1966: A Year of Sporting Victories

What a year. 

Like the battle of Hastings in 1066, football fans will never forget the year when England won the World Cup 1966. 

As the quote goes: ''They think its all over...'' Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary on BBC when England beat Germany 4 - 2. 

He said: And here comes Hurst! He's got...

Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over!

Whatever your fancy, Sun Bets has lots of great offers.   

It is now, it's four!    

I get the feeling we will have to wait until 2066 to see another FIFA World Cup for our beloved football nation. 

Here is a quick summary of other sporting winners in this famous year.

Tennis: Wimbledon 20th June - 2nd July

Manuel Santana wins the men's final. While Billie Jean King wins the women's. 

Grand National 1966 - Aintree

Anlgo wins at odds of 50-1 for trainer Fred Winter, ridden by Tim Norman. A 20-length victory beating Freddie who was runner-up the year before. 

Gold Cup 1966 - Cheltenham 

Almost as well known as England winning the World Cup, equine star Arkle made this a historic Gold Cup winning for the third time in consecutive years. Tom Dreaper trained this amazing nine-year-old for the Dutchess Of Westminster, ridden by Pat Taaffe at odds of 1/10f. 

More Horse Racing 

Flat racing:

The English Triple Crown wasn't achieved. We had to wait until 1970 for Nijinsky to win the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger. He went on to win the Irish Derby just for good measure. 

Who won these races in 1966? 

2000 Guineas - Won by Kashmir trained by Mick Bartholomew, French-trained colt who showed class as two. 

Epsom Derby - Charlottown trained by Towzer Gosden. This bay colt won seven of his ten races but retire at four when disappointing in France. 

St Leger - Readers may remember this class horse - Sodium. This son of Psidium was trained by George Todd at Manton in Wiltshire. Sodium finished fourth behind Charlottown in the Epsom Derby and went on to win the Irish Dery in the same year.  

The Boat Race 1966

A long history of the battle of supremacy for Oxford and Cambridge University. The 112 boat race took place on the 26th  March 1966. A tight competition, Oxford won by three and quarter lengths. Cambridge won the women's race. 

1966 European Athletics Championship 

A couple of English victories of note:

Jim Hogan won the Marathon 2:20:04.06

Lynn Davies won the men's Long Jump 7.98 m  

The only two medals England achieved in these championships. 

July 17th saw American runner Jim Ryun set a new world record in the mile timed 3:51.3 

FA Cup 1966

Football fans enjoyed a battle between two tough sides in this final. Everton went on to beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2. 

Boxing in 1966

29th March - Muhammed Ali defeats George Chuvalo in 15 rounds on a unanimous decision.

21st May - A fight few UK boxing fans will forget. Henry Cooper deserved to beat Muhammed Ali ( Cassius Clay) in their first fight in 1963 with a left hook in the final seconds. The fight was delayed when Ali's gloves had to be changed after a tear (which was later detailed as a deliberate act by his corner). Cooper was outfought and stopped in the 6th round by a technical knockout in 1966. 

Muhammed Ali had a busy year going on to defeat Brian London by knockout in the third round (6th August)

10th September Ali had a tough fight with Karl Mildenberger with a 12th round TKO. 

He concluded the year retaining his WBC heavyweight title knocking out Cleveland Williams in three rounds. 

What's your favourite sporting year?

Gambling: When the Fun Stops, Stop!

When the fun stops
Watching TV.  One thing you may have noticed is the amount of advertising from leading bookmakers. Casino. Slots. Two flies crawling up a wall. 

Recently watching the Darts World Championship 2018. 

Love a bit of darts action. But what do we see each and every advert? More reasons to gamble on just about everything! 

The problem with gambling is that it isn't, for many, as easy as saying: 'When the fun stops, STOP!'

What a ridiculous statement. Seemingly negating any responsibility for those who can't stop gambling. Addiction is clearly a problem for many people. I have never had a gambling problem simply because I am very disciplined and don't bet for fun. I would suggest that most people shouldn't be for 'pleasure'. Firstly there is nothing fun, funny, humorous about losing money. If you want to bet for any reason than making money, then play with matchsticks or casino chips you can buy without any great cost. You can learn how to bet more successfully. When you consider it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert (it takes longer) then a novice has much to learn.

