Sir Martin Broughton’s Tote bid just got a serious shot in the arm from private equity firm Oakley Capital. Oakley, whose assets include the Time Out publications, has agreed to underwrite Sir Martin’s bid for the Tote. If the bid is successful, Oakley intends to take a 25% stake in the proposed float of Tote on London’s Alternative Investment Market. The news has left competing bidder Fred Done of Betfred “disappointed but not surprised,” and Done couldn’t resist taking a shot at Sir Martin for apparently backtracking on a pledge that his bid would not involve financing that might face “a quick exit” by private equity. Sir Martin’s retort? “I didn’t say we weren’t having any private equity. I said it wasn’t a private equity bid.” Clear now, Fred?
While the winner of the Tote race has yet to be decided, a 52-year-old Glasgow horse bettor has already won a spot in the William Hill hall of fame. The unnamed bettor made a £1 accumulator bet on Thursday, correctly predicting seven winners, beating odds of 706,128 to 1 in the process. Just like that, the bettor’s £1 was magically transformed into £353k, making him the biggest long-odds winner in William Hill history. A Will Hill spokesperson wasn’t sure if the Glasgow man was “our luckiest ever punter – or the shrewdest.” Given that the man himself claims his “brain was a wreck,” we think we have our answer.
Another anonymous bettor is making all the wrong kinds of headlines in Australia. The Mercury claims a horseracing whale has allegedly been the beneficiary of a kickback deal with Tote Tasmania. The unnamed whale has been putting down place bets as high as $200k on heavy favorites on Tabcorp’s SuperTAB (which co-mingles with Tote Tasmania) and receiving a 6-7% kickback on every dollar bet. To cover their butts, the bookies have been slashing the place odds for punters who bet on other horses. Tote Tasmania CEO Craig Coleman denies anybody placed a $200k bet on anything, as “the largest single bet we can take is $99,999.50.” A Tabcorp spokesman claims the company “investigated the incidents and there is currently no evidence of illegal activity. We monitor betting pools and do not support activity by customers that may distort the pools.”