BGP goes all-in at Cambridge

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

The country's biggest punting club is heading into new territory at next month's Night of Champions at Cambridge, and everyone's invited.

For the first time Boys Get Paid (BGP) will run a Punters Club dedicated only to harness racing.

And they are hoping to have some serious cash to throw around.

"We would love to get a pool of between $250,000 and $300,000 - that would be a great result," says BGP's Dan Rack.

"If that happened it would translate to around 4000-7000 people getting involved."

Since the TAB opened the BGP option for the big race night on Friday, April 12 the uptake has been steady with Rack confident it will fire up in the next fortnight or so.

"At last look we had about $25,000 and it's very early days."

Anyone can invest whatever total they like and they will get a corresponding percentage of any wins or loses.

Two years ago, on Show Day, Addington witnessed BGP mania first hand when Cyrus got up at double figure odds. The syndicate wagered $12,500 for the win and $27,500 the place at $12 and $3.50, with their $40,000 investment returning $246,500.

Back then it was a New Zealand Cup and Show Week Punters Club betting on all three codes.

That included three harness meetings at Addington on Cup Day (Tuesday) and Show Day (Friday) and Ashburton on Thursday.

Rack says the harness component finished very much in the black.

"The harness only return for that week was $204,000 spent, and a return of over $449,000," says Rack.

This time at Cambridge the success or otherwise of the harness-only Punters Club will again rest with the same two "Addington" tipsters Matt Markham and Andrew Fitzgerald.

"Nothing beats that atmosphere with the Punters Cub and there's a big group on course and when there's a winner, it's pretty exciting," says Rack.

In the galloping code there have been success stories and also some losses.

In 2018 the club turned $58,000 into $136,000 while the latest Karaka Millions meeting saw punters only get half their money back.

But Rack says the day is about a lot more than just money, including community and collegial spirit and having fun.

For instance, the sight of hundreds of BGPers at Ellerslie chanting "there's only one Opie Bosson" is etched into racing folklore.

"We won't get to the same heights as Ellerslie but we want to taste a bit of that at Cambridge and every time you bring that energy racing wins," says Rack.

BGP have a specific area on-course for the Night of Champions which will feature the $1m Race by Grins and the TAB Trot.

"So far we have sold 100 tickets so there are about 50 left," says Rack.

Early bird tickets were going for $115 each and include a dinner and drinks package.

The syndicate will be in the Eastern Lounge of the grandstand, pretty much overlooking the finish line.

As always the BGP will have regular interviews and content on their social media channels and the BGP App as "they build the hype" to April 12.

On the night itself the bets and running totals will be updated throughout the evening.

"We want people no matter where they are to feel that they are there."

To find out more about BGP click here 

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