Copy Cat Part Two.

August 14th, 2015

Barney Curley is a nice person, I have only one thing in common with him, even though we are both in the same industry. and it was a personnel matter that will not be mentioned.
Although the term Bookmaker can only be based on a person with a Bookmakers Licence or Permit, the industry has as many colours as a rainbow.

Let us discuss the many Bookmakers that I have known.

The art of Bookmaking is in the hedging, to continually lay sizeable wagers at a price that is proven to be exceedingly over the Odds is in fact a Gambler, and will result in failure
A Bookmaker who reduces his liability at the same time keeping as much as possible in his field book, is a true Bookmaker.and will last for ever.

In the period up to the development of Betfair, the amount of trading done by the industry’s tick tacks was immense my father has left me his Twist Cards from a period during the two World wars, and the amount of turnover was mind boggling.
A betting ring was made up of all sort of Bookmakers, from fiddler to odd fillers, it was the latter who soon disappeared. a fiddler can make a wonderful sound, becoming a very successful Violinist.

The first and important point about on-course Bookmaking is the pitch control by the industries, my case The Midland Joint Pitch Committee. they had hundreds of fresh applications in the 60s. if they continued to write in, they would soon be placed in the silver ring at Nottingham just to see how long they lasted, 12 months being the Spread.

It was in 1917 when a very strong government lobby attempted to create a Tote Monopoly.
With the vast majority of members with accounts with the leading Bookmakers there was never going to be a Tote Monopoly,

What they did create was known as Rule 5, “a Maximum charge of 5 times the amount paid by the public to enter a particular enclosure, this statute gave those in senior positions an even bigger advantage than they already had.

When my father retired the pitches that he held were passed on to my brother Phillip. and for 15 years I was left in the wilderness, with a waiting list seniority that would grant me pitches at places like Stratford, Bangor, Cheltenham, Ascot, and Liverpool in 2100. as long as I lived to be 1001. 95 at Nottingham and Leicester.
It was during the commencement of a friendship with Graham Green (Walters and Williams) that I decided there was no chance of developing a business out in the wilderness, I decided to be a trader.
I fully understood why a back ring Bookmaker never lasted if he didn’t know how much he would take on a race the last thing I wished to do was be dominated not only by those with brilliant pitches, or not to be expected to bow to chicanery.

My aim was to set up a commision agency, were I not only placed professional trade for people like Alex Bird, Billy Bough, and Jack the Judge.(Jack Pinder) There was a time when I could make a great deal of money, in this way. it was then that I met Bob Love arguably the finest price assessor I had ever known.

It was during the 80s when I was doing a great deal of early morning business, and trading in the afternoon. never at any time letting the so called big hitters get through my ribs. I knew what I wished to do how much I could take and did it.
During the period 1975 to 2000 I hardly ever lost, that didn’t mean that I made a fortune. I was never going to from the pitches I had. the turnover much limited.

One thing I was good at was jobbing for certain pro,s.

The first time I met Barney Curley was during a period when he launched his Punters Club. and I always found him to be a very nice guy, and his wife loverly. I knew very early that he was a cut above all others,

He knew I was one of the industry grafters, and he gave me no stress even if he could have found his way so far back in a betting ring, he would have had a nose bleed.

If I had been about in 1890 I would have offered the same service, to Barney as Richard Henry Fry, the country’s greatest, offered the Tod Sloan agents.

These were the terms being offered by the vast majority of Racecourse Bookmakers. at the time, when the American Invasion commenced full. they bet the likes of Gates, (a Million) only to be left in the lurch when the Yanks went back home.

In 2008 I was given some business to trade for a pro, who had the Betfair system under control it wasn’t rocket science to stand in a shop, and write out the first three in betting and when I was told to go in taking sizable wagers £2000 to £1000 they shortened in 90% of cases, returning a very nice profit. after a while with the on course watching system, I was ticketed.

A further plan he used was known as the Alex Bird Each Way Steal.
Unlike Alex who was happy to bet on singles of course it was 1/4 odds all races.

What we had found was that a numerous amounts of events, showed a error in the place odds not only horse races but Darts, Golf, Tennis, Rugby, both type, cricket.

Were Bookmakers in the 1970s only betting on a few race meetings, by 2008 you could bet on many events with Bookmakers allowing bets that were day by day .

I knew that this would be seen as disaster to the high street firms.

The first was a race at Lingfield were they bet 2/5 5/1 8/1 12/1 bar 8 runners.
A race in France 2/7 4/1 12/1 bar,
A Tennis were the odds on favourite with the second fav at 11/4 1/4 odds getting to the final. (Graded to do so.
Rugby League, Echway 1/2 1/4 odds,

These events took place over a month period. the bet thrown into the anti post draw, after the first two horses both won. 5/1 and 4/1 The Tennis was a loser in the final. and South Africa Won the Rugby, If the Tennis had won I doubt that Barney would have got his yankee on.

