Racing Advice. How I Took On The Bookies...And WON!


Posted on 28th November 2017

Dear Friend,

In this piece today, Gavin shares his experience on how he took on the bookies...and won!

I am sure you will find it useful and insightful!

Here's Gavin...

How I Took On The Bookies...And WON!

It was only a small victory and the amount involved was nowhere near life changing but the simple truth was that I was wronged by Paddy Power and I wasn't going to let them get away with it. People say 'it's not the money, it's the principle' all the time when it is all about the money but on this occasion it really was the principle....

(I also hope that it shows that bookmakers don't always do the right thing but they can be challenged and defeated)

How it all started....

Cast your mind back to late May/ early June when talk was all about the 2017 Derby and whether Cracksman or Cliffs of Moher were going to be crowned Champion 3yo (I think it's quite clear now who is the top dog 3yo!). I wrote my own preview of the race on the day the 5 day declarations were made and using the trends decided to side with the French raider Waldgeist who appeared to offer a little bit of each way value against the front two in the betting.

His trainer Andre Fabre had intimated in a number of interviews that Epsom was on his agenda including one on the previous weekend. So off I went to find the best odds available for a small ante-post bet. Paddy Power were top priced so I had my £20 bet with them. Not a big bet for me but at the odds it would have been a nice return. The bet was placed 11.34pm on 29th May 2017. That's 1 hour and 34 minutes after the final Epsom Derby race declarations had been made and 34 minutes after they should have been made available to the public (although neither the Racing Post or Sporting Life had at that time published them online).

To my disbelief when the 5 day declarations were eventually published Waldgeist was nowhere to be seen in the list and it would be a few days before Fabre came out and said he's decided to stay at home and go for the French Derby instead.

Oh well not to worry, I'd placed my bet after the declaration deadline and as he wasn't in the list my stake would be refunded by Paddy Power. As a former bookie myself I'm quite aware of the ante-post rules regarding race declarations. If my bet had been placed before the final declarations I would have lost my stake and no more would have been said about it. Such is the peril of ante-post betting.

BUT this was different. This is a million miles away from betting ante-post. Paddy Power took my bet on a horse that had absolutely no chance whatsoever of taking part in the race. The final declarations had been made, my horse wasn't among them, he couldn't now be added to the field....therefore I get my money back.

So I waited for them to refund my stake. And I waited. And I waited.

Fed up of waiting any longer I fired off an email to Paddy Power customer services asking for my refund. I got this reply..

Hi Gavin,

Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.

When you placed this bet the race was still ante-post.Unfortunately even though the runners were declared within the five day declarations, the market still remained ante-post which means that the rule 'no runner,no bet' stands.
If you have any further queries please visit our Help Centre

Kind Regards,
Paddy Power Customer Service

Sniff, sniff. What's that I can smell Amy? Oh yeah, it's bullshit!

This email was quickly followed by another from someone else in Customer services...

Hi Gavin,

Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.

Unfortunately this bet will be considered a non runner should this selection not run as ante-post rules would still apply up until 48 hours (Thursday) before the race is due to begin.

Apologies for any confusion.
If you have any further queries please visit our Help Centre

Kind Regards,

Or, another person who doesn't know what he's talking about!

I replied that he is wrong and that it wasn't an ante-post bet and got this back...

Hi Gavin,

Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.

Unfortunately the risk you take when placing ante post bets before the 48 hour declaration stage is that the horse may not run or be declared for the said race. If the horse doesn't run, this bet will be settled correctly as loser unfortunately.
If you have any further queries please visit our Help Centre

Kind Regards,

Utter nonsense. The final declaration stage for entries for the Derby was 5 days not 48 hours!

It was like banging my head against a brick wall and my blood was beginning to boil now. So I sent off my final email....

Hi Shane,

That is definitely not right.
You took a bet on a horse that wasn't declared for the race and, as the last supplementary stage has passed, cannot be added to the race.
If you are not willing to refund my bet then I will be happy for IBAS to adjudicate.

Gavin Priestley

Which got a reply from customer service agent number 3, Derek, yet another person who didn't know his betting rules arse from his elbow.

Hi Gavin,

Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.

Standard antepost rules would apply in this case:https://support.paddypower.com/app/answers/detail/p/6/a_id/192/kw/antepost

If we can help further in any way, please let us know.
Kind Regards,
Which left me with just one option left. To file the complaint with the Independent Betting Adjudication Serivce (IBAS) that I had threatened.

In case your unsure what IBAS is/does....

All reputable bookmakers are members of IBAS and agree to abide by their ruling. As required by the Gambling Commission their rulings are legally binding up to £10,000 on the bookmaker (not the customer).

They are completely independent and unbiased and the service they offer is free, you don't have to pay anything to have a ruling. They do however, have a large backlog and rulings can take a couple of months.

It took me a couple of minutes to fill in their forms online and after submitting my complaint I received an email from IBAS saying they had my report, they would make their ruling accordingly after communicating with Paddy Power and that it could take a couple of months (nearly 5 months as it turned out).

And so towards the end of last month I finally got my ruling.

They found in favour of the the customer (me) and were quite scathing in their summarization towards Paddy Power. You can read the adjudication by clicking the image below...


I knew I was 100% right but you do just have that slight niggle as it drags on that perhaps someone else doesn't quite see it your way.

Those fears proved completely unfounded and IBAS showed themselves to be exactly what they claim to be, Independent and Fair.

Paddy Power refunded my £20 but I haven't received an apology from them. Guess they don't like be called out as to not knowing their own rules.


So just remember, if you feel wronged, fobbed off or downright cheated by a bookmaker there is recourse.

You can contact IBAS online at http://www.ibas-uk.com/

write to them at

Independent Betting Adjudication Service
PO Box 62639

Phone them on 020 7347 5883

or email them at adjudication@ibas-uk.co.uk


If you'd like to share any experiences you've had with IBAS or any time you've felt wronged by a bookmaker then please leave a comment below.

Good luck.


I hope you found that useful.

Information courtesy of Nag Nag Nag.

Keep a look out for our next informative + money-making email soon!

Kind Regards :-)


The UK Horse Racing Experts