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VIEW FROM THE RING.

On-course bookies answer our questions every Monday 'Being my own boss is the only way I know' MICHAEL CANNON (below), Courses Ascot, Aintree, Cheltenham, Leicester, Nottingham, Worcester, Chepstow, Sandown, Southwell, Wolverhampton, Epsom Years in the business As the bookmaker in charge, nearly ten years but on course since I was 15, so nearly 25 years.

Best part of the job? Probably the fresh air and the travel. You get to see lots of different places. If you could change one aspect of your job what would it be? I would go for racecourses having a better pricing structure. Some courses are charging pounds 15-pounds 18 for a midweek meeting to watch horses that won't be rated better than 65, and you can go to Ascot or Newmarket or Sandown at the weekend and it's probably cheaper if not the same price. I'm not saying they've got to give things away, just do a little bit better. If people think the entry price is reasonable, then it creates a better atmosphere and the bookmakers are part of that, and it's hard to have an atmosphere when it's like the Gobi Desert.

Your best day's trading? Towcester in December 2003. I was betting in Tattersalls and won five figures, and in the first race I had a good each-way bet on Cetti's Warbler and was surprised and delighted when the SP came in at 100-1!

And your worst? I think it was at Wolverhampton on a Saturday night not too long ago when six favourites and a second favourite won and cost me about pounds 3,000. If you hadn't become a bookmaker what would you have been? I don't think I could do a proper job now - I certainly couldn't do a nine to five. For a couple of years after I left school I was a croupier and poker dealer in a casino for 18 months and realised that I don't take orders very well, so I've got to work for myself. What is your advice for punters? If you put the time and effort in and have discipline, being a punter now has never ever been so good. Nine times out of ten when you come to the races prices on offer to reasonable sums are probably bigger than the exchanges, the exchanges are betting to zero margins, all the information you could wish to find is available at the click of the button. If you think you're anything like a decent judge and you're not winning at the moment, you're never going to win."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 17, 2011
Words:426
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