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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Terry Ramsden - The True Story of a Man Who Broke his Bond

In his heyday, in the Eighties, Terry Ramsden was the quintessential self-made Essex man of the Thatcherite era. A diminutive 5'4" tall and sporting the mullet hairstyle that was ubiquitous at the time, Ramsden once declared, in distinctive cockney tone: 'I'm a stockbroker from Enfield. I've got long hair and I like a bet.' 

Born in Enfield, North London on January 19, 1952, Terry Ramsden proved financially astute, at least in his early years. By trading bonds on the Japanese stock market and gambling on horse racing, by 1984, he had raised sufficient capital to purchase the Edinburgh-based Glen International Financial Services Company. By 1987, he had increased the turnover of the company to £3.5 billion and his own net worth to £150 million. 

By that stage, his royal blue and white hooped colours had become a familiar sight on British racecourses – at one point, he had 76 horses in training – and he had won, and lost, some eye-watering sums of money. 

In May, 1984, for example, just days before the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Ramsden bought the filly Katies, unseen, for £500,000, but reputedly profited to the tune of £2.5 million when she won the Irish 1000 Guineas at odds of 20/1. 

In 1986, on the Wednesday of the Cheltenham Festival he reputedly won in the region of £1 million when Motivator landed what is now the Pertemps Final and would have won a further £6 million if another of his horses, Brunico – an "immensely strong finisher" according to commentator Sir Peter O'Sullevan – had managed to overhaul Solar Cloud in the Triumph Hurdle the following day. 

Ramsden had apparently been backing Brunico in doubles with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Dawn Run for some time beforehand. 

Shortly afterwards, Ramsden acquired Mr. Snugfit, who had finished second in the 1985 Grand National, and bet £50,000 each-way at 8/1 on his purchase for the 1986 renewal. Almost single-handedly, he ensured Mr. Snugfit was sent off 13/2 clear favourite for the National; the nine-year-old could manage no better than a distant fourth place, but Ramsden still collected £150,000 on the place portion of his bet. 

Many years later, Ramsden claimed: 'The truth is I had half a million quid each way, quote, unquote. Anything else you hear is bullshit.' 

Further high-profile successes followed, including Not So Silly in the Ayr Gold Cup in 1987, but his 'biggest single losing bet' – £1 million on another of his horses, Below Zero – and the sudden expected stock market crash, a.k.a. 'Black Monday', in October that year, effectively sounded the death knell for the Ramsden fortunes. Glen International collapsed and, in 1988, indebted to Ladbrokes to the tune of £2 million, Ramsden was 'warned off' by the Jockey Club for non-payment of the debt, thereby ending his interest in racehorse ownership. 

Three years later, in 1991, Ramsden was arrested in Los Angeles at the behest of the Serious Fraud Office and imprisoned for six months, pending extradition back to Britain. On his return to home soil in 1992, he was declared bankrupt with debts of £100 million. The following year he escaped with a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to recklessly inducing fresh investment in Glen International but, in 1997, was prosecuted again, at the Old Bailey, for failing to disclose assets worth £300,000; he was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment, of which he served ten. 

Following his release from prison in 1999, Ramsden went back to working in the financial industry, but could not return to racehorse ownership until 2003, when cleared to do so by the Jockey Club. His first winner as an owner since the halcyon days of the Eighties was the two-year-old Jake The Snake, bought for a modest 17,000 guineas, who landed a gamble when winning a maiden stakes race at Lingfield in November, 2003.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Popular Times at the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth on a Friday Night (21st June)

Don't you love a chart?

They make a fun way to understand something: facts, figures any number of things. 

I particularly like a pie chart as it reminds me of how many apple pies can be safely consumed in a year without the onset of diabetes. 


This chart shows the popular times at the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth on a Friday night. 

Now, I don't know if you have ever frequented this place which sits on the coast of Norfolk but, if not, you're missing out. To be fair, many a gambler may not be too much bothered about the location or the building as long as it has plenty of slots, roulette tables, poker, blackjack and all the familiar games you would expect of any discerning casino. 

You may be thinking: ''What's so interesting about the Grosvenor at Great Yarmouth? 