At least Barney got paid, for I was incidental in that happening. one thing I found out and that was the Irish genius, don’t have to pay for favours.


Copy Cat,s

August 13th, 2015

During my 65 years in Bookmaking, I have been fascinated by what are recorded as a clever coup or sometime reported as the cleverest ever. that is indeed a very wide statement, considering that to win large amounts in the Sport of Kings, you can never rely on luck.
Firstly a Gambler in the particular sport, has to have a little more than just good fortune,

Bookmakers do just not give there money away easily. in 1885 Racecourse Bookmaking had a massive change in policy, when it was decided that prices being traded in the many Coffee Houses, Gentlemen’s Clubs illegal haunts, had to be regulated,
This was the Starting Price System, that still remains today,

What happened was that great gambles off course became organised unless the Bookmaking Industry itself was in on the plan. what was seen was that manipulation of the first show or the Starting Price was simple to control giving the betting industry full and utter control.

Big Gambles that were organised out of the knowledge of the industry were easily suppressed by the oncourse maffia.

It was 1927 before a major stroke regarding SP manipulation took place known as the Oyster Maid Coup. there was no requirement, to carry out a ringer, or the cutting of wires, all they required was an out of the way track and a big player, Tenby and Ben Warner, filled the requirements for In the Ring whilst this notorious coup took place was .leading west of england Bookie Harry Metcalfe, and Massive Gambler Bert Warner, I would be surprised if Bill Kimber had not been there also for the Wars with the Italian mob was at its height.

The horse Oyster Maid was on offer at 5/2 in all early shows, and that was the price up to the remaining 5 minutes before the off, Warner had the three leading Bookmakers offering 100/6 refusing wagers they ignored any demand for a bet and obviously the SP returner of the Sporting life reported what he had seen. 100/6. a complete blatant stroke,
No further attempt so drastic occurred until 1957 when Francassel. at Bath, a poor quality plater was rung by a French champion Santa Amaro. and I have an interest, for my Father was in a two man midland Tic Tac team, awaiting any business through the blower the tracks Tattersalls Ring,

Percy Edmunds of Birmingham declared afterwards when asked by the police,that he laid a 7/1 (Poneys) if so he certainly never put anything into the ring, for my Father Phillip. had nothing from the Blower for the telephone wires had been severed.

It was a further wait until 1974 Before The Irish struck. the same principals of Oyster Maid and Francassel by manipulating the SP structure. not so drastic as the other two. in fact history shows that it was a brilliant piece of chicanery.

Choosing a track, well isolated seems to be a common factor, in fact one of the most isolated tracks on the circuit Cartmel.
to back it up there was no private telephone so when William Hill realized they were involved in a massive sting, it was to late to do anything about it. only a massive weak link in the name of Scottish Trainer Collins. who had been given a simple instruction.
Having backed Gay Future in three horse combinations, the plan was to take two horses out of there races, leaving 75% of all there stakes going on the one horse, and 25% returned. you would think that a team so clever as these Irish gamblers, would have made sure that the scottish trainer Collins would have known the importance of his instruction.

“Send the two other horses on there journey”, but on there way the Horse box was to break down rendering the two horses non runners, this was indeed a unique and clever part of the coup the Bookmakers who had taken the bets would have been in a unenviable position not knowing if the other horses were runners or not, for the stupidity of the Collins involvement was that he himself made his way to Plumpton, even though the horse was still at the scottish stable

Making what was a very clever coup, a pure case of Conspiracy.

The only mistake made by the Irish Mob was that they failed to consider, the amount of IRA involvement during this period, it just needed one of the big three Bookmakers probably William Hills to warn the police that it was an IRA conspiracy with the profits going into the IRA coffers.
When Lord Wigg Chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board was informed it became a government problem.

I have enlightened these three major coups. from 1927 to 1974 , to question the uniqueness of Barney Curley and his Yellow Sam Coup, in 1975. for could it have been a simple case of Copy Cat.

Yellow Sam was no ringer, so the only trickiness was the skill in keeping any off course money away from the track.
The track at Bellewstown was a very isolated course in Ireland, on 26 June 1975 just 12 months after Gay Future, only one telephone box, this was taken care of by Barney,s Friend, Ben O,Hanion, who was big enough and hard enough to commander the telephone, refusing any one to enter. making it impossible to affect the starting price. of 20/1, by both English and Irish off course Bookmakers.
I do not question the skill of Barney, a very strong fan of the Druids Lodge Confederacy, he took everything into account, secrecy and patience, of massive importance.

But can Barney take the full plaudits for the Yellow Sam coup. or was it that he was the lucky one of the four, planners, keeping it more low key, and in Ireland.

