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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - Monday 28th May 2012

On Saturday in Haydock’s usually robust betting ring I hope I witnessed a freak occurrence during the Betfred Temple Stakes with the majority of runners shortening up.

Let me explain. Bookmakers with opinions are disappearing fast from our betting rings. Those who stand up make good use of the betting exchange facility hedging their liabilities, and why shouldn’t they? It’s their business, expenses are high and returns are low or non-existent. Yet if they wish to attract customers they don’t want a repeat of offering a starting over-round of 121%, which was at one stage even worse, so that’s nearly 2% a runner.

Sadly in my opinion, the majority of bookmakers betting on course wouldn't know the percentage they were offering unless they checked their laptop and even then they wouldn't know what was value to lay.

I hate to think what would happen if one day there was a power cut on course and they had to price up a race from scratch and then manoeuvre the prices and make a book!

Such is the demise of the on-course bookmaker and the ring that many bookmakers have more than one pitch, which means the market is weaker or pitches are left vacant leaving betting rings, particularly midweek, extremely weak.

Each-way terms are a constant turn off for on course punters; remember those in the high street offer correct value terms while those on course offer 1/5, 1/6, 1/7 & even 1/8!

Turnover has disappeared. York, once a vibrant robust betting ring, has hit an all-time low, on one day during the Dante meeting one major Tatts bookmaker took less than £1000 all day - last year he would have taken at least four or five times that much as a minimum. Five years ago he would have taken possibly ten times that much at least.

Expenses for bookmakers on course are very high. To stand they have to pay five times the entry fee, plus entrance fees for them and their staff, travel for themselves and their staff, the staff wages, power and upkeep of the pitch, which on any normal day would be £500. So before they put a price on the board they are £500 behind. Therefore the bookmaker who took trade of less than £1000 was never going to win and understandably not going to return, thus making weaker the ring further still and prices held for less time. It's a vicious circle which the industry must keep an eye on.

On a happier note, today and a fair selection of racing including the wonderful Windsor Monday night with Genki for Roger Charlton trying to continue the form the yard is enjoying and like Bated Breath on Saturday ridden by George Baker. It may be the ideal time to catch him and is my selection.

Today's selections:

7.40pm Windsor: Genki


Tanya's Pointers

Marcus Tregoning has had five winners from his last 11 runners

Roger Charlton has had five winners and two seconds from his last 15 runners

William Haggas has had four winners from his last nine runners

Saeed Bin Suroor has had five winners from his last 13 runners at Leicester

From the last eight rides Richard Hughes has had in Windsor’s 6.40pm, six have finished in the frame

Richard Hannon has won Windsor’s 6.40pm four times in the last ten years

Six of the last nine winners of Windsor’s 8.40pm came from the first two in the betting


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