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Bookies and punters neck and neck after Henderson quadruple; Williams wins big; Luck cancelled by HBO

TAGs: Cheltenham Festival, HBO, luck, Nicky Henderson, Paddy Power

cheltenham racingBookmakers were hailing Cheltenham’s most successful trainer for beating two heavily backed favorites on the festival’s second day. Nicky Henderson became the meeting’s best trainer after Simonsig’s victory in the second race of the day. He carried this through to the end with Bobs Worth, Finian’s Rainbow and Une Artiste making him the first trainer to saddle four winners in a day. Henderson’s second and third winners were of most interest to the bookmakers.

Grand Crus and Sizing Europe winning would have been catastrophic and meant a steep uphill struggle to just break even by Friday. Luckily Henderson had it in hand with Paddy Power and his trusty Chav Tranquilizer among those reveling.

“The first two winning favourites today destroyed yesterday’s gains but the unlikely double whammy of Grands Crus and Sizing Europe getting chinned turned the tide back in our favour and catapulted us ahead over the two days. Bookies are in front as we enjoy the half-time oranges, but that could all change tomorrow,” said Paddy Power.

The aforementioned situation after the first two races was illustrated perfectly by bet365’s “Horseracing Guru(!)” Patrick Cooney, who tweeted: “can we start the day again? punters 2-0 up.”

Where Paddy was hailing the day as a win, others were licking their wounds on a day the bookies only leveled it up on the last race. Rory Jiwani, spokesperson for StanJames.com, explained that in addition to Une Artiste’s win in the penultimate race “bumper winner Champagne Fever ensured the day ended all square.”

In the owners’ ring there was a huge winner on day two after Son of Flicka owner Phil Williams took home £900,000. The Telegraph reports he backed the horse all the way from 66/1 to its starting price of 16/1 and makes up for the last year when he lost a “hefty amount” on the same horse.

The British Horseracing Authority is launching an investigation another two horse deaths. The course claimed the lives of Abergavenny and Irish jumper Featherbed Lane as both sustained broken legs. Critics bemoaned the undulating nature of the course effectively meaning it’s problematic when trying to soften it up. The BHA statement read: “Like most competitive sports, racing carries risks. No one wants to see valuable and valued racehorses injured so it is regrettable that several horses have now suffered accidents where the injury was not treatable and so euthanasia was the proper and humane option.”

A horse having to be put down has also put paid to the second series of popular HBO drama Luck. The third horse to sustain an injury during production meant the following statement was released by HBO: “It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series LUCK.

“Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen, and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.

“We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses and everyone involved in its creation.”

CalvinAyre.com contributor Jason Kirk was a huge fan of the show and it’s sure to be sorely missed by viewers from all walks of life.

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