There will be many who will say what about his Yankee of four horses, this requires a little more examination,
My opinion to follow on Sunday. This will include a debate on “The Sting”, was that unique, or was it a follow on from a major Australian coup of very similar planning,

The Hook, The Tale, The Wire, The Shut-Out, and The Sting), seems to be a little complicated. but that’s only a make believe.


Day of the Betting Robot.

August 12th, 2015

Watching todays BBC news I was fascinated by the Robot that could teach his son what to do.

It has been discussed in past stories, that I was fortunate to be reared with more than one successful gambler in the family, one was as white as snow the other a little coloured. . with those people now passed away. All I have is there comments, on how to react in certain incidents. if expected to be successful when gambling.

I have decided that instead of passing there tips on, I will build a GR1 Gambling Robot (12) Horseracing. If it ever came to a war between a Robot and the Ring. I would doubt were we got our wagers on. and to think only 75 years ago there would 120 Bookmakers operating at Wolverhampton. 10 Rails, 40 Tattersals, and 70 in the Silver Ring.

There was a Bookie called Ru King, who priced his board up to 1% a runner and would guarantee and bet to win £5000. what would the maximum be now. the only ace was that Ru would give his prices first to Snuffy Long, who shoved the Snuff up his noes with a silver spoon, he would refuse any large bet, but then inform Ru King what they were after, giving the leading Bookmaker an advantage. If a punter become stroppy “Snuffy” would just smack his lapel on his overcoat and a cloud of snuff would cover the rucker

The knowledge of our Robot will be made up of all of the professional gamblers, I have ever known, to me from 1949 so that when a client (Punter) switches the 24 hour Robot on his knowledge gained would have been tried and tested, by experts in the trade. computer or smart phone, the punters bets, will be confirmed or over ruled according to the Robots Knowledge. but in many cases it will be certain races themselves that have been excluded.

As it will be a 24 hour operation, by the time the punter wakes up, every race will have been analised as to its capacity to allow a accurate result.
Both the importance of Betfair and Odds Checker will be followed from as soon as they are shown. there capacity to manipulate a market is already in the Data stored.

Any massive change in a tracks going, will be recorded and participation may have been removed. however it may be after a race has been run before uptodate analysis will be considered.
All place markets were the %s are uncompetitive 7 runner races, 15 runner Handicaps etc. will just be ignored. .
The amount of information can only be accessed by a robot. who also has the capacity to change in mid market time zone.

The Robot will also feed in every point delivered by historically recorded success, or failures.
Every betting coup will have been notified before the full implication has been created.

A Bookmakers service, and capacity to allow a fair wager as against a Bookmaker who is guaranteed to refuse wagers will be part of the Robots facility. and it may well be established that certain Bookmakers are a waist of time activating a smart phone account.
The fact that Bookmakers will resort to “Knock Backs” has always been the case. but the Robot will find a way round such restrictions.

Famous and successful gamblers from the past 100 years will have there history analised and used by the Robot.when guiding a client as to what he should do when placing his own wagers.

We very much liked the betting policy of the Druids Lodge Confederates, and our Robot will keep secrets when possible.
The main information will be collated having locked in policies of
Alex Bird.
Phil Bull.
Who have built over there long time in the Horse Racing game, very successful policies.

If the Robot considers, something unfair, of unlawful, there will be a bell type crescendo, and all wagers in that event cancelled by laying off. with Betfair Trade. it may in an emergency be a full get out clause even if a minimal loss occurs.
There will be others equally professional. who,s history is so debatable by its lack of worthwhile data , that they will be just ignored. and allowed to do there own dubious activity alone. it well be sufficient to have known the trickery and staying out of any bad publicity.

One of the most important data that our Robot will spend much of his time will be what’s called.
Pace Calling.
It revolves in a Horses way of racing, for our early info shows that many horses do not run to its best capacity. when it runs a race that its history shows was not conducive to its success.

I await comments,

It may be a few weeks before our Robot will be ready to be launched. at present he has devoted his time to greyhounds were in a vast majority of times the winner is known at the first bend our Robot could read the mind of the tracks grader, very accurately. this will result in two Robots, one for horses and one for greyhounds.

Speak to you again
After the program has developed successfully.

Donald B.

The George Parsons Plot.

August 11th, 2015

Of the many welsh speaking friends I had George Parsons and his Son were some of the best.

He was the Welsh BPA, Secretary and had always been an advisor, when I first applied for an away pitch at Chepstow.

It was in the early 90s when I happened to bump into George at Stratford. when the conversation about non league football. and how exited he was regarding his Team, that were unbeatable in all the Welsh amature leages.

