• Best Bookmaker



    I am a small punter. Tenners, twenties, an occasional fifty and a one'r every second Shrove Tuesday. I am also not averse to Lucky 15s and to running around Oddschecker at 0830 looking for the best prices. If all that is beneath you or you bet in big numbers then this bit is not for you.

    You are unlikely to find views like this elsewhere as racing papers, podcasts, websites and TV programmes cannot afford to criticise individual bookmakers


    On this page you have my 2016 Review followed by the 2017 offers as they materialise.


    2016 Review and Awards



    The 'Best Offer' Trophy- This is awarded to Skybet for their money back as a free bet if your first bet lost in the first race on each of the four days. Up to £25. We made full use of it. I know its not money back and it's just another go and all free bets had to be used by the end of the Festival but bravo for that. A Tesco. Every little helps. Eased Min and Bristol to Mai pain for me.


    Commended - Gone are the glory days when Paddy would adorn his tin hat and we would all construct books for real money back if the fav won the Supreme. However this year Hills and Powers gave free bets if your horse finished second without any other conditions. Kept it simple. A fair deal which would have also helped to ease Min, Yanworth and Un De Sceaux. Betbright woke up to this in Day 2. Ladbrokes only did it from Race 2 every day. No idea why. Betfair Sportsbook - 3 free bets on day one if your winner was 3s or better. Up to £25. A good enticer to take on Willie's certs.


    The 'Its All Too Confusing' Salver - Joint Winners - Ladbrokes - Free bet on all losers in the first race each day if the SP favourite wins - Corals - Free £5 bet for every Willie winner on Day 1/Geraghty Day 2 when you put £20 on the Supreme/Neptune. We are all very busy over the 4 days. Keep it simple. And a bit petty for big firms, even for me.


    The 'Also Rans' included

    Corals - Day 1 Their first full page ad on Tuesday was on Page 11 R Post trying to entice new customers with a fiver at 12s Annie Power. This was not the time for that. Just annoyed me.

    Betway - Place three £10 bets every day and get a free £10 bet. Really? Maybe they don't want to compete.

    Boylesports - Free bet if 2nd or 3rd to the SP Fav. Their usual con. No horse has ever been trained to finish second to the SP Fav unless in a four runner race when the jollie is 1/3. Oh, that's right, that's the race where the offer doesn't apply.

    Betfred, Stan James, - Were they working that week?


    THE 'BOOKIE OF THE WEEK' GOLD CUP- The winner in this category must be William Hills. Took a real punt on the Tuesday. To refund (real money) all losing bets on all day one races up to £100 per race if Willie's Big 4 won that day. One of those offers where you take a deep intake of breath. Min saved them and also cost them because the deal was over after the first. But that took balls. Also on day one they took a big ad in the Pricewise pages saying 'Ignore Prices Above - W Hill won't be beaten on price'. And they weren't. Along with BET365 they matched or bettered all Ladbrokes. Paddy Power and the others. BET365 gave the same promise but their advertising hadn't changed from their normal approach and it didn't jump out at you. I remember the Oddschecker line in the bumper as Hills and BET365 refused to move Ballyandy from 8/1 until close to noon. All the other firms had long since ran for cover and the 'arbers' must have been having a field day as it could be sold on or below 6/1 on the Exchanges. It was like the horse's price was 'painted on', they didn't care and they wanted to hold every £ in the ring.

    MENTIONED IN DEPATCHES - BET365 for keeping up with HILLS. Also if some other firm has gone more places, you will find BET365 matching them. Also the free bet thing if you have a TV winner at 4s and above but you have be careful to remember about that. It has to be used on the next TV race. My favourite site too. I think it might be the green colour but it just feels less cluttered than Hills, Ladbrokes and especially Corals. More's the pity that they refuse to take my custom any more.


    SPECIAL MENTION to my local firm Grahams. They went 3/1 Vautour nrnb Ryanair at the Preview Night. Inside 18 hrs had to tweet 'knocked over'. Also 15/2 the Thurday short priced treble. In 2015 it was well enhanced prices on Douvan (Supreme), UnDe Sceaux (Arkle). Not scared to give value.


    In 2016 the Paddypower/Betfair Combo grossed £330 million in the first three months of the year from all gambling. They stated in their stock market report that £250 million of that was taken in four days in the middle of March. This week, of all weeks, make bookmakers work for your cash.


  • 2017 Bookmaker Festival Offers

    8th - Betfair Sportsbook offer 11/10 Yorkhill JLT with faller insurance. If he comes down, full refund. Cheeky.

    8th - Boylesports return with usual con in a full page RP ad. Free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Favourite. The SP Fav bit is not in bold print. Only use them in Altior or Douvan races. Also if your horse falls at first or last jump. They must really think that we all all mugs.


    7th - Sean Graham going in the shops 4/1 treble Altior, Douvan and Unowhatimeanharry. Value. also 9/2 Altior, Douvan, Death Duty. Not so value.


    7th - Betway giving free bet up to £10 if you lose in first or last race every day. I like that. Need to remember about the last. Free bet to last 7 days

    3rd March - Paddy Power continue the 2017 theme of being a little bit meaner by only giving free bet to £20 max if your horse finished second in any of the first five races each day. Obviously their stats tell them that they have caught everyone by that stage, we have all had a few drinks and will throw away the 'another go' on a rag at the end of the day. Free bet to last 7 days.


    2nd March - Skybet repeating 2016 offer, first losing bet on first race each day returned as free bet up to £20 max. Less than last year but for small punters like me, its like Tesco. Every little helps.


    1st March - Betfair Preview Night live streaming - Now NRNB. Barry Orr went 5s Buveur D'Air, 4s Might Bite, 5/2 Yorkhill, 4s Cue Card max £50 for 15 minutes each NRNB. Not bad, will be keen to see if they become decent value.

    28th - Hills, Ladbrokes and Corals still yet to go NRNB any race. It will need to be good, boys.


    22nd Paddypower refunding all Thistlecrack Ante Post as Free Bet. No limit. Pretty good, boys. Skybet? Any chance? Not even for me?


    21st Feb. Boylesports join nr cash back

    16th February Six major firms now NRNB Championship Races Paddypower NRNB all races. Bet365 BOG as well. Phoney war commences for the next fortnight


    Feb 8 Paddypower refunding all antepost on Annie Power, Faugheen and Min. They didn't take a lot but fair enough


    To look back on previous races go to BET365 Services/live streaming/results and archive. All UK and IRE races. Nice touch.


    Free Bets Lifespan. Betfair Sportsbook only 48 hrs. Skybet and Corals to the end of Festival. Ladbrokes and Ppower 7 days. Be careful. Read conditions.

    Bookie Policy for small punters wanting those Pricewise prices. The following will revert to the RP advertised prices for a short time at 0830. Boylesports, Corals, HIlls Betway, Betfair Sportsbook, Corals, BET365. At 0900 turn to Ladbrokes, Betfred, Tote. Won't happen if any NRs. SKYBET will only offer the price on the Pricewise Selection. Betbright and PADDYPOWER do not offer this little generosity at all. So mean.

    BETFRED, TOTESPORT only online bookies to give triple odds one winner in Lucky 15s. But BOG does not apply. Do not do this bet with PADDYPOWER online. NO bonus given for only one winner. Even meaner.




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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice (Gary). The Stats Proverb says 'Relevance Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.' I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too concerned on the Tuesday.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.