The Artistry of Chicanery.

September 29th, 2014

Reading through the history of the Turf, I am flabbergasted to see the vast amount of the sports leaders, who are held in high esteem, as protectors of honesty, when any close examination can discover nothing but chicanery at all levels, Owners, Trainers, and Jockeys, in fact it is my honest opinion that the “Game” as I refer to the Sport of Kings, is as honest as it has ever been. although there is still an element of cheating that can never be fully eradicated. whilst Handicapping exists. without better control.

I will commence my enquiry from the 18th Century and a reference to who has been described as the Father of the Turf.
Mr Tragonwell Frampton.Born in Oxfordshire in 1641 he did not arrived in Newmarket quite late on the scene, aged 34. established a reputation for shrewdness and good judgement, both of people and horses. He was noticed by King Charles II and he had some minor office in the King’s Stables but it was during the reign of William III that he became the Supervisor of the Race Horses at Newmarket, a course arbiter and a post that was to be the origin of the Stewards of the Jockey Club. In addition he took on the title of The Keeper of the King’s Running Horses and he continued to hold these positions through the reigns of Queen Anne up the arrival of George II.

Let us scrutinise, this man from historical documents.

It has always been accepted that Frampton was a favourite of the Royal Household certainly those who enjoyed Horse-racing. colourful and often eccentric characters attracted to the world of sport and gambling. It appears that many of the following Royals gave Newmarket an aura of nobility. with titled, distinguished well connected persons having residence in the town, which became a centre for sport and gambling -with horse-racing, coursing, hawking and cock-fighting. the favourites.
It was always known that in Tregonwell the Royals had found a cunning fox.
A person of colourful and eccentric behaviour can be in some cases, acceptable but not when describing A Father of the Turf. who should be a person giving confidence as leader of the sports integrity not as a man, who paid more attention to how he could gain an advantage not always for those who paid his wages,

At the time the Blood Sport of Cocking was the major activity, the amount of gambling from the very top was astronomical. Cock Pits could be found in many of the country’s mast famous race-courses.

A quote by Frampton on cocking requires close examination.
He wrote to a friend giving detailed instructions on the rearing, feeding and handling of birds, including the following advice:
“Be sure that you do not part with your best cocks to those that love the sport, for if you should they will have as good as you have, and will not desire your assistance, which must not be”

This the advice of a cheat in my humble opinion.
But let us look at his activity in Horse-racing.
When a Yorkshire stable believed that they had a unbeatable Horse and were prepared to take on the very best in the land, the challenge became known to Tregowen Frampton the so call Father of the Turf.

A match was accepted, Sir W Strickland wealthy owner had in his stable a horse of great ability called Merlin, Yorkshire based, Strickland let it be known he would take on anyone at level weight.
Frampton offered up his favourite, in what has been described as the Match of the Century,

As The Royal Stud Keeper, and the most well known man in the sport Frampton was happy to take up the gauntlet. seeing a great opportunity for his many private backers, who supported his very word.

Frampton was not only a massive gambler in his own right, he had some of the greatest players in the Game, wealthy individuals who would think nothing of following the “Father” to to the tune of £10.000.

However there was a furious challenge. afoot, those in the Northern town’s and villages had seen for themselves the ability of Merlin. and ignored the name of any Southerner. they believed that Merlin was unbeatable.
The match was on.

How long it would take to get Merlin to Newmarket, the distance alone would have been a disadvantage. Under the control of William Heseltine, Merlin’s Jockey. they arrived at Newmarket, fit and well.

Frampton’s jockey on meeting William proposed that the two horses run a private trial placing themselves at a massive advantage. over all others.

Heseltine at first refused such a proposal.
However once back in town arranged to get a message to his master Strickland.

The shewd Yorkshire man, gave the boy instructions to allow the trail to take place but to carry an extra 7 lb unbeknown to his opponent.

Frampton informed his jockey to allow the trial. but to make sure that a 7 lb was carried in his saddle.

In the trial with both horses flat out, Merlin won by a short length, approx a Neck in to-days distance.

With both connections thinking they had fooled the other, they were both, confidant that they had a massive advantage to go to war with in betting terms.

Once the Frampton connexion of massive players, were informed of the trial betting took off with odds 1.8 and 1.6 being taken every offer was accepted.
Some sort of bell should have rung in the ears of a thinking gambler. when every time a massive bet was offered Frampton’s runner held its price. moving back to evens. were it should have collapsed.
In fact gambler’s from all over the northern towns and villages, were happy to offer this price the Frampton gamblers to take there offer, happy that they had a 7 lb advantage.