Why shouldn't you bet for fun? Because it encourages people to not take their gambling/investing seriously. Money is a serious business. Gambling is even more serious because not only do you have the opportunity to make lots of money but the majority it is an opportunity to lose what they cannot afford. 

That's why I would suggest if you bet for fun then take a moment to re-assess why you are betting in the first place. 

There are lots of very naive gamblers attracted by adverts promoting 'fun'. They suck people in who simply do not have the experience or understanding to appreciate what they are dealing with. It's akin to playing with that ouija board and daring to ask the question: What date will I die?

Perhaps that question is going beyond what people ask before, during or after gambling. They could simply ask: How much will I win (positive) or how much will I lose (perhaps, realistic if you are betting for 'fun').

People need to appreciate that gambling isn't fun. To win you need to be better your opponents. You wouldn't fancy your chances racing Usain Bolt over 100m and you shouldn't fancy yourself to beat a bookmaker, layer or informed bloke in the pub if he is willing to take your bet. Unless you are very confident you will win.

In legal terms they say buyer beware. It is a good maxim for those who wish to bet. Gambler beware.

The bookmakers filter people like a sieve. 

If you win too much they will soon close your account. They need new 'clients' and as long as you lose they will allow you to bet. That's why you are best to use betting exchanges. 

I do have concerns about the impact of children watching sport and being tainted by bookmaker advertising. 'Can I bet, Dad?'

What are your thoughts on gambling advertising? 

Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track

It sounds too good to be true. 

American, Jesus Leonardo, walked into a betting shop without placing a bet and walked out with $9,500. 

The man from Midtown, Manhattan, makes a tidy profit from visiting bookmaker's and racetracks, sorting through betting slips thrown in the bins or scattered on the floor. He's known as a ''stooper'' and pockets cash by picking up tickets that others have thrown away as rubbish. 

In fact, over the years he estimates he has collected nearly half a million dollars. When you consider that uncashed winning tickets at bookmakers and racetracks in New York totalled more than $8.5 million over a two-year period there seems ample opportunity to take advantage of others misfortune. 


''It's difficult enough to find winners but these people have won and thrown their winning betting slip in the trash'' 

Jesus Leonardo has not even placed a bet.

He said: “It is literally found money,” he said on a recent night from his private winner’s circle. He spends more than 10 hours a day there, feeding thousands of discarded betting slips through a ticket scanner in a never-ending search for someone else’s lost treasure. 

“This has become my job, my life,” he said. “This is how I feed my family.”

“He’s a legend,” said Paul Pepad, 57, an out-of-work musician who lives in Manhattan. “Everyone knows that this is his turf, that all the tickets thrown out belong to him, period. It’s just been that way as long as I can remember.”

The fascinating endeavours of stoopers captured the interest of journalist T. D. Thornton who wrote a book in 2007: Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track.

He said: “Stoopers are the gleaners of the racetrack world. Stoopers have a relationship with horse tracks that goes back to the advent of parimutuel betting in the early 1930s. There is an unwritten code in racing that says stoopers are tolerated as long as they are not perceived as harassing or stalking customers.” “They are allowed to live on the fringes,” he added.

Leonardo says he makes a good living from stooping making from $100 - $300 a day and more than $45,000 ay year. 

He said: Last month, he cashed in a winning ticket from bets made on races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for $8,040. His largest purse came in 2006, when he received $9,500 from a Pick 4 wager (choosing the winners of four consecutive races) at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Tex. It is all taxable income.

“I file my winnings with the I.R.S. every year,” Mr. Leonardo said in his thick Dominican accent.

Friend, Freddy Perguero, detailed:  

“Everybody in here loves Jesus,” he said. “When Jesus wins, we all eat, and we all drink. Jesus is a very generous man.” 



Once upon a wager on a race run at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Mr. Leonardo, who lives in Wanaque, N.J., became a stooper by accident. In 1999, he walked into that same OTB parlor in Midtown and placed a bet. He watched the race, was sure he had lost and threw away his Pick 3 ticket. “But just as I was leaving, I looked up at the screen and realised an inquiry had been made,” he said, referring to a review of the race to check for possible rules infractions. “All of a sudden, the results changed and I actually won $900.”