In one of my cheeky moments I mentioned to george that we had a team that would challenge his no problem.
George not being a fool. spent the next few days questioning Sam Nixon about our so called team. (The Archie Scot FC)

No one had heard of such a team, and the reason for that we never had one.

Within a few weeks what had started as a fun comment, was reaching a crescendo with George questioning some of the players that I had mentioned were in our team.

“Centre Forward was Bob Jacobs.”
For those who remember Robert Jacobs will remember his black country accent, and a physic that was as far away from a Centre Forward reference as a donkey entering the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting.
When I Mentioned to Bob, that George the dragon was questioning his fitness to play in the Archie Scot Football challenge, Mettle Mickie Bobs partner, and Bob himself saw the fun element of the comment and later in the day they entered into a conversation, with George confirming that he was indeed the Centre Forward for he Midlanders.

The next morning there was a group of Bookmakers and there workmen discussing how good the welsh team were and could Sam Nixon even get a team to play them.

In the Sporting Life there was a monthly news feature called Ringlets that had always discussed anything about the betting ring.

I was one of his best contributors, mattered not if they were truthful or not just if they were of interest. was the John Stubbs, Ringlets, under the well known statement about Never letting the
truth get in the way of a great tale.

When John got to know about the Welsh v Midlands challenge, he saw an interesting feature.
When evens each of two were discussed the interest multiplied.
One of the first bets, was an even £25 (Pony) The Welsh team placed by an away Bookmaker who actually knew that Birmingham had no team and that the welsh were unbeatable in amature leages. having won without loss for 3 years.

Like many statements or even newspaper features, the usually die off within days. this was different, betting had strated and with Ringlets, actually mentioning a date for the game there was no stopping.

Every day Bookmakers all over the country were confronting Bob Jacobs, the Centre Forward for a comment, typically Bob was up for a swag.
Yes I am the centre forward and Graham Green in goal.

Graham was also part of the fun, although it is debatable if he had ever
entered a pair of goal posts.

With the interest mounting, and with only two weeks before the game. I bumped into George Parsons, planning to call the game off, when the Welsh man, made arguably the biggest mistake in his life.

“Hello Don are you looking forward to the game.”
“George we have a problem, Bob Jacobs has pulled a muscle and will have to be dropped.”

“It was then that my tricky part of my personality struck.
“George will it be ok if we play a few guests”

“You can play anybody as long as you only have 11″
I couldn’t wait for racing to conclude I dashed home and then into Birmingham to meet up with Billy Sutton. the Son of a well known flower seller.

One of the top street new street grafters Billy Sutton was fast becoming best-known as a play-up merchant in the clubs of Birmingham, anything for a joke and Billy was king.

When he was a young Kid he was wayward to say the least, but everyone loved Billy.
Including Mickie Fletcher. and when it come to non-league football. Mr Sutton was king.

Me and Billy were pals from the old Cedar Club days and when me met it was like the old days except Billy wasn’t drinking anything but pop.

He certainly hadn’t lost his conversational skills,

What can I do for Donald, ??
Billy I need a amature football team, a football ground and a cup for the winner,
As it was the cricket season I expected a negative response.

“When For” came the reply.
“Two weeks,”

I was sure that he would give me that wonderful smile, from the 70s when he was in trouble.

There was a mass of leagues in Brum, and Billy seemed to know the best players. not being a radio fan I didn’t know that he was a regular on BBC Birmingham. when I mentioned On yer Bike Butler, he began to laugh,
He knew Nick Owen, the late Simon Smith and even, Alan Towers, all the sporting greatest reporters.
Billy’s knowledge of the non-league scene was encyclopaedic and brum accent made his style compulsive listening.
I had never been a person to be out spoken, but during out 2 hours conversation I hardly got a word in backwards.

He began to produce some amazing photos Billy is sitting second from left when he was made the Sporting Personality of Solihull in 1986.

Well he said you can have the full service from Sutton Coldfield FC. I will lay on the food, and I will get you a team how good are the Welsh players you are playing.?

I haven’t a clue Bill. but lest say they are very good.
By now I was getting a little pissed unlike Billy I hand given up on alcohol. never once did I get the impression that I was causing Billy a problem with my drinking.

This was an unbelievable feat for me because I had been in his company during the Cedar Days when three bottles of Vodka would soon disappear.

The conversation changed to the fun eliment, and when I told him that there were three challenges,
1. The most important was to Win
2, We had to have those who could handle there boozing
3. We knew that the Welsh love a sing song so we needed at least one Cari-Ok Champion.
One phone call and Bill returned.

Right then Kick Off 2.30 at Sutton Coldfield Fc, all food arranged and donated by us. , and I will leave the Booze for the Archie Scot to provide.
Except we will donate 2 dozen Bottle of Champers.
As for the Cari-Ok I have a coloured singer who is better than Elton John.

