Coup trainers: ‘We were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’

sad horseThis is one of those that will run and run, mostly because of different perceptions. Barney’s a hero or he’s a villain.

I’ve no problem with connections who gallop a two-year-old with a Derby winner and the 2-y-o wins by half a furlong. They keep it quiet and have it off first time out.

I applaud those who find themselves with a young handicap hurdler who muscles up over the summer and comes to himself and develops an exceptional hurdling technique at home and connections get stuck into him first time out that season at Taunton.

I don’t even have a problem with a trainer who knows the absolute limit of one old chaser he has is 115 and he runs him over the wrong trip/in the wrong ground to get him back to 115 and help keep his business afloat.

I do have a problem if it transpires that the coup was engineered – over a very long period – by a rich man driven by an almost lifelong hatred of bookmakers.  Punters were not just deceived on Wednesday, they were very probably deceived in most, if not all of the other races in which those horses ran, because Wednesday seemed to make it obvious that the purpose of  all previous runs was to get the marks down (an offence under the rules of racing).

Now some might argue that I couldn’t prove that, but I’d happily bet that any objective court in the land would find that ‘on the balance of probability’, that is exactly what happened. The complexity of the plot alone – 4 animals, long lay-offs, the Curley connection, all just happen to run on the same day, all bet off the boards, is self-incriminating.

This was a conspiracy. The BHA investigation might find that the successful ‘delivery’ of that conspiracy was carried out by premeditated and prolonged cheating. If so, that cheating means it is probable that every penny placed on those horses in the build up to this was lost before the race was off…that every penny placed on the rivals of these horses on Wednesday was almost certainly lost before the off. The entry fees, travel costs, hopes of connections and grooms involved with rivals, were worth nothing to the perpetrators of the coup.

A major deception was pulled off by a group who, on Wednesday night were probably sitting  laughing at all the gullible folk mentioned above – not least the punters. As I’ve said before, all this ‘we caned the bookies’ stuff is nonsense.  The only money bookmakers have in their  possession is provided by punters. Bookies redistribute it, keeping a slice for themselves.

Your punting losses, in this case, were handed over to the coup gang.

So, they didn’t cane the bookies. They caned other punters. They caned other owners and trainers and grooms. They caned racing’s reputation. They didn’t even have the decency to admit after the result ‘Yes, we had it away good and proper’ (Organising a betting coup is not an offence in itself). Instead we get treated like fools with quotes like ‘I don’t know about betting.’

Yet who gets blamed? the handicappers: they ain’t perfect, but what chance have they in a case like this? The stewards? Perhaps some criticism is merited there, but they shouldn’t be made to carry the can imo.

As for those who claim ‘the form was there for all to see’, why then were they backable overnight at accumulative odds of more than 14,000/1?

Whoever organized this is, of course entitled to some admiration for the logistical side, but there’s no doubt in my mind it was a bad day for racing.

If it was Mr Curley, perhaps his smartest move of all was getting the stooges to deliver for him; for it is the stooges who, if found guilty of an offence, might – and should imo, lose their livelihood by being hit with long term bans.

The patsys might well be left thinking ‘We were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’ They blew the walls out, and, after the BHA investigation, they could find the roof will come crashing down on them. I wonder what they will think then of Mr Curley who will be standing well clear, not a speck of dust on his suit, smiling at them before he wanders off to plan his next coup.

About Steeplechasing

Writer, horse-racing fan, cyclist, consultant, entrepreneur. Worked at Aintree, SiS, The Tote, Ladbrokes. Created scoop6. Now run Gamtrain Ltd

Posted on January 24, 2014, in General and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. And people will wonder why a lot of Punters just stick a great big Red Line through a lot of these low class events on the AW and turf, that, and the amount of it served up to the betting public on mosr weekdays drives a lot of people away from the sport, i for one, wouldnt fancy my chances playing against a load of mobsters in Vegas with a marked deck, would you??

