Twelve to one agin the field

Reply Sun 8 Sep, 2013 01:24 am
What does this mean when there is a bet making in a competition field?
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Reply Sun 8 Sep, 2013 10:34 am
@Maggie Tong,
Not sure Mag what's a "competition field"


"Agin" had me going too. At first I had supposed competition resulted in premature aging of the field, until I realized you mean "against," or "agin' " But now let's discuss punctuation. Whereas I'd expected the apostrophe at the end, in a purely technical sense it ought to be written "ag'in' "

So I consulted my Better Half, much smarter than I, who denied that usage, whereupon I confirmed her observation by Googling


….whereupon realizing the apostrophe was for emphasis not abbreviation. Still however, what's a "competition field"

Edited to remark a sudden realization that "field" might simply mean preponderance or overwhelming majority. Again however my Better Half dissents

Yet thanks Maggie for this distraction
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Reply Sun 8 Sep, 2013 01:36 pm
It's a betting term. To bet "against the field" on one horse, or golfer, or in this case sheepdog, is to bet that no other participant will win. if the named horse comes anywhere but first, you collect. Such high odds as twelve to one means the person offering them is confident he will not have to pay out. If it is an extract from Bob, Son of Battle by Alfred Ollivant, then the person who shouted "Twelve to one against the field" was a bookmaker at a sheepdog trial who, having seen Red Wull's performance, is offering odds of 12 to 1 against any of the other dogs winning.

Reply Sun 8 Sep, 2013 02:00 pm
He actually shouted "agin"; an old fashioned rural form of "against".
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Reply Sun 8 Sep, 2013 02:33 pm
Thank you Con for that explanation, saving me an entire morn scrolling. In my own defense my Better Half didn't know either

He actually shouted "agin"; an old fashioned rural form of "against".
That's what I had finally concluded
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