Stephen Little was a bookmaking anomaly. He laid huge bets, and never closed a winning account. He famously laid a bet to JP McManus to lose £460,000, in today's terms, on a horse called Gimme Five at the Cheltenham Festival. Steve talks about starting out laying tiny bets in 1970 and gradually building his reputation. The biggest single stake bet he ever took was equivalent to over a quarter of a million pounds on Double Trigger at Royal Ascot in 1996 at 1/2 (it lost!). Steve explains the difference between on and off course bookmaking, and why they are different models and the three principles he had when he first started bookmaking. He talks about the one race that he felt was "fixed" and that despite it not being anywhere near one of his worse results, he spoke to the Jockey Club about the race. In 1999 Steve sold to Coral, & he describes how they wanted him to take a completely different approach, despite his decades of previous success. He tells us how the CEO of Ladbrokes, for whom he'd worked as a teenager, had to be pestered to pay his losing account, and didn't take kindly when asked to pay his gambling debts! Hugely successful pro-punter, Patrick Veitch, enjoyed success when betting with Little, although he does refute one episode described in his book, Enemy Number One. There will never be another Stephen Little. He was not a bookmaking conglomerate; he was an individual risking his own money. A man who started out at Eastville greyhounds in Bristol laying bets of under a pound, who ended up taking on the wealthiest and most famous people in the sport. This episode of Pro Bet has something for everyone.
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