A bribe in an inducement to try to make someone do something for you by giving them money, presents or something else that they want. Usually these inducements are to do something illegal, but not always. The wily punter can use bribery (on course) perfectly legally to get betting advantages. Strict rules must be observed to pull it off; and to avoid getting thrown out by security or even worse ending up in court.
Appearance. You must appear non-threatening to your intended target. Dress smart casual; smile; look merry but not drunk.
Bribe. The bribe should never be more than £10 in cash or goods, to seem more of a gratuity or goodwill gesture than a bribe.
Never ask for anything directly in return. Let the victim offer you the information, don’t directly ask him for it. The purpose of the bribe is to engage him in conversation and make him feel obligated to you.
Stay on the right side of the law. You don’t want him to do anything to change the course of the event (give Trap 6 a meat pie, or throw himself in front of the favourite.) You are after information. Similarly you don’t want to induce him to breach his contract of employment (so forget jockeys and stable staff.)
Target someone knowledgeable. You want someone on the course who is likely to have good information: lesser owners; barmen in the owner’s bar; and course tipsters for example. There is no point targeting the student selling programs.
So the idea is that you are going to the course. You are quite likely to be pondering a sizable bet, and you have incurred costs in getting there. You are looking for information that either confirms the prospects of your selection winning; make you think that it might lose and you should duck it; or general tips.
Here are three true examples of the technique used at its best on two course visits.
The scenario is an evening horserace meeting at a Midlands track. A top jockey (Mr X) is booked on the odds-on favourite in the last race. It is his only ride at the meeting and he has already ridden at a different afternoon venue (usually a good sign.) I arrive at the track 15 minutes before the last race, so that I don’t do my money in before the banker. My late arrival attracts the attention of the car park attendant who wants to tell me that the event is nearly over. He tells me I can park free because of the time. I drop him a tenner, and casually enquire if Mr X arrived safely. He says that he got stuck in traffic and was fuming when he got out of his limousine. Thank you very much. I covered the next 3 favourites in the market against the odds-on Mr X, and went home with £1000 rather than losing £500.
The second scenario is an early evening dog meeting at a northern city track. Walking in I spot the local resident tipster selling his tip sheets on a trestle table just inside the entrance. His young teenage grandson is stood next to him. While I buy the sheet off the tipster I enquire off his grandson if he is helping out his relative; I say to the tipster “I hope that you are paying him well, if he works hard give him this as well” dropping an extra tenner on the table. “That is extremely kind of you” he said snatching the tipping sheet out of my hand. He then gets a pen out and puts a big ring around Trap 3 in the sixth race (which was neither the Nap nor NB on his sheet) and hands it back to me.
Why stop at one. Into the open plan bar and restaurant area. Buy a drink and look around. It is not difficult to spot an owner with his wife and two other couples on one of the best tables. Greyhound owners don’t pay £1,000 for a dog then £200 a week on vets bills; kennel fees and trainer costs to win £60 prize-money in the race. They do it to entertain their friends and likely customers. I wait until their main course is served then head straight for the wine waiter, give him a fiver for himself then a tenner to drop a bottle of wine on the owners table. When the waiter points me out the owner comes over to thank me (it all looks good in front of his friends.) Of course he then volunteers that of his four dogs running tonight, his trainer gives trap 6 in the fourth race an outstanding chance.
Thank-you very much. For £25 in bribes I walk out after the sixth race with a very big smile on my face.