In the official race, surrounded by a massive crowd, at Newmarket, for the majority of the race both horses seemed content to keep equal pace.
With a furlong to go the Frampton favourite was leading and Merlin a length behind. with a noise so loud, it was the Yorkshire fan’s that carried on there support as there Champion under the cunning riding of William Heseltine, was produced with great ability.winning the Match by a Neck yet again.

Those from the south, many of the biggest gamblers in the land, were dumbfounded more than one had gone in over there heads, much deeper than they should. there was no record of suicides, but I an sure there were some.
What had taken place was soon being discussed in Parliament, even this attempt to have the Match disqualified. many a Lord were trying every move possible to get out of there predicament.
With no Stewards, to enquire, into the way it was run the result stood.

Frampton as was usual. on a massive advantage if his horse won, but not affected financially he was too cunning to gamble his own gold. without a bolt hole.
As a result of this match a law was introduced limiting the recovery of gambling debts to the sum of £10, but in Newmarket where very high stakes were the order of the day, it seems to have been ignored.

This sort of activity under the full knowledge of the Father of the Turf, supports my opinion that from the very beginning, order and honesty, certainly didn’t exist. Chicanery ruled.

Other so called Fathers of the Turf came and went,

Henry John Rous.

Chapter 2 “Jack”

September 27th, 2014

By now Jack as well as being a very successful rails Bookmaker was also a great Football judge, at the time when Hills and Ladbrokes had there Draw War, what started off as 25/1 for three draws off the full list, soon reached 40/1 even 50/1 and it was then that Jack struck, costing Hills and Ladbrokes a fortune.
The first time I met JC in his flat on the Bristol Road Viceroy Close, Birmingham I was amazed by the amount of Classic Antique Teddy Bears, although it seemed odd for him to have these Dolls, I am sure they were worth a fortune every one was a master.

When I started doing a little business for him, he was fairly fit, the outside life as a racecourse Bookmaker conducive with his trade.

As sharp as a razor out of Brighton Rock, he had befriended every staff member of the big three, during the period were the IV7 was a very popular bet, as soon as they had a message, to keep your eys open for the 3.45 race if Spooky wins, we will have a fortune going on the last favourite, “Smash it into the ground before the first show..”

Jack would be on his toes for he would be given 2/3 minutes start, this was when the racecourse markets were powerful.

I have seen him get £15,000 on a 7/2 chance and then wait for Hills or Ladbrokes tio go to work, when they had taken all the 5/2 and 2/1 and 7/2 Jack would put it back up at 2/1 and take £30,000 out of t some of his great touches were when the ITV7 consisted a big price,

Corals would actually give Jack the business to do for them,,

The first time I saw Jack was at Norwich were he stayed for the Yarmouth meeting in the 70s he had a very attractive young lady with him it appeared that it was his first love, last and only. I am not completely sure but I think she died at a very young age, and he never got over it, he was a very good greyhound Bookmaker I think at Oxford but that may be wrong.

During the 80s Jack was allowing the away Bookmakers to have what they liked on.
he had an agreement that he would bet them what every they wanted but it had to be at 2% commission. he knew exactly hour much he would get out of the Starting price business.

If I did some business for him O would settle every month. or £1,000 what ever come first.
If he had given my a little of his great opinion and I would give him a bung. he never actually asked for a fee, but would say after we had a drink Coffie, together
The Group Captain, asks how you are…this was a mark, to place a pony (£25)in the Teddy Bears lap.
All good fun, I wish I had known him as a young lad, but the nearset I ever got to King Edwards School was the Wheel Club Jack Woolfs casino. off the Hagley Road.

The last few years of his life I visited him in a private Hospital at .The Priory and The Edgbaston

He told me that he was having injections every day and of the 5 nurses only one was an expert the others very painful.

Miss O’Grady, nurse in question he said she loved a bet, and as he knew I was handing some hot money, he asked if I could sort out a winner for her.

One day I was informed by his nurse that he did not have very long, I could see that Jack was ready for his last supper.

In a voice that I could hardly hear,
“Have you sorted out a winner for her Don”

I lent over and with my mouth close to his ear, I said.

“I have tipped her one for today, “OK lets hope it wins or she may put me through it when she takes some blood.”

“I hope it wins then for it will be a big price over 10/1.”

His eyes that were closed, opened wide…

“Its Grand National Day isnt it” ??
“Yes Jack.”
There was a pause, that seemed ages.

I looked into his face and he was laughing, but had a tear in his eyes.

“I hope your Tip isnt in the National???

