Corals face ‘sleepers’ allegations

The bookmakers Corals have hotly denied rumours that a leaked internal memo, which encourages staff members to make uncollected winnings and void bets into losing bets, reflects company policy on unclaimed winnings.

‘Sleepers’, as they are known, are either winning bets which have not been collected by punters or late bets which are in any case void, in which case the stake would usually be returned to the punter.

While it is considered standard practice for bookmakers to add winnings which are unclaimed for a considerable period to their profits, the nature of the internal memo suggests a more forceful attitude towards turning unclaimed and void bets into profit.

A Corals’ spokesman told the Racing Post however, that “this is not Coral policy. It is not us. The memo was issued by a new member of staff in charge of about 20 shops”.

Spirit Leader retires to stud
Spirit Leader has been retired from the racetrack, and heads immediately to stud. She is in foal to Exit to Nowhere.

The Jessica Harrington-trained eight-year-old is the first horse to have achieved a hat-trick of wins in three big handicaps: the William Hill Handicap Hurdle, the Tote Gold Trophy and the County Hurdle in one season.

Out of a total of 21 starts, Spirit Leader achieved five wins and eight seconds, placing her among the most successful mares in training in recent years.

Pipe-McCoy era brought to a festive end
The Pipe-McCoy partnership was brought to a festive end with a knees-up at the Pipe yard in Somerset, the “Grand Slam” summer ball, which celebrated the six championship titles taken by the yard last season:

  • Tony McCoy was crowned champion jumps jockey
  • Martin Pipe won the title of leading jumps trainer
  • David Johnson was 2003-04’s leading owner
  • Jamie Moore was the leading conditional jockey of the season
  • David Pipe was the leading point-to-point trainer
  • Ashley Farrant was the leading point-to-point rider

    The run of success is likely to come to an end this season, as Tony McCoy has upped sticks and moved to Jonjo O’Neill’s Gloucestershire yard, where he will be predominantly taking the rides on J P McManus’ string.
    Meanwhile conditional jockey Jamie Moore is halfway through a two-month period on the sidelines due to injury. He fractured two vertebrae in a fall at Newton Abbot at the end of July, and is currently recuperating, expecting to be back, fit and well, in time for the start of the winter National Hunt season.