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QUEEN'S COUSIN BIDS TO BASH THE BOOKIES; 'Pick a winner' computer deal.

A cousin of the Queen is planning to make a killing from a high- tech betting scheme claimed to be a bookie-basher.

The Marquess of Milford Haven and his business colleagues are on an instant pounds 1.6million if punters buy into their computer predictions for horse races.

Gamblers are being asked for an initial outlay of pounds 3,300, in return for projected winnings of pounds 60,000 a year.

The plan is being promoted as an investment opportunity by two companies - Comstrad and its subsidiary Interdata.

And the marquess - recently divorced from tycoon's daughter Sarah Walker and with a history of financial tangles - has joined the board of Interdata.

Punters who buy its computer program Sequence XL can use it to process details of runners and riders, either sitting in front of a screen at home or with a portable machine at the race track.

Then hey presto, according to Interdata and Comstrad, the computer will pick the winner.

Only 500 programs - being written by a computer specialist - are being sold at pounds 3,300 a time.

The 35-year-old marquess and colleagues say that bets on just three races every Saturday will net an average profit of more than pounds 5,000 a month.

The watchdog Securities and Investment Board is now scrutinising the scheme.

Comstrad has recently been pursued through the courts over unpaid debts. And the marquess - a member of the Mountbatten family - has lost a huge fortune through bad investments.

He had to sell his Moyns Park estate in Essex to settle a pounds 1.2million debt with royal bankers Coutts.

And earlier this year his involvement with an asbestos- removal firm in London ended in controversy with complaints from an investor.

Last night, top Mirror racing tipster Newsboy poured scorn on the betting scheme.

He said: "If it's so good, why are they selling the idea and not using it themselves. Schemes like this just don't work."
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Edwards, Jeff
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 1996
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