“Couldn’t you have picked an easier Race for her lucky that I will not require much more of here excellent service,”

RIP Jack.
If there is Life After Death, Jack will be one of the first that I will seek out after my own family. one thing I know is that with all the great Bookmakers up there
Crockford, Leviathan Davies, Graham Green, just to name a few I bet he is coining it in, not knowing what to spend it on, other than his Teddy Bairs.

When I arrive I know that he will not believe me when I tell him that Hills are paying 7 places, in the Cambridgeshire. and Paddy Power pays Money back The Draw, in a football mat


RIP Jack.

September 27th, 2014

A few years ago there was a Birmingham Wizard, the son of brilliant parents,
As Jack was there only Son they had visions of there brilliance following on, this looked a great possibility after he became head lad, obviously odds on to finish up at Oxford.

When he was 17 Jack Cowen, had caught the bus to Kings Heath, to advance his ability in maths study, through a fiend of his fathers a professor in the subject, lived in the Alcester Road, Kings Heath.

When he arrived this cold November evening, snow in the are, the masters wife informed jack that he would have to cancel his study, as Mr Jacobson was to ill.

Jack wasn’t dressed for a 5 below stroll. back to his home in Wolverhampton, Road, so he walked to a Cafe a few yards from Kings Heath Greyhound stadium.

When Jack gazed through the window he could see a crowd of people walking into the stadium. and not knowing anything about this popular sporting event, after he had finished his drink he entered the two bold gates and walked into the cheap enclosure of Kings Heath Stadium.

He was fascinated by the activity, between 5 Bookmakers and probably 500 punters.

The weather an Arctic blizzard, seemed to have no affect on the poorly dressed scholar. (not quality just no overcoat) seemed oblivious mesmerized by the numbers on the Bookmakers boards, fluctuating, instantly, with one bookmaker seeming to lead the market. his name was Teddy Major, a individual oozing personality. his constant chit a chat making the punters laugh,

Jack Told me when we became close friends in the 90s, that he quickly understood the principal of betting although odds like 13/8 had him foxed for a while before he could change them all in his head to a %.2.625.%

Within seconds he could see that the trading mark up was a very simple equation. all the five were offering a similar profit mark up of 25%. when he heard some of the wagers, being taken £650 to £400 in several hands, even a £1000 wager in a later race at Evens.

Standing in a prominent position, he must have looked like a young postman, of perhaps policeman. it wasn’t long before one Bookmaker Berrows, (Peters) got his tick tack to ask for Jacks removal. as he was getting in the way of the Bookmakers customer flow.

Jack a King Edward Top Boy apologised and moved away.

Back home after explaining to his parents, his night out, he went to bed, however Bed wasn’t sleep he was fascinated, by the Bookmakers turnover that he calculated was vast, there profit massive.

For the next 3 months, there was never a Saturday that went by without Jacks attendance,
His brilliant academic study;s were beginning to be affected, his school master, amazed by his dip in Jack interest, that had once guaranteed him a certain place in Oxford.

One evening he was called into his fathers study. to explain his lack of the interest in his schooling.

Jack had never been a Physically strong person having suffered from Bronchitis as a child, becoming more serious as a youth.

Jacks father listened intently, when his mother joined the conversation, she almost had a fit, with the introduction of the two words Bookmaking and Dog racing.

What occurred during the next 5/10 years Jack didn’t wish to discuss I can only guess that his love of his parents, was still Raw, upsetting there hopes for him, to much to remember. and certainly not to discuss with outsiders. even many years after there deaths.

There is no doubt that Jack was probably the greatest Bookmaker, we have seen not only in Birmingham were historically we can claim William Hill with a top rating,
He would have been along side Hill and Done bar for his serious heath problems.
He once expanded to me “Why have all the expense of a Bookmaker were bad debts take a massive % out of the bottom line,” He always worked one handed on the Rails.
Picking the bones of the unwariness of competitors. like a shark in the sea.

Jack Cowan, was a jump ahead of the Bookmaking Industry, he could look at a list of 37 runners like today’s Cambridgeshire, and calculate in his head, the % the Bookmaker was operating to. but more so he could also calculate the % of the place markets, once the terms of places odds and amount of places,the Bookmaker was offering.

In the early 60s, after the 1961 Betting and Gaming Act, a betting tax was introduced as it was only 2% many Bookmakers, ignored it there was also a change to the place odds, and place terms.

From 1/4 odds and 1/3 odds,

The industry altered the terms, massively in there favour. with the restrictive 1/5th, being introduced, as a way to give the impression it was give and take, the Tax was ignored but races, of 16 or more Handicaps, the 4th place was introduced.

