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By David Fowler | Tuesday, December 18, 2012

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

Winners aren't always grinners.

And that's certainly the case with some gamblers betting with some corporate agencies.

Stories like these aren't new but the issue certainly deserves airing on occasions.

Our traditional TAB's are often maligned against the backdrop of the jazzy marketing and advertising skills of corporate bookmakers … and it's a fair comment that the corporates have achieved better results than TAB's in gathering public support because of innovations and new bet types.

But then there's the darker side.

Some corporates will glad hand you to get your business with one promise or another and then the "fun" begins, a term I use loosely.

Don't get me wrong. If a client is considered to be acting corruptly to achieve financial success he or she should be thrown out immediately.

But some corporates simply don't like winner-backers. You'll be given a month or two to enjoy their services but when the weekly balance sheet keeps showing a positive result, your time is up.

No personal contact of course. An email will slip into your inbox stating your account has been reviewed.

No correspondence entered into either. Their way or the highway.

Cleverly, some don't close your account but restrict your betting limits.

I don't mind naming and shaming bet 365 as a true offender in this regard.

Regular winner backers, and betting in modest amounts I might add, will have their bets pruned back to a $16 limit.

That's right. You might be a $200 gambler but if you back too many winners you are informed you can only place $16 on a bet.

Impressive stuff!

It clearly shows bet365 only wants losers as clients and they're not alone.

I'd love them to try and defend their stance but let's face it, they don't care.

They're too busy signing up new clients to worry about those things.


Stewards reports are also in the maligned category these days.

With computer ratings and videos, stewards reports are often consigned to the waste basket.

But do so at your peril.

It always serves to read the report for items of interest that maybe a video or a computer can't detect.

Two Eagle Farm winners on the weekend illustrate this point clearly.

Mr Light Blue looked far sharper on Saturday than his lack lustre performance on December 1. Yet a stewards report confirmed Barry Baldwin advising Mr Light Blue pulled up sore here, there and everywhere but had been treated and was happy to proceed with his campaign.

Dream’N’Ignite went poorly at the same December 1 meeting yet bounced back to winning form on Saturday.

Again, the report showed she sprung a shoe in that race and Michael Cahill suggests she was better to free run rather than being held up.


Am I as certain about Missy Longstocking winning the Magic Millions as I was last week?

No, but I'm not backing away either.

The critics were quick to pounce on her 57.7 unimpressive win compared to Sir Luminar's 57.1 debut performance.

One can't argue with the time factor but I'd consider raising two points in her defence.

Firstly, she had to sit outside the leader rather than control the tempo herself and, secondly, it is generally acknowledged she wasn't at her peak in that win.

The Bruce McLachlan on December 29 at Doomben will paint a much clearer picture.

Until next week

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 Sir Luminar
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