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A gambling story for Sunday - General Discussion - Stop and Step

A gambling story for Sunday


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A typical boring Sunday morning, so I thought I'd share this true story with you. 

It's 1987, every Sunday evening I used to go to the pub, "The Cock" in Headley, Epsom. I used to go with a racehorse trainer and a number of his staff. The trainers name was Wally Carter, I can tell you his name as he sadly passed away a while back. He was a lovely man and a very very good trainer. 

So, I used to turn up at the stables "Loretta Lodge" about 6.45 and take wally and some of the lads in my car to the pub where we would play darts and pool. Wally thought it was important that at least once a week his staff bonded a little. Headley is a tiny town where everybody knows everybody, so when we went to the pub all the locals were always pestering Wally for tips, every week. Wally used to be polite and say things like he didn't like to give tips as he would feel responsible if they lost. This never stopped people asking him every week, I found the whole thing embarrassing to the point of feeling sorry for Wally. In all the years I knew him I NEVER once asked him for a tip. 

One summer Sunday evening I turned up and there was a bit of a flap going on, all the stable lads were saying hurry up Wally and get a move on etc. They were a bit behind time with "evening stables" and were using up valuable drinking time. So Wally said to his staff to get to the pub and that he would finish up on his own for the last 15 mins. If I didn't mind waiting with him while the others went up in another car. I said of course not and duly walked with him to each individual horsebox checking on each inmate and closing up the top door for the night. About half way round we get to the next box and the horsehas his head sticking over the stable door, Wally rubs the horses muzzle and a couple of pats on the head and then turns to me and says "this one runs tomorrow, go to the bank, draw out all your cash and lump  it on to win" I was almost speechless, I'd never ever asked for a tip, so I just said err, thanks Wally, I'll have a good bet on him then. I went to walk away to the next box and he grabs me by the arm and says, "and when you've put all your money on, go and beg, steal and borrow as much as you can and have that on as well". I didn't know what to say, he just smiled, carried on putting the horses to bed and off we went to the pub. 

I never told a soul about the tip, I put £400 on in a few different shops. I can't tell you the horses name but I can tell you the jockey since he's long retired. The Jockey was John Reid, one of the top 5 jockeys in the country at the time which also gave me confidence that a major coup was going down. 

The horses odds were 4/1 it was a sprint race where the average winning distance is under a length, this horse won by 10 lengths going away, you could tell it was never going to lose from the start, it just kept pulling further and further clear. 

I was so impressed by the way Wally treated me that evening  that I bought a yearling filly for him to train for me later that year. You couldn't make up what happened to that little filly and I'll post the story another time if anyone is interested. Then there was the time me and a famous trainers brother were arrested in McDonald's and banged up overnight and the time I hid in the horsebox just to get out of paying to get into Kempton Park. Oh what larks 😀😀😀

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Somebody was being extremely rude to me, I grabbed him by the tie to punch him but it came off in my hand, "it was a clip on" and I fell on to big plastic straw dispenser which smashed into a million pieces and made a lot of noise. Then a policeman who just happened to be having a meal with his family jumped in, flashed his badge at me and well, let's just say you don't want to punch a policeman, on or off duty. I was a very stupid young man. Nowadays I run like hell. 

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