Who is Tommy Morgan?

  • Press
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2 weeks 1 day ago #754320 by Press
Press created the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
To ALL Clanners, especially the Durban members from yesteryear...

I have just purchased Tommy Morgan's Bookie Case/Bag from an vintage collector. I did this because as a lightie, I fondly remember parking at his stand with my grandfather and watching him bet with Tommy. Call it, "Buying back my childhood..."

I would really appreciate any stories that you guys can share about Tommy. My grandfather is now late and if he could talk, would tell me stories non stop. But alas, that cant happen. Anyone with any good stories to share about Tommy, please feel free to post it.

:)

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2 weeks 1 day ago #754323 by Craig Eudey
Craig Eudey replied the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
Tommy Morgan was a gentleman of a bookmaker. Always very well dressed in his stand in front of the various grandstands. Always tried to give us a little stretch on the price. :)

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2 weeks 21 hours ago #754339 by mikesack
mikesack replied the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
Hi and Tommy Morgan had a cubicle in Natal Tattersalls in Field Street and also on course .
At one time I can recall he was Chairman of the Natal Bookmakers Association.
When on course and looking for pointers for a potential winner of a race, I would go to Tommy's cubicle and check the betting on his board.
If a horse was trading like 10 to 1 on the other bookies boards and Tommy would have it priced up at 5 to 1, it was the right horse to back as Tommy was never up to laying big bets!
Had to have the hat on his head always.

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1 week 6 days ago #754492 by Press
Press replied the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
Thank you guys! really appreciate the info

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1 week 5 hours ago #755036 by Press
Press replied the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
This is what I have with me... This case weighs almost 40 pounds. Still has that "Racecourse smell" too!
Attachments:

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20 hours 47 minutes ago #755480 by Dave Scott
Dave Scott replied the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
I was in the racing game from a very young age around 1964 in and out of Natal Tattersalls after school and most Saturdays before going to the race course I am not sure what year Tommy Morgan came to town but remember him being from my beginnings. He came from Rhodesia a typical colonial gentleman. Always in a collar and tie while at work. He started of his days in the Gold Ring ( there was cross bar for the big boys and the silver ring) He soon moved up to the Cross Bar with his gentlemanly appearance and business ethic, soon elected to the Boomakers committee and then to Chairman. He started of with a clerk Teddy Parsons a respected old time clerk and was assisted by Mike Parsons a well respected sportsman and avid Golf Club golfer, no doubt this friendship and working relationship was forged by Tommy from the golf course as Tommy himself was and avid golfer and Nomad. Up to 6-8 years ago, Tommy was still living in Durban North and I bumped into him and his wife Iris shopping at the Hyper after their morning golf which they played Tuesdays and Thursday mornings. Until recently they lived at he Catholic Old Age home on the Berea and celebrated their 60 wedding anniversary. Tommy’s way of bookmaking was very different to the way of his Durban opposition which did not make him the most popular bookmaker on the race track or tattersalls. His belief as a bookmaker you should lay every horse in a race and they all had a selling price as long the % in the end was in his favour. This caused big problems as the market leaders who had the big clients and laid huge bets to their clients. Tommy would price up as the other bookies did but as the market dictated say there were two 4/1 chances in the market that were friendless in the betting Tommy would push these out to 4.5 5 and even 6 punters who were now aware of this mini sales would clamor to get on with him on their selection. Then it was the turn of the bigger priced horses that got the same treatment. This made him very popular with all punters and he eventually had a very big and influential client base including the crème del a crème of Owners both visiting and locals alike. If he thought the client betting was a bona fide and and not a plant from another bookmaker he would lay a sizeable bet R10,000 to R20,000 which was as you can imagine an astronomical bet in those days, most of his business was done in the live situation on race course. There were occasions where Tommy came to the course armed with ammunition where client wanted a sizeable bet but believed the price was a bit too low, This is where the other bookmakers did not find it fun as they too were armed with a different selection. As this was not Tommy’s normal operation the other bookie would try and make a market for “his” by slowly drifting it out where some shrewdies believed it not to be fancied and changed their selections. The wave of money followed and the opposition bookmaker took the profits of the price and laid the clients a bit better that the market price now. Unbeknown to them Tommy was slowly drifting his horse out as well as others while laying the others to his business principles. that every horse had a market price. When Tommy believed the market was saturated, he would then send in the “troops” to get on. Because is was Tommy who was putting money on this was not done very often, the market reacted very different to other commissions and the market tumbled more creating a false market and other bookmakers altering their bets to appease the big clients because most of their bets were now at bigger prices.

In the end I will always remember him the consummate gentleman and bookmaker who made his mark and held is own in the bookmaking ranks with some of the best and shrewdest bookmakers in Durban



Regards,

Clyde
The following user(s) said Thank You: Craig Eudey

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20 hours 43 minutes ago #755481 by Dave Scott
Dave Scott replied the topic: Who is Tommy Morgan?
Thank you Clyde for a wonderful contribution to the site

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African Betting Clan is established for the upliftment of the sports punter, who enjoys a bet on horseracing, football and other sports, enabling them to voice their views and opinions on all aspects of the sport of their choice, free of charge. Everyone who joins the CLAN, can discuss a multitude of sports events with a view to increasing the knowledge-base of all interested parties. Horse Racing is by far the most represented sport and we welcome the views of the many owners, trainers, punters and all racing stakeholders, all of whom post their contributions on our discussion forums. Members glean what they want to and discuss selections for the day and the general well being of the sport.

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