The next day I was at Uttoxeter and gave George the good news, everything was off and agreed.

I swear that I had just left iot to Billy Sutton. in the 70s, I would have guaranteed more than one hiccup. probably with the Champaign missing.

As I walked into the ground of Solihull Borough. had a great pitch, with my boots under my arm for Billy had guaranteed that he would make sure that I managed to get a 15 minute slot. according to the score.

A week before Ringlets with the skill of John Stubbs had given the game a massive boost, explaining that the only four players who were injured and would not be in the Archie Scot team were Graham Green,(Goal) Mikey Fletcher, (Inside Left) The Doc Right or left wing. and Bob Jacobs the teams centre forward.

The betting that should have at least required a few questions, was still 1/2 On the Welsh, 6/4 Birmingham.

When the Coach with the Birmingham team (Billy Sutton Election) arrived the shape of the players, and there equipment, would have caused a betting transfer.

At no time did any question as to the team. take place that was until A player who must have been in his early 50s. followed on with a Gil Merrick type yellow jersey, who must have been 6ft two a body like Hercules,
His name David Latchford. he had retired to the art of Funeral director. lucky no one knew the team chosen by Billy were Solihull Borough made up of some well known players although a little older.
The Welsh team came out and looked bright and young outfit, the average age would have been approx 25, when the midlands came out there was no Bob Jacobs, Graham Green, or The Doc. only a non leage expert would have come to the conclusion that there was more than a few retired the team.

Within a few minutes the Welsh were granted a penalty. the boyo who took it made no mistake the ball was right in the slot between the cross bar and side usually a guaranteed winning spot.

Those who had backed the Welsh at 4/11 were in for a great shock, for David Latchford had proven he was a very good goal keeper. .

Within 20 miutes the score was 4.0
At that moment the Birmingham Bookmaker who had over heard that the Birmingham team existed of Bob Jacobs and Graham Green and bet accordingly arrived a little late.
Walking up to Sam Nixon, he asked what the score was, 4.0 said Sam.

A smile as wide as the river seven, he stated “I told you So”

“No” said Sam we are winning the Birmingham Boys.

The remainder of the game went in the following fashion and with 10 minutes to go,
I was given a run out as if to rub it in.
As I strolled around as any 50 year old could expect, I was given a great ball to run onto,
out sprinting there half back I was on the penalty area, with just there Goalkeeper to beat,

Dropping my shoulder one way and hitting a great ball the other it was just about to smash into the open net when there goalie stretched his right foot out and flicked the ball over the crossbar.

8.0 was plenty enough, One win to go two more to follow, by the time I got changed and entered the festivities, the Welsh wives and girl friends were already in trouble, a freebies bar, had been well and truly smattered. when there husbands joined them they had a reason to get pissed. themselves.

After a further 3 hours, we came to the singing challenge, of course there were three Tom Jones in there team. and one enormous country and

I must admit there Tammy Wynette deserved a prize but already, worse for wear having dived in the free champaign, she let herself go forgetting the words.

As soon as the Birmingham bombshell the Black Elton John, arrived on stage the three doubles and a treble had been landed.

I must admit that George Parsons was a brilliant loser, he was the only one who arrived by coach still sober, and we helped him get his team on there way still singing,

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau “Old Land of My Fathers”
So ending one of the greatest nights in my 78 years.

Don Butler

Tales of Old.

August 11th, 2015

Some of Dons old tales still bring smiles to the faces of old racing men, who are getting fewer by the day.
It was during the 80s when I was struggling to keep my weight down I had ballooned to over 16 stone. many of my friends would remind me of heart trouble I knew I had to do something about it but eating late at night was a disaster, getting up in the morning doing my racing lists, driving al round the country to a racecourse,s from Cartmel, to Yarmouth, and all inbetween.

It was at Nottingham when Bill Price one of my disliked characters, he was one of the very few who I ever met, with not one ounce of lack of personality and certainly no sense of humour.

For instance if the first three favs had won, I would say as he walked pat my joint for a drink in the racecourse bar, “Lucky I have had a bar one” meaning I had the favourite a winner..

The vast majority of fellow Bookmakers would laugh. knowing it was a friendly comment,

Mr Price would grunt and attempt to make the conversation into a argument.

This day he attacked the one point on my anatomy that was to say the least ticklish (My Fat Gut)
Poking it with his finger he stated “One more inch and you will take off”

As Bill was rather plumpish himself something inside of me saw a challenge in the offering.

Right then Bill what about a challenge, To see who can lose the most weight in 6 months, winnings going to the Archie Scott Benevolent Fund, this be a charity for old racing staff either two old or ill and ere on hard times.

