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"I love the articles on Sugar Bertie. Hoping to win the £100 free bet."

- Keith Sams

"If you enjoy horse racing then Sugar Bertie is a website that you will enjoy. I particularly enjoy the winning sp posts about huge priced victories. You will find articles about all aspects of racing from big bet, amazing stories and crazy accumulators. I had to laugh at some of the post!"

- Barry Beaston 




Gosden Dillema 

Too Darn Hot To Handle What Now?

Fixed Odds Betting Terminal

FOBT Fiction

Can We Believe A Word Fact Or Fiction

Great Yarmouth

Great Gates

Which Racecourse Oh The Sea Air

Saeed bin Surror

Saeed bin Stats

So What Do They Say? Fascinating

Betting odds

No Odds Available

Why Not? Let's Investigate

On The Buses

On The Buses 

Not This Time I'll Get You, Butler!


Sorry, Eric

You're Still A Winner A Tale Of Two Names


Drunk Seagull 

Bet With A Twist Flat Out Drunk

Naked At Aintree

What's Going On? Cheeky Cheeky Girls

Grand National A - Z

Grand National A - Z

Alphabetic What Are The Odds Of That?

Mug Punter

I'll Drink To That Help

Granny Gambler

Good Idea Or Bad? A Little Flutter


Sid James  - Carry On Betting

Carry On Betting

He Loved A Bet A True Character

Horse racing train

Not A Ghost Train

Punters On The Train Yarmouth Here We Come

Harry Findlay A Bet Too Far

Harry Findlay

A Bet Too Far Banking On A

Fighter Fish

Japanese Fish Fight

Battered What's It All About?

Black Cat

Good Or Bad Omen

Lucky Black Cat Fingers Crossed

Worlds Largest Slot Machine

You Big Slot

Impressive Giant One Armed Bandit


Eddie The Shoe

Eddie The Shoe

What Does He Do A Good Bloke

Betting Like A Clown

Betting Like A Clown

Betting Odds On Time For The Custard Pie 

Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker

A Good Bet? Let's Investigate

Bookmaker Shop

Pheasant Plucker

Independant Bookmakers Not Heard Of This One Before

Steam Punk

Steam Punk Bettor

Have You Seen This Man? At A Course Near You

Betting Machines

Odds On Dodo

Bookmakers Greatest Lie PR Stunt


Sugar Bertie

My love of horse racing came from my Dad, and our summer holidays at Caister-on-sea, a mile or two from Great Yarmouth racecourse. Such wonderful times.  

I run a number of successful websites related to horse racing, betting, information and even cutting-edge research. Sugar Bertie is a website which captures many and varied stories from this Sport Of Kings. 

Thanks for your interest. 

Photo: Candy floss


So you love horse racing. But what have the punters been talking about...


Let's talk horse racing with Sugar Bertie


Gosden Dilemma...

By Jason Coote

Gosden Dilemma

Everything seemed fine. Too Darn Hot was just that – hot property. John Gosden's colt had made the headlines with four impressive two-year-old wins. A sparkling win on debut at Sandown. Lord Lloyd-Webber was all smiles. Pundits hadn't seen so much joy since Any Dream Will Do...  

The conclusion of this son of Dubawi's formative season saw a ''very readily'' verdict on a two-and-three-quarter length in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) a Newmarket, beating Advertise and Aidan O'Brien's Anthony Van Dyke.  

What next?  

As far as bookmakers were concerned this chestnut colt was heading for Classic race success. It was a matter of turning up and the job was done.  

Then the whispers started... The stable star: ''There isn't a problem!''  

The announcement: '' Too Darn Hot to miss 2,000 Guineas as Gosden team run out of time''  

''Although he has shown great improvement in the last nine days, Too Darn Hot will not be ready in time to run in the 2,000 Guineas.''  

The colt had been a warm ante-post favourite ended up a late withdrawl when making a no show at the Greenham Stakes. A splint problem was found after a pre-Newbury spin and the colt was confined to light exercise. Basically, there wouldn't be enough time to reach peak fitness for the 2,000 Guineas.  

Gosden said: "Although he's shown great improvement in the last nine days, Too Darn Hot will not be ready in time to run in the 2,000 Guineas.  

"It's unfortunate but it's only two weeks away and that does not allow us sufficient time to get the required work into him. 

"Consequently he'll miss Newmarket. The two races we have in mind now are both next month, the Dante Stakes at York and the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh."  

What next?  

Too Darn Hot has future engagements, so his return is likely to be sooner rather than later.  

An entry for the 1m2½f (1m2f56y) Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo) on 16th May could be a preparation race for the Irish 2,000 Guineas which takes place at the Curragh on 25th May. Whether punters will be interested in taking 3/1 after the problems of late is another story.  

The Epsom Derby is the race connections will be desperate to content. There shouldn't be any probems to make the day on 1st June.  


We love this sweet post from Sugar Bertie 


About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racing websites and known gambler in Great Britain. 

FOBT Fiction

By Jason Coote

FOBT Fiction

Fixed Odds Betting Terminal

What's all the fuss about? Probably sounds a heartless question when so many gamblers become addicted to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT). 

To those who venture into their local bookmakers, it's a machine you can play a multitude of games and bet big money on the spin of a roulette table, if you so wish. That's a computer generated roulette wheel of course.  

Well, there has been much outcry about these machines because punters could bet £200 a spin or some crazy number I can't quite remember. Such was the protestations that the government stepped in and decided that it would be wise if each spin was reduced to just £2.  

In theory, all this sounds like a great idea. However, the problem isn't really the machine it's the person playing. I'm not saying any form of addiction is easy to cope with because it can't be. I've never been addicted to gambling although I'm sure there are plenty of people who imagine I am the biggest ''addy'' on the street. Far from it. In actual fact, I make my living from gambling via websites and betting.  

I feel that each gambler needs to show a level of responsibility as do the bookmakers or layers who take their bets. We've all seen the adverts: ''When the fun stops...STOP''. They are almost amusing in the way they try to pretend they want punters to bet less (or more responsible) when in truth they are foaming at the mouth with glee if they lose every penny.  

It's a problem for some.  