  2. You won’t find a better assessment than this of the the incident guys. Let’s not be British and sweep this under the carpet by pretending we don’t care. What Joe says needs to be said. Bookmakers are no different to the basic totepool principle only in the layers case, they don’t have a set percentage which get’s taken out of the equation. ‘Punters’ do that for them by taking the odds on offer or leaving them be. If Joe’s words were proved correct in a race at Longchamp, the French public would get together and organise a 24 hour strike relating to betting. They have the courage of their conviction in such matters….do we?

  3. I have to agree with all that has been stated ‘re this blog to date, but I tend to wonder if any of us had been approached with the news of what was brewing, what we then would have done. Do you fill your boots and collect your money, or, do you do something else?
    Whilst there is little doubt that Mr Curley enjoyed this day, probably more than many others, is it not also true that the punter and the bookmaker have always been the enemy to each other?
    I have had some pathetic run ins with bookies over the years and think that the industry lost it’s soul many years ago.
    Bookies would have little hesitation in taking the last penny out of the punters pocket would they?
    It is of course very sad that so many innocent people would have suffered in the 4 races and I guess we should be grateful tha this
    type of coup is not seen very often.
    Everybody is in this business to make money and you. pay what you do and take your chance from both sides.
    Owners trainers stable staff and anybody else involved knows more about what is going on in any given race than the punter will ever know.
    Personally my view is that it must make the everyday punter wonder how they can possibly pick a winner when this type of that thing goes on, but really, nobody ever thought the game was straight, did they?

  4. Apologies for the grammatical errors and one last thing.
    Do we believe that bookmakers worry or care about who gets hurt in racing?
    Just look at the amount of advertising on TV these days, almost trying to tell the public how glamorous it is to give your hard earnt cash away!

  5. Good points Rick.

    Like the football industry (despite the media hype, the sport is slowly committing suicide), racing is meant to be the sport of kings whereby it needs to clean up its act.

    We already know that young people are not flooding through the turnstiles whereby we have to hang on to the people that truly love the sport for what it is, not the money involved.

    I don’t know if either of you guys saw the Robin Dickin interview on Racing UK after Restless Harry had won at Newbury. Here is a man who has racing running through his veins and his voice, rather than the millionaires who are hyped up beyond belief from so many areas of the sport, should be heard on an everyday basis.

  6. HI again Joe….Rick (couple of comments on your ‘coup page’ is a good mate from the old days when we used to go and watch our favourite local bands in our early twenties, when he was not simply a customer in the betting shop that I was managing!

    Mal

    Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 18:25:56 +0000 To: malcolmboyle2@hotmail.com

  7. Hi again guys.
    Whilst I have not seen you the interview to which you refer Mal, I have seen the Clive Brittain interview on ATR ‘Legends’.
    If ever the everyday punter wanted an uplift, or to get an insight in to what racing appears to have lost, then this piece of nostalgia must be viewed.
    Clive has had and continues to have, the most wonderful life and experiences in the world of racing.
    He is the epitome of why people like us remain firmly intrenched in the belief that the fantastic, wonderful and colourful characters that used to be commonplace in the game, are still out there somewhere.
    Today’s young trainers, jockeys, work riders and stable staff alike should all watch this interview as I am sure that they would then begin to to feel what a legacy they have the chance of leaving behind themselves.
    I pray that racing gets characters like Clive back because therein lies the heartbeat of what truly makes racing the sport of kings.
    Good luck to everybody in there future racing endeavours.
    We have Cheltenham just around the corner and for me at least, faith in what I believe, will then be, thankfully, restored.

  8. I think I stand somewhere in the middle of Joe’s view and this one http://horses4coursesuk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/saturday-thought.html ( a new blog I’ve just found)

    I put most of British Racing’s problems down to too many horses, too many bad meetings and the handicapping system. Hopefully Wednesday will prove to be a bit of a watershed day.

  9. BHA investigation? A chat over lunch

  10. I don’t think I have ever backed any of the horses involved on this coup as they were all very probably double figure prices. I didn’t recognise a single name so the point that we’d probably already lost money before winning it back is lost on me.
    How often is this type of thing seen?? Not since I’ve been watching horse racing I don’t think. It’s swings and roundabouts and the bookies would have made all their dough back on slot machines in shop within a couple of hours!

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