Jack just looked at the competitive nature of the trade, and by just picking the best offers, being advertised by the many credit and postal services, Jack in his head without putting pencil to paper, come up with a profit margin. by backing every horse in a race, 16/17/18 runner races.

For 2/3 years Jack was gaining in the region of 8/10% profit on turnover, and his turnover was vast

I do know that if Jack had been alive today, Hills 7 places, and a proper fluctuating betting market and not all copy cats, Jack would have been ready to go to bed from 3 o’clock not bothering to watch the race but to get up for tea time to calculate his profit.

I will continue the Jack Cowen Life, for Sunday readers.

Chapter Two RIP Jack


Peaky Blinder 2.

September 23rd, 2014

For those who enjoyed series one. in a few weeks time we will be once again, transcended back to the back streets of Brum. and to see what Tommy Shelby will get up to in the period 1923 to the start of WW2.

I assume that Tommy will. be seeking opportunities, now that he has become tantamount to a Birmingham Don having killed the periods historical leader Billy Kimber.

For historians of the period this will be sad for as far as Race Gang Warfare, is concerned, nothing took place on any British racecourse between these years without King Billy having an active role.

There is no doubt that Tommy will find plenty of games to play, however when The Italians of Sabini and the Yids joined forces and challenged Kimber’s rule. we have very little room for a third time player.

During the 1925 period UK racecourses had been placed firmly in the hands of Bookmakers trade associations, having been given a last chance to clean up there act.

A powerful lobby in parliament were after a Tote Monopoly, only the fact that the majority of those in the house of Lords were indebted to the leading Bookmakers,

It was a war of attrition the game was all BUNG, with Kimber bunging the racecourse executive, to allow him control of racecourse pitches north of Watford. and Sabini the south.
It was this agreement, that calmed the wars although the unregistered tracks like trotting, and point to points, remained in the hands of the villains, this included the two free courses of Epsom and Brighton,

What should be understood is that very little of this war took place on the main enclosures, of Tattersalls, there was a pecking order, based upon seniority, in these rings, and no way would an upstart like Tommy Shelby would break that powerful alliance down, for love nor money. (Well plenty of money perhaps)
However racing was only a pittance of what organised criminals were into during this decade.

So as long as Tommy keeps to those, games Prostitution and illegal gambling dens, there will be no problem, with us having to see any racecourse violence stemming from Small Heath. with Kimber, getting a mention.

Don Butler.

Last Will and Testiment.

August 25th, 2014

Reaching my three score and ten, and excepting that I had claimed an extra few years by stealth, I climbed into the loft to see what my grandfather had left me after all I remember him once telling me that being gassed in World War One had removed all chances of a successful carrier, with his old pals at Walsall. (The W Mob) unlike the 5 man team of Card Sharps, specialising in racecourse trains, the other 4 served though the War,years 14/18 intact, 3 of them missed the conflict by there age.the other got a job, with a London, call girl as her minder.

During the World War 2. Albert, would joke, that he wanted to make his inheritance a challenge,
Placing two Golden Syrup Treacle Tins, in the back garden. and it was for me and my brother, to dig for victory.

When I asked my father if there was any truth in the matter.
He never denied that his father in law, had been a great money earner, before he caught the full blast of Gass that his regiment had sent to the Germans, line, never expecting the wind to change, 100 degree,s.

When I was 12 in 1949 both my brother and I turned the back garden over, twice and never once found any contraband, of note. other than a 4 inch pin.

Every one in the Sunday dinner, party spit there side.s with laughter when my father stood up with the Pin in his hand, explaining that Albert although shrewd in some account, he was a right mug punter when it came to horses.

Cards he had been one of the Walsall Mob, who dressed in various clobber (cloths) Alberts expertise being a Vicar.

The leaving of a PIN was a tip in itself, warning the two young grand kids, to stay well away from the Sport of Kings, Dad added that we had not dug deep enough, to uncover the Two Golden Syrup Tins, that he had actually been in the company of granddad, when he placed them 5 feet to the north of the Apple Tree,

I should have known better when his friends once again burst out in laughter.

Every one in the family had been professional pranksters. so after digging for one tin, I wasn’t going to spend a week, looking for my heir loom, even if by account it contained £1,000.

It was my uncle Thomas the WW1 hero who stated Son, just look at the facts your grand dad was a great grafter during the 1900s to 1930s, earned a fortune and spent it as fast.

If he had placed two treacle tins, in a hidden part of your family garden, whilst he was living in the roughest district in Brum. with a communal toilet. don’t you think he would have dug it up himself,

All I ever got off Albert was his trench coat so heavy that it almost crushed me to death.

