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20 years of betting memories part 1

Witten below are some of my favourite betting memories from the last 20 years of SBI – these fall into the category of other sports and specials, will do a golf one when I get the time. Some of the exact details and money involved are a little hazy but are roughly true. I love the challenge of betting on Marathons when I get the chance which sadly isn’t very often, the biggest priced winner was Meb Keflezhigi at 100/1 but my favourite has to be Catherine Ndereba in the 2007 World Championships. I had done my research before the books priced up and I made her quite a short priced favourite. She had run in 17 marathons, had placed 6th in the first one and then placed in the top three in each of the subsequent 16 winning 8 of them and also winning in Osaka where it was being held the year before. I waited with bated breath for prices, Ladbrokes were first up and went 9/1, I nearly fell off my chair. As all other books went up and they all quoted between 6/1 and 8/1 I maxed out e/w with every book I had. It wasn’t a huge amount but from memory I got about £250 e/w on. The race started at 11pm UK time with Ndereba having been backed into about 5/2, mainly because I was shouting about the bet all over the place. She won comfortably in the end and I can safely say it remains the best e/w bet I have ever seen. I used to bet on just about anything if I could get on (not the case any more) a couple of nice ones were £20 Obama to be next President at 50/1 as nobody believed he would, and £50 at 20/1 on Daniel Craig to be the next James Bond as there could never be a blonde Bond! It always pays to go against the grain and that was exactly what happened in the 2006 BBC SPOTY awards. It was a very weak year and little stood out and I had seen a month or so before that Zara Phillips was competing in the World Eventing Championships and had a good chance of gold. I had a few bets at 80/1 and 100/1 and when she won it she came into about 50/1. I kept backing her purely with the thought that she could emulate her mother Princess Anne and win the award. On the night she was still a big price and the short priced favourite was Darren Clarke, he had helped Europe to win the Ryder Cup just six weeks after sadly losing his wife, but sporting wise he had achieved little. With the thought in my head that the BBC “royal fraternity” would vote in their droves I kept on having bits on right til the end. Christmas came early in my house that year. I love the Cheltenham Festival but my favourite horse race of the year has always been the Grand National and down the years it has been good to me from a betting perspective. Also for the last 30 years myself and a bunch of mates get together for a “lads weekend” so it’s always good fun, sadly missed this year. In recent years I have had Comply or Die, Tiger Roll (first time) and even Rule the World 50/1 with Vics Canvas 3rd 100/1 but my happiest was Pineau de Re in 2014. I had started backing it about 50/1 when it won a veterans race @ Exeter and lumped more on when it ran a cracker at Cheltenham. On the day we were in a mates local village pub and I literally rode my chair across the pub floor after it jumped the last. I had promised I would pick up the tab for the few hours we had spent in there if it won, they were happy as it was about £200, I was even happier as I won around £6k.

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