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Winston and Co.

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    It would be nice to think that today’s bans dished out to Winston and Co. proved to be a salutory lesson to racing that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. Certainly a heavy fall from grace for Winston who was once hailed as a potential champion and stable jockey to Stoute. Although not guilty of  stopping horses he was found guilty of passing inside information.<br>However I doubt that the lesson will be learned and expect the apologists to be out in force starting with tomorrow’s Morning Line.<br>-"he was susceptible due to a drink problem"<br>-"there for the grace of God go I"<br>-"it goes on all the time"<br>-"all down to those naughty exchanges" (say the bookies who of course never paid for any inside info)<br>- "why don’t the ex coppers at the HRA leave us alone- they don’t understand"<br>We can’t expect too much condemnation from the sycophantic hacks either as I understand Winston was seen as a good guy with them.

    <br>(Edited by Lingfield at 6:39 pm on Feb. 16, 2007)<br>

    (Edited by Lingfield at 8:23 pm on Feb. 16, 2007)

    • Total Posts 17722

    <br> Lingield

    With respect, you show me one regular punter who hasn’t, at some time, received inside information, and I’ll show you somebody who hasn’t been out much!

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    HRA Verdict

    Some of this has to be read to be believed. Hard to believe the bookmaker could be that stupid. Some of his activities stick out like a sore thumb. Responsible for 80% of the laying activity in some markets and prepared to lay at odds at 64% higher than sp.

    I doubt betfair will be adding this to their marketing department ‘64% better odds, though only those ridden by Fletcher, Fitzpatrick and Ferris.’

    • Total Posts 185

    I am not disputing in any way the punishments handed down to Winston and Co – they have been found guilty (having been legally represented) by responsible people after due consideration of all the facts of passing on inside information not available to the public at large.

    I am having difficulty, however, with the concept of "inside information". I have owned in whole or at least 25% part perhaps 60 racehorses over the years and often had a successful bet on them because I thought I appreciated by closer observation of my horse than the average punter had the time for its particular foibles and preferences. Is this inside information?.

    The jockey never rode the horses except at the track and were booked through an agent who usually phoned up for the ride if the regular pilot was not available . Frankly they were the last person I would choose to ask whether the horse had a chance and very often the trainer, despite knowing that the horse was particularly well, had not got the time to study the opposition so was more hopeful than certain of a winning result. (Not many of my trainer bet by the way because they had had their fingers and hands well and truly burnt over the years).

    Am I totally unusual? What is the experience of all the other owners on this forum?

    • Total Posts 185


    Thanks for posting the detailed HRA verdict. I see that the question of inside information is considered at length and is far more broad than I was thinking. Basically they are saying that licensed individuals should not be selling, or putting themselves in a position when it appears that they might be selling, their opinions on a horses chance.

    I have no arguement with that.( alhough its a lot different from what most people who have not read the verdict would think constitutes "inside information. At one level it could be said they were milking a prat who thought they knew things they in fact did not!)

    Winston emerges as an idiot but it is comforting to know that the panel do not think he pulled any horse and indeed is fairly complimentary about his riding even disagreeing with the stewards who fined him once.

    • Total Posts 384

    Galejade,<br>As I see it, owners and trainers are either in racing because they enjoy, and the owner can afford, the experience; or they think they can make money perhaps through devious means.<br>As for the concept of "inside information", the only data not available to the racing fan or punter is whether the horse is fit, going to run on merit, or the race is fixed between a few participants.

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    I think examples are being made, and so they should. I’m not saying it will stop it happening, but at least it shows the HRA is doing something strict to these people.

    I’m not quite sure what to make about Winston’s suspension though

    madman marz
    • Total Posts 707

    Quote: from davidjohnson on 9:32 pm on Feb. 16, 2007[br]HRA Verdict

    Some of this has to be read to be believed. Hard to believe the bookmaker could be that stupid. Some of his activities stick out like a sore thumb. Responsible for 80% of the laying activity in some markets and prepared to lay at odds at 64% higher than sp

    I doubt betfair will be adding this to their marketing department ‘64% better odds, though only those ridden by Fletcher, Fitzpatrick and Ferris.'<br>