It was arranged that before racing at Ludlow the next day we would have a weigh in.
As I arrived on the course Bill was standing all ready, the weather was atrocious, so both wearing overcoats, the weights were recorded, by Sam Nixon the Away Genius.
“Do you wish to increase the Challenge, not thinking stratig I agreed making the Bet an increase by £300 a total of (A Monkey to the winner)

It was so cold my brain that had been honed, in the trickiest industry ever. was not working at full steam,

Bill Price weighed in at 16 stone two ounce.
Don Butler at 16 stone 4 ounce.
Final to be the Stratford Archie Scott Benevolent Fund Cup.
£200 donated by both parties, winner take all. donated to the charity.

I never thought anything about it after all we had 6 months to lose weight.
It was Sam Nixons clerk “Little Legs” renowned for failing to ever keep a secret.

“Can I have an even £10 Don on Pill winning.”
Of course you can. taking his £10 off him I began to walk off the track when I saw him laughing.

“What are to laughing at”
I have just found out that when Bill Price weighed in he had a £300 of silver in his overcoat pocket. and Bill is taking 1/2 on him winning…

That night I knew I was in trouble. I hadn’t taken the challenge seriously and never one to be a good loser , It required a great olocy thought out policy.

The next day I was at Leicester when I bumped into a well known Jockey, who I often spoke to in just a friendly chat “Good Morning”
This time I asked him. to advise me how to loser two stone in 5 months.
He said Water Tablets will do the trick.
“I guess that you are carrying 2 stone water, , it can cause excess fluid to build up in your body, It can also help you to lower swelling or bloating that is caused by water retention.

Well I thought I would have to be careful for although I had never had any heart problem, it was a dangerous strategy. On the other hand Bill Price had suffered with Heart Problems for years,
A week later I went to Bangor with my Partner Sam Nixon, in the car was Little Legs, Sams clerk. I had known for some time he was Bill Prices Spy.

The conversation was about The Masonic Order that the clerk had recently joined.
We began to question him about the secrets of Masons.
And although he started off stum. by the time we got to Wolverhampton 10 miles he had divulged the Masonic secrets, that had been part of there order for centuries.
By the time we got to Bangor I knew what the current weight of Bill Price without and Loose Change.

For 5 months I carried out a weight reduction plan, of minimum eating only drinking water and removing that with Water reduction tablets.

By the time of the Stratford weigh in, I was like a Belson Horror film. Little Legs had told me that Bill was down to 15. stone, and I was 15 stone 8 lb. If I wanted to win it looked as if I needed a leg amputation.

I felt terrible and yet I was up at 6.30 sprinting around the local Lake, although it was a cold morning, my staff had instructions to fetch me a point of Orange juice after the weigh in regardless of the result.
As I turned up at Stratford Bill Price was already there unbeknown to me there had been quite a lot of internal betting and from evens Bill was now 2/7.

As the portable weight machine was placed next to the Bookmakers Rails I was astounded there were more than 200 spectators all waiting the result.

Bill was first on the scales and weighed in at 14 stone 12 pound. to a great cheer from all those north of Nottingham. talk about Robin Hood and his merry men, standing next to Bill Price was midlander Little Legs. with his Masonic smile.

“Do you want to pay up now” Bill was acting like a young child with his first lolly pop.
Could it be that the scales were showing 7 lb. light. and although it would make no difference to my weight that would be 7 lb below what I expected, the plan was that I would give up and shake hands as a gallant loser.

Next to me was a Welsh Bookmaker who I trusted as a honest gentleman, John Lovel was one of those who every one liked except the many Jealous of his success.

“Hello Don you look terrible”
I had a brain storm, “John do me a favour will you jump on these scales and weigh yourself.”
He jumped on immediately and conformed that the machine was 7 lb light.

I jumped on and weigh in at 14 stone 10 lb you could have cut the groans with a knife.

“Weigh in again Bill”
What for I remarked Unless he has £500 in 1£ Coins, to discharge.

After three separate Weigh ins, the result was declared.

Winner Butler.
The Cheque for £500 was in the post to Sam Nixon’s Archies Scot secretary the next day.
A glass of Orange Juice gave me enough strength to complete the days work although I missed The dogs that night.

The next tale is the Football Scam, declared in full for the first time on this blog.

“The George Parsons Plot.

A Complete Waste

August 4th, 2015

This morning I noticed that I had spent several hours in an attempt to convince the unconvinced that Emily Davison, a 41 year old women (Not a young Girl) was attempting to cross the racecourse at Epsom and to follow the runners down to the Grandstand opposite the Royal Box. to help promote the cause of Suffragette.