He recalled the moment when trying to find his winning ticket almost in tears asking the manageress for help:   

“She said there was nothing she could do about it,” Mr. Leonardo said. “I was so upset, almost in tears. Finally, she said, ‘Look, if you want to take the garbage home with you and look for your ticket, go right ahead.’ ”


Amazingly, he couldn't find his winning $900 ticket but found two others worth almost $2000


“I couldn’t believe it,” said Mr. Leonardo, who had been supporting his family and his dream of writing songs by working odd jobs, including painting homes and cleaning windows. “I started thinking, there’s probably winning tickets thrown in the garbage every day.”

He decided it was a winning job and returned every day waiting for the betting shops to be placed at the curb and picking through hundreds of slips. 

“At first, my wife thought I was crazy, but then she realised I was finding a lot of money in winning tickets, sometimes $200 a day,” he said. “After a while, she didn’t think I was so crazy.”

He hasn't got any intention of stopping.

“Look here,” he said to Mr. Peguero after pulling a credit voucher from the machine for $6. “Another winner.”

Dumb Pro Gambler | Can This Be True?

Boris Johnson at Casino
Have you heard about this...

I was contacted by someone the other day via email with ''You really need to hear about this''. I thought, right!. 

Someone named James [H******] sent me an email with the subject line: Professional Gambler's Info...

Considering I run a website called Professional Gamblers I just imagined it related to that, wanting information etc. However, the email continued to explain how someone very well known within the racing media had contacted them with a get rich scheme about betting and winning big. I looked at this detailed summary which identified a way of manipulating the exchanges with a simple method. I thought this must be a lot of rubbish. You get these things forwarded all the time. 

It's interesting that on first review it was actually well worked. Like most of these approaches, it looks very simple when you see the formula. I was asked to look at this info for this bloke who was sceptical. Anyway, I'm restricted by what I can say because it's his info. I will, though, find a way of detailing a variant of this stuff for readers if it actually amounts to something worthy of your time. 

All of this ''keep it to yourself'' info made me remember a time I knew a trader on the exchanges. Someone who actually made very good money from their knowledge. I will not say any names because it wouldn't be fair. They used to work in an executive position and gave that up to work from home, more time with the family and making more money. I know for a fact, they made very good money. The interesting part, is that they were, perhaps, a touch greedy and wanted to get a bit of extra cash and considered they could afford to let a few people into their idea. They did seem pretty stern in noting that if they ever saw someone trying to sell this idea that they would sue them. I'm a man of my word, so I had/have no intention of undermining them or being untrustworthy. I paid a three-figure sum.  In fact, it was £250 for the equivalent of reading about 50 words.The cost put off a lot of people. Although there were only about 10 places being sold so it was on a first come first served basis. 

I received the info. It was pretty basic but logical. I could see how it could be used and appreciate that it worked. I use Betfair, but not the ladder trading. Take a look at this link if you want to read more about this style of betting on the exchanges. It was so alien to the way I work that I didn't even attempt to use it. This style of trading needs an ultra quick mind and reflexes as fast as arcade game player. It's like shooting space invaders but making money. It was just something that I could never get to grips with. It made my style of working look old and outdated. I didn't care if my way was old hat because it made me money as it still does to this day. 

I lost track with the bloke who I bought the info from so I don't know what he's up to these days or whether he went broke or sitting on a yacht in the Bahamas. The info he sold me still awaits the day I decide to do something with it. 

Even though it sounds expensive, it was worth every penny because I know something that most people will never know... 

I wonder what email I will get tomorrow? 

Race Horses, Trainers & Broken Dreams

So you thought you had it bad as a punter...

Give a moments thought to horse trainers big and small. It must be a tricky business to try and make a living. I can't say I have any great connections to the training world. I've helped a few promote their services on our website Horse Trainer Directory. The ones who need that little extra promotion are generally thankful, grateful and appreciative. We promote trainers for free because without them we don't have a website. I live by the mantra: in giving we receive. The ugliness of the self is never attractive even looking in a circus mirror. 