I do hope there is life after, death, these characters were undeniably fantastic,

I don’t mind if they only go back to the mid 19th century, (1850) and my two grand mothers Jenny and Charlotte. as for pets I will have to call a halt after Devon Loch, 1956, this was when I was 19 and in the Royal Air force, I had a Manchester Terrier, who would sit by the back door waiting for me to return in leave,,, He got run over by a bike, and it broke my heart after that I can count 25 at least majority greyhounds, but Staffies by far the best, never had one that bit anything other than his dinner. if there is a period after this one, I will hope that there is plenty of work, or I will be a permanent shit clearer.


Racing Post. at ‘Last’

August 25th, 2014

Walking in to Morrisons, to get a few Bonus buys for the wife, kept me on my toes for even as a teen ager I was a value seeker.

As a poor sleeper, Betfair I am sure have added 15 years onto my three score and ten.

The amount of value for the British gamblers, are so massive that it shocks me to read of punters actually losing .

I do fully understand what compulsion means, for during my life time I have lost a mother, father, brother, and worse of all a SON. through various compulsions never may I add, through gambling.

From early years my family had the sport of Kings, under wraps.

As I passed the milk and butter, our family favourite

Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you’re willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.

Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs such as alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you’re prone to compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets, hide your behaviour, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction.

Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many compulsive gamblers have found help through professional treatment.

In gambling, certainly on horses, 98% of players lose, 1% cheat and win, 1% cheat but still lose there ill gained eventually.

History book.s on racing seem to give the impression that the clever dicks beat the system, however the vast majority of coups never get the hands on the actual gild.(Gold)

Today in the racing Post,I was mesmerized by the head leader “The Incredible Story of Gay Future,”

I was more interested at the time getting out of the store and to Corals, on my High Street, to take
the 25/1 Ribbins and 6/1 Pollyana in the 3.10 Deauville.

Knowing that the bets well be restricted to no more than one slab of butter. being Price wise, Selections.

The difference however is how I trade my Betfair wagers and why I make Price wise a yearly profit

It is all based upon the amount you can get on. it is clear that the vast majority of Price wise Tips will shorten.
Secondly it is clear that it is almost impossible to get the very best prices offered at the offset,
Take for instance Corals today offered the bigest price of 25/1 Ribbons. by 8.30 the price had already gone however I have befriended a regular Coral player he bets there every day, and is an obvious considerable loser.

I managed to get £30 on each, selection playing this way.I had turned my £30 stake into a £10 at 47/1. with the fine help from Betfair. The other selection was not as easy but I did mange to take £20 out at 5.2 to 1. The art is to increase the odds at a much reduced stake, only one way to better this plan is to get the information at the same time as Thomas the papers tipster. and that is before the paper is printed.

After doing a little trade, I was incited to read the Gay Future feature, that gave the impression that there was new evidence not known before. there was a new line of information not printed before. alas it was a pure balls,

Don Butler .

Calling Fred.

August 25th, 2014

Interesting to read Fred Done,s questionnaire in yesterdays Racing Post.

He was asked “What,s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?.
Fred response was.”Get the cash up front”

In 1970s I met Fred at the West Bromwich motor way link. I had arranged a meeting for Fred with Warwick Bartlett, the Black country thinker, the Manchester genius Fred, was going to move into the credit game, Warwick was a great record keeper and had done what Fred intended, creating a list of bad debts, as long as your arm.
That meeting I assume created the best advice he ever had.
I am pleased ro have helped in some way.

Barney Curly is not a personal friend but Mick Fletcher, who is as close to BC (Before Christ)as it is possible to get. The rimes I have spoken to Barney his had been very polite.

However Barney is a Ryan Price reincarnation. he has eyes in the back of his head, and another up his karzy.(Bum) there is nothing that he does not know about the Sport of Kings.

I will not give any opinion as to Barney’s modus operandi, but even Barney will I am sure admit, that he could be described as a expert copy cat.
When Barney was being interviewed for a Book launch, on his desk was the “Paul Mathieu” “The Druid’s Lodge Confederacy”

Obviously The Syndicate, had a great plan, it was the defeat of the Sport of Kings Handicap system. it is also a coincident that at the same time as massive gambles were being carried out by the team, the Game was beset by two massive gamblers who had arrived with there very own trainer, Enoch Wishard.from the USA,

There skill was the blatant use of Drugs,
!900 to 1903 must have been a wow for the on-course Bookmakers I can understand why many of there ilk, just bet without Tod Sloan or for those who were prepared to take bets off the yanks imposed a turnover tax. of there own.

