now, I quite like all these trainer / jockey blogs, as something interesting to read and they are often informative – I think our enjoyment of the sport would be a lot less were such blogs to not exist.

The issue is how to manage them esp with sensitive information re running plans/injuries. Barry Orr and Betfair seem to have the right approach and want their colleagues to take a stronger stance/have rules in place…

quote –

The likes of Gordon Elliott, Paul Nicholls and Joseph Oโ€™Brien are Betfair ambassadors, and Orr said: โ€œLast year we made a conscious decision not to break any news concerning injuries, or any market-sensitive information, from our ambassadors.

โ€œThe procedure we agreed with them is for the ambassador to inform Weatherbys, who send that information out, and then they make the information public themselves before they even get in contact with us. That system works very well for us and we donโ€™t think itโ€™s at all right for us to be breaking that news.

โ€œWe think the time is right for other bookmakers to re-evaluate how they approach this as the perception is increasingly negative. We are keen to engage with other bookmakers who have ambassadors to look at drawing up a code of conduct around this to make sure there are no grey areas about how the relationships work.โ€

– to me that seems sensible – and preferable to these blogs just not existing.

But maybe some on here think those muddy waters are too murky and would prefer less information, as delivered via those blogs, to be in the public domain. Without the sponsorship, why would the trainers etc bother – out of the goodness of their heart?? The sport is richer for these relationships I think, but there are clearly issues that need working through.

The Altior situation is clearly a complicated one, and needs exploring and the yard have form –

BUT – if the issue is people in the yard profiting from being ‘in the know’ – ie they knew he would be a NR, so they all piled into Top Notch – before the info was made clear – (i don’t think there was any liquidity on the exchanges for laying purposes – and if anyone in yard got caught doing that they’d be warned off) – well surely such behaviour has been going on forever?? I think the sport in this country is long past ‘just’ having a Tote system, which means we will always have bookies – and there will always be people privy in yards who are ‘in the know’ –
although saying that with such a high profile horse you’d think Hendo would keep the info to himself and the owner – maybe the owners associates dived into Top Notch. That sort of thing will always go on in some yards I think .

How the information in this case was made public does stink – what Barry Orr/Betfair do with their big boys seems to be the solution to that problem.

In the end, there is no perfect solution to any of these issues, and one side or the other isn’t good vs evil – but there would appear to be plenty that could be improved.
But i’m not in the camp that thinks ending all such relationships/blogs etc is some magic solution, esp when it comes to questions of integrity etc. But who knows.

Maybe i’m naive but I don’t think many jockeys who are sponsored will be ringing up their bookie contact on the day, informing them that they’re stopping one today! But maybe i’m wrong on that.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts – plenty there to agree or disagree with no doubt! ๐Ÿ™‚



Post Comments

Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

30 Responses

  1. Just in response to a couple of points raised Josh.
    My reasoning for disliking bookies so much despite betting as I do is fairly simple. They have a heads we win tails you lose attitude and have no morals when it comes to rinsing losing bettors!
    As for people like Frankie earning large sums from the likes of Ladbrokes i’m with Colin! He’s already very wealthy and yes his jockey career won’t go on forever but he’s cleverly created a tv personna for himself which means work won’t dry up when he retires. I understand this has enabled him to land his lucrative Ladbrokes contract too! The issue for me I suppose is morals and greed. He can remain a very wealthy man without associating with the bookies whilst still a jockey.

    1. it’s NO fault of Frankie’s … it’s the payer not the payee making the decisions !!
      gb ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Haha not sure I agree there george, i’m pretty sure he choses what to accept or not! Anyway just you concentrate on picking those aw winners with your sidekick mc and we can all be as rich as Frankie!

        1. ERR ……..Mc yes …..but the wheels have come off the GB chariot …. now winning more on the jumpers at the mo !! ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice to hear form you .. on this lower side of the fence ๐Ÿ™‚
          gbster ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Form is temporary, class is permanent and all that. I see you both as the lennon and McCartney of racing to profit!

  2. Personally I take a more selfish view. I enjoy seeing Frankie on TV. He is amusing and entertaining and stands out from most other jockeys so its not important how much he gets paid.

    Likewise with the columns. I don’t read many but any information is useful and I can make my own mind up about the information.

    We all know the bookies are w%(kยฃ6s but I don’t think they would take any more or less bets if either didn’t happen any more.

