Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 23 July 2017

Bogus Dundalk gamble left me in horrible place - Levins

Johnny Levins:
Johnny Levins: "It was important for me to inform the betting public at the earliest opportunity that they needed to look through all the smoke and see there was no fire" (Stock photo)

Johnny Ward

Trainer Johnny Levins has spoken of the "horrible" predicament in which he found himself after a misplaced gamble on six of his horses developed before Wednesday night's Dundalk meet.

Palavacini Run, Deeds Not Words, Bective, Rateel, Sixtyfiveroses and Havelock Ellis were all slashed in price on Tuesday night. The best any of them could manage was a third-place finish and all six were marked drifters on the betting exchanges before the off.

As far as Levins was concerned, this was out of his control. Paul Binfield of Paddy Power had said that the first bet the firm laid at the meeting was a "Canadian", a special cross-multiples wager, "featuring five of Johnny's six runners".

Levins said: "I woke up on Wednesday morning at Newmarket sales without a care in the world and been thrust into the media spotlight for something not of my making.

"I had to speak to a few of my owners to assure them all was above board and there was nothing to see here. It was important for me to inform the betting public at the earliest opportunity that they needed to look through all the smoke and see there was no fire.

"At 5pm I was in the peculiar situation whereby I wanted my horses to win but was concerned at the perception if they did. And that is a horrible place to be.

"An owner of mine advised me that the only people tipping up this supposed gamble were tipping websites affiliated to bookmakers themselves and that they actually make money when their tips lose. If that's correct how can that be right?

"I'm not a gambler and never will be. I think I could do a good job with a good horse and that's what I want to be known for."

Paddy Power's spokesman of that name said that the fact money had come for the horses on the night before the races was key to the gamble.

"Liabilities can build quite quickly and the fact it was overnight liabilities would alarm our system," he said.

Momentum

"In the age of social media, if a suggestion that there's 'a job' on gathers momentum, the truth is irrelevant to the liabilities. People just want to be on. Our job is to price something up at odds people are willing to take and people did want to get on."

Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor said that the apparent sting had been exaggerated.

"We saw money alright, but certainly not a monster gamble by any stretch of the imagination. Our Dundalk prices for Wednesday were up an hour or two later than other firms on Tuesday evening."

Irish Independent

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