John McCririck’s death at the age of 79 made me remember happy times learning my racing trade. Big Mac divided opinion however as a young racing enthusiast, he brought the betting ring to life for me. McCririck was far more knowledgeable then he got credit for. McCririck learned there was more money in adopting the persona of an over the top performer than being a serious journalist. McCririck was always well prepared and on top of his subject. McCririck always spoke up for the punter, always pushing the agenda the punter should be recognized by racing as a vital component of the sport. I learned all the below-betting expressions from McCririck.
BOTTLE Betting odds of 2/1.
BURLINGTON BERTIE Betting odds of 100/30.
CARPET Betting odds of 3/1.
Double CARPET Betting odds of 33/1.
EAR OLE 6/4 betting odds.
JOLLY The Favourite.
MONKEY £500 bet.
PONY £25 bet.
UP THE ARM 11/8 betting odds.
TIPS 11/10 Betting Odds.
TOP OF THE HEAD 9/4 Betting Odds
The other phrase from McCririck I enjoyed was after a horse won at say carpet (3/1), McCririck would "Ladbrokes the magic sign they knew they went 5/2 this morning". I also learned some tic tac which when I first went to racing in the UK I used to love watching the white-gloved tic-tac man. In 1978, McCririck was named the specialist writer of the year at the British Press Awards for, among other things, exposing the Rochester greyhound coup. A year later, he was campaigning journalist of the year after he proved the Tote was authorizing bets after the off to reduce dividends. It was, however, in front of the camera that he found his niche in life for 30 years, beginning with Derby day in 1981 when Shergar ran away with the race. He was part and parcel of racing coverage on ITV and then Channel 4 and was distraught to be put out to grass in 2012 because, he claimed, of old age. In a world decreasingly devoid of characters McCririck stood out. Go Well, Big Mac.