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 bettor.
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 life.
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, Josephine.
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 week earlier.
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. Ramsden."
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.
Author: Nicole Miller
Updated: Novemeber 2016