1st July 2016
Good afternoon, friends,
In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….
This weekend we’re targeting the prices in the Old Newton Cup up at Haydock (2.50). It’s a class 2 event over 12f with a big field going to post on soft ground.
We’ll get to my selections for the race in a moment. First an interesting tale from the world of bookmaking – one that involves bet365, sponsors of that £100k handicap at Haydock tomorrow.
When we punters place our bets, we do so with the expectation that the bookmaker will pay us out when we win….
But nothing can be entirely relied upon in the ‘through-the-looking-glass’ world bookmakers inhabit….
This week we learn that bet365 are dragging their heels on transferring winnings of £54,000 to a client’s bank account….
This despite repeated requests from the client; despite two months passing since the first request was made; despite their being no dispute about bets placed; and despite the customer’s identity being fully verified in accordance with regulations designed to combat financial crime.
The Staffordshire firm were happy enough when the punter deposited £30,000 in April and promptly lost £23,000 of it on the racing….
They were so pleased in fact that they immediately contacted the punter to let her know they’d increased the maximum bet they were prepared to accept from her. Bookmaking is all heart after all.
The following day the woman placed additional racing bets – bets that won £47,000 and increased her account balance to £54,000. The firm got in touch again to inform her that her account had now been limited to £1.00 stakes going forward – a standard ‘trading decision’.
The punter decided to withdraw the funds in her account. But bet365 have so far failed to comply. There’s been a protacted exchange of correspondence and phone calls since. All to no avail. Court proceedings are now on the cards.
I don’t imagine that will bother bet365. They are big enough and rich enough to sit it out until it suits. In the meantime the punter has to go to the trouble and expense of bringing in the legal team and going through the litigation process in order to get hold of her original deposit and her winnings.
The bookies don’t highlight the likelihood of this situation arising in their T&Cs when you open an account. But perhaps they should start doing so.
Perhaps the Gambling Commission should make it a requirement. Because this problem – bookmakers hanging onto customer funds for weeks and months on end – is a growing issue and will not go away until everybody (regulator, bookmaker and punter) is working to a clear set of consistent rules, procedures and guidelines that everybody understands. The current situation doesn’t appear to demand sufficient urgency from the bookmaker.
Meanwhile we are told bet365 – who haven’t commented on this case to our knowledge – have encouraged the customer concerned to bet (no limits on stakes) on their range of gaming products. That’s either a PR gaffe or someone at the Staffordshire firm has a particularly refined sense of humour….
Get my Sandown bets for tomorrow….
Over on my paid Against the Crowd service this afternoon we’re targeting the prices on a great card down at Sandown….
If you’re looking for a couple more bets for tomorrow afternoon you can access those picks free of charge right now by taking a FREE test-drive of my Against the Crowd service….
The Old Newton Cup is the feature race on the Haydock card tomorrow (2.50) and SNOANO can out-perform a price tag of 14s for Tim Easterby.
Easterby has had the horse in his charge for just half a dozen runs since inheriting him from John Gosden’s yard where he was a useful juvenile – earning an official rating as high as 100 and a spot in the 2014 edition of the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
He likes soft ground and last time at Newmarket – on a soft surface – he produced a career-best effort on my figures off a mark of 89. He’s back up the scale to 94 for tomorrow’s assignment but that is still 6lb shy of his career-best mark and the manner of his Newmarket win suggests he is back on an upward curve.
He gets his favoured soft ground again tomorrow and with Rachel Richardson – a rider Easterby trusts and one who is in a hot streak of form – taking off 5lbs he looks weighted to go well.
The other one I like at the prices is David O’Meara’s TAWDEEA at the 12s with Paddy Power.
He’s only raced the once over the 12f trip. That was last time out at tomorrow’s venue on quick ground. He proved he stays the trip and with rain forecast overnight and softer underfoot conditions I expect him to improve considerably tomorrow with Danny Tudhope back in the plate for the first time since the horse last won.
That was off a mark of 87 – on soft ground at Hamilton over 9f where he gave weight to younger horses. He’s up to 95 but I think he can handle that. He’s lightly-raced, progressive and this trip on his favoured ground will winkle out more improvement yet.
The price is acceptable enough in a race seldom won in recent years by horses sent off at double-figure prices.
The pick of the prices this weekend….
Remember, we don’t have to be betting in hundreds to make the game worthwhile or fun. A spend of a few quid is plenty to be going on with….
Note: The firms up with place terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4. I’d imagine one or two will pay go up with an Enhanced deal that pays out on 5 places later today or early tomorrow. If you want to back each-way, don’t let me put you off. Your call.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.