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Priceless forum post: Devilfish, take a bow

I am just going over some old Betfair memorabilia, and I came across this post from the forum from October 2003 which I found so entertaining at the time that I kept it.

Those were the days…!


Posted by : devilfish 09 Oct 13:02 

I hope you all showed your support for BHB Chairman Peter Savill’s crusade in preventing shortfalls in the Exchequer’s revenues. However, his recent press release also highlighted another issue dear to all our hearts – the integrity of racing. I’m showing my support to him on this one by sending the following letter to the Jockey Club:

Dear Sirs,

The recent programmes highlighting the corruption of racing have really infuriated me. Just look at what goes on:
– horses being given three quiet runs to obtain a lenient handicap mark
– connections having special agreements with bookmakers so that they tip them off when one of theirs is fancied, presumably so that the bookmaker can then refuse to take any more bets on that horse.
– a trainer of Jamie Osbourne’s stature openly admitting that “we don’t mind cheating”. We’re not talking about some mickey mouse permit holder here, we’re talking about a guy who trains a horse for the chairman of the BHB. Admittedly I use the word trains loosely: he couldn’t get the said horse to leave the stalls with the rest of the field on either of its first three back end runs.

The whole impression I am given is of the sport being a massive clip joint, with owners and bookmakers with their snouts in the trough while Joe Public is kept in the dark.

If I could just bring to you one example that certainly raised eyebrows in these quarters. There was a maiden handicap over 5 furlongs on g/f at Thirsk last month: a desperate classification of race recently introduced by the BHB that would appear to be little more than a cheats charter. In it there was a horse that had run once previously over 5 furlongs and once previously on g/f ground, so it wasn’t like radically different conditions could excuse his sudden improvement. According to postmark ratings he improved by 51lb and 55lb respectively on these runs on this his handicap debut!

It may just have been coincidence that the horse was punted from 8s to 3s. It may also just be coincidence that I couldn’t get a bet on this horse with any bookmakers at the early shows, although they were happy to lay me all I wanted on any other horse. I just thank the lord for the transparency the exchanges offered me on this occasion, for there was little chance of me predicting such miraculous improvement on any public form.

Oh, nearly forgot. The horse was called Raccoon, the owner was one P D Savill.

Yours etc

Posted in Betfair, Betting industry, Gambling, Sport, Stories.

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