Tag Archive for: Bookmakers

Bookmakers escape a final bashing from Dettori

Bookmakers left Qipco British Champions Day smiling despite Frankie Dettori threatening to inflict one last telling blow on their satchels with a big-race double.

The Italian had an enviable book of mounts for his final day riding in Britain and with accumulators on the weighing-room great proving popular prior to racing, the layers would have been fearing the worst when the 52-year-old struck in his first ride of the day aboard Godolphin’s Trawlerman.

Memories of Dettori’s famous ‘Magnificent Seven’ at Ascot must have come flooding back, especially when 5-4 favourite Kinross hit the front in the following Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.

Trawlerman kicked off Qipco British Champions Day with a bang
Trawlerman kicked off Qipco British Champions Day with a bang (John Walton/PA)

However, the layers earnt a reprieve as Tim Easterby’s 40-1 outsider Art Power fought back gamely to down the Dettori multiples.

A further shock victory for 22-1 shot Poptronic in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes was followed by the defeat of hot favourite Paddington in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the bookmakers were well on top by the time Dettori brought the house down with a thrilling victory in the day’s feature Qipco Champion Stakes aboard 3-1 favourite King Of Steel.

“The Frankie accas proved predictably popular, and so Trawlerman’s win in the opener was not the result we wanted to see, but fortunately for us Art Power collared Kinross in the final yards of the Sprint, a result which meant we were able to relax,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

“Poptronic and Big Rock were two further results in our favour, and although Frankie delivered the perfect ending to this stage of his career when bringing King Of Steel home in front in the Champion Stakes to the joy of his many fans, it wasn’t enough to spoil our day.”

Ascot unveiled a statue of Frankie Dettori during QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot
Ascot unveiled a statue of Frankie Dettori during Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot (John Walton/PA)

Officials at Ascot were also heading home smiling after the star attraction delivered in style at the course’s end-of-season showpiece.

“We’ve had a great day, what a fantastic farewell for Frankie and a wonderful Champion Stakes,” said clerk of the course Chris Stickels.

“We had a bit of rain and we were very glad we changed tracks, it’s been a positive day. It’s been wonderful.

“It was great racing. There’s always a really good racing crowd on Champions Day but there was a particularly fantastic atmosphere this afternoon. It was quite unique, I’ve never know it like that before.”

The official attendance was 30,369 – a figure which left Rod Street, chief executive of Great British Racing and British Champions Series, more than satisfied.

He said: “We are delighted with a crowd in excess of 30,000 today, who enjoyed an afternoon of top-class horseracing, creating as always some wonderful stories.

“The Frankie Dettori factor was an extra attraction this year and we are thrilled that racing’s greatest showman saved a little bit of stardust for his final Group One ride in Europe.”

Corach Rambler victory leaves bookmakers unscathed, despite being favourite

Bookmakers pronounced themselves content despite 8-1 favourite Corach Rambler prevailing in the Randox Grand National at Aintree.

Lucinda Russell’s charge had long been towards the head of the market, with his position strengthened after he registered back-to-back victories in the Ultima Handicap Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Technically 10lb well-in on revised ratings, Corach Rambler was usurped as National favourite by Ain’t That A Shame on Friday while Delta Work also had a spell at the top of the betting, but he eventually went off the market leader – with his two-and-a-quarter-length verdict over Vanillier not unwelcomed with William Hill.

Spokesperson Lee Phelps said: “There will be plenty of happy punters heading home from Aintree with cash in their pockets, but Corach Rambler, despite being the clear favourite, was a good result for us.

“He was sent off as the market leader, but he wasn’t an overly strong one, with favouritism for the most bet-on race of the year changing hands several times in the build-up.

“This was one of the most open Grand Nationals we’ve seen for a long time, with punters preferring to snap up the double-figure prices about the likes of Back On The Lash and Any Second Now, rather than lumping on the favourite.

“The Big Dog, fourth, and Born By The Sea, who sneaked into the six places we paid at a monster 50-1, were well supported, but overall we’ve come out on top in the race.”

Corach Rambler was a fair result for the bookmakers
Corach Rambler was a fair result for the bookmakers (Mike Egerton/PA)

Coral’s David Stevens also reported the placed runners to be the only downside to the result.

He said: “Once again the Grand National proved to be a huge hit with not just racing fans but the wider public, and with millions having their annual flutter, horses such as Back On The Lash, The Big Dog and Coko Beach emerged as our worst results.

“Because of the unique spread of money we see on this day, victory for Corach Rambler was not the costly outcome it could have been, so for once we pay out on a winning favourite with a smile.”

Corach Rambler was a Scottish-trained winner
Corach Rambler was a Scottish-trained winner (Peter Byrne/PA)

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield felt the result was far from a disaster for the bookmakers.

He said: “It was a decent result for us as the Rachael Blackmore factor came into play and Ain’t That A Shame was latched on to by punters as was last year’s hero Noble Yeats who was well backed in the run-up to the race and ran an absolute cracker in fourth off a big weight.

“The places weren’t the greatest for us, but we’ll certainly take them all things considered.”

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes reported plenty of support for Corach Rambler in Scotland, with Russell’s yard based in Perthshire.

She said: “It’s one for Scotland again! Corach Rambler is the toast of the nation tonight after romping home to win the Grand National. The Lucinda Russell-trained champion was incredibly popular in our Scottish shops, before going off favourite to win in brilliant fashion.”