  3. I suppose that philosophy would remove ex jockeys and trainers from being interviewed before a race so as not to divulge any relevant information pertaining to a stable inmate. Thinking in terms of multiple entries etc.,
    Think about it this way….. How does a horse end up becoming a “steamer” someone has to know something to set the odds tumbling. Its all subjective. No one makes you part with your money!

  4. I have a number of niggles with high street book makers
    1. Last second odds reductions just before the off
    2. 5th odds each way on the majority of races
    3. Rule 4 deductions see point 4
    4. Under order horses not running but bookies not returning stakes
    5. Poor value odds Matt Chapman is so right about this
    6. Tatty dirty betting shops with third world toilets
    7. Lack of investment in shops see point 6
    8. Promotion in shop that illustrate the lack of value you get normally eg at major festivals
    9. Football betting on Saturdays that tie up so much staff time eg the punter who has 50 single coupons all staked to 50p that all have to be processed individually with errors and your trying to get a horse bet on lol

  5. Generally I think that it is all a part of the great game of smelling out good information and discarding that which puts one away. I do think that legislation similar to Australia should be introduced making refusal to stand a bet to lose under ยฃ500 against the rules.

    I also complet3ely agree with Josh that the Altior situation stinks. The problem is that Nicky Henderson seems to think that his special connections place him above the requirements placed on ordinary trainers and others.

    The decision to only ban him for 3 months for doping the Queen’s horse, over the summer too, must have only reinforced his feeling of being above the law.

    Here’s a link to the story for any who have forgotten


  6. Midnight Jitterbug runs at Catterick this afternoon trainer sends him along way . He is not a bad horse backed him at 16s last night now at 8s low weight with a decent claimer on board yard always trying type horses .

  7. I think the big bookmakers get unfair treatment regarding their dealings with people unable to control their gambling. Surely two principle must prevail. Firstly, do not punish the majority for the actions of a tiny minority and secondly, the individual must be held responsible for their own actions irrespective of inducements etc.
    The bookmakers (or rather us punters) pay huge amounts into a fund which is spent on “curing” gamblers who fail to control themselves. However, I never hear how much is paid into this fund or what is being done by the owners of football pools companies or the National Lottery. Unlike racing, winning on either of these two relies on pure luck whereas some skill and research is required to find racing winners. The National Lottery in particular is pernicious given the odds on winning and every time I go into Tesco I see a queue of mugs wasting their money on the draws and also scratch-cards, some of them large amounts such as ยฃ50, but somehow this is seen as a little dabble that will hurt no-one rather than a pure gamble.
    The target of people’s ire should be directed away from the big bookies on this matter but by all means slaughter them for restricting bets and insultingly poor place fractions.

    1. I agree that every type of gambling should be subject to the same scrutiny but isn’t the issue with the big betting companies that they have vip customers who they specifically target?

    Dearest all.
    The next set of points and answers can be summed up by the term “Supply and Demand”
    1/. Of course we need bookies to be the go between the field sports and our idea of the winner at our desired price. Otherwise we are back to the Lords back room betting in the back of the pub days. ๐Ÿ™
    2/. I remember 20 -30 years constant bemoaning of not enough information from the stable yards …….. now we are moaning that it is too freely available to too many ….. ? you can’t win ! as Brian Clough once said .. “you are Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t ! ๐Ÿ™
    3/. I must admit i am not a fan of gambling advertising on mainline TV Channels …. including the abysmal Bingo and roulette adverts that are just so crass . The down side to this advertising is that the damage and consequences can be so dire …..and so out of context with the persons life ( i.e. end up gambling more than you can afford ๐Ÿ™ effecting relationships and standards of living ) but i have no problem with it being on sky racing and racing uk channels obviously NO problems to the iniated !
    4/. Advertisers using jockeys .. what has that got to do with us mere mortals’s a supply and demand and whether economically viable for the Advertiser/Bookmaker …… and more often than not ..they make the decision to spend there gains on advertising as show too much profit and go give it to her Majesty’s ever bulging purse strings ( i am all for that business strategy ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    5/. Inside information …from experience as much off the pace as on it …….. half the time ……….. treat it all with a pinch of salt and be sure you trust the informer before you part with your hard earnt … many a time i used to get inside information on two different horses in the same race .. and from memory could quite easily finish last and second from last ๐Ÿ™‚ …… make your own minds up thats what i say !!

    bestest regards
    Lord GB ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Long time no see as been having a break and jumps not my cup of tea but will throw in my two pennies worth over the recent Altior debacle…Josh you are such a nice person and have a very optimistic and trusting perception of what motivates people and believe that given ethical choices, on the whole, people will do the decent thing. Unfortunately, where money is concerned, invariably the opposite is true. Where bookmakers are concerned I will say the odds are against your view.

