Newer members will I think perhaps not have seen this – the third in the Betting Insiders fable series published in November 2019 as I began to plan for the BOZmail 2020 cycle. Seems timely to reprint it here now – not only to give newer members a flavour of my thinking as the old year came to an end but also to emphasize how the extraordinary events of early 2020 were already in my mind in the bigger sense. The crisis in Wuhan had already begun as this piece was written.
But mostly because the horse race quoted in it – which was a BOZmail play of the day – turned out to be a huge portent for our future. You'll know that Lisnagar Oscar went on to win the Stayers at Cheltenham at 50/1 and Black Op's subsequent conqueror in memorable style at Newbury was none other than Champ who was the spectacular star of Cheltenham 2020 with his stirring run up the hill to win the RSA.
So that Black Op form is pretty flipping special and we shall be having a big go on him when he comes back out in the 20/21 NH season whatever form that may take. Black Op missed Cheltenham to be saved for Aintree so is the winner of a big race waiting to happen. Make sure he stays in your notebooks not to be missed.
Meanwhile, a step back into the old world to keep us mindful of the return to UK racing which looks set now to occur in its extraordinary new guise…….
( the latest fable from The Boz based loosely on what’s been going on in the world he lives in over the past three years!)
In 21st century Europe – in the time when collaboration between English, French and German Governments was at its most strained – there arose a financial organisation designed to bring together the ordinary people of those key nations. To include them in an operation that would bring back the bonhomie and camaraderie of the eschewing years. To ensure their wellbeing in terms of employment,security and fiscal prosperity. It was called Atelier Fermé after the popular labour movement idea of early years. Commonly known in American English as The Closed Shop. The name was a sort of joke coined by the English and encaptured perfectly in the language of the French. Throughout England and the British Isles at this time, the cornerstone of the economy, the bastion of English everyday life was under threat. They were closing betting shops everywhere! The internet revolution had switched the fundamental activity of the common man and woman – i.e. the daily sporting investment – from a seedy sawdusted back door taproom where it was necessary to spittoon on entrance to validate your membership of the working classes – via the latter day salon beautifique with banks of televisions showing international horse racing and women’s tennis (complemented by Wacky Races style cartoon greyhound contests on which you could actually bet!) where you could have your beard or your helmet coiffured as you watched your money go down the pan – into the current embodiment of betting in your bedroom. With laptop perched on a pillow. A solitary gaming experience done in the privacy of your own boudoir. With none of the banter of yesteryear . No one-eyed alcoholics boasting of their threepenny yankees that had come in at odds of twelve thousand to one. No teenage yuppies in their city slick winklepickers with bling necklace and cutglass finger rings discussing the possibility of Arsenal outscoring Chelsea this week in the number of corner kicks they would procure. Not even the super bored cashier who stared at you with the stamp of an ‘I could be working in the Bahamas if I hadn’t backed that tip you gave me last week’
petulance as they handed you the complimentary paper cup of microwaved water with a miniscule teabag flavouring floating in it. You know the one that’s impossible to drink without taking the roof of your mouth off?
All gone now. As the High Streets generally became boarded up windows and economic deserts to the concept of having your shopping delivered to you direct from a digitally connected warehouse somewhere in the outer regions of a disused fracking site, so the social sensation of the post war years – the Saturday shindig in the bookies discussing the whys and wherefores of the 3-15 at Kempton with all the boys from the council estate before it actually ran – vanished. You were on your own now. Watching the entire Kempton card with no-one to talk to other than your lucky mascot teddy bear. You know the one you always kiss for good luck as the race gets underway. Such was life in the early echelons of the 21st century.
Atelier Fermé set out to change that. To bring back the pazazz of the betting experience. To enable lonely,disenfranchised men and women to enjoy the concept of bashing the bookmaker again in a collective way. As part of the pack. Part of the social melee. To enjoy the orgasmic thrill of the long priced winner as a shared experience. Not some saddo solitary victory. One that we, the worker ants, the soldiers of the nation, those who oiled the wheels of industry and the national economy could revel in. Cheer together like ritualistic tribalists as we did in 1966 when England won the World Cup. Remember that? Those days were back and the French and the Germans were our friends now. They’d had that experience too. They knew what it was like to win the World Cup.Forget Brexit and the Maastricht Treaty and the pains of the European Rate mechanism. We would tread together into the 21st century and bring back the betting experience as a national sport to be enjoyed by all. On line. No need for old style betting shops to meet in. We would have Atelier Fermé – the digital closed shop with cyber forums that would not only give us the winners to back and the favourites to lay – but would also make us agents of influencing the markets. You know that activity that was done in the olden times by bankers and bookmakers and City hedge fund managers? Stock market traders and pension fund managers diddling away to ensure monetary growth on a daily basis. That was our job now! The invention of the betting exchanges had given us access.
