Joe Thompson the Plunger: Some of His Remarkable Betting Transactions-Originator of Double-Event Bets, Daily Racing Form, 1922-06-23


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j | | | j | | I i ! ! ! i j ! • | j JOE THOMPSON THE PLUNGER Somo of His Remarkable Betting Transactions —Originator of Double-Event Bets. For clearness of intellect, businesslike acumen and energy Joe Thompson, the English bookmaker, who died in 1909 on the island of Madeira, was a remarkable man, and, having regard to the magnitude of his business, he deserved to rank with "Leviathan" Davis, who was one of the biggest pencilers of the past generation of racing men. Joe Thompson started life as a sailor. In a voyage to Australia he was shipwrecked outside Sydney harbor and managed to reach the shore on a cask. He landed at a time when the gold fever was on, and making his way to the diggings he did very well and laid the foundation of a respect-I able fortune. He later took to the turf and before long became recognized as one of the foremost operators in Australia. Success attended him from the outset and in the course of time he had race horses of his own. some ol the most celebrated horses of the time car-! rying his colors. Among them may be mentioned Argus, Don Juan probably the best of the lot. Scandal, Romula and King of the Ring, Thompson being at this period himself called King of the Ring." After joining the ring in England Thompson had worked hard for the benefit of the members of Tattersalls and was responsible for the fifteen-minute rule regarding objections. He was the originator in England of the mammoth double-event bets on the principal races. He paid innumerable sums of 0,000 over double events, the largest amount laid in one bet, and lost, being 50,000 to ,000. About Comedy and Ragimunde he laid a wager of 25,000 to 00. He also lost in the aggregate a sum of 25,000 when La Fleche won the Cambridgeshire, independently of a double, laid to a brother bookmaker, of 0,000 to 00 Burnaby and La Fleche for the Cesarewitch and Cambridgeshire. WINKFIELDS PRIDE AT 200 TO 1. Winkfields Pride, at 20O to 1, was offered a few days before he won the Cambridgeshire. On that occasion Thompson tooti ,000 to 0 that the winner was not named in twenty tries. Needless to say. the backer did not include Winkfields Pride in his twenty horses. Mr. Thompson was a big loser on the race. In 1S94 the late Sir J. B. Maple backed Childwick and Gangway, both of which horses he owned, to win 00,000 with Thompson. After Childwick had won the Cesarewitch "Joe" asked the baronet if he would like to hedge. "No.* said Sir John, "I want a little more on Gangway." "Oh, do you? Well, I will lay you S.O.iO to 1.000 to buy some sweet stuff with.. When the second race was decided and Gangway wns beaten by Indian Queen, "Joe" beckoned to Sir John and sang to him, "Thou are so near and yet so far." In another instance a backer had a double-event bet with "Joe" to win 0,000. and when the second horse proved successful the backer was so overcome that he fell in a faint. Naturally, a crowd began to gather around him. and on some one calling out "Make room, and let him have air." Thompson quizzically observed, Send him a wreath." But Thompson was a great winner over the Cambridgeshire of 1!S91, as he was in possession of some rare information concerning Indian Queen. On the night preceding the race he went to the subscription rooms at Newmarket after the card had been called over and not only supported the mare to win the race but also backed her against pretty nearly everything eLse running.

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