For every betting facility, there is a loophole that can alter its credibility.
I recently read a feature in the BOS Magazine about The Miss Betting Shop 1965, it was written by Chris Pitt, a wonderful historian regarding all matters, “Gambling” especially British Horseracing.
I remember the period like yesterday, my brother and I had built a small group of shops having dominated a brilliant area around the Austin Motor Company and the village high street of Northfield.
As soon as it was seen that the leading London firms would be betting on the outcome of this Human Event, some of the gambling brains were put to great affect. non better than Wilf Gilbert, a black country, duo Wilf and Geof.
What today’s betters should understand, is that when the High Street revolution commenced, all we had to bet on was Horses Dogs and Football. when the Big Freeze of 1962/3 commenced that was the end of racing for 4 months.
I cant say that I ever saw such an inspired team.as the Black Country duo.
It was during there ownership of Right Boy, (A great racehorse sprinter) that I got to like Geoff, I remember a tale he told me about his horse as he and his brother entered the parade ring, Piggott was waiting to mount the horse.
“Geoff had spoken to Lester on other occasions, but decided that as he was alone he would give him a final instruction as to how he wanted the horses ridden. before the trainer arrived.
“Lester, make your way to the rails, and don’t loose him until inside the last furlong Geoff always a little over weight, not only told the great Jockey what to do he actually used his hands in a copy cat of a jockey.”
Lester grunted and took his cap off giving it to Geof, with the blunt remark.
“Here you are Sir, It appears that you know more about riding than I do. you ride it and I will sit in the grandstand”
But the best incident Geoff told me about was in one of the races, were Right Boy was odds on, and some Bookmakers were betting on the distance, match, Under and over 2 lengths,
Lester who had noticed several Bookmakers betting this way as he went down to the start in a previous similar race.
Any Horse to Win.
The winning Distance.
Under 2 Lengths. Evens,
Exactly two Lengths ,7/1
Over Two Lenghts. 4/5
Piggott actually told the Owners, what he had seen in the Silver Ring, in a previous race, and that evens was a great price, under 2 lengths. Gilbert had already decided to go for a little touch, betting under 2 lengths,at Evens, himself..
In the last furlong Right Boy with a double handful. was a certainty. unless Piggott could hold him it would have been a distance. in the last 100 yards the outsider produced a spurt, and went a length clear,
Piggott never panicked, and with a little of his rat a tat tat, whip action he got him up on the line.
For a few minutes before the result was given, several Bookmakers offered odds against Right Boy. until Alex Bird the famous backer on distances. smashed all prices on offer. even though it was a short head, Alex was confident enough to bet 10/1 on.
When Piggott came in, Geoff, certainly not happy said “great ride Lester, but I am sorry to say I have fined, you your Fee. that smack you gave the horse will be costly.”
During the 1962/3 when the Bookmaking Industry came to a halt was a disaster, for the new Bookmakers, they were desperate to be advised what else they could bet on, many of the newbies, who hadn’t learned much about the game, was only to happy to be advised on other wagers to bet on. when it was seen that the Gilberts were betting on certain greyhound markets, the copied as a man.
One bet which was 8 races, to name 8 placed Dogs, and a similar list 8 dogs to be unplaced. my Dementia, denies me the exact odds being offered. but I do remember that to get 8 unplaced, was the one that the public liked best, however they soon found that it was difficult to get 8 unplaced runners. I am not absolutely sure what came first this bet, or the massive amount of dogs being doped. Hall Green being the one chosen by the Dopers,
The reason for this particular track chosen, against the many other tracks in the Midlands, Perry Bar, Kings Heath, Wolverhampton, Cradley Heath, and Willenhall. never mind Tamworth.
The reason was the way the Kennels, at Hall Green were so simple to breech, once over an outside wall. the Kennels were numbered 0ne to 56 a good judge would have calculated that trap one in the 4th race would be odds on. and before racing the trainer would place him, in kennel no 22, did not require brain like Einstein, to place a meat ball hanging at the wall behind the door, when the door was opened the dope was hidden once the door was closed, the dog soon smelt, the dope.
A further bit of information, after years of poor security, the old Kennels were knocked down, to reveal dozens of long pieces of cotton behind the doors.
During the spring Hall Green produced a great card, with 6 of the races, “Open Events,” were at least one of the runners were no hopers, 50/1 This was the type of card, clever dicks were waiting for.
When a small gang crept around the city (Birmingham) and all surrounding villages, getting on what ever they wanted,
It was only when the betting for the first Open race, was seen that it dawned on more than a few that they had been plucked. that started a panic. I was at Hall Green and must have been asked 10 times, how can we get out of this bet. I told the first a pal,
When my granddad was asked a similar question, he always said.
“An honest Bookmaker who gets conned cleverly, can always get out of his plight by bunging (Paying)
In race 7 the betting was 1/3 4/1 10/1 33/1 33/1 and every wager was going on to the 2 outsiders not to be placed.
A perfectly organised gamble no chicanery or confidence trickery. just a well organised and patient wager. It would have done Barney Curley proud.