However, all this talk of FOBT is surely a smoke screen for a bigger picture. It is like sticking a plaster over a gaping wound which needs stitches or a staple gun. A syringe full of adrenalin mixed with ketamine will sooth the pain. What about the bookmakers who have casinos online or via phone app? There is no restriction. In fact, I am pretty sure you could go for £10,000 a spin if you so wish. Who is saying sod all about the sensability of those actions?  

I can't help feel the lowering of the FOBT in betting shops is just a smoke screen attempting to negate the use online or in casinos across the country. Betting shops are a relic of an old bookmaking system. They are something that will vanish within the next decade or two. It's a sure thing! Why do bookmakers want to pay for collosal overheads when an app on a phone is the equivalent of walking into a betting shop while you are at home, on the bus or sitting on a deckchair on the beach?  

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are the sacrificial lamb to a monstrosity of a beast.  

If you need professional help due to a gambling problem then find the strength to do so. If you can't do that, then take a good look in the mirror because the answer lies within.  

Another sweet blog post from Sugar Bertie. 


About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many betting websites and a known gambler in Great Britain.

Great Gates

By Jason Coote

Great Gates

Great Yarmouth

It's not the first thing you expect to catch the eye when going to the races. Most punters are sizing up the fillies - especially on ladies day! (Joke) Others puzzle over their race card, as the pros are quick to attend the betting ring. 

In my old age, I must have grown a fasciantion for iron gates. Very strange, hey. The gates look weather beaten, or perhaps they've been kicked by an errant thoroughbred who didn't like the look of the first or last furlong? (Depending on entry or exit.)  

So what's all this chatter about gates?  

Well, I've been a regular patron at Great Yarmouth racecourse since a youngster. A fondness of toffee apples, candy floss and a love for betting odds. This year, I decided to buy the annual membership because it encourages me go to this lovely course a little more often.

Travelling from the Fenland town of March in Cambridgshire it takes a good couple of hours. A train journey familiar to those who change at Ely. Next stop Norwich, then a ride on some clapped-out coach which goes the pace of a geriatric snail shadowing the Acle straight, which is a murderous road to take if driving, to the seaside town of Great Yarmouth. There's plenty of wildlife to be seen on the Bittern Line.

In its own way, I like the journey. The site of Ely Cathedral, the ship of the fens, heading to Thetford Forest, then Norwich which is home to a football team called the Canaries. 

On Platform 5B I saw Racing UK's TV pundit Eddie Freemantle waiting for the said train to Yarmouth. I didn't say hello as I hate to intrude when I could see he was assessing the speed of the snail-like train by Timeform and noticed how inadequate leg room forced his angular knees to poke into the isle way. He had the good manners to move them as passengers walked by. (The things you notice on public transport).

Anyway, back to the gates. 

Just past the finishing line at the racecourse, these ornate iron gates depict a horse and jockey with a finished line somewhere between the front and back. I've never been sure of a horse's anatomy bar its nose. The artwork is primitive which adds to its charm. (You can see the photo at the top of the page.)

It isn't the best photo as it was taken by my good self. No hidden talents there. 

I couldn't help wonder who had made the gates and when they were put in place. The lustre has faded with age but they still tell a story which I would love to hear. 

I wonder if I wrote to the racecourse whether they would reply? Perhaps the story has been lost with time?  

Do you know who made those gates?  

Another sweet blog post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many websites and known gambler in Great Britain. 

Saeed bin Stats

By Jason Coote

Saeed bin Stats

Saeed bin Surror

How many Godolphin trainers can you name? For British race fans it is likely to be Charlie Appleby or Saeed bin Suroor. I won't say too much about Mahmood Al Zarooni who was disgraced in 2013 when it was disclosed that 11 horses had tested positive for anobolic steroids. He was banned from racing for eight year and instantly dismissed from his lofty position.  

Back to the present year.  

Saeed bin Suroor is one of my favourite trainers as much for his professionalism in front of the camera as a hard-working trainer behind the scenes. I have seen him a number of times at Great Yarmouth and he is dignity personified.  

I specialise within two-year-old horse racing. I follow each and every horse, which I have done since he started training in 1994. A list of over 60 major wins in Great Britain and over 100 across the world.  

Every year, I update my horse trainer analysis, which helps understand how each works regarding strength and weakness. This data regards the first and second race for two-year-olds. I stop before the third race because a couple of runs is sually enough to make a form assessment. 

This research is revealing. 

In general, a two-year-old horse has much greater chance of winning on its second start compared with their racecourse bow. For instance, I categorise each debutant by price. It is intriguing to note how this sample indicates the likely chance of winning.  

On our recent day out to Great Yarmouth, six debutantes made for an intriguing contest. Archie Watson fielded the odds-on favourite, Endless Joy, whose starting price of 4/6 made for a tough competititor.  

Saeed bin Suroor's two-year-old, Quiet Place, was priced 3/1 in the morning. So I was shocked to see the betting open on course at 8/1. I can only imagine what price was available on the exchanges. Certainly the betting graph must have looked like Mount Everest. Punters must have been tempted, as the price reduced to 6/1 at the off.  

From a statistical point of view, what did this starting price (SP) say about the chances of this daughter of Kodiac? It helped build a picture which told me Quiet Place would struggle to win. The statistics detailed his bay filly had just a 6% win rate. This came from a sample of almost 100 horses! My statistics suggested this filly should have been just over 16/1 (100/6).  

So how did the race go?  

It turned out the odds were correct. But in ways it proves what a thin line there is between being a winner or loser. Quiet Place lost in a photo-finish to Mark Johnston's, Companion. It was on the nod and could have easily gone either way. 

Were the stats correct? 

I guess they were, although in this narrown defeat I would be foolish to say that with any authority. It proves the point that stastics do tell a story that longterm may prove correct. Would you want to bet on a horse winning when it had proven to have a 16/1 chance when priced 6/1? But would you be surprised if the individual won? 

Horses will always defy stastics, even though they may prove long term to be correct. On this day, a short head was the difference.


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote is a founder of many horse racing websites and known gambler in Great Britain. 