I have known a few trainers in passing. Unless I buy a share in a racehorse or dip my hand further into my pocket to buy a whole horse it is unlikely we will have any meaningful conversations. However, you never know who is interested in what you have to offer and I have been surprised by the generous nature of many people who I wouldn't really expect. I remember receiving a phone call from Peter Doyle, the bloodstock agent, who took the time to contact me about a horse he once purchased called Western Art, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in the ownership of Matthew Green and Ben Sangster. This son of Hennesey won at Listed class but struggled with injury at three to a point he was purchased as a riding horse for a lovely lady who I later become friends. I researched Western Art's (Artie) life story: from foal to ''champion'' racehorse. His breeder, Nellie Cox, of Rose Retreat Lodge, in the United States, remembered him well and the two ladies, who both loved him most, had the opportunity to chat about horse and foal detailing those interim years with caring words. 

This story originated from my brother, Tony, a plasterer, who while working on a private job many moons ago got talking to the customer about horse racing. They had a livery business and low and behold ex-racehorse Western Art was stabled there by his owner. It's a small world. 

Western Art stuck in my mind because I follow two-year-old horse racing and, by all accounts, he was a class horse. In truth, racing did this beautiful gelding no favours. He suffered many racing-related injuries which sadly lingered for the rest of his life.

Serendipity. 

By this chance encounter, a story came to life and the opportunity to meet some lovely people who I am still in contact today. Friendship is a creation of coincidence based on shared interests.The love of a horse from a racing perspective and a beautiful thoroughbred who without question was loved most greatly by his last owner who paid the price for others hopes and dreams. 

The pursuit to win. 

I guess it is too easy to consider that every horse trainer is a millionaire. Perhaps money makes its own luck. When you consider leading trainers such as John Gosden, William Haggas et al it is undoubtedly true. They are very wealthy individuals with the luxury of hugely rich owners. For many, money is no object. Their success is an ingredient of money and talent. Others, it is blood, sweat and years (of unpaid work).  

Smaller trainers have to fight for each and every horse, owner and success. Many, I suspect, live a hand-to-mouth existence. The National Hunt has a big heart. The story of a farmer with a horse. Perhaps that is the truth of horse training. The story built on ambition, hopes and dreams. Whether rich, poor or vagrant on the street we can all see through those eyes.  

We have all seen new trainers come and go. Imagine the passion in each individual who follows their dream. Especially so those younger trainers who are reliant on someone backing them financially. Money only goes so far and, I guess rightly so, those paying the bills can be very critical of their performance. Time is never on anyone's side and so often these fledgeling trainers fall by the way. 

Psychology of Slot Machines

Online Slots
The old-style fruit machines. 

Just a bit of fun. I doubt too many addicts would agree. However, the mentality of gamblers varies from one extreme to the other. Some bet and walk away, while others simply cannot stop pulling that one-armed bandit or pressing a flashing button until they are broke. 

Interesting how people vary so much. People do their own thing. Some, I guess, are more likely to be addicted to gambling or a certain type of gamble. When over 50% of the population bet, it is a worry for those who realise too late that a ''seemingly'' innocent pastime has cost them their home, marriage and life. 

Fruit machines are one of the most addictive forms of gambling. 

As a child, I used to go to Caister-on-sea for our annual holiday. Every September, missing the first week of the new school year because dad loved his racing at Great Yarmouth. Holidays were cheaper. I didn't like school so I would have opted for one long holiday fifty-two weeks a year. Anyway, the arcade on the holiday camp was ideal for two brothers who liked the look of the fruit machines. It was in the 1970s so we were talking pretty basic stuff. They even had a few of those old, chromed numbers with the Indian head, the class one-armed bandits which these days are collector's items and go for a few grand a piece. We were in our element. A pocket of twopences and motivated by the lights, noise of coins paying out willingly. The smell of hot dogs drifting in the air. Mum and dad listening to the entertainment. Dad with his brown and mild. Happy times. We played those machines with spirit. Not sure, thinking back, what was going through my mind. I guess it was the thought of winning. When you have a pound's worth of change in your pocket anything seems possible! 