She had done very well to get here self right next to the running rail at Tattenham corner. and was surrounded by many thousands of spectators, all locked in, behind her not only was a vast crowd there were many large charabanc,s used as semi grand stands by there owners, to get a good or better view of the runners as they approached the last 2 furlongs of the race, in the straight also behind Emily were a line of board Bookmakers, with massive joints, (Bookmakers Tools) this apparatus, consisted of two massive boards, one with a Derby List, and second the race that was to take place after the Derby. these joints, that had evolved over many years, were adapted so that the firms Tick Tac, using usually first class Binoculars, to view the trading that was taking place in the grand stand. were there would be as many as a dozen top men, showing all the races betting, and fluctuations.

In the case of the Birmingham firm of Ernest Fletcher, being run by the youngest member Thomas. aged 21, who had completed the transactions on the Big Race and had taken the large pair of Bins, from Alfy Thomas a middle aged brummie who had been the firms tick tac, for ages, and was using the firms, most important, tool. Zeiss Binoculars, after the off. Tom had climbed onto a firms stool that gave him a clear view towards the grandstand.

The betting had been completed, and like many of he outside Bookmakers, Tom had an overround book, were they would win, what ever the outcome.

This next few moments was most important for the firm, the sooner they could get the result of the race the quicker they could begin the act of payment. and then bet on the remaining events.
The Ernest Fletcher firm were greatly respected, and many of the punters, who had parked there charabanc on the Tattenham corner had done so for many years.
There had been welchers, and welching during the early 1900s, so to have a trusted Bookmaker was a great asset. to handle your bets was an asset.
There was no racecourse course commentary, so the first time that a punter would know with utter confidence what had won the race and been placed, 2nd or third, was when the large wooden racecourse result board. opposite the grandstand, was completed.

After the race was over it could take a few minutes, before the two flag system of Red and BLue would be activated,
Blue for The Result Stands, Winner, second and third.
Red for a Stewards Enquiry.

After the race, thousands of racegoers, not in the main enclosures would follow the runners down the course to watch the Royal Party in there grandstand Box. in many cases this is the first time that the vast amount of racegoers would know the actual result.

In the case of Emily Davison, I do not intend to prejudge her actual motives, for what she did but there are a few points I can assure all readers, one and the most important, is that Emily certainly did not have any possibility of knowing were the Kings Horse Anmer was at the time she encroached the racetrack. it is stupid to suggest that Emily stood still whilst 9 of the runners passed her and then knowing that the Kings Horse was not in those 9, walked in front of the next three runners, missing them by inches. and only then did she see the horse she was after, how silly does it sound when reported that way.

The race was of 15 runners, and as they approached the Tattenham corner a very important and historical point on the courses layout. for well over 2 furlongs of the 12 furlongs of the race, it is on a bend. any one looking closely at the Pathe News clips. you can see that Emily is hemmed in by thousands of spectators,
Miss Davison, was gazing straight ahead, as the 9 leading horses in a spaced out group. behind there were 3 horses 2/3 lengths further back, these were followed by quite a distance three horses being led by Anmer the Kings Horse. to far behind to have any worth while chance of success, the two horse behind Anmer were tailed off.

As I have stated there was no comentary, and the noise from the massive crowd has been reported as deafening.

It is clear that Emily ignored the first 9 runners, as if they didn’t exist, she would have had no possible chance of knowing if the Kings Horse was in that group. as she made her way into the course, it was between those nine horses and the three next in line, two of those jockeys, saw her and made an attempt to miss her, this they did with a great deal of good fortune, it is not clear but the Suffragette was most fortunate not to be brought down at the moment, after those horses passed, the last remaining three runners, were quite a distance behind, of these three runners, the Kings Horse was in tern clear of the remaining two.

I will not bother to get myself involved in what happened next. I will leave that to the many news reporters, who have used the old news doctrine made famous by Mark Twain.

“Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
Although it would not require a brain of an Einstein to understand why the many differing stories about Miss Davison and The Kings Horse, transpired, it was to good a story to spoil it with a damping down tale of miss fortune. we all know how the press create there business.

She definitely didn’t know were the different runners were as she stepped onto the course. for those including Miss Balding who wish,s to take out of view the many thousand racegoers, 50 charabancs and Coaches not to mention the same amount of Bookmakers Tools and wooden apparatus.

Miss Balding would have us believe that the young girl (41) could see before she stepped onto the course were the Kings Horse was. this is a stupid suggestion. and requires no more comment.

Taking all the facts that I have given I come to a conclusion myself as to what happened.

“Miss Davison wanted to create publicity, for the “Cause” she wished to follow the runners down the course so she could be one of the first opposite the Royal Box, and completely missjudged,
the first group as the field. almost colliding with the horse in the small group of three. the next horse to come upon the Suffragette was horse 13th Anmer well over a distance behind the leader and was an act of god, not a brilliant racecourse judge.