It's a lovely listed building with a touch of glamour and glitz. Remember, all this sparkle doesn't cost you a penny more. It just adds to the occasion and makes a gamble, in my opinion, all the more interesting. There's something about a brick-and-mortar casino on the coast. Perhaps it's those high ceilings and bar that looks something out of a Ian Fleming book. If you aren't up to scratch on your authors, that's the man who wrote all the James Bond novels (yes, they were written as books before being made into films!). Who doesn't like a touch of the Casino Royales? 

This was his first book about James Bond published in 1953. 

You won't find baccarat played in Norfolk country. Well, not as far as I know at the casino in Great Yarmouth. Although if you are looking for the royal link, Edward VII, future king of England, stayed at Shadingfield Lodge in the 1870s when it was a private house in the ownership of James Cuddon, a barrister of Middle Temple. It was opened as a pub and hotel in 1953 and later the Grosvenor Casino. 

I've been to the Grosvenor Casino at Great Yarmouth at least 15 times over the years. And it's always an enjoyable night out whether win, lose or draw. Thankfully I have never lost my shirt. 

Looking at the chart for the most popular times on a Friday night, we can see that around 8 pm is the busiest. It's about the time myself and family turn up. I'm usually ready to go home about 12 although I have stayed until 1 am or so a few times. 

Have you ever watched the episode of Only Fools And Horses when Del Boy leaves the casino (I think it is the One-Eleven Club). Pretty sure the episode was titled: Fatal Extraction. Del Boy is having marriage problems and makes a date with a dental assistant when struggling with a bad tooth and thinks the lady is an escapee from the psychiatric hospital. He'd got his wires crossed. 

Anyway, one of the scenes showed Del Boy leaving the casino unaware that it was the next morning. 

Surprised to see it was daylight. 

This actually happened to my cousin when having a very long night at the Grosvenor Casino at Great Yarmouth. 

He was basically told to go home at 6 am when it closed for a couple of hours. There was us having breakfast at the Embassy Hotel, just a stone's throw from the casino, at Camperdown. I was tucking into my full English breakfast when a worse-for-ware sight appeared opposite me and small breakfast was eaten by the said cousin as he felt a bit queasy after a barrel-load of drink. 

I didn't ask if he had won or lost. However, I concluded the only reason someone would be gambling at 5 am was because they were winning and the next hour could be good or bad news. The alternative is that it was a terrible night from start to finish and they were chasing their losses. 

I thought it was best not to ask. 

As we can see by the graph, it looks like a handful of lost souls and staff are hanging about the casino at 4 am. 

I would hate to know the story of those who were literally kicked out at 6 am. 

If you want the place to yourself, to see what gambling looks like at the rock face, I suggest you turn up, sober, at 5:10 am, don't gamble, but sit at the bar and watch the scene before you. 

You'll be a wiser gambler for the experience. 

Good luck.

Dream Horse Film Release: A Dream Alliance

If you love rags to riches stories, then you will love Dream Horse. 

Most people associate breeding and owning a thoroughbred racehorse with the rich and famous. However, Jan Vokes, a Welsh cleaner and bartender had a dream to breed and rear a horse. This madness intertwined with a touch of magic helped persuade friends and neighbours of a Welsh village to contribute to the goal. 

The horse was named Dream Alliance because they all had a dream and paying £10 a week the alliance hoped beyond hope they would have a horse that could win a race. 

This story follows a journey of hope, dreams, toils, and tribulations. 

Dream Alliance was a working-class horse from a similar background but he would show the grit and determination of a Welsh village who had fallen upon hard times and needed, more than ever, something to give them faith that anything is possible if you believe. 

Dream Horse is released in the United Kingdom on 17 April 2020. 

Directed by Euros Lyn from a screenplay by Neil McKay. Major stars include Toni Collette and Damian Lewis. 

Readers may remember the story of Dream Alliance was originally made back in 2015 and called: Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance. 

It was released on 23 January 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival and later for general release on 17th April 2015. 

Directed by Louise Osmond it was very well received and holds an approval rate of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes:  "Dark Horse offers a thoroughly crowd-pleasing look at an incredible — and inspirational — real-life story that will thrill equine enthusiasts and novices alike."

