Thursday, 14 August 2014

Grade A in Racing Studies

Britain’s teenagers have been receiving their A-level results this week, proving once more what a brainy bunch they are. Apparently 26% of them have achieved an A or A* in their exams, whereas less than 10% received an A grade in my day - so the bookmakers had better watch out.

Having just turned 18, today’s school leavers are the newest recruits to the punting ranks and I’d expect them to be fully clued up. Unfortunately, having performed a quick poll of youngsters, it appears that Gambling Studies did not appear on the syllabus in most schools. What on earth do they teach them these days?

Even basic fractions such as 6/4, 11/2 and 33/1 seem to stump most students – so it is little wonder that Richard Glynn, the Chief Executive of Ladbrokes raised concerns about the future of betting on horseracing when he announced his own set of results to the stock exchange on Tuesday. Glynn, who has been allocated a D grade (must do better - walloped by William Hill) from city analysts, warned that horseracing is becoming a mystery to young people.  

So, in the interests of education, here are a few betting facts for those planning to attend Cartmel races on Saturday 23rd August and Bank Holiday Monday 25th August: 

The feature race on Saturday is sponsored by the Tote. They offer "pool betting" at the racecourse – similar to a sweepstake. All the money staked by punters (except a share retained by the Tote) is divided between the winning punters. The resultant "dividend" is declared after each race. Racegoers can place different types of bet – for the horses to win, to be placed, win or place (called each-way), or to specify the first and second horses in the correct order (an exacta) and so on. 

The feature race on Monday will be sponsored by William Hill – the biggest bookmaker in Britain, who will be celebrating 80 years of business by supporting the classiest race ever to be run at Cartmel – a Class 2 handicap hurdle, open only to horses which achieved an A grade in their most recent exams. Betting shops have only been legal since 1961, demonstrating how William Hill have achieved an "A" for adaptability during their four-score years. 

According to the betting industry, 37.5% of favourites have won their races during the current financial year - an unusually high proportion. Statistics being what they are, that probably means that we should expect more outsiders to win in the second half of the year. I still believe that Jimmy Moffatt’s Dumbarton looks like a winner waiting to happen - and he should fit the "outsider" criteria – so he is this weekend’s selection in the 5.15 at Perth on Saturday. 
If you hurry, there is just enough time to secure a discount of £2 per ticket by booking your tickets for Cartmel online, in advance, at While the advance booking system closes at midnight on Sunday, full price tickets will be available at the entrance on each raceday.

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