Saturday, 6 January 2018

10 Different Punters at the Races

When did you last have a day at the races?

For some, it's a daily occurrence. Others, look forward to the festive season going to their local racecourse on Boxing Day. The Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot or Bangor On Dee. 

Even if you have never been interested in horse racing, betting, or flicking through the card at Sun Bets latest racing odds, it is a spectacle worthy of your time. In fact, it is an experience which may surprise you. 

Thoroughbred horses, elegant, jockeys in colourful silks, the commentary keeping you informed. 

I'm a betting man. It's my business to be better than those who wager they know more. However, such professionalism means I often find myself watching the races rather than betting. 

Interestingly, I don't just watch the races but people, too. Who doesn't enjoy people watching? It's one reason why ladies days are so popular. The girls looking at the prizes to be won and the men... 

It's intriguing to watch people betting. Gamblers, investors, mug punters... Everyone has their own terminology when rightly or wrongly assessing who wins when it comes to placing a bet. 

Take a look at these 10 different punters to see if they remind you of anyone. 

1) The Regular Punter

He (or she) needs no introduction to the betting ring. A wad of notes in one hand and Sun newspaper in the other. They've studied the form, taken notes, re-checked, know the odds and race like a cheetah to towards the bookmaker whose giving 13/8 when the others are offering 6/4. 

2) The Trainer

Cunning, crafty, knowledgeable about their horse and asking others about theirs. A trainer walking around the betting ring is akin to a lion roaming the jungle. The crowd is watching, waiting, binoculars zooming in to see if that's a £50 note in his mitt. Bookmakers don't know whether to laugh or cry as the bet is struck. 

3) The Holidaymaker

Combining two loves: horse racing and sunshine. A heady mix washed down with a pint or three. Children in tow. This punter is good at multitasking. Often a favourites man who loves to bet on Frankie Dettori or a leading training. 'Sir Henry Cecil was the man to follow'. A holiday to remember.

4) The Bookmaker

Who doesn't love to watch bookmakers taking bets? A satchelful of loot. Shouting odds like a greengrocer says apples and pears. 'Money without work,' he warbles. The only people who smile when the favourite is beaten. A broader smile when its a rag at 50-1. Oh, those beastly bookies. Punters waiting for the day every favourite wins on the card. Sarcastically: 'It will be a long journey home!'

5) Ladies Day 

Never has such a vision of beauty walked towards a bookmaker's stand. Shocking pink, stilettos, Armani sunglasses hiding ocean-blue eyes, perfume lingering in the air turning the head of man, woman and horse. Should she bet the Ladies' Day prize money before the final parade? She's a winner...

6) The Novice

A racecourse virgin. You can spot them by their ghostly white face. Trembling, eyes the size of saucers, hands firmly in pockets just in case a pickpocket is on the twist. 'I've never bet before' and it's a traumatic experience. 'What's each-way?' Flittering between £1 win or buying an ice cream. The ideal person to watch for ultimate fascination. 

7) The Celebrity

A day at Chester. More pro footballers than bookmakers. Fearfully watching out for the press. They take bets amongst themselves that Glenn Hoddle can't place a bet before someone asks for his autograph! 

8) The Skinflint

Some people just hate to bet. It's akin to shaking hands with the devil. There's no lucky number, name, colour. The world is a bleak place where everyone loses and then you die. This person is known for never buying a round of drinks, disappears whenever someone talks about money and they don't even cheer on your horse when it wins. You can only ever see these individuals in the stands, often sitting on their hands. 

9) The Pro Gambler

He either hides from everyone or prances about the betting ring like Liberace. He scoffs at men and women with small wallets. He's betting big. Informed. This horse has been catching pigeons and he nodded to Frankie Dettori as he watched the horses in the paddock. The only person on course to walk about with a suitcase chained to his wrist. A Novice Punter rushes over to light his 10'' cigar. 'What you fancy?' He walks off without a word...

10) The Lucky Bleeder

You just know this person will leave the racecourse winning money. They mistakenly bet on the wrong horse. It wins as double the odds. A word from the wise. Bet twice as much as they do on every one of their selections. Easy.


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