Watch Dream Horse Trailer

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Professional Gamblers: Patrick Veitch – Enemy Number One

Who is Patrick Veitch? 

A professional gambler once dubbed 'The Baby-Faced Assassin of the Betting Ring' by the tabloid press, Patrick Veitch is one of the most successful punters of modern times. As detailed in his autobiography, 'Enemy Number One: The Secrets of the UK's Most Feared Professional Punter', first published in 2009, in an eight-year period from 1999 he recorded profits in excess of £10 million. 

Notoriously reticent to reveal any details of his personal life, Veitch was a mathematics prodigy and not only applied to, but was accepted by, Cambridge University at the age of just 15. Unsurprisingly, he read mathematics at Trinity College, but soon launched a premium-rate telephone tipping service, operating under the moniker of 'The Professional', and recruited from the student body to man the telephones. Heading into his third year, his service was realising over £10,000 and, eventually, he abandoned his studies altogether. 

Veitch attracted the attention of leading owner Michael Tabor, one of the richest men in the country and a shrewd, unflinching punter, who paid him a seasonal retainer for his tips. Once, and only once, in a three-year period did Veitch tip what he considered a 'certainty' and, unafraid of 'putting his money with mouth was', invested £20,000 of his own cash. His selection, Blue Goblin, in the Coral Sprint Handicap at Newmarket on May 31, 1997, was sent off a heavily-backed 11/10 favourite and duly quickened clear to win, easily, by two-and-a-half lengths. 

Everything appeared to be set fair for Veitch, but the following June his association with Tabor, his career and his life, as he knew it, was brought to a shuddering halt. Faced by a disgruntled local businessman demanding money with menaces, Veitch refused to pay the stipulated £70,000, but contacted the police and, on their advice, immediately went into hiding for a period of nine months.

Veitch eventually testified against his would-be extortionist, Calvin Hall, an infamous and, as time would tell, highly dangerous criminal in open court, wearing a bulletproof vest. Hall was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in November, 1998 and subsequently received a much longer jail term after being convicted of the attempted murder of a police officer. The extortion episode took its toll, emotionally and financially, and by late 1998 Veitch was, by his own admission, 'at rock bottom'. However, in typically industrious, single-minded and self-confident fashion, he set about redressing the balance. 

In 'Enemy Number One', Veitch writes that his success essentially boils down to 'finding a bet where the odds are greater than the true chance of that event happening.' However, he does concede that any successful punter must possess the characteristics of a 'brain surgeon', when studying form and assessing odds, and of a 'mad axeman', when actually placing a bet. Nevertheless, such is his belief in his own ability, he once said, 'The chance of me having a losing year is basically zero.' Indeed, the main inconvenience that Veitch faces is placing bets with bookmakers; such is his notoriety that he cannot do so himself, so he employs a network of associates to wager money on his behalf. 

Veitch apparently makes most of his profits from his own hard work, rather than being 'privy' to inside information. However, Veitch and his partners, collectively known as 'The Exponential Partnership', did pull off a major betting coup with their own horse, Exponential, in the Wright Brothers Maiden Auction Stakes at Nottingham on August 16, 2004. 

The two-year-old son of Namid, a good source of useful juveniles, had made an unispiring debut for trainer Stuart Williams when last of 13, beaten 17 lengths, in a slightly better maiden race at Beverley the previous month, having weakened just after halfway. At Nottingham, Exponential opened at 100/1 but, having shown improved form at home, was backed into 8/1 joint-fourth favourite. Once underway, Exponential raced prominently and, once ridden into the lead a furlong-and-a-half from home, kept on to win by a length; Veitch landed winning bets worth in excess of £235,000. The racecourse stewards understandably questioned Williams regarding the improved form shown by Exponential, but accepted his explanation that the gelding had strengthened physically since his debut and benefited from the experience of his previous outing.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

The Millionaire Betting System

I'm surprised more people don't ask this question: ''Why do you bet on the horses?''

This can be specific to you, me, or the bustling crowd at the Cheltenham Festival. 

I'm far from a natural gambler. In fact, I don't really like gambling. I don't bet for fun, the buzz, or all those things many gamblers do from day to day. 