We signed up with Atelier Fermé and thus began the people’s control of their own economic destiny.
Of course the joke in the name was not really a joke. The Closed Shop idea was a political tool and a necessity to ensure the success of Atelier Fermé. In the open market there is always the need for secrecy and the closing of ranks in order to keep control. To not allow the anarchists and the agitators any breathing space. There will always be hooligans and what are known as ‘grafittiists’ in any organized attempt at social democracy. Whilst the Atelier Fermé promoted equality and opportunity for all, it had a necessity to keep the destroyers out. Those who believed in fascism and rule by rod. They were as ever an enemy to exclude. And so Atelier Fermé were an idealism and a civilised and democratic modus operandi for peaceful life but they had ever to protect themselves from the elite. But they did it!
Simply by working together in the common aim of backing a winner! The first official race that Atelier Fermé played in was the 2-20 at Stratford on the 31st October 2019.
This was a symbolic inauguration for Atelier Fermé as it marked the day when the elite had been threatening by all means foul to totally destabilize the European harmony and take fascism to new world and technological height. Control for the elite. Much work had been done through the legislative process to thwart this initiative and keep the possibility of people power and social democracy intact but it was only in part achieved. The promised Halloween entreaty had been temporarily thwarted and it was necessary for Atelier Fermé to move into action to establish itself for the future and pull off a coup that would signal to the elite that they were now a force to be reckoned with. An alliance of ordinary people taking control of their own financial destinies without kowtowing to the vagaries of the state elite. The 2-20 at Stratford was the chosen race. A Beginners Chase in which the British trainer Rebecca Curtis was running a horse called Lisnagar Oscar who was widely regarded as a hurdler in form and ready to score an initial chasing victory. The old elite were championing its chances and the money was pouring down from all supporters of the old order who had been promised their mandatory licence to print money. It was cert!
Atelier Fermé fancied the second favourite. A horse called Black Op trained by Tom George. This was the established chaser with the form in the book. It had recently had a wind operation to correct a breathing irregularity and was confidently expected to return fit from its summer lay off and trounce the would be Curtis hurdler who had already displayed a tendency to back off the bigger fences in its debut run. Not a good sign in Atelier Fermé ‘s opinion! The George horse had an unfashionable jockey booked to protect its price in the market. The George stable was also low on the current form in running percentage table whereas the Curtis stable was running in the high 80s and top jockey Bowen was booked. Everything was in place to dupe the old elite and they suitably took the bait. Over 200 thousand British pounds was wagered at odds from 2.2 right down to 1.76 in the 15 minutes before the off. The members of Atelier Fermé stood the bets as the exchanges allowed them to do. They were in position to be ruined before they began if Lisnagar Oscar won. But it wouldn’t.
And it didn’t. It backed off its fences where the great big chasing type with the wind op that was appropriately named Black Op jumped every fence like a stag. Ran from the front all the way round. Was briefly troubled by a debutante chaser who ran well on its first outing but shrugged him off easily over the last two fences. Lisnagar Oscar trailed round thirty lengths adrift in fourth place (achieved third when another debutant fell at the last) after backing off several fences when the pace of the race was upped to finishing speed.By Black Op. In control all the way and smoothly achieving the arrival of Atelier Fermé in modern European and British daily life.
They don’t advertise what they do. The clue is in the name. They are open to membership from everyone who agrees with the precept of social democracy and rejects the selfish capitalism of the past. They eschew greed and selfish indulgence. They work together to create civilised life in peace and harmony throughout the world. So people can live comfortable,peaceful and productive lives without harming anyone else.By backing winners! They have no enemies. Except the old elite that is. The guys who ordered the closing of the betting shops! It is they who remain ultimately the funders of Atelier Fermé although it is part of policy that they don’t get to know this!
Atelier Fermé. Arriving in your neighbourhood soon. If there is an election coming up near you anytime, you may want to vote for them! At the very least become a member of the new order. The political faction that saved itself and thus the world!
© Gary Boswell 2019