The horse betting coup staged in January in the United Kingdom received more explanation.
Barney Curley, the renowned gambling and horse trainer has admitted he played some part in the betting coup this January. The incident that cost some land-based and online sportsbooks in the United Kingdom to lose GBP 2 million has involved 4 horses. Three of those winners were trained by Curley’s former employees.
The legend visited Salthill Hotel to speak at the Cheltenham Festival preview evening, and has shared a few words about the event, describing his personal experience as “satisfying”.
Speaking about the betting coup
Alan Byrne, the chairman of the panel has asked Curley to shed light on the rumors about his involvement in the coup. British gambling news quoted the 74-year-old saying: “This is from the bottom of my heart… I am serious about this… I don’t want to talk about it. I have a reason for saying that. It’s a distraction from what I’m trying to do.”
However, the audience proceeded to ask Curley to provide more details on the matter and he gave in saying: “It’s over now, we’ve done it.” He also went on to add: “And it was very satisfying,” sparking an outburst of laughter in the audience.
Reactions on the coup
Barney Curley added that he has kept two letter congratulating him on the coup. He said: “One was from Ian Balding [trainer of Mill Reef], one of the greatest sportsmen in England this last 30 or 40 years, Clare Balding’s father. It was a great privilege to get a letter from him because he knows all about the horses.”
Barney Curley sheds light on the horse betting coup
• The events made land-based and online sportsbooks in the UK lose GBP 2 million
• Barney Curley indirectly confirmed his involvement, but didn’t provide details
• The veteran gambler and horse trainer referred to his experience as “satisfying”
Speaking about the second letter, he revealed it had a picture of him cut out from a newspaper and featuring words “Barney Curley, genius.” Apparently is was from Martin and David Pipe, the highly renowned training team from Devon consisting of a father and son.
When Paul Kealy, a member of the panel, was approached to give his opinion on the events the audience started to protest. Kealy has already criticized the coup in the Post and went on to do so again. He was particularly focusing on two of the horses, which had been always beaten by large margins at huge odds, but went on to win on the day of the coup, thanks to heavy backing.
Paul Kealy said: “I think if all racing was like that, no one would have a bet.” But out of the 500-strong crowd he only received applause from two or three people.
Curley’s reaction to this was simple: “There’s a few press people [who] are very moderate human beings.” And added: “As far as Paul Kealy goes, he gave his opinion. It was an honest opinion. He wasn’t promoting anybody else’s tune. He came here last year and, in my opinion, he was the best prepared man on the panel. I admire people like that.”
More conversations on the topic
Alan Byrne stressed the point that Curley might be a retired trainer, but he’s still an owner. Curley objected with: “Not really. I have a few young horses.” And Byrne was quick to make an obvious joke: “And you care for some of the old horses that need some time off as well,” sparking a round of laughter, but no reaction from Curley.
What has actually happened during the coup
The events in question circled around four horses, well backed in doubles, trebles and accumulator odds back on January 22nd. The peculiarity lied in the fact that they haven’t won since as far as 2010, moreover 2 of them haven’t even raced for over a year.
All four horses went on to win that day. And all four can be linked to Curley in one way or another, since he has trained two of them back when he was still a famous horse trainer. The coup saw several bookies operating under British gambling laws lose over GBP 2 million.
At the time of the coup, three of the winning horses were trained by former Curley employees: John Butler and Des Donovan. The latter has already commented when approached about the coup: “Put it like this, I didn’t get any money out of it. I don’t bet – I just like to get the best out of horses and win races with them.” Butler has called the whole thing a coincidence.