Monday, 25 June 2012
Anyone Fancy A Bet On A Bishop?
Walking through a discount bookshop and seeing that a book about our present Archbishop of Canterbury had been heavily discounted to a give-away price, seemed to be a symbolic reminder thast his time is nearly up, as he vacates the post soon.
Having once worked for a bookie, it is always intriguing to see how the betting on the new Archbishop goes. The bookies are fairly well in tune. They have been known to sniff the smoke coming out of the Vatican chimney before the fire has been lit.
The Church of England is far harder to predict. They hold their cards far closer to their chests and it is not unknown for complete outsiders to be given the post. For a betting man, it is a hard event. Insider knowledge is non-existant and past form can be misleading.
This year's Archbishop Stakes seems to have a particularly hot favourite. The betting goes:
5/4 Christopher Cocksworth (Coventry)
7/4 Graham James (Norwich)
3/1 John Sentamu (York)
9/1 Stephen Croft (Sheffield)
10/1 Nick Baines (Bradford)
10/1 John Inge (Worcester)
11/1 Tom Wright (Professor at St Andrews)
12/1 Justin Welby (Durham)
12/1 Richard Chartres (London)
(according to Paddy Power)
There are two good ways of backing the winner. Either stick a pin in the field or look at the names and pick the ones with the most obscure names - first and surname, or just first name as in Rowan when there were no interesting surnames in the last contest.
Using those guidelines, Christopher Cockspur looks to be a nailed on cert. Possible each-way bets could be John Sentamu, Richard Chartres and Justin Welby. But one might be too old, one might lack the required experience and one might be too headstrong, according to the form conoisseurs. Name-wise, it is worth forgetting the rest. They have names which could be mistaken for past England football players who have missed penalties.
No doubt it will be a bad tip. Someone else will come out of the shadows to claim the mitre.
At least there is now an interesting reason to look at the election. It is all in the name...or possibly not.