    Ralph Beckett has the right approach. What has just happened is the equivalent of insider trading, which is illegal. Information is power. Prior information, before this is released to the general public, to gain a monetary advantage at the expense of punters is a disgrace but not unexpected. This kind of activity should be made illegal but I am quite sure this will never happen. The racing industry, like all commercial activities is open to abuse, so do not give those seeking a competitive edge by fair means or foul the opportunity to exploit others for monetary gain.

    Remember we are all swimming in shark infested waters and natures rule of thumb is the little fish get eaten by the bigger fish, especially if the latter has prior knowledge of the likely outcome. Punters suffer enough from lack of accurate and reliable information as it is so sponsorship etc., will only give the bigger fish more opportunity, via earlier and better information before this becomes available to the potential victims if acted upon , to fleece the punter or in the case of the tobacco industry to kill their customers…why else was the latter banned from advertisingยฃ

    Happy punting. Silver

    1. Hi John…

      Oh I can/have been too naive at times on some of these subjects – i’m a bit more realistic in terms of cheating etc that goes on and what I hear – although i’ve always maintained, and still do, that enough of what goes on is straight enough for us to enjoy the game etc

      The betting/insider info element of the Altior case is interesting – and it took a turn yesterday when it became clear he still hadn’t been withdrawn.

      I don’t know what Unibet would have done with the info or how they could have profited – but they knew before it was public , which is the problem.
      Someone in the yard, poss linked to owners etc I suspect has ploughed into Top Notch etc – that sort of thing would be easier enough to home in on if bookmakers/BHA so wished to do so – and big bets on another Hendo horse while Altior was still in would have sent alarms ringing.
      But, even if we didn’t have social media/blogs etc etc – that sort of thing must have been going on forever and will do into future – it doesn’t affect us negatively as punters as such I don’t think – betting AP is always risky with NRs etc.

      I do think that Betfair model with trainers is the middle ground way forward, without such drastic action as a blanket ban on all such relationships.

      Many trainers are shit punters and poor judges of form – I don’t see these relationships as ‘marking the bookies card’ for the etc in some private line – at the elite level of trainer I just don’t think that happens – it would maybe through marked accounts etc – but again that will always happen unless you ban trainers and everyone named at a yard from betting to win. That isn’t realistic or practical either.

      1. Hi Josh…Happy New Year!…Insider trading is illegal in the financial markets and is punishable by sanctions…information give to bookies where it is clear an economic or commercial has been gained in order to profit from that prior information should be subject to the same treatment…that is all I am saying….this would require a code of conduct etc. etc. and I am quite sure there is no willingness for those controlling the industry to do this….

        Sponsorship cannot be managed in regard to information sharing…timing, who gets the info first, who is excluded from receiving the info. etc., are issues the industry is just not set up to investigate and I see no appetite for them to do so….

        As you mentioned, the trainer in question has previous experience and is perhaps one of the most respected in the racing industry so this begs the question …if such a person can be involved how does this reflect on other less respected players?…โ€ฆ

        โ€ฆ…the secret of comedy is timing, so someone, somewhere got the Altior timing spot on and is having a good financial laugh at the expense, literally, at the expense of the vast majority of us….this is a consequence of sponsorship and it will happen again and again…the industry is not capable of self regulation in this regard or remotely interested in making such activity illegal or unlawful and subject to criminal sanctions….so as a punter all that can be done is be aware as you can be of the machinations of the industry and try and gain an edge yourself.

        Happy punting for 2020…Silver

  10. All the problems in racing are a microcosm of society and particularly commerce. Where there is politics, business and money to be made or protected there is corruption, e,g, The Oil Industry, car emissions Meat scandals, you could fill a library. People will always take a risk (cheat) if the return is big enough. Targeting bookmakers is futile, horse racing is better organised and more open than ever. It needs vigilance and the correct punishments for the wrongdoers. BHA where are you? As for ridding the industry of bookies, please read Jamie Reed’s book “Monsieur X”. Massive, long term corruption in bookie free France. Be vigilant, be rational and above all enjoy it.

