Following a difficult Cheltenham week for bookmakers, the final day of the festival saw roles reversed after a massively promising finish.
Stephen Harris, Horse Racing Editor at Better Collective subsidiary bettingexpert.com, reflected on a Friday which “loomed under a cloud” for the bookies following an “unprecedented beating” on day three, but ended with a “cracking result” to close a profitable (albeit marginal) week for the industry.
Harris on Day 4:
“Friday loomed under a cloud for bookmakers after a couple of hefty losing days both on and off course, but fortunes changed as the first four races were won by hard to find big priced outsiders.
“The Triumph hurdle saw Sir Erec sadly fatally injured on the flat around halfway, with the 20/1 outsider Pentland Hills coming home in silence in front of a stunned grandstand.
“Ch’tibello had been popular ante-post down from 25/1 last week, but proved weak on the day before impressively landing a typically competitive Coral Cup.
“A wide open 5/1 the field Ballymore produced a screaming result for the layers, with 50/1 chance Minella Indo springing a complete shock and losing his maiden tag in the process (available at around 150/1 on the exchanges).
“The feature race of the week now became a pivotal moment for punters and bookmakers, and a sustained public gamble on Presenting Percy forced him down to 10/3f.
“There was money for plenty of the others, but Al Boum Photo winning a first Gold Cup for Willie Mullins at 12/1 proved a cracking result that ensured the 2019 Festival would be a profitable one for the industry.”
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