I will not enlarge on this point other than to say that there coups were outstanding but short lived.

Were does this leave Barney he states that it isn’t the financial reward of his patience. that rules his thinking, just the fact that he can beat what many believe is almost impossible, to crack. the Betting Ring.

I am sure that Barney will not take full glory for Yellow Sam, for both Gay Future and Francasal, used the Starting Price system, to make there coups worthwhile. so did Barney.

In the case of the Bath Ringer, a blatant criminal act, took place cutting the wires of the telephone service.
What must not be forgotten was the fact that it was a ringer, and the on course Tick Tac service, were very lively, including many Birmingham Rails Bookmakers, the 10/1 was a massive price, but the £5,000 reported to have been placed off course was watered down considerably.

My Father Phil. was the top Tick Tac in the Bath ring, and it is interesting to see what trading he done that day.

Gay Future, a very clever stroke, it is all very well people saying that it was just a clever little prank,
by Irish gamblers with more money than they knew what to do with.

What should be considered is the fact that the Off Course Industry ever since 1880 has had the game by its balls,
If a punter wished to bet first show, he was defeated, with the show restricted by the on course reps, if it was at Starting Price it would be smashed into bits just before the off.

The only way a big hitter, could gain any sort of a level playing field was to play at one of the main festivals. were the ring is massive.

The Gay Future coup was well thought out, but alas there is always some weak link. in the planning. of all betting coups,

It could be claimed that it had a resemblance of a Ringer, by the Gay Future sent to Collins, yard was certainly not Gay Future.

By not sending the other two runners, in the combination to the tracks were they were entered, was foolish, and smacked of a conspiracy. if you are planning a coup you must carry out every aspect of the plan fully. as planned.

However what caused the downfall. of the whole original idea was a simple fact that it was Irish planned. and the early 1970s not a good time to do so.
It took place during some of the worse atrocities on the British the Irish Republican Army.

It was certainly not a clever move by inviting Irish Mafia, as there fun logo.

1971, 12 January: Two bombs exploded at the house of government minister Robert Carr. This attack was one of 25 carried out by the Angry Brigade between August 1970 and August 1971. The Bomb Squad was established at Scotland Yard in January 1971 to target the group, and they were apprehended in August of that year.
1971, 31 October: A bomb exploded in the Post Office Tower in London causing extensive damage but no injuries. The “Kilburn Battalion” of the IRA claimed responsibility for the explosion.
1972, 22 February: The Official Irish Republican Army killed seven civilians in the Aldershot bombing.
1972, 19 September: The group Black September posted a letter bomb to the Israeli embassy in London killing an Israeli diplomat.
1973: The Provisional IRA exploded a car bomb in the street outside the Old Bailey. A shard of glass is preserved as a reminder, embedded in the wall at the top of the main stairs.
1973, 10 September: The Provisional IRA set off bombs at London’s King’s Cross Station and Euston Station injuring 21 people.
1974, 4 February: Eight Soldiers and 4 civilians killed by the Provisional IRA in the M62 coach bombing.
1974, 17 June: The Provisional IRA planted a bomb which exploded at the Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people.

For a very shrewd Irish Business man, to carry out such a gamble without seeing the possibility that the English Police would get a tip off that the winnings from such a plan could be used to purchase ammunition, for there cause. so August 1974, could not have been more inopportune

There is no doubt that after the result was known, Lord Wigg the chairman of the Horse-race Betting Levy Board. was notified, of a problem, I doubt the Bookmakers, who had been stung the most Ladbrokes and Hills,would have thought of an IRA link, but Lord Wigg was a very nasty individual.

LORD WIGG. chairman of the Horse-race Betting Levy Board was also president of the Betting Office Licensees Association.

Having saved the nation from the dire consequences of Russian espionage during the Profumo Scandal, George Wigg turned his attention to cleaning up his beloved sport of HORSE-RACING . …

The IRA bombing campaign was at its height, and there was a lot of anti-Irish a fact.

The headlines regarding a massive betting coup. planned by an Irish team, was of great interest to the massive amount of English Punters, after all what is never considered is the simple fact that when a confidence trick is enacted on a British racecourse the public who have placed there wagers without knowing that there interest has been affected unfairly. deserve consideration,

Those who placed bets in the 1974 Cartmell event, were duped by a conspiracy. it may be a clever sting, with the Bookmakers being badly hit, and if you are not affected you probably may say,

GOOD, nice to see the Bookies crying for once.