No Odds Available

By Jason Coote

No Odds Available 

Betting odds

Do you remember the old days betting on course? Long, long before the betting exchanges transformed the landscape of how we backed the jolly. Bookmakers reluctantly made to change how they plied their trade. Tic tac men and women, their secret hand signals relaying the prices for any given horse, made redundant by a different form of code detailed on the screen of a laptop. 

A pair of white gloves covered in the blood of technological advancement. The same hand more informed by an iPhone and app.

How times change.  

I remember walking around the betting ring at Great Yarmouth. I must have been in my late teens or early twenties. The bookmakers used to price up a field of two-year-old debutantes in a painfully slow fashion. In those days, to an extent, they made the market. Some brave soul would literally take a stand - daring to chalk up the odds. It was a marvel to witness and added a buzz to the ring that is lacking in this modern era.

If Honest Joe (Turf Accountant) made a mistake, you could get 10/1 on a beast that should have been half those odds. Sure, it didn't happen too often but those were the days when the betting market literally formed before your eyes.  

With the introduction of the betting exchanges the market starts taking shape the evening before. When bookmakers detail the betting on course, they simple use the exchanges as their point of reference. How could they go against such a mighty machine? They simply have no option to follow its lead.  

Another aspect of betting that seems to have changed over the years are the good old betting odds. It looks like some have disappeared. The classic 100/6, (16.6666/1) once a common site, now as rare as a spotted flycatcher. The death of many iconic betting odds buried like dodos. If I knew where the heastone lay, I would leave a handful of forget me not flowers.  

Which betting odds have you noticed missing?  

In many ways, it doesn't seem to matter. But the history of our racing game is in the state of fluxation. Where will it lead? We have no idea. In these days of technology, we are susceptable to advancement, trend or fashion. Change may add to our enjoyent but sometimes kick what we know right in the balls.  

I feel lucky to remember the old and the new.  


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote has founded many horse racing website and known gambler.  

Privacy Notice

By Jason Coote

Privacy Notice

Last Updated May 2018  


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About the Author

Jason Coote 

Sorry, Eric

By Jason Coote

Sorry, Eric

Eric Winner

I really should send him a message. It's just not right. Some one being tarred with the same brush. This bloke must be embarrassed. It's something that shouldn't have happened but it did...  

I feel sorry for Eric Winner.  

The confusion arose when my friend and I (Eric Winner) decided to start a horse racing tips website. I thought Eric Winner was a good, catchy, name. So it stuck. We wanted to give free horse racing tips. The website was promoted and become a real success. In fact, it has achieved almost 1000,000 (1M) pageviews. Eric is a prolific tipster and the website has over 1500 posts. Everything seems fine and dandy. The website is know across the globe, tipping winners like they are going out of fashion, he's even had a 100/1 winner.  

So what's the problem?  

There isn't one unless your name happens to be Eric Winner. I mean, another Eric Winner who is just going about his daily business. The problem being (to my knowledge) he isn't a gambler, horse racing tipster, and doesn't have anything in common bar his name.  

We've never met the real Eric Winner. I think he works for Microsoft and went to Stanford University and lives in the states. You can see from the photo that he is a respectable gentleman. I can't help wonder if he has ever been confused with Eric Winner the gambler, tipster, the man who just loves to bet.  

I imagine him being embarrassed by people asking for racing tips. He's at a business meeting and asked if he runs a horse racing website in the United Kingdom. I hope he isn't more wellknown as a gambler than a serious business man. I hope that sharing a name hasn't had a negative impact on his life.  

Who knows? (Only Eric Winner).  

I would like to say sorry and apologise for any confusion we may have caused.  

Sorry, Eric.  

Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racing websites and known British gambler.  

Drunken Seagull

By Jason Coote

Drunken Seagull

Drunken Seagull

Horse racing is all about stories. Winners, losers and the also rans. Everyone remembers the days when a sweet success put a few quid in your pocket. But what about those days when it didn't quite go to plan. There are lots of reasons why a horse doesn't run its race. However, I very much doubt you will have heard of this strange happening.  

Readers will know I enjoy going to Great Yarmouth to enjoy a day's racing. 

It's a nice little course. 

Like so many, it's unspectacular in ways but it holds a lot of memories for me, especially connected to my late father, Colin. Dad loved to go to the Eastern Festival which takes place every September. It's a three-day meeting the highlight being a Listed race. In recent years, since the straight mile has been revamped to iron out a few undulations and topped with new daisy-free turf, the size of fields and quality of horse has improved. 

Being close to Newmarket, the course has seen many top-notch two-year-olds. No surprise considering it is frequented by the likes of John Gosden, Roger Varian, Sir Michael Stoute.  

Fond memories of seeing Sir Henry Cecil at the course. My cousin, Danny, always telling of the day he spoke to the great trainer and how he took the time to detail his thoughts about a horse making its debut.  

Being a popular seaside location on the Norfolk coast, Great Yarmouth has a hell of a lot of seagulls. The other week, I sat in the market square, eating sausage and chips, and I was surrounded by a host of herring gulls, pigeons and sparrows. One particularly big bird seemed to consider I was part of his territory and chased off any other gulls who came close. This fella didn't bother with the chips but seemed to have his eye on the battered sauasage. I don't think he'd caught a fish out of the sea in a long time. It was amusing to a point but the gull experience isn't quite as entertaining as the ghost train at Hunstanton.  

Thinking about the seagull reminds me of a race comment I saw years ago about a horse race at Great Yarmouth. I can't remember which horse, who trained it or what year the incident happened. However, I do remember the race. The comment went something life this:  

''Steady start, mid division, travelled well, spooked at dead seagull at furlong pole, ran on well.''  

Who would believe that winning and losing a horse race would result in the a conked-out seagull whose demise saw a good few quid go down the swanny.  

The next time you go to the races make sure you check to see which ''obstacles'' may alter the history of racing.  

Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.  

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of a number of horse racing websites and known Brtish gambler.

On The Buses

By Jason Coote

On The Buses

On The Buses

I'm not sure if you like situation comedy? The classic sitcom. Perhaps I am showing my age, but I love the old shows much better than this new genre of alternative comedy (whatever that means). I'm not sure the first time I watched an episode of On The Buses, which ran from 1969 – 1973. Considering I was born in 1970, I may have seen it while sitting on my mum's knee.  

The program was braodcast on ITV and created by Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe. In this day and age, it is a spectacle of sexist, racist and every other ism you can probably think. However, it is still very funny. I used to watch episodes on a daily basis round my late aunt Pam's. We used to look forward to a cup of tea and one if not two episdodes. 

Good old ITV 3.  

For those who don't know the background to On The Buses, it is set in a bus depot and bases around a quirky mix of characters who take delight in making each others lives a misery with humourous consequence.  

Stan Butler and his mate Jack Harper are the workshy bus drivers always on the lookout for ''crumpet'', while bus inspector Cyril ''Blakey'' Blake is forever trying to keep them in line.  

Stan's family play a major role in many humourous situations with Mum Mabel, sister Olive, who is literally the but of every joke, while her husband, Arthur, is ridiculed for being bald, and his man's problem.  

Anyway, I'm sure you are wondering why I'm talking about On The Buses when this is a horse racing website. Well, the impossible to fathom connection is that Sugar Bertie is related to this situation comedy. It relates to the day Blakey decided to keep the bus drivers accountable by installing a radio system. To communicate, each driver's intials were used for identification. So Stan Butler was given the name Sugar Bertie.  

As you can imagine, it resulted in chaos with Jack Harper altering the radio setting so they contacted the police and even an airline pilot.  

Over and out, Sugar Bertie.  


Never watched it, then take a look.  


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racing websites and known gambler. 

Naked At Aintree

By Jason Coote

Naked At Aintree

Naked At Aintree

Once upon a time it seemed racegoers were a predictable breed. Dressed for the occasion, they had respect for themsleves and others. Perhaps, I'm just having a fleeting moment of nostalgia. To be fair, I didn't go to the races until the 1980s but times have changed.  

In the last decade, big race meetings haven't just seen quality horses, sophistication and refinement. Sure, that still exists, but so, it seems, does the possiblity of being met by a drunken ''lady'' dressed to the nines. The fascinator isn't on her head - its the fact she's got her tits out!  

I'm sure there are plenty of men (and women) who love to see such sights and I must admit I may even take a good look but what is it about modern horse racing meetings such as Aintree, Royal Ascot & Great Yarmouth (I made up the last) which sees women more interested in getting their bits out. I'm not sure when the first glimpse of the adult nature reared its head (so to speak) but it has been publicised in the press on a par with the greatest Cheltenham Gold Cup winners. 

Thinking of an (in) appropriate Gold Cup winner made for tabloid headlines: Red Splash (1924) ridden by Dick Rees, fits the bill.

While ''researching'' this article, I saw the rather unattractive sight of an over weight man in his 50s running loose, naked, at Prestbury Park. Given a choice, I would have rather it been a buxom blonde, because the man in question would have frightened the flagman from waving his flag. Definitely a false start in every sense of the word.  

I guess the combination of a sunny day at the races, unending glasses if not bottle of Dom Perignon, make the chest heave, the dress rise above the knee and a temptation to sprawl out on the turf a good idea. It's the difficultly of getting to their feet which isn't so graceful. 

Legs akimbo!

Much of these goings ons are due to the fact the tabloid press almost encourage such misbehavour. It's like throwing a chunk of steak to a shoal of piranha. Men shouting: ''Get your tits out for the boys''. Page three, four, five and six, here we cum (sic). 

The odds of you being pictured rise greatly when the bra clasp pings.  

In truth, it is a self fulfiling prophecy, because unless the press and social media don't take an interest in the sensational it wouldn't be flaunted. In a day when so many people are in search of fame or self promotion the levels will fall lower and lower until the point pure disgust is acheived. I'm sure some of you will remember the story about a young couple having sex on course. In some respects, it is almost humourous. But in other ways it is a sad reflection of what is ''acceptable''.  

For some going to the races is all about refinement while others it's getting their kit off.  

What are the odds of it happening at Royal Ascot?  

Odds on.  

Another sweet post by Sugar Bertie. 

On The Buses

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racing websites and known British gambler. 

Grand National A - Z

By Jason Coote

Grand National A - Z 

Grand National A - Z

Every April, come rain or shine, horse racing fans savour the greatest steeplechase in the world. Aintree, Liverpool, is the venue for the Grand National which is fondly known as the housewife's favourite – meaning that people often bet on this horse race when they would never before.  

The Grand National is run over 4 miles 3 ½ furlongs, with 30 fences. It dates back to 1839 when a horse called Lottery hit the jackpot.  

This race has a rich history and stories which have become fables. For that season, I though would be fun to have an a – z about the Grand National characters, horses and anything to do with this most famous of races.  

A – Auroras Encore: Winner of the 2013 Grand National for trainer Sue Smith.  

B – Bindaree: Nigel Twiston-Davies wins the Grand National in 2002 for owner Jim Mould.  

C – Chair: One of the most infamous jumps of the this historic race. Interesting is it the 15th fence and only one of two fences jumped once (the other is the water jump).  

D – Don't Push It: A superb victory for Jonjo O'Niell's charge in the ownership of J P McManus. Just as well known for being Tony mcCoy's first Grand National winner at his fifteenth attempt.  

E – Earth Summit: This 7/1 favourite won the 1998 race, the first win for Nigel Twiston-Davies and the Summit Partnership.  

F – Foinavon: One of the most famous victors of this race in 1967. The win was remarkable for his 100/1 odds after the rest of field fell, refuse or brought down at the 23rd fence.  

G – Gay Trip: The 1970 Grand National winner trained by Fred Rimell. It was an exceptional victory considering he was carrying 11 5lb. (Only a handful of horses have carried more weight including Red Rum).  

H – Hedgehunter: Trained by Irish legend Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh. He took the spoils in 2005 for millionair owner Trevor Hemmings who owns Blackpool Tower.  

I – Ilex: Going back to the 1890 to find the 4/1 winner trained by John Nightgall ridden by his son Arthur.  

J – Jim Joel: One of the oldest owners, Joel was 92 when Maori Venture won the 1987 National.  

K – Kirkland: Going back to 1905, the first success for jockey Frank Mason who was British jump jockey champion from 1901 – 1907.  

L – Little Polvier: Trained by Toby Balding, one of few trainers to win three big races: the Grand National (Little Polvier, 1989), Cheltenham Gold Cup (Cool Ground, 1992) & Champion Hur&le (Beach Road, 1989, Morley Street, 1991).  

M – Many Clouds: The sole Grand National winner for Oliver Sherwood in 2015. The third win for Trevor Hemmings.  

N – Nicolaus Silver: Just one of three horses to win the Grand National. Tasted victory in 1961 for trainer Fred Rimell. The other two greys to have won the National are The Lamb (1868, 1871) & Neptunes Collo&ges (2012).  

O – Oxo: This 8-year-old bay gelding won the Grand National in 1959 for trainer Willie Stephenson.  

P – Party Politics: A giant horse who won in 1992 for trainer Nick Gasalee, owned by Patrica Thompson. He also finished runner-up to Royal Athlete in 1995.  

Q – Queen Mother: In many people's eyes the most unlucky loser in Grand National history when Devon Loch inexplicably lept into the air and fell in the closing stages of the 1956 contest when certain to win. Ridden by Dick Francis who went on to become a famous crime writer.  

R – Red Rum: The most famous winner of the Grand National on three occasions in 1973, 1974 & 1977. Trained by&Ginger McCain, this amazing horse never fell in 100 races. Interesting to note as a two-year-old he dead-heated in a five-furlong sprint. Also, twice ridden by Lester Piggott. Red Rum passed away at the age of 30 and buried at the finishing line at Aintree racecourse.  

S - Sergeant Murphy: Won the Grand National in 1923 when ridden by Captain Tuppy Bennett and owned by American Stephen Sanford who was a member of the United States House of Representatives.  

T – Tiger Roll: A modern phenomenon and class horse winning the Grand National in 2018 in the ownership of Gigginshouse Stud. A four-times winner at the Cheltenham Festival including the Triumph Hurdle, National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup & Cross Country Chase &2). A leading hope for the 2019 Grand National and hopes of being the next Red Rum.  

U – USA: An American-trained horse Jay Trump who prevailed in 1965. One of only two horses to win the Maryland Hunt Cup & Grand National. Shipp&d to England in 1964, then ventured to France when finishing third in the Grand Steeplechase. He returned to America, winning the Maryland Hunt Cup in 1966 and retired.  

V – Valentine's: Fence 9th and 25th, originally known as the Second Brook, but named Valentine's when a horse of the same name was reputed to have jumped the fence hind legs first in 1840.  

W – Wild Man From Borneo: Won the Grand National in 1895.  

X – X-Ray: Aintree racecourse has an on course x-ray machine in the quick diagnosis of horses with leg injuries or pulled up.  

Y – Yankee: 

A bet that some may include the Grand National as a winning selection. The bet consists of four horses selections and eleven bets: six doubles, four trebles & one four horse accumulator.  

Z – Zoedone: Races in the 1882 Grand National in horrendous conditions in the race's history. Heavy snow and freezing conditions saw just 12 starters including Zoedone who finished 3rd. However, the big story of this race was Seaman, who was said to be unfit and only turned by because of an extraordinary wager. The owner the 3rd Barron Manners, than he could buy, train and ride a Grand National winner (1882) with only four months to prepare. Most horses stopped because of the condition, Seaman, looked to sure to finish second as he went lame in the last 300 metres. However, under a determined ride from Manners got up to win by a head.  

Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie. 

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racing websites and known British gambler. 

Mug Punter

By Jason Coote

Mug Punter

Mug Punter

I met this bloke in the local bookers. He said his name was Isaac Hunt. A friendly character, personable, interesting and generous.  

An all round good egg.  

So what's the problem? He's one of the millions of mug punters who never realise the amount of time they invest into their passion for horse racing and betting means they have next to no chance of winning long term.  

It doesn't have to be that way.  

Unless you find a magic lamp with a genie inside, the chances are you're not going to make a success of anything without a lot of hard work. I know you see all these get rich schemes on the internet promising you a life of luxury. Travel the globe earning this ''magical passive income''. To all but the lucky or exceptionally gifted, it's simply a ploy to make money off the back of your hopes and dreams. They'll smoke your boots like it's a John Player Special. What a bunch of hustling freaks.  

No marketeer is going to tell you the truth. 

I've noticed something about most mug punters. I hate the term myself and I wouldn't be so brazen or bold to call it to someone's face. 

The life of the general punter saddens my heart. It's like talking to an alien from a different planet, except they aren't as intelligent.

Most people who bet never seem to learn anything to help improve their success from placing that first (mistaken) bet. There isn't any reason they shouldn't learn because basic trial and error (which is the same as winning and losing) should detail some thought, logic and reason for the creation of new hypothesis. 

Test. Analyse. Asses.

Move forward with a new idea. Next time the result could be in your favour.  

When you consider how much money anyone can lose gambling over a lifetime it is something we should take very seriously. That's both the reason to learn and the reason not to waste money.  

I hate the idea of fun bets. I don't even understand what kind of definition would be attached to a ''fun bet''. It can't be a definition of a winner, hey. It must be 80% loser attached to 20% hope. We all need hope. We all need a bit of luck at times. What we don't need is pure ignorance or denial of the facts. 

If you keep losing – stop betting.  

It is surprisingly easy to improve your chances of winning.  

Find a niche. Enjoy what you are doing. Watch and learn. The day will come when you realise you know more than most. That is my definition of a winner. It isn't about being the best in the world. Even the best performers have struggled to achieve that goal when the world and his wife knows they are the greatest. It is as simple (or difficult) as knowing a little bit more than most. 

That is your edge. 

In a world where most people are too lazy to bother, they truly get what they don't put in.  

When you work hard for your pounds, shilling and pence why give them away so easily on the hope you will get lucky. 

Unless you win the lottery, get a five-horse accumulator or find that genie's lamp the chance of you striking gold is remote. I won't say it can't happen because it does to some lucky soul every day. But wouldn't you rather base your life chances (opporutnities) on skill? When that day comes, you can eye up the opposition and smile to yourself with the thought of knowing you are odds-on to win.  


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie. 

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racig websites and known British gambler. 

Granny Gambler

By Jason Coote

Granny Gambler 

Granny Gambler

Does your gran like to gamble?  

I guess the blue rinse brigade love a flutter. A dab with their dabber at the local bingo hall. I wonder if your gran has gone online? I guess a little bet is no bad thing. However, have you ever been worried by how much money a loved one is gambling?  

Each to their own. I bet and it isn't a problem because I have a very disciplined approach. In fact, I don't bet for fun. Betting in such a manner details that the individual doesn't care if they lose. That, to me, is insane. Bet to invest - not to lose.  

Please, don't bet for fun.  

One TV programme which brought the true horror of gambling to the forefront was Louis Theroux's Gambling in Las Vegas. It was an episode which didn't really detail any positives. In fact, the majority of people lost their shirt. 

Some bloke from Canada – known as The Mattress Man – came to bet for a week or two and annually lost $200,000. A brainless display of stupidity if I have ever seen it. Playing two slot machines at once as it if gave double the chance of winning. He had his own VIP room (which didn't cost a dollar) and this leech-like person who followed him around portraying the role of a friend of the casino but clearly someone who was on a commission for every cent he lost. If that's what you call a friend I'd look elsewhere.  

Another gambler started off winning. Then, every time he appeared on TV his fortunes dwindled to a point of being minus and losing tens of thousands of dollars - looking more suicidal with every passing minute. His mate didn't help the issue by singing Kenny Rogers Gambler song trying to make him see the lighter side of being homeless (which is where he was heading).  

If that doesn't seem bad enough, the gambler granny (''Martha'') was enough to make the most calm person's blood boil. The seemingly educated doctor must have lost her marbles with age because every day she would play the slots. The casino realising she was a dream come true, pandered to her every whim because over the years she had lost millions of dollars. I'm not sure if she has some mental health probem or oldtimers was setting in but she wouldn't see anything as a problem and even seemed to taunt her son saying he wouldn't have any inheritance left by the time she had finished.  

What selfish witch.  

I think gambling is bad news for most people at the best of time. But granny gamblers really need to take a chill pill and give betting a miss.  

Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie. 

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founde of many horse racing websites and known British gambler.  

Slot Machine

By Jason Coote

Slot Machine

Slot Machine

Slot Machines have now become a traditional part of gambling. In any given casino, slot machines are one of the major attractions and also generate most of the casino’s income. They are simple to play and winning or losing completely depends on the luck. Moreover, there is no limit to how much you can play as long as you have the tokens to play it. It is a one man game and so, is a perfect way to gamble. 

One of the first slot machine manufacturing companies was the Watling Manufacturing Co. established by Thomas Watling in the year 1889. From the beginning, the Watling Company was interested in manufacturing gambling machines that were similar to the machines manufactured by Caillie and Mills. However, the company started gaining popularity only after the year 1902, when its coin operated weight scaling machine became famous.  

Through the 1920s to 1930s, the company was manufacturing slot machines which had similar design to the slot machines manufactured by other big companies. The only difference was that the Watling Company decided not to make any major changes to the design, but to stick to minor changes while basing all their models on the Blue Seal design.  

However, this policy started hurting their sales drastically and the company profit was going down. This is when Thomas Watling, the founder of the company, came up with his new spectacular slot machine design known as the Rol-A-Top. This unique slot machine design featured a coin escalator on the top of the machine and this unique design became the crown of the company till the time it was finally closed. Although, enthusiastic slot machine collectors are eager to get their hands on a Rol-A-Top slot machine even today.  

One such popular Rol-A-Top slot machine model created by the Watling Company is the 25 cent Watling Rol-A-Top Bird of Paradise Slot machine. This machine features an amazing front board design that has the theme of a beautiful bird flying free. The theme art is extremely beautiful and is one of the main features of the machine that makes it truly an antique piece to collect. This unique slot machine features twin jackpot slots along with a mint vendor and a gold award token vendor. The front board is uniquely designed with the three reel spinning slot display positioned right where the eyes can see comfortably, just beside it is the list of winning combinations and the corresponding prize money the machine offers, and on top is the Rol-A-Top coin escalator.  

This machine is made with oak ribbed side cases and comes with the original Watling coin box, original metal reel strips, original side decals and an original heavy back door. It is a strong machine which can sustain a good amount of damage without causing any internal damage to the mechanism.  

Playing this slot machine is as same as playing any other slot machine. All you have to do is insert a coin through the coin slot attached to the coin escalator and pull the slot machine handle attached to the side. Once the handle is pulled, the metal reel strips will start spinning and when they stop, the combination that is aligned with the arrow on the side is the combination you have scored.  

Another amazing feature this machine has is the anti-coin jammer button that is placed behind the Rol-A-Top coin escalator. If in case, the coin gets stuck after inserting it into the coin escalator, then pressing this button will unjam it and will also help you retrieve the coin for the next turn.  

Anyway, if the combination you have scored is a jackpot or any other winning combination, the machine will automatically dispense the corresponding prize money accurately. However, if you score anything but a winning combination, then you will win absolutely nothing, also losing the coin you have inserted. This slot machine model was designed in the year 1935, which makes it more than 80 years old now. Since Rol-A-Tops were extremely popular before, they are regularly hunted by the enthusiastic collectors. Even this antique slot machine model is hunted by many, but finding it is not that easy considering how rare this slot machine is today.  

An original Watling Rol-A-Top Bird of Paradise Slot Machine preserved in good working condition can cost you more than $10,000 considering how unique this slot machine is and also depending on how well it has been preserved. However, a fully restored version of this slot machine would significantly cost less when compared to an original, say around $6000, more or less depending upon how much of it has been restored. 

In any case, the real problem is finding this rare machine. Since the company itself was based in Chicago, the chances of finding this slot machine model there are very high. Also, the state of Nevada has the highest number of casinos in the world, so it is highly possible

Another a sweet post from Sugar Bertie. 

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many horse racing websites and known British gambler.

Carry On Betting

By Jason Coote

Carry On Betting

Sid James  - Carry On Betting

Remember the Carry On Films?  

Even the younger generation have their favourites. Ask any older folk and I'm sure they could name a list of films and characters.  

One of my favourites is Carry On At Your Convenience. The film was released in 1971 and surprisingly the first box office failure of the series. This was credited to the fact it explored a political theme and that of trade unions which alienated the traditional working class audience. In fact it took until 1976 before it returned full production costs.  

The plot is set in the bathroom ceramics factory W.C Boggs & Son.  

Sid James played the part of Sid Plummer who helped the business out of trouble when Joey the budgie kept revealing winning horse racing tips.  

The scene which sticks in my mind is when Sid places a big bet on a horse called Peewit The Third.  

It's interesting to consider that Sid James didn't just play the gambler in this film, he love to bet in real life. In fact, he had a repuation...  

James was a compulsive gambler who lost tens of thousdands of pounds betting on horses over the years. It is interesting to learn that he was known to be tight with his money. The reason being, that he was in debt and looking for money to bet on the next 'sure thing'.  

Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many sport betting websites and known British gambler.

Links Page

Join The Sweetest Website Partnership 

Links Page

Take a look at these exciting websites and blogs. They have been added to Sugar Bertie because they are proven to be sweet and kind.

Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

Jason & Marlene

About the Author

Jason Coote has founded many sports betting websites and known British gambler.

Not A Ghost Train 

By Jason Coote

Not A Ghost Train 

Horse racing train

Readers of Sugar Bertie may know I'm a regular visitor at Great Yarmouth racecourse. For the first time, I've purchased annual membership - so there isn't an excuse to get a breath of sea air. 

Anyway, that's the theory. Already I've been to the first meeting of the season back in April. I went with my brother Gareth. It was a very enjoyable day.  

In the good, old days, we used to travel with our parents along the coastal road in my Dad's 1953 Humber Super Snipe. A scenic tour which built up the anticipation of a holiday we couldn't wait to start. 

We stayed at Caister-on-sea, a stone's throw from Great Yarmouth which coincided with their September Eastern Festival. Three days of horse racing, candy floss and screeching seagulls.

Such wonderful, childhood memories.  

These days, we travel by train. Luckily, our home town of March in Cambridgeshire has a train station, which is a main line, so plenty of trains to destinations far and near. 

So getting to the Norfolk coast is pretty straightforward. It has got to be better than driving, which can be a pain in the arse and it means we can have a pint of beer if we wish. If it sounds like I'm a raving alcoholic, I rarely drink to excess. I'm sure with my chat about gambling it sets a scene for some bizarre subculture.  

So we travel by train from March to Great Yarmouth. Depending on how many changes we make it takes about two and a half hours. We change at Ely station, which is a beautiful little city with a huge cathedral known as the Ship of the Fens. You can see the cathedral from the train if you are on the move. I would recommend a visit to Ely as it has a lot to offer.  

Next stop, about an hours journey to Norwich. We travelled past Thetford Forest to name one of many stops. There's lots to see on the Bittern Line.  

Finally, the last stretch of the journey from Norwich to Great Yarmouth. You never quite know what type of train will be awaiting. Oh yes, apart from knowing it won't be anything new. One occasion, we sat in an old carriage pulled by a big diesel train. Strangely, I enjoyed the journey as the seats were soft blue suede, bigger and more legroom.  

Anyway, let's get the story. It's funny who you meet on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth train. It doesn't take much working out the populous. It is either commutors, holidaymakers or punters heading for a day at the races. 

The train rarely has more than two carriages so you get a good view of whose on board. Obviously, you see the great and the good waiting on the platform. 

So who have we seen? 

One regular is Eddie Fremantle, Racing UK's pundit and all-round decent bloke. I have always been a fan of Eddie. He used to be a professional gambler. I'm not sure if he still plies his trade. Considering he is on course most days, it would seem an ideal opporutnity to bet as he wishes.  

I remember last year bumping into a couple of gentlemen connected with Richard Spencer's stable, based in Newmarket. They were part of Rebel Racing, who have owned some decent horses in their time. I'm not sure how many people are involved in the syndicate, so the two blokes we chatted were no doubt associated.  

It caught my attention as they had a two-year-old debutante running in one of the maidens. A filly named Club Tropicana. She cost £25,000 at the yearling sales. However, I was more interested because this chestnut filly held a significant entry for one of the better two-year-old race later in the year. This gave the impression it had some ability. We chatted for the journey of 40 minutes or so and then departed with fond farwells.  

We saw the couple in the paddock so they must have been representing Rebel Racing. At odds of 16/1, I thought Club Tropicana was worth a small each-way bet at 16/1. The horse finished sixth but didn't really get involved.  

I had called my two cousins Danny and Paul about the conversation we had with the Club Tropicana guys and they had a tenner each on the beast.  

All in all, I enjoyed the conversation with the Rebel Racing duo but the result of the race didn't fill me with joy. I rarely bet on other people's opinions and this was another reason why I really shouldn't have put my hand in my pocket.  

Club Tropicana has raced twelve times at the time of writing and managed a couple of third places. She run the Shadwell Rockfell Stakes (Group 2) where she finished unplaced at odds of 100/1. By her fourth race she had an official rating on 87, which didn't help her cause. At present, she hasn't won a race.  

I wonder how many famous people have travelled on the train from Norwich to Great Yarmouth?  

If you've seen someone – give us a bell.  


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie. 

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About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many sport betting websites and known British gambler. 

Harry Findlay: A Bet Too Far

By Jason Coote 

Harry Findlay: A Bet Too Far 

Harry Findlay A Bet Too Far

I guess over the years we have seen and heard about many professional gamblers. To be honest, I'm not sure if many of these public pro gamblers are really as true as they would like us to believe. 

Who really knows what people do or don't?  

Harry Findlay has been in the public eye for his gambling exploits for decades. Clearly, he is a man who knows his subject although I have always thought of him as a loud-mouth type who kind of gets his point across by not allowing the others to get a word in edgeways.  

Perhaps that is doing him a disservice. You can only take people as you find them and I'm sure if we had a conversation I would have a different persepctive. It may be better or worse.  

My good friend Eric Winner always says I'm not very good with people. I like a certain type of person. I'm not keen on loud people who are too much into themselves. I'm not saying that is Mr Findlay. Like I say, I have never met him. He isn't a shrinking violet or a wallflower.  

I read about him losing most of his gambling winnings on a rugby match. I read a few chapters of his book: Gambling for Life.  

I consider myself a decent gambler. I have made money gambling for many years. But what I couldn't understand is the fact that Harry bet just about all his money (£1.9M) on the outcome of a rugby match. It could have been football, horse racing, roulette whatever. The point being, why on earth would anyone risk just about all of their money on one bet? Perhaps I'm missing something, but it seems the worst idea any punter could have.  

When you have achieved the goal of making a fortune from gambling it would seem a good time to me to take less risk. 

Each to their own.  

In my opinion, such a lack of discipline is guaranteed to be hit with disaster whether sooner or later.  

I hate to see the bookmakers take anyone's money. The man had taken their money for years if not via a journey which would have seen most punters go grey overnight.  

For the sake of him and his famiy, I hope he finds that winning streak which sees the good times come back.  

Good luck. 

Related post: No Odds Available  


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie. 

About the Author

Jason Coote has founded a number of websites and known British gambler. 

Japanese Fighter Fish 

By Jason Coote

Japanese Fighter Fish  

Fighter Fish

As a teenager, I remember walking into a pet shop in my hometown of March in Cambridgeshire and guess what I saw in a fish tank?  

No, it wasn't a Japanese Fighter Fish.  

It was a piranha, in a tank that was barely longer than its body. I don't imagine the width was much wider than its girth. It looked to be treading water, fins moving just enough to stop it sinking. An ill-fitting home if you had ever seen one. 

I'm not sure where this piranha came from, it's age, whether male or female. It was anonymous. A piranha in a small fenland town. 

It looked moody. Eyes staring at all who dared to look. Wonky, crooked teeth ready for its dinner. I'm not sure when it was fed or what it ate. The sign on the tank said: ''Do not touch.''  

The piranha was bigger than I imagined.  

I wanted to know its story because it must have had a story to tell. It needed a little card on the tank which stated name, date of birth, where it was born... Sadly, there was nothing.  

An anonymous piranha.  

I felt sorry for the fish. Of all places to end up, a cottage, turned into a pet shop, literally fifteen metres from the river Nene.  

The pet shop went out of business within a few weeks. I think the perceived attraction of the piranha backfired.  

So what are Japanese Fighter Fish? I don't know much about them. But I get a feeling Japanese gamblers like to bet on them.  

Firstly, a Japanese fighter fish is also known as a Siamese fighting fish or betta fish (is that because people bet on them?).  

The male fish are not only very attractive but very aggressive and highly territorial. So you don't want to put two in a tank together. OK, perhaps you do if you are wanting to bet on which fish wins.  

I'm not keen on all this animal or fish fighting as a form of wagering.  

However, lets take a look what it's all about as I'm a novice in this ''field of fishing''.  

Some people in Thailand and Malaysia selectively breed these fish to increase aggression. Sounds like a mini version of the Fenland Piranha. Anyway, when two fish are put into a tank, they jostle around a bit, sparring, until one fish retreats. This is how the winning fish is decided.  

I'm not sure I would want to see all this fish fighting malarkey, although it does give the impression that no one loses a fin, rudder or eye. Someone in the crowd may lose their shirt but that's their problem for betting on a fish.  

I can't help wondering what ever happened to the piranha in the tank. I'm not sure what age they live to in captivity. It may be the case the beast is still going strong. I very much doubt it but I hope, at least, it outlived the person who had the bright idea to put it in a tank rather than its natural enviroment swimming with the shoal with the smell of blood in its nostrils.  


Another sweet post from Sugar Bertie.

About the Author

Jason Coote has founded many horse racing websites and known British gambler. 

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About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many sports betting websites and known British gambler.

Good Or Bad Omen

Jason Coote

Good Or Bad Omen

Black Cat

Gamblers are a strange breed. Many are hell bent on understanding how to beat the bookies with something akin to a scientific method. They have a quantitative fixation on numbers. They understand the chance of a horse, greyhound, man or beast of winning any given race. 

Perhaps you are the same.  

It's a good idea to be professional about gambling. It shouldn't be something you do for fun. I know lots of people bet for entertainment. However, it can be a slippery slope to losing not only your shirt but your life.  

So it's a strange factor that even though many gamblers are superstitious. Now, you may have just seen a black cat walk past as you are reading this sentence. I wonder if it sent to a chill down the spine.  

It's funny how many things people do as an act to prevent the disastrous affects of what might happen if you don't do A B C...  

It's like OCD went wrong.  

I think, to some extent, I am superstitious. I almost hate to say it because it feels like a weakness. I guess we all have our ways. Perhaps you are the same. Do you have a particular superstition which makes you feel like your bet is a bad thing?  

Did you just see that magpie fly past?  

For me, when I bet on a horse, even if very confident, I don't like to say ''I fancy the f**k'' out of this thing. I try to play it down. ''Yeah, it's got a chance but I'm not blowing a trumpet''. I'm sure you can understand what I'm saying.  

It's the same for a horse in opposition. Even if the opponent is some rag of an outsider. I really try not to say it can't win or that horse is as slow as a donkey. Basically, I don't like to tempt fate. So that is another superstition.  

Does it sound like I have a problem?  

Here are a few common gambling superstitions which you may do yourself:  

1) The number 13 is considered a bad omen  

2) Never count your money at the table  

3) Never put your keys on the table  

4) It's good luck if you see a hunchback, on your way to go gambling  

5) It's bad luck if you are a hunchback, on your way to go gambling  

6) No sex before gambling  

7) Always bet on the red  

8) Avoid using the main entrance at the casino when you leave  

9) No dogs allowed near the table  

10) Personally, say thank you to the Lord when you win 


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About the Author

Jason Coote is the founder of many websites and known gambler in Great Britain.  


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