Jack Ramsden has always been intrigued with the world of
horse racing, with a love of the sport tracing back to his early
childhood days. He bonds with the horses and seemingly knows how
to bring out their full potential, making him a truly successful
In the 80s and early 90s, Ramsden had accomplished thirteen
consecutive winning years throughout his career by focusing
primarily on speed figures and race times to determine which
horses would have the best chances of winning.
Ramsden didn’t have what you would consider to be a normal
childhood; his father was a long-haul truck driver who was
always on the road and his mother was a compulsive gambler who
cared more about winning than taking care of her children.
Thanks to his mother, though, he developed a fondness for horse
racing that would lead to a profitable career later on in his
When Ramsden graduated from high school, he became a
stockbroker and was committed to it until the early 1980s, after
he discovered he was ready for a completely new lifestyle. Not
only did Ramsden study form books for hours on end, but he
always dedicated at least two hours every-day to analyzing his
bets to make sure they were appropriate for the current
situation. He started working at a breeding and training
operation in Oscala, Florida where he lived with his wife,
Ramsden and Josephine were married for nearly seventeen years
before they parted ways in a brutal divorce, forcing him to move
back to his home town of Lexington, Kentucky. His best friend
and business partner, Nate Washington, stuck by his side and
together they opened a small training operation.
A Winning Legacy
Working alongside horses made it easier for Ramsden to make
educated decisions when it came to placing bets, as he was
constantly looking for a potential 3/1 chance horse that had
been pegged as a 8/1 chance.
He claims there are approximately forty of them per year and
they aren’t easily seen, but working alongside some of the best
trained horses in the area gave him an advantage over other
bettors. His methods focused on knowing that a good horse is
capable of doing a bad time, but a bad horse isn’t capable of
doing a good time.
Ramsden hired professional bookkeeper, Colin Webster, to
advise him on all of the bets he made or was considering making.
Ramsden pays him about $7,500 a year for his advice and for
placing for placing bets for him with other bookmakers as well.
Ramsden usually makes multiple bets at once and on four separate
occasions he has won over $300,000 by using this strategy.
At one point during his career, Ramsden had won thirteen
consecutive years in a row, which is a record breaking amount in
the United States. His talent is accredited to his long hours of
dedication to studying betting lines and developing a
relationship with the horses he bets on.
In a 1995 issue of The Sporting Life magazine, an article was
published titled, “Contempt For the Punter,” which was written
by Alastair Down, the newspaper’s associate editor. The article
had accused the Ramsdens and their jockey, Kieren Fallon, of
cheating at the Chester Cup earlier that month. You see their
racehorse, Top Cees, won by fifth lengths, after placing fifth
in a similar race against the same group of horses just three
Derek Thompson, a presenter with Channel 4 Racing, claimed
that Ramsden had told his jockey to make sure he didn’t win the
earlier race so that his odds of winning would be lowered for
the next race, to make Ramsden more money when his horse won.
Ramsden denied that saying anything of that sort and in
response to those allegations, he said, “I couldn’t believe it.
I was pretty appalled at anyone suggesting anything like that.”
He went on to explain that the instructions he had given to
Fallon were the same as he gave to all of his jockeys: to settle
the horse and do their best.
Ramsden also insisted that Fallon would never have referred
to him as “Jack”, like he supposedly said in the forged dialog.
However, Fallon had called his wife “Lynda” on six different
occasions which was a point made in the trial but when Lynda
Ramsden took the stand, she told the judge, “I’ve always said to
him, ‘Call me Lynda,’ but he always refers to my husband as Mr.
Lynda also wanted to clarify that Newmarket was a very
overwhelming place and that her and her husband were by each
other’s side the entire race, so there was absolutely no way her
husband could have snuck off to talk to Fallon without her
knowing. The Ramsden case carried on for nineteen days, with
both sides going back and forth until one day when a little
truth leaked out.
A Different Kind of Victory
Derek Thompson confessed that Fallon had told him that he was
the one who pulled Top Cees in the earlier race. Fallon had
gotten drunk at a local Newmarket pub less than a week into the
case, which made him spill the honest truth. Through further
investigations, police were able to clear the Ramsden’s names,
proving their innocence.
The jury unanimously decided that Lynda Ramsden wasn’t
guilty, while Jack Ramsden was deemed innocent by a majority
verdict of ten to two. The jury was also unanimous in voting no
when it came to deciding whether or not the article had been
published with a malicious intent.
A jury at the High Court in London awarded $75,000 to Jack
Ramsden and over $110,000 to Lynda Ramsden for being falsely
accused. In total, between fees and awards to other people they
had offended in the article, The Sporting Life, had to pay over
$1 million dollars.
After Ramsden married his second wife, Lynda Ramsden, whom he
met because she was worked for John Sutcliffe, the couple began
training racehorses at the Isle of Man together. After a few
years, they moved to England and then North Yorkshire where they
currently reside today.
Jack is a recovering alcoholic who relapses occasionally, but
refuses to miss a single AA meeting as he finds confiding in
others with the same temptations very comforting. Working with
horses helps keep his mind off of alcohol and allows him to
focus on what’s truly important: his wife and children.
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