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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - Saturday 27th October

Betting Shop Manager of the Year never disappoints, the diversity amongst the 24 finalists is huge and added to the excitement and enthusiasm they are all brimming with pride, (so they should be).

Plus there’s that huge reminder of why it’s a good idea to take this weekend off from Channel 4 duties. Although I retired early from listening to the wonderful tales of what bubbles along in the betting shop daily soap opera, the festivities didn’t finish until around 2.30am Friday morning. Not being able to get a wink of sleep I decided to stay up and type away at the Daily Record column and write notes while fresh in my mind of those that I’d had a real good chinwag with.

As you’d expect, not many of the managers sample the delights of actually going racing so to be at Doncaster on Friday was a real bonus. Plus there was the added honour of the tipping competition winner being allowed to present the trophy for the race named after the annual award, Doncaster’s 3.15.

Just from the short time spent with them on Thursday evening, my immediate observation was the various directives the managers work under. I tend to think that the flow of information between the managers and the corridors ofr power is never two way. Instead those in charge are just passing on what needs to be done (under pressure in a deepening recession from shareholders) without paying attention to the obvious detail that the methods shouldn’t be universal to each shop. The needs for each community of customer and location are so, so different.

Also the racing industry is now finally working with the betting industry, it is crucial to get their perspective and that of the customers. The consumer should to some extent dictate what is on offer to them. As what they need, require or significantly prefer in the sport generates the turnover. When the priority is to drive as much turnover as possible on each race then this data should be invaluable and adhered to within reason.

I like the idea that some of the shop managers located near to racecourses find their customers are placing their bets in the shops in the morning before heading for their days’ enjoyment as the each-way terms are preferable or they simply struggle to find bookmakers who bet each-way on the course these days. At least the money is still going into British racing but we need our on-course markets to thrive as well.

On to the racing and I just think the price for Kingsbarns in the Racing Post Trophy is wrong. Before the 48hour decs he was backed to 2-1. Take out the second favourite plus Fantastic Moon and Havana Gold and he is still 2-1, surely he should be shorter!

I know originally I thought Trading Leather and First Cornerstone were over-priced but now I think the ground could be wrong for Trading Leather and First Cornerstone has been well placed in his races.

Much to look forward to over the jumps with the Old Roan Chase live on and I like Nacarat another grey could thrill those at Aintree.

The horse I can’t wait to see is Knock A Hand over fences at Chepstow and I haven’t had a chance to speak to Kerry or Tom, who I work alongside at Channel 4. They are key parts of the Lee operation. I just would rather wish them the best of luck and hope Knock A Hand goes on to show improvement.

Today's tips:

2.15 Newbury Maxentius

2.35 Chepstow Knock A Hand

3.05 Doncaster Kingsbarns

3.30 Aintree Nacarat


Tanya's Pointers:

Seventeen of the last 20 winners of the Racing Post Trophy finished in the first two on their most recent start

Seven of the last ten favourites have won the Racing Post Trophy

Eight of the last ten winners of the Racing Post Trophy had no more than three races prior

Kieren Fallon is three from four on Steeler

Peter Bowen has won Aintree’s 4.00 three times with his last six runners

Paul Nicholls is three for three in Aintree’s 4.35

Seven of the last nine favourites have won Aintree’s 5.10

Nacarat has failed to win in seven attempts in November and December


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