I hope I can convince Presenter Clare Balding and investigators Stephen Cole and Mike Dixon to place the many obstructions like 50,000 spectators massive Coaches and Charabancs, and 50 Wooden Paraphernalia used by the Bookmaking Industry, returned to there original positions, and explain then, how Miss Davison come to the conclusion that Anmer was not in the first 9 runners.
Then perhaps I can convince Google and Wikipedia, two great services, to clean up the obvious mistakes, entered by so called experts. and allow the many racehorse fans, who are not blind, to come to a more professional and enlightened opinion.
Don Butler.

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 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.

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.

Early Bird Catches the Worm

June 17th, 2014

If we could go back to the 1950s Bird would have been up since 4.30 getting his cheat (Each way) Bets on)
1/4 the odds a place, some of his business would have been on a commission basis, no wonder he became a Multi Millionaire.

The Bird I am describing is Alex Bird who made a considerable amount of money from betting after the war.
What Alex was if we exclude his Photo Finish Skulduggery. he was an Each-way Scammer, betting on races were if he didn’t win the selection would certainly be placed.

A little unknown to the vast majority even his Historians have never mentioned, when describing Alex in the many Books underestimate his relationship with the Knock Out experts, Max Parker (Ladbrokes) known as Snoutie for the massive size of his noes. no one was shrewder than Max. when it came to price manipulation, How the Starting Price assessors would see Max offering 6/4 an even money chance but refusing all requests. and still used the offer in there calculations. always surprised me.

When I woke this morning at 5.30 and fetched my Sporting Life (Now the Post) I had a shower and sat down to survey which Bookie was giving the most money away, in daily concessions, Ascot was always money for snout, Day, I was always told that bet before 9.0 and then allow the kind Bookie to make his own profit after 1.0
I will pop into Corals although I doubt they will be open at 8.45 more like 9.30 when the freebie have all be taken by the shop cleaners.

But today I don’t know were to start, all the best bonus,s are restricted to new telephone clients and
and then even further to minimal bets.
This of course alienates the High Street Cash Customers but that’s there problem and not mine,

A telephone call to my old clerk to see if he had an account with Paddy P, when he said no then I quickly arranged for a £10 Treble Brazil. Belgium and Russia. at 10/1 that will do for a start even if I will have to juggle the profit through my Betfair Account. I have also told him to place a £50 on Tornado at SP. I will play with the £100 bonus during the week.

Two great Bonus,s if I can convince Independent, Bookie to allow me a Money Back if 2nd, (Offerd by William Hill) Wilf Gilbert is obliged to offer all the same concession being offered by Paddy Power, Hills, Corals, Ladbrokes, all operating in the Redditch Town Centre. of he wishes to survive. however betting to terms being offered by a competitor never did work for me.

The money back if 2nd by Hills is great only if you select short priced favourites there are two today and you can have a free bet for nothing if it is 2nd. or if you wish to trade on Betfair you can guarantee 25% profit.

I will have to pop in to Morrisons, the supermarket struggling surviving, to see if there two for one Irish Butter is still on offer.

I may have a Breakfast, although I am fascinated by the SUN’s feature regarding how to lose weight and eat what ever you like..One Day on and one day off. any one could go 24 hours with only water, si you can eat anything the next day.Gorging yourself on as many burgers, chips and cakes as you like one day then eating fewer calories than you find in a cheese sandwich the next might sound like a worrying eating disorder.
But this regime of chomping away to your heart’s content one day, and virtually starving yourself the next is the latest diet craze. It’s known as ‘intermittent fasting’ or ‘alternate-day dieting’,and devotees insist the pounds just drop off.
The diet soared in popularity after featuring in a BBC2 Horizon documentary a few weeks ago by health journalist Dr Michael Mosley. After a month eating normally five days a week and eating just 600 calories the other two days — known as the 5/2 diet —(That will do for me)

This is great and on the day that you are restricted to Water only you walk 2 miles. in the morning and
2 in the afternoon. Power Walking.

Dont usually watch the racing at Ascot, I keep remembering the fun I used to have there for over 35 years.

The best fun I had was betting on the colour of the Queens Hat, as I was entertaining the vast amount of customers, I noticed an American and his wife dressed up as if there were straight off the My Fair Lady Set,
Her husband never took his eyes off me and my spiel.

“you seem to know every one her by name Sir”

I tell you what if I wanted to I could get every one on the course to respond to my request.
“I would like to see that” the Yank said.

Give me a £5 then and I will show you.
He pulled up a 5 Doller Bill that I placed in my Odd.

Out the corner of my eye I noticed the Queen and her guests were approaching the 2 furling Post.
in the Royal Coach,
As they moved to the 1 furlong
I climbed on top of my big stool. and shouted as loud as I could HIP HIP,
5 thousand people packed along the running rail all called out to a man (Mostly women)


I wish you all good luck and remember you dont have to lose when you bet.