    <br>Cheers for the HRA Verdict, Dave<br>I only skimmed through it there is so much to digest.<br>What struck me that every Jockey was found guilty of misleading the investigators, in other words lying, which suggest they had something to hide, in my eyes guilty as charged.<br>As for Mr. Nichol what a dimwit, greed will always get you caught, in his case incredibly greedy and incredibly naive.<br>But it brings me onto the inevitable question, "Was Betfair to blame" yes because he would never be able to lay such incredibly inflated odds as a rail bookmaker, they would have smelt a rat in seconds.<br>I have used Betfair myself, but not to lay horses because the risks are too high, for small gain, and not been in the know doesnt help, and I was not prepared to rely on my hunches because if the horse won I would face a fairly substantial liability.<br>There is no question since Betfair came on the scene racing has been plagued with controversy, and very high profile names implicated. The ability to lay horses is rife for abuse, and as long as it remains we will have plenty  more betting scandals involving the exchanges.<br>Personally I think the laying of horses should be banned, if racing is ever going to rid itself of the darker side of the game.

    • Total Posts 300

    So, madman, are you saying that there has been no corruption and racing was completely straight before the exchanges were created?

    There has almost certainly been corruption in racing for many, many years, but until now, without Betfair……. no evidence against it.

    These people can be traced through Betfair, and it is their stupid mistake if they continue to do it in this day and age.

    People have always laid horse, before Betfair was around. There are still underground unlicenced bookies that opperate, but there were many more of these around in the ‘old days’. In the old days you had jockeys bragging about the bets they had. It ALWAYS went on, but with Betfair they are now able to trace records and find these people.

    I think without the exchanges there would still be as much corruption, but the only difference being, we wouldn’t know about it, unlike we do now. Okay, we might not know about all of it (but i’d say most of it we now do) and the fact that these things are being able to be traced is detering many people who have done it who have considered doing it in the past.

    Yes, it is easier to lay horses now, but perfectly respectible people make money from laying horse’s which they think are too short. I know a couple of people that have no ‘dodgy’ information that they shouldn’t know but they make a living from just laying horses.

    I have only laid one horse i think, funnily enough, it runs tomorrow (looks at the clock…. actually today) Joaaci when it won in Scotland somewhere and then was expected to win in the south west the next day and was odds on to do so.

    • Total Posts 166

    firstly where there is money there is corruption, it’s human nature. It was there it is there now and it will be there tomorrow, you guys have been gambling for years and you know that. Just one question about R Winston.

    Stewart-Moore added: "There are two further factors that militate against the likelihood of Mr Winston receiving a reward for the information he allegedly gave to Mr Nicholl.

    "The first is the average starting price of the horses ridden by Mr Winston and laid by Mr Nicholl, which is in the region of 12-1 . . . Secondly, Mr Nicholl actually made a loss laying Robert Winston’s rides, as is now revealed from the bookmakers’ accounts."

    maybe i’m missing something as i only read the racing post story?

    class tells
    • Total Posts 207

    the worst bit of jiggery pockery i saw was when ihad a 50£ bet on a horse at hamilton we had been following this stable owned by a local lad it was a sprint when the gates opened the jockey {not its usual} was holding on to the stalls for grim life the horse had to make up half a furlong  the horse finnished only lengths of the winner and the name of this animal LES ARCS

    madman marz
    • Total Posts 707

    Alright one more post before I hit the sack, I think Betfair decided after a lot of bad publicity that by passing on info on suspicious betting patterns that it was doing its bit for racing, basically trying to gain a few brownie points for themselves. Yes Stormont there was always corruption in racing, but it so much easier for the unscrupulous to win laying horses than say stopping one, getting their h/cap mark down and going for a touch, which is no gaurantee, as another horse in the race could be layed out too or simply better h/capped, so it wasn’t foolproof cheating in the days before betfair.  The laying of a horse when in the know is money for old rope. Also Stormont there is no way that Betfair’s policing methods is going to stop them, the unscrupulous will just be a little more careful using numerous accounts under different user names. As the said Mr Nichol did but he was just too greedy, he might aswell have advertised his activities on a billboard in Times Square.

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    DO you think this gives us any clues to the Fallon case? Have the HRA made their point here, or do you think Fallon will be made an example of?

    • Total Posts 3087

    Quote: from madman marz

    Personally I think the laying of horses should be banned

    <br>What a wonderfully typical 21st century response – if we ban it, then it will go away. I mean it always works doesn’t it, banning something.

    Like banning handguns after Dunblane – three teenagers shot in last two weeks in one small area of London.

    Like banning dangerous dogs – child mauled to death recently by a pit bull.

    Like banning hunting ……. etc etc.


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