But like the day when you know that your selection was a non trier and cheated, you are entitled to a
fair deal. we of course know that it is impossible that every horse every day is trying his utmost.,

As a youth Like the early bird I was up with the lark.never forgetting the saying passed on to me, by Private,Albert Russel, my mothers father. gassed in WW1 spent the rest of his life struggling to breath.
However when with the help of a bottle of scotch, he could get a word out it was that of a genius.

“Every Body is at it bar the Postman” was my favourite, Cynical perhaps, but true.
Barney will go down in racing history, as the games biggest Tricky Dick, ever,

I could call him a Copy Cat, for every stroke he has pulled they had been done before. at some time or another Yellow Sam being a great example.

The Handicap system is imposable to police.the more patient a trainer will be prepared to play the more chance there is of a weight advantage.

A little patience however is not a ringer, or administer of dope, if Gay Future had been successful I am afraid that by now there would have been many more simile events,

As for Barney, I wish him well. the next coups will be computer driven, no knead for any telephone boxes on racecourse ever again,

The control of the betting markets well and truly under the industry’s thumb. not however by some trade association, but by a computer driven source. it is here that I wish to quote Lord Goldstein,

One of the popular service,s for punters both on course and off is the simple Each way terms,

Sad to inform you that that no longer exists,

Win ONLY is the only game to play.

Don Butler

Sunday Thoughts, for the Bookmaking Profession.

August 10th, 2014

I have reached a stage in my life when I except that there will be more worthy souls standing at the pearly gateway to Heaven. than this one eyes lame retired Bookie. I cannot be sure if I should declare Will the fact that I was in a lawful trade, place me superior to bankers, or rag and bone traders.
If I am allowed a few words with Saint Peter (the keeper of the “keys to the kingdom”) I am sure that I can convince him that I am fit to enter heaven even by the back door. after all I have no criminal records other than one for drink and disorderly as a 16 year old. 60 year ago.

When I see the total abuse of those in power by my fellow Bookmakers of today, I must admit I may be better off claiming I was a gambler and ignore any reference to a licence holder.

During the past few months, I have watched with deprivation the amount of races, were the place terms applicable, are tantamount to chicanery. Even the country’s best Bookmaker, Betfred has gained immensely in Saturdays Sponsor, with a 15 runner Handicap 1.2.3 places 1/4 Odds.

I except that the % created by the racecourse Starting Price, agreement, is at a disadvantage when compared with the Betfair Exchange operating to a zero book, minus 5%.

However on average, the Bookmakers Industry, at 2% per runner, is certainly still excessive,

A few years ago there was a massive move to increase the amount of revenue that the Owners Association Trade, were demanding a bigger slice of the industry through the Horse-race Levy system. I know what William Hill would have said about that.

Ignoring the fact that horse-racing is funded through UK punters The Owners Trade discussed with the Bookmakers Association what was to be done in increasing the Owners slice, Pleading Poverty, why is it that punters get such a good deal. there chairman demanded to know, the claim by the Bookmaking Industry that punters were getting a fair deal for there £1. The Owners representative well Why is it that they get such a good deal. ?.
Why cant you increase your profits and pass that though the Horse-race Levy Scheme to the owners. It never was mentioned how this chicanery, agreement would be implemented.

What I am about to report is that I sense a “Deal” has been implemented, were a back handed agreement, between the Owners and Bookmakers Trade Association, has been on place for the past 6 months. were the existing place terms in place since 1960s, are being manipulated. by non other than an authority with such power.

To see the amount of 6/7 runner handicaps, paying payment at 1/4 the odds but 2 places,
15 runner handicaps were only three places, as against 4 for one more runner.there are many cases, were there has been a massive tilt in favour of Bookmakers profitability with the change so technical for the average punter to understand. although it amounts to excess of 20%/40% extra revenue for the Bookmaking Industry, and an increase in the Levy to both the owners and Bookmakers alike.

But what of the Punters, ? who is protecting there interest.? I can only hope that St Peter was a gambler in his life on earth, I will do all I can to slip in between the pearls studding the gate, having gained a name as a Slippery Dick,

Although I realize that I cant take it with me, I hope that the ex Scottish punter who’s stake money placed on the finding of The Lockness Monster, I still maintain in a Sleepers Envelope. has some senior role in heaven. for I have declared his wager as a Non Runner. plus interest, since the bet was placed in 1965. if however The Monster is discovered His stake of £10 and 8/1 will still be available for his claim.
I will make it a priority for him to claim a free bet for the total stake from Paddy Power if possible

Don Butler

Grand Ma was always right.

