Death, taxes and Frankie Dettori winning….those are the three givens in life.
The flat racing supremo continues to do the business for John Gosden and his range of other employers, and that was the case once more over the weekend when he led Enable to glory in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes.
It was a tenth consecutive success for the filly, who has now won in four different countries in the past couple of seasons. She will surely look for more French glory later in the summer as she attempts to win another Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Dettori will presumably be on board once more barring injury, and such is his form that the bookies are running scared.
A number of firms, including SkyBet, have now restricted the number of Dettori-ridden horses that can be selected together in an accumulator, while other brands have limited stakes that punters can have when backing the loveable Italian.
Coral, meanwhile, allowed Dettori-based multiples at Sandown at the weekend but on the proviso that the last two races were paid at starting prices as he homed in on another memorable day having triumphed in his first three outings.
Explaining the decision the firm’s head of PR, Simon Clare, told the Luck on Sunday show:
“In most situations where we take accumulators, whether it’s football or horses, the risk is mitigated because everyone is having a different variety of selections. Frankie Dettori, on the biggest of days, everyone is placing exactly the same accumulator for Dettori to win.
“Here’s an example just to make it very clear. Frankie Dettori’s six-timer yesterday was priced at 25,000-1. You only have to take £4,000 worth of stakes for that to have £100m in payouts. Think of those figures.
“We cannot be in a position where we can lose that much in one day.”
The decision from some of the planet’s leading bookmaking firms comes in the wake of continued brilliance from Dettori.
Earlier this summer, he looked to be on the brink of achieving something extraordinary once more at Royal Ascot. He rode the first four winners on day three, and had he completed the six-fold a number of punters would have been dancing in the aisles – and bookmakers would have been chinned to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds.
Punters have long memories, and so to do the bookmakers: the events of September 28, 1996 are still present in their minds.
That, of course, was when Frankie completed his famous ‘Magnificent Seven’ at Ascot, riding the winner of all seven of the day’s main races.
Even back then more than two decades ago, the bookies copped a liability of a cool £40m from a handful of bettors who had backed the Italian to make history.
There was a ‘damned if they do, damned if they didn’t’ style vibe as Dettori’s final ride of the day, Fujiyama Crest, entered the parade ring. He had been largely ignored in the market before, but his jockey’s exploits saw his odds drop from 12/1 to 2/1 just before the off.
Independent bookies, sensing their chance to mitigate their loss, decided to lay Fujiyama Crest even more. It was a decision that would ultimately cost many of them their livelihood.
The big firms had covered themselves by limiting their maximum payout, but the likes of Ladbrokes still had to fork out £500k to a handful of wily punters.
And how about one unlucky cleaner who backed all of Frankie’s winners….albeit in 50p singles! She ended up collecting £19, when a seven-fold would have netted her around £120k for that same 50p stake.