In the case of the 1965 Miss Betting Shop. more than one of the “Runners” were certainly not
counter assistants, Model, or Beauty Queens perhaps I can assure you that of the runners, involved more than 3 who had never taken a bet in there lives. but were photographed stand to attention, next to a till.
As soon as the concept and rules were conceived there were plotters, organising a possible coup. mostly from the Manchester and Liverpool area,
The first phone call I had was from a Liverpool great Pat Whelan, asking me to create outlets, who would be betting on the event, I did quite a lot of business with Pat, in fact he was known as the 5th Beatle, the only difference was Pat was handsomer and with a greater personality. than John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison or Ringo Starr put together.
When I asked him which young lady he wanted to back. he said simply what ever Gus Demmy enters. Looking at the feature I noticed that Gus Demmy, had two runners, both of them Models from a important Manchester Model Agency. When I went to Goodwood years afterwards, Selwyne was betting in Tattersalls, number one in the second line.
When the Bookmakers had built up there tools, I noticed a dozen of the most beautiful Models in the UK, and all standing around the Gus Demmy joint, what a publicity stroke,
Back to the actual Miss Betting Shop event, one night after I had seen the Sporting Life comment, I was in the Cedar Club or the Moat House, not sure, the first real night clubs of note, owned by The Futeralls, Family, and The Banana King Mr Pike, I was the star goal poacher of there Sunday Football team, in our team were more than one Birmingham player, who were being paid not a great deal.in the room were John Prescott, (Brummie Boxing Star) Graham Green, (Birmingham Bookie) and George Best.(Requires no introduction) there must have been a dozen of the UK,s most beautiful young girls. including Diane Westbury, a Miss UK, who had been chosen as a judge, for the Miss Betting Shop.event.
I remember distinctly that GG brought the house down, when some one asked him, if his girl friend was a beauty Queen.
“He said Johnny is with Miss UK, George is with Miss World, and I am with a Miss Quarry Bonk, a little village by Brierley Hill. Dudley.
It was Graham Green who was suffering a nasty divorce from his Stourbridge Wife. at the time.
Graham followed up with,
“Does any of these beauties want a job in a betting Shop.”
The laughter was deafening although very few understood the implications, of which was an inspired and well organised betting coup.
The Miss World beauty pageant. was first created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951.
Like many of the type of wagers, there was no security, regarding the event and the TV coverage,
How many years, past by before it became clear that LIVE TV, was not actually live.
The Bos Magazine also produced a small feature about the Druids Lodge Confederacy.
I would like to give my opinion about this period and the participants, involved, firstly it is important to clear in a simple way, the word Confederacy.
A. combination of persons for unlawful purposes; conspiracy.
Mary Chriss,s wife a very good writer on horseracing both UK and USA.
In here feature she at least mentions the dreaded D word, DRUGS.
In all due respect, the comment that the conspirator never resorted to doping horses.
requires much closer examination if the public are to believe the comment. my question is why would a gang of handicap cheats, carry out massive gambles without making sure for Doping horses was common practice following the American Invasion, when it was common practice to run horses down the field, to gain weight advantage when every body was doing that anyway.
Even the 4th of the English Racings greats, Admiral Rous, would allow handicap cheating as long as he was in on it himself.
I have spent many years examining, the two periods, that coincide The American Invasion and the Druids Lodge Confederacy. and have come to my own conclusion, and that is I am sure that the vast majority of the Druids plots were following the lead, created by the Americans, were dope and stimulants were common practice.
When the americans arrived, Richard Croker was in the forefront. he was on the run from USA having ruled Tammany Hall and was the most significant villain, in the history of Tammany Hall.
When it became clear that the USA Law was about to pounce, on his corrupt activities, He was refused to pen up a stud at Newmarket and had to go back were he started in mid 1800s. Potato Famine.
Croker had operated a stable of thoroughbred racehorses in the United States in partnership with Mike Dwyer. In January 1895 they sent a stable of horses to England under the care of trainer Hardy Campbell, Jr. and jockey Willie Simms. these were the leaders of the pack. other that followed were in England for one thing, and that was to skin the English Betting Rings,
I am sure that Croker was one of the main contributors to the Druid Lodge, Confidence trickery,
It was the period from 1895 when Richard Croker was running Tammany and paying many visits to several destinations including Ireland and England.
In the 1920s when he died he had over £5 Million plus, no one was more crooked than Richard, his involvement with Enoch Wishard, (The Doping King)and the Reiff Brothers, showed the way for the Druid Lodge copy cats.
1900 Wishard won a very competitive Stewards Cup. with Royal Flush, Croker and his Ypsilanti won three of the big handicaps, in 1901 to 1904 although by this time Croker was a sleeping partner, financing and advising, the vast majority of Druids Conspirators, and with the ability of how to use Wishards, doping skills, passed on to Fallon, as for the Irish Jockeys, like the two Dillon Brothers plucked from obscurity, who by Richard Croker of course.
The full story of the 6th Druid, will require a great deal of writing, by someone like Paul Mathieu. although it may be a little embarrassing that he did not include Richard in the first place.