July 11th, 2014

During tne 1940s, it appeared that my grand mama was always giving me advice, quite a lot I must admit I have forgotten.

“Chew your food Son.”
But the one she seemed adamant was
“Never go back to the same restaurant that you complained about previously”

When I was courting my wife, I befriended a great chief working at the Midland Hotel.Birmingham as soon as I arrived he had given instructions to inform the head waiter I was there.

I found the food to be exquisite, but if I ever ordered something that he advised against, it was
obviously not his cooking skills that were out but the quality of the Food. that particular day..

The Chef was in love with my girl friends sister, one period a Yiddish professional gambler came to the
Midlands to carry out his cheating skill. in the towns casinos, It appeared that he was very good at his chicanery
Flash Arrogant, and Ostentatious, he loved nothing better than to pull a wad (Money) out of his pocket
before leaving the waiter a shilling tip.with the comment tell the Chef to try a little better next time I come.

By chance he met my future sister in law, at the city centre Hairdressers Raymonds, and she was swayed by the amount of cash he had. as well as the fact he had a Merc Sports drop head
When invited out the girl accepted.

The Chef was distraught and threatened one day he would gain revenge.

It was months before he had the opportunity,
Obviously the card sharp didn’t have a Gran. as worldly as I did.

“Steak Diane with brandy and mustard sauce for two. I hope it is as good as I have been told it will be if not I will not be paying”

“I will inform the Chef of your request Sir” counterd the waiter.

A few months later I was in the company of the Chef who explained, that he remembered the incident. and explained the sauce differed in content, from what he had been taught by Albert Roux his French teacher.

Only after we both got drunk did he divulge what the Manchester Spiv had devoured, not to mention the sister in law.which I will refrain from comment, not wishing to spoil the day for you.

71 year later to be precise, my wife who is not well, asked me to fetch a take out meal from Morrison’s, my local super market. for she could not pull herself to get ready, to go out for a meal. at our usual Pub.

“Two Lasagne with Sallad. to take out please my Dear.”
“Sorry we have no containers for a take out meal”

You would have thought that I would have known better, and just gone to one of the other willing super markets of which there are a dozen.

As I arrived at the Morrison complaint desk a lovely young girl was in charge who knew the amount of money we spent in the shop. during a normal week, and although I didn’t expect preferential treatment.I wanted answers,

After a while she returned with one large container, where the manageress of the restaurant had indicated that it wasn’t big enough for two Lasagne and salad.
It was obvious that the extra work contained in a take out was not for the Manageress,s liking that morning,

When I went back I complained that it was bad management to allow the stock to fall that time in the morning, which meant they could no longer offer a take away anyone.

It was clear that I was getting sucked into a difference of opinion than the one offered by my grand mothers during WW2,

When I went to pay, it was £9.50 for two Lasagne and Salad. not a great deal you may say.

“But I have no salad.” all I have been offered is two Lasagne. The difference of opinion was no longer with any human, it was against the Till that couldn’t differentiate between Just Lasagne and Lasagne and Salad.

After a wait of 35 minutes, two containers of Lasagne and two containers for Salad plus arrived. were she found the extra three containers I left un answered.

As I placed it on the plate at home I could hear some one speaking to me.

Ne pas manger de la merde it sounded very much like the Chef.

I called the Staffordshire Terrier and placed my dish in the dogs bowel Tiller (The Hun.) devoured the lot without fact I guess in her black country accent she would have stated,


Whilst the Wife thought that it was nice, I was content for a home made Banana Sandwich.

I then sat alone in my computer room, trying to remember all my gran,s (Charlotte) best advice, to jot them down for my grand Kids to remember.
At least I doubt the added content would have not done much harm.

The one were she told me to chew my food and not just swallow whole. was more serious.
The day that I swallowed a Pineapple Square whole. almost resulted in death by Choking.


P for Place.

July 5th, 2014

The ROA Gold Standard Award for racecourses was established in 2006 to recognise excellence in the raceday experience for owners, their horses and stable staff.

What about the Racecourse Punter. ? were is the excellence of there race day experience.

5 meetings today and not one worth while place bet, every race the place odds at the maximum against punters rights.
The Bet365 Old Newton Cup. one of the country’s great events. and has now been taken over by one of the country’s leading Bookmakers. what a pity.

In 1920s during the black days of racecourse skulduggery, the Racecourse Authority agreed that Bookmakers should run there own affairs on course a Bookmakers trade Association was formed, with Punters included,

The Racecourse Bookmakers and Punters, Association, however as expected the P was soon taken out, and to this day has never been reinstated,

It is about time it Was.

Don Butler.