The race needs punters and owners – and owners who bet!
A Racing Post headline last week read, “One-year ban for owners of Near Kettering on uncredited bets against their horses,” which caught my attention as the title alone suggested that someone had benefited from the result of a race dishonestly way, writes Joao Da Mata for the International Racing Club.
However, this is a case in which nothing dishonest has happened, but a conviction has been made against the accused and a severe sentence has been imposed.
In the end, Rob Drye and Helen Webster took in around £ 200,000 when Near Kettering won at Thirsk and Sedgefield in the span of a fortnight in August 2019.
As part of their betting strategy, they also placed dozens of bets against their horse, with the dual purpose of bolstering his pre-race odds and then mitigating their losses should they be narrowly beaten. They fully expected him to win the race.
Drye took on the responsibility of designing and leading what he believed was a successful strategy, making extensive use of a Betfair account on behalf of his partner Webster. After six hours, a BHA disciplinary board found them guilty and banned them from running for a full year.
Drye said: “I have always assumed that the rules about laying horses should end the corrupt element of the sport. I just didn’t associate what we were doing with anything corrupt, so I didn’t imagine we were going to break the rules.
The BHA argued that while Drye and Webster ‘did not act dishonestly’, allowing owners to manipulate the market and escape with anything other than lengthy disqualifications would send the message that this sport is ripe for corruption and that the regulator is not disturbed. by that.
Wait. They “did not act dishonestly,” but are publicly humiliated and suspended?
The problem we have is that everyone in the race has gone “vanilla” – bland and boring. On TV, race presenters would rather give us their opinion on a hat worn by a celebrity attending the races than tell us to place a bet “because I really want that”.
Betting, one of the traditional pillars of sport, was frowned upon and considered, from the outset, as a corrupt activity. Horse racing / betting and television do not go hand in hand, and anything to do with “betting strategy” is considered dishonest. In these waking and vanilla times, the authorities seem to have a pressing need to prove how their control of betting activities makes racing better (and more “fair”) for everyone.
I just don’t understand. Suppose you really, really want a horse to win a race, but like most of us, sometimes bad luck kicks in. So you’re ready to win £ 100,000 and you decide you go ‘in. get back into the race a bit ”at reduced odds. , leaving your edge on the win but hedging your bet and perhaps turning both sides to the green. Yes, a fairly standard betting strategy for millions of Exchange users. Unless, of course, you own a racehorse.
What!? As the owner, am I NOT allowed to cover my stake? Let’s be clear, this is NOT an owner who puts his horse down because he KNOWS it is not good and he cannot win. He gives it back because he’s ready to win chunks of money and, if he trades lower and maybe get beaten, he’s hedged his bet. Like a stock broker who hedges his investments.
Pathetic, I say!
Now more than ever, the sport of running needs three things: Owners, bettors, and owners who are gamblers!
The owners who bet are vital to the game. They are the fabric of the game. You get involved in a horse, you watch it develop, you enthusiastically follow every move until it hits the track. And then you have a bet on it!
The owners of Near Kettering won over £ 200,000 in the mentioned race. So what if they hedged their bet? It makes sense. They had the right to cover it, as other bettors have the right to do. The simple separation of owners from normal bettors in cases like these suggests that the BHA views coaches and owners as inherently dishonest individuals who spend their time lining up dishonest activities for profit!
Of the £ 200k won, I will put my head on a block so that a good part is returned to the race, against those who benefit from our sport and never hand anything back. For me, it was a bad decision by the BHA and it only floats in 2021.
Bet again in my head with legendary punter and trainer Barney Curley, who passed away this weekend at the age of 81. What about the man who has not been said? He made the bookmakers run for cover. Barney set up betting opportunities which in turn funded his stable and dare I say his beloved charity as well as horse racing funding. He has literally helped thousands of children in need. What the hell is wrong with that? Do you really care that Barney took 33/1 and you only got 12/1 when you saw the money coming for it? I do not. All I want to know is if you expect a horse to win and with Barney you always knew it.
Why are powers so anti-betting? I can’t do it. Surely, if anyone is likely to win £ 200,000, they are serious people.
They certainly have the right to hedge their investments. Or would the Powers rather hide potential big winners for a year, place them with different coaches, and pull off a Barney Curley? Barney’s biggest coup was ‘blocking’ the only phone on the race course to make sure the course bets stay on track and the SP returned was higher. The poor owners of Near Kettering simply bought insurance on their bet.
Like I said, the race has become very “vanilla” and characters like Barney are on the decline. RIP Barney, you will be sorely missed.