Bookies are holding out for a hero in the Betfred Gold Cup this afternoon to avoid a trouncing from the punters. Big Buck’s, winner of a breathtaking World Hurdle, cost the bookmakers big and if Kauto Star or Long Run write another page in racing’s history book, the bet-takers will be left to lick their wounds.
Big Buck’s pipping Voler La Vedette at the final fence cost the bookies dearly with Paddy Power alone losing £3 million on free bets being refunded and the millions that chose to back the Paul Nicholls trained horse. The mood amongst the bookies was summed up well on Sportingbet’s official Twitter feed. See if you can detect the hint of sarcasm!
“Today was a brutal day. We were best price on Big Buck’s for MONTHS and the legend done us up good and proper. Office in tears. Goodnight x,” it said.
Another that took the bookies for a fair bit was the Ryanair Chase where heavily tipped Riverside Theatre won. William Hill had taken the horse on at 11-2 on raceday and Keith McDonnell, former Bodog Europe managing director, tweeted: “Bookies hammered yesterday with big bucks and Ryanair winner #tips.”
In terms of the day ahead there are already some in confident mood. Sportingbet head of media Russ Wiseman was one of today’s early risers – either that or he pulled an all-nighter – and vowed “this is the day that will put punters firmly back in their place.” Coral spokesman Simon Clare confessed the company had a “shocker” on day three of the festival and “the age-old contest” between bookies and punters “is in the balance” and “could go either way”.