  11. Mm, mm, mm that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into GBster. Now get off your soapbox and find some winners at Chelmsford:-)

    I’ll kick off with a Rebel Treble:

    4.00 Coviglia
    5.00 Averisk Et Perils
    5.30 Agent Shiftwell

    Then, 6.00 Cheng Hong

    6.30 Phoenix Star, Viola Park EW.

    Good luck if you play ๐Ÿ™‚


    4.00 Chelmsford City 7 Lunar Deity

    4.05 Newcastle 2 Anna Maria

    5.30 Chelmsford City 1 Augustus Caesar (USA)

    5.30 Chelmsford City 5 Silver Start

    6.30 Chelmsford City 6 Ubla (IRE)

    7.00 Chelmsford City 5 Papa Power

    have a fun night on the sand ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I was told by my grandfather, treat betting like you would a night

    Don’t spend what you can’t afford,

    His philosophy was that if you went for a night out

    got drunk and suffered a hang over next day

    you wouldn’t go back to the pub and ask for your money back

    Gambling is the same.

    If you treat it as fun and only spend what you can afford to lose
    Then you can’t complain if you lose that amount and you
    won’t have spent more than you had laid out for gambling

    Never go into debt to gamble, quickest way to the poor house.

    Another intelligent thing he told me was open a bank account
    in your children’s names.

    Whenever you get a pay out from the bookies put 10% of
    that into the account.

    Thankfully I followed this advice
    and it paid for my son to go to university

  14. Bookmakers are a different breed of today,i for one miss bookmakers like Barry Dennis who had no issues with laying you a horse. Todayโ€™s brigade a totally different kettle of fish,Iโ€™ve always enjoyed placing my bets in the evening after careful study,.like most form students finding the early value.

    Skybet have stopped BOG on bets placed before midnight also something which needs addressing this 1/5 the odds extra place 17 runner HC no option for punters to have 1/4 4 places …this alone saves bookmakers thousands of pounds. Yet again donโ€™t be fooled when can still get the extra place 1/4 odds with Bet365. Some punters stay loyal when itโ€™s about value,bookmakers not friends nor are they enemies but they do take liberties. Saturdays big field HC races would advise taking early price as come off time the bookmakers just shorten the top 5/6 in the field without taking much money. … one rule I would love to see change and itโ€™s not down to the bookmakers alone ( coupled horses ) trainers running several in a race often leads to the rag winning when if coupled i donโ€™t think trainers like Aidan Oโ€™Brien would run 5 of the 7 runners in a race,.and believe it keeps the smaller trainer away from competing with the big boys โ€˜ days of Clive Britain sending out 500/1 placed runners of the derby a thing of the past. King George on Boxing Day always used to be competitive,sadly today itโ€™s small fields which has to be worry for the sponsors Of the race

    1. NEVER APOLOGISE !!! .. thats why i am here by your side .. too make you look !!! you are the best sand castle make and you know it !

      Hope you are swatting up for Friday now !!!

      gbster ..always in the shadows ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Thanks for raising the matter Josh to be honest I am strictly a small bets man myself and I don’t have a go at the bookies on horses, I bet with Ladbrokes who I find more than fair.

    Not sure what the future of bookmakers will be…..we used to have 3 betting shops in our high street Coral & Betfred have been here for many many years, but William Hill opened a shop a couple of years ago which they have now closed down.

    A few years ago the shops had a lot more punters in them mainly backing dogs in the morning and horses in the afternoon, but now with so much betting done on line (just like the clothes stores) the high street is no longer the chosen place for the majority of punters.

    I think the comments surrounding the female MD of Betway is not very helpful and it would appear that too many gamblers lay out more than they can afford to loose = not fun betting like my activity.

    As for the trainers they are often between a brick and a hard place and their first priority must be to the owners of the horse…..I think if you take both Henderson & Nichols they are often a bit coy about their horses until after they have run, whereas Alan King and the Skelton’s appear a little more open.

    All good fun !

    Have a nice day

  16. The Integrity of racing is at stake if the relationship between bookmaker and trainer become opaque.
    Horses being withdrawn for no reason -self cert is open to abuse how many times does a race with 8 or more become 7 knocking the place terms .All horses should have a vets cert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *