The betting ring lost its biggest individual bookmaker, by the name of Freddie Williams in July 2008.
I knew and bet with Freddie on a regular basis. The son of a miner made a fortune in bottled water. Even when working full-time on this business he made a ‘Book’ at Shawfield dogs in Edinburgh. His lifetime ambition was to be a bookmaker at the Cheltenham festival. He paid £90,000 for the pitch and shortly afterwards lost £900,000 in one day to the legendary punter JP McManus! Freddie always smiled, win, lose or draw and I am sure won it back. Bookmakers normally do. Not always however. Freddie was the fearless bookie. He died aged 65 and will be sorely missed.
* * *
I was at the Newmarket July meeting last week and the racecourse has opened up a new Pink Bar, selling Champagne (Pink and White). This, along with the recent upgrade behind the stands, make the July course a treat. (Newmarket is the only town to have two racecourses).
The racing and style were both top class. A lucky couple won a week in the Caribbean having won the best turned out couple and all other entrants departed with a Thai spa voucher or similar.
A fun week was had by all.