Bookmakers were left counting the cost after Desert Crown’s pulsating victory in the Cazoo Derby.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Dante Stakes hero was 15-8 on the morning of the race before drifting to 11-4 favourite, before late money saw his odds cut to 5-2 just before the off.
A popular choice with off-course punters, Richard Kingscote’s mount was always cruising and in the end ran out a visually impressive two-and-a-half-length winner.
“Desert Crown went into this year’s Cazoo Derby as the unbeaten favourite, and his many supporters never really had a moment’s worry throughout the race, with Richard Kingscote always travelling confidently,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“When the favourite wins the biggest betting race of the Flat season, it’s never going to be anything other than a costly result for the bookies, and the industry will be facing a multi-million pound payout on this special Jubilee weekend,” added Stevens.
Coral subsequently cut Desert Crown to 3-1 (from 10-1) for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Paddy Power also reported that the first winning Derby favourite since Golden Horn struck in 2016 proved costly.
Spokesman Paul Binfield said: “That was a bad result for the books as you would expect anytime a ‘jolly’ wins the Derby.
“It’s true that he was relatively weak on the day, but he was still the favourite in the biggest flat race of the year and plenty of punters joined the bandwagon of the horse whose reputation preceded him even before his Dante demolition job.”
Ladbrokes were similarly hit, with their representative Nicola McGeady adding: “Punters are well and truly raising a glass to Desert Crown this afternoon after his impressive Derby victory.
“He was an extremely popular favourite and by far the worst result in the book so definitely a day we would rather forget.”
While on-course layers were also crying into their satchels, Adrian Pariser’s firm Sam Harris Bookmakers reported the result could have been worse.
“It was a bad result, but business has been lighter than usual, and with two big-priced horses in the frame, it could have been worse,” said Pariser’s son, Mark.