Each to their own. 

If it makes you happy, doesn't lead to the wolf knocking on your door, or affects your life, family, or lead you to suicide you are onto a winner. 

That probably sounds a bit flippant - but you know what I mean. You have to be responsible for your actions and if you can't you need to find an answer.

Anyway, you meet all sorts of people under the umbrella of the gambler. To be fair, you see some very sad sights, especially fixed to the betting terminals in the local bookmakers. 

For many gamblers, betting gives a live hope of making a killing. That's winning cash not holding up a bookmaker's shop with a gun. 

The good side of finding a winning betting angle is that you can easily outweigh the cost of living. You simply bet more money and win a grand a day! Well, you can if you know something the majority of the population doesn't. 

Namely, you win money long term. 

The holy grail is finding a system that gives a regular income. If you attach this to a bot that places your bets automatically, you have a passive income. 

You could be sitting on the beach in the Bahamas, living the life most can only dream. 

If you get to that level you are well and truly a winner. Because let's face it, very few people make their gambling pay. They simply don't know enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Is there a system, simple or complex, which guarantees you will make a profit? Better still, is there a system which shows hundreds if not thousands of points profit every season?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. 

I'm saying no names because these things are private but I've heard something incredible.

There could be a Millionaire Betting System out there. What I mean by this, is a system that can take let's say £100 and in a year, two, three or four and turn that small sum of money into one million pounds profit. 

Many of you reading this will be thinking it's pie in the sky. It can't be possible. How can it be possible?

In fact, by the end of this Flat turf season, I will be in a position to detail whether or not this is fact or fiction. 

Unfortunately for me, and you, I don't understand how this system works. But I imagine it won't be sold for any amount of money. (Even two million pounds!)

It's interesting to consider what goes on behind the scene of the betting exchanges. You see a bet and you have no idea who is behind that transaction. It could be a little old lady down the road placing her first bet. It could be a trader looking to make an easy £5 here and there. It could be a professional gambler with his finger on the pulse. It may even be Harry Findlay recouping his losses lumping on the next odds-on shot. The stories behind each and every bet and gambler are unknown. 

But consider for a moment the next bet you place could well be a plus or minus for this new gambler on the block as he puts the Millionaire Betting System through its paces. 

This time next year, he'll be a millionaire.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Your Blog Post is Horse Shit!

Photo of the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth
I guess it's my own fault. 

You're probably thinking what's he talking about. 

More mumbo jumbo. I shared a post on Twitter the other day about how to win money betting on roulette at the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth. 

Sure, the title was one of those you love to hate. However, the rationale within the post was worthy of a read and actually true. I have found a way when betting £50 to put the odds in your favour. So you actually have more chance of winning than the house. 

Mysterious hey.

Now, what you've got to understand is that I'm one step ahead of you here. Because I know for a fact you are getting hot under the collar and saying it's impossible. You can't beat the house edge so why say such stuff. 

If you really want to know how then feel free to contact me and I will detail the facts.

I'll say this: ''There are lots of ways to increase your odds of winning and they have nothing to do with even playing roulette.''

Even more mysterious. 

It might seem that way but it's all very straightforward. It's more of a mind experiment. You know the score - you see two faces rather than a vase. 

Anyway, someone commented on my post that April Fools Day was last month and that it was horse shit. 

Some people are ridiculous. Firstly, they make themselves look absurd because they cannot even write a sentence without using vulgarity. Secondly, they haven't got a clue what they are talking about. 

The ''person'' was blocked because I don't like wasting my time with many intelligent people let alone idiots. 

I must admit I try to avoid people and have a very select list of individuals who register in my life. 

I associate more people with more problems. That's a sad reflection on life because I know there are many good, decent, caring people on this planet. 

I guess one or two in every thousand give the others a bad name.

Worse things happen at sea. 

I know what I know and I don't need anyone to try and tell me different. 

When it comes to two-year-old horse racing I know more than anyone I've ever met.

I wouldn't say that about roulette [although to be fair its not rocket science]. 

If you want to know how you can go to Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino and actually have the odds in your favour then I will tell you. 