Win or lose it didn't make any great difference. Basically, it was fun. I don't regret betting or my parents suggesting it was okay or acceptable. Like father like son. I will be forever proud of my dad.    

In some respects, betting from such an early age may have been a good thing. It brought a realisation that to win at gambling you need to have intelligence and discipline. By the time I was a teenager I was bored to death with fruit machines. I realised they were fixed odds, so long term you simply couldn't win. 

I hadn't played a slot machine in years but thought I'd have a bit of fun on Saturday evening. I use Betfair for betting horses on the exchange but they have everything on the website including online slots. 

I thought I'd bet a tenner. 

Slot machines are very different from the good, old days. But one thing that came to mind was the amount of psychological research which must go into making these games big money makers from casinos, bookmakers or whoever sets these businesses up.

They are made to keep you betting and they have cracked that aspect of betting without question.  

I won £200, so good luck favours the brave. Stopped playing and very much doubt I will be playing for a good few months.  

Horse Trainers & Professional Gamblers?

Spirit Of Sharjah
Who knows the most about horse racing?

Trainer.

Bookmaker.

Form student.

Pro gambler?

It's an interesting question.

Well, it should be if you have an interest in trying to win money gambling. The gold miner follows the seam hoping it will lead to rich pickings. 

A pot of gold. 

You could search for the end of the rainbow!

Gambling, successfully, is all about following the money. Surely. But what comes before the money? Knowledge. 

When you think about it, horse trainers must be in the best position to benefit from what they see on the gallops. If not, it is a very good starting point. You hear of horses being morning glories, brilliant on the gallops, but just never show that abundance at the race track. 

As far as knowledge goes, trainers are the source of information. A rich seam of gold, perhaps. It's like insider trading. In theory, if a horse trainer cannot make money with their wisdom it shouldn't give the rest of us much hope. 

However, is it that easy? Probably not for the simple reason that you never quite know who is in opposition. But trainers must have a huge edge. They may have to wait years for the ideal opportunity but they come with time.

I remember Julia Feilden, who trains at Newmarket. I have met her on a few occasions and she is a lovely lady. She runs Newmarket Equine Tours Racing Club. Exceptional value and a great way to taste the luxury of being a racehorse owner at an affordable price. She is a talented trainer. But, like so many, she is only as good as the horses she has in her care. I don't know if they are a gambling stable. I guess all have their day. 

On average, her horses are handicappers. However, she had one horse who really was class: Spirit Of Sharjah

This bay son of Invincible Spirit must have looked like a wonder horse when galloping at Exning. He must have been the nearest thing to poetry in motion. It may have been back in 2007, but that two-year-old season must have been one of the most amazing moments of her life. Finally, a horse that shines as brightly as they come. 

Back to a trainer and the opportunity to bet and win good money. 

Spirit Of Sharjah was a horse made for a gamble. 

Why? 

Because she doesn't train many top-class horses. 
Doesn't have a great strike rate on debut.
Not known for talented two-year-olds.

Never limit a person. Becuase they will show you how wrong you are. And every trainer, who trains long enough, has their day. 

Spirit Of Sharjah made his debut at Newmarket. 

What price do you think he started? 

50/1, 25/1, 16/1...

Opened 16/1 backed to 10s. Who did they book to ride? Mick Kinane! I suspect I haven't looked, that it was the only time he has ever ridden for the stable. I don't know if the stable bet, but I would be amazed if this wasn't one of those rare purple days.

Spirit Of Sharjah won a Conditions Stakes race by two-and-a-half lengths. Beating future top sire Dark Angel in the process. 

That must have been such a wonderful day. A day owners, trainers and punters wait a lifetime to enjoy. To hit the headlines. 

I bet Julia's purse was bulging ten minutes after that debut on April 18th, 2017. 

Good luck to her. 

Spirit Of Sharjah. A star horse. 

He won his first two races, taking a Listed race at Goodwood in ready fashion. 

In many respect, his third race was the pinnacle of his career. He finished third at Royal Ascot's Norfolk Stakes Group 2. Losing by just over two lengths behind Winker Watson and Art Advisor. In truth, he could have gone very close to winning, finishing well. 

As Sir Francis Bacon said: ''Knowledge is power''.