Photo: Copyright Jason Coote [All Rights Reserved]

Monday, 3 May 2021

The Most Frightening Experience of My Life

I guess there are many experiences that deserve reflection. 

Man puts head in a lion's mouth. 

SAS man jumps through an open window. 

However, the blog title: ''The most frightening experience of my life'' was retorted from a lady who lived at Great Yarmouth, painting a picture on a TV programme called Watercolour Challenge. The Channel 4 daytime television lifestyle show was broadcast from 5th June 1998 - 23rd November 2001. 

Now you may be thinking, what does a watercolour painting of a scene from Norwich Cathedral have to do with gambling. 

There seems little relationship. 

However, you may say a tiger doesn't have much in common with a table - but they both have four legs. 

What on earth could be so frightening about painting a picture?

It sounds quite a calm endeavour, peaceful if not therapeutic. 

You must be thinking, there's got to be more to this specific painting than meets the eye. 

You're correct. 

The painter from Great Yarmouth struggled because it was a competition! 

The competition saw artists face an unknown location, two competitors and four hours to do the business (so to speak) and paint like Rubens to win the dough. 

Those tranquil brushstrokes transformed into someone grappling with a wasps nest. As it happened, the winning prize: a new set of paints, brushes and a chance to go through to the weekly final and then there's an opportunity to compete in the grand final. Scary stuff if you aren't van Gogh. Perhaps even Vincent may have felt a twang of nerves, frustration or fright.  

The competitive nature of the challenge made the situation, even for a talented individual, very different from the norm. 

In many ways, gambling, in theory to practice, is very similar. 

Without question, we live in a competitive world. Are we naive to forget this point? Can we separate ourself from the shark tank? You may deny the fact that there's someone from the pool of talent who knows more or you may relish the challenge because you are a bigger fish in the pond. 

That's the intriguing aspect of gambling. 

Even if you bet for fun, you are still in the competition whether you like it or not. Perhaps you are betting small stakes so you consider it doesn't really matter. 

You may be correct.

However, if you are a gambler, do you really think about the layer? It may not register - if you win you win, you lose you lose. 

Do you have a hatred of the competition or a friendly revelry? 

Do I consider who is taking my bet? Yes. It intrigues me what they know.

When I lose I am fearful of the opposition and my own lacking.

The win details I know more. A loss details I know less. The latter is a problem I need to find an answer. 

Appreciating the competition is worthy of thought. It may help me work harder or have the discipline or process to contend with the competition or improve my game. 

In that sense, the most frightening experience of your life is very much about the context which may vary from pleasure to pain.

Photo: Jean Haines

Monday, 19 April 2021

Betting Like You Drink a Pornstar Martini

Strangely, the first time I heard about the infamous Pornstar Martini wasn't standing erect at the bar with Ron Jeremy (if you know who he is). I think there's something sadly wrong with anyone who stars in a porno. 

It was a horse race. The said horse, Pornstar Martini, trained by Henry Candy, proceeded to cruise past the opposition over five-furlongs at Chepstow on a heady, summer afternoon.

Anyway, you may be thinking 'What's this post all about?'

I often think the same.

I've been in a few dens of iniquity. Most didn't feature immoral or grossly unfair behaviour. 

For example, when out with friends, at the casino, not one of the crew has asked for a snowball or a black stallion? 

But does the drink a punter (gambler not corner street) chooses reflect the how much or little they bet. 

There's clearly no logic to this thought, unless you know different. I very much doubt a social psychologist has hypothesized that the lower the cost of your drink the more a gambler bets or conversely the more a gambler bets the more expensive their drink. 

I can't help thinking the latter is true. Simply that if a punter pays £500 for a bottle of champagne they are more likely to bet a monkey (£500) on the 6/4 jolly. 

Who knows?

I've never met anyone who have asked or drank a pornstar martini. 

Would that be a man or a woman? 

Both give varied thoughts. 

The pornstar martini was created in 1999 by Douglas Ankrah. And to be fair, it was a superb promotional tool. He owns the LAB London bar, London. 

I guess it got its name because the vanilla-flavoured vodka-based drink has one part passion fruit juice. Garnished with passion fruit. 

In fact, the pornstar martini is said to be the most popular cocktail in the United Kingdom. 

I must be going to the wrong places. 

The creation of the pornstar martini has proved to be controversial with many saying it's name is deliberately provocative. 

Ankrah has stated he is not a fan of pornography or any porn star. However, some have criticised the drink as normalising pornography and Marks & Spencers renamed the drink Passion Star Martini. 

I can safely say I will never go to Great Yarmouth races and be seen in the owners and trainers marquee sipping a pornstar martini with or without Ron Jeremy. He's got enough problems with his impending court case, which I won't go into. 

If it's your favourite drink. 

Good luck. 

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use no attribution but given 

Monday, 5 April 2021

Katie Walsh tells the Female Jockeys History of the Grand National

One of the most popular horse races. 

The Grand National over a distance of 4m and 3 1/2f. Thirty fences to test the expertise of horse and jockey. On the 10th April, Aintree, Liverpool, we could see a historic race. And to be fair, there have been hundreds of stories dating back to the inaugural running in 1839 when a horse named Lottery chanced his luck. 

So why could this year's race be so different from all those before? 

Just consider for a moment if a female jockey rode the winner of the Grand National. What would than mean to you, me, race fans across the world?

Betway racing ambassador Katie Walsh has a few words on that subject. 

It would be one of the greatest stories and it would be something that could literally change the world. 

The world is changing fast. It is an opportunity to see re-write the rules. Through competition we can achieve the greatest successes. 

Only 17 female jockeys have been given the chance to compete in the greatest steeplechase of them all. 

Did you know that Katie Walsh finished third place in the 2012 grand National when she partnered Seabass?

Watch this fascinating video detailing the history of the Grand National from a female perspective. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Why the Grand National is So Fascinating to Punters

On the face of it, there is little logical reason to recommend betting on the Grand National, yet two-thirds of British adults place a wager on it. Many of those are taking a punt for the only time in the calendar year in the world’s most famous steeplechase. Even if you stuck a pin in the extra-large racecard, you probably wouldn’t have picked out Rule The World, a maiden over fences, who won at 33/1 in 2016. Auroras Encore three years earlier and Mon Mome in 2009 both defied even bigger odds in the Aintree showpiece. Only four favourites have obliged since 1998, so it certainly doesn’t pay to blithely follow the market leader as so many do. Tiger Roll became the shortest-priced winner for a century in 2019, but horses of his ilk are once in a generation and that’s not a cliché. Bookmakers knew it, which is why he was returned at 4/1.

With a maximum field of 40 runners to choose from and only a fraction of those usually boasting experience of the unique Aintree course, it’s hard even for prop punters and the tipsters. If a horse jumps out to their right over The Canal Turn, then they forfeit more than just ground. 

In days of yore, the jockey might end up in the Leeds-Liverpool Canal as the Grand National course turns sharply. That obstacle is one of several on the track which is bigger than regulation steeplechase fences. 

Weird as this might seem, it’s not always the larger jumps that catch racehorses out. The Foinavon fence is one of the smallest to get over at Aintree, yet became infamous for the pile-up in 1967 which led to a 100/1 outsider bearing that name winning the Grand National. In a race as unpredictable as this, you would think that puts people off. Far from it. The great British public seem to almost relish the challenge, gambling in hope rather than expectation.
If you’re wondering where to watch and bet on live horse racing & greyhounds events like the Grand National, then you have lots of choice, including tv coverage and free streaming on bookmakers’ sites. Things to look out for relating to the big one at Aintree include getting extra places for each-way bets. 

This is a smart way to play the Grand National, as you receive a fraction of outright win odds for the horse placing. You can expect this to cover down to fourth minimum if having your bet ante post (i.e., weeks in advance of the race) or even more places nearer the time. 

Perhaps, it’s that the Grand National is so hard to win which explains why it has always struck a chord with people. A marathon distance of four-and-a-quarter miles, revised downwards from four-and-a-half when someone got the trundle wheel out and remeasured the track, makes this the ultimate test for horse and rider. 

Backing the Grand National winner is something to celebrate at any rate. Finding the best handicapped horse from so many definitely warrants a pat on the back.