Christmas Cheer: Bookies Lose Their Cheer in Nightmare Day at Plumpton

Men celebrating winWhen a tonne of money comes into a betting market very late, the bookies’ odds don’t always reflect the fact if they aren’t able to re-price accordingly.

But, in the vast majority of cases, a betting market does reflect the weight of money coming in and thus the odds are representative of who the public expect to win a horse race, football match or whatever it may be.

So, you can rest assured that the favourite in a market is the one that most people – apart from the bookies – want to win.

As such, you can imagine the horror felt by the bookmakers on Monday as their nightmare scenario unfolded at a race meeting at Plumpton.

Seven races, seven favourites winning….and numerous bookies found themselves wanting to cancel Christmas given that they would have been tens of thousands in the hole.

Plump and Juicy

Plumpton Racecourse

Credit: Ronnie Macdonald, flickr

Normally, a Monday meeting at Plumpton would go completely under the radar and barely bat an eyelid.

But the track was set alight as the magnificent seven all came home in first place, and to compound the misery for the bookies only one of them was an odds-on shout and the average SP was around 6/4.

For any punters backing them all in some quite of multiple wager, Christmas really has come early:

Bet Type Stake Winnings
Acca £1 £541
Heinz £39.90 (£0.10 per bet) £597.59
Super Heinz £12 (£0.10 per bet) £5,975.88

Highest Sun obliged in the opener at 5/6, and it was downhill from there for the odds-makers as another half-dozen favourites obliged.

Highway One O Two (9/4) and Top Man (5/4) romped home in their pre-lunch outings, while Hard to Forget (6/4) and Scrutinise (11/10) did likewise heading into the afternoon.

Heartbeats were rising as Flaminger (6/5) hosed up in first place in the 2:50, and that left Mountain Leopard – trained by Venetia Williams – as the last leg of a miraculous seven-fold.

And he did the business, rollicking home in the 2m 1f furlong to close proceedings as a 5/2 winner.

Time Winner SP Trainer Jockey
12:10 Highest Sun 5/6 Colin Tizzard Jonjo O’Neill Jr
12:40 Highway One O Two 9/4 Chris Gordon Tom Cannon
13:10 Top Man 5/4 Chris Gordon Tom Cannon
13:45 Hard to Forget 6/4 Henry Oliver Dave Crosse
14:15 Scrutinise 11/10 Zoe Davison Page Fuller
14:50 Flaminger 6/5 Gary Moore Joshua Moore
15:20 Mountain Leopard 5/2 Venetia Williams Hugh Nugent

If this has happened at Cheltenham or Ascot, the bookies really would be feeling in a Scrooge-like mood, however a lack of activity on a pre-Christmas Monday has ultimately saved them from a monumental pay out.

Coral’s spokesman, David Stevens, confirmed as much: “It’s never going to be a good day for the layers when the favourites oblige in all seven races on the card!

“But what has helped us is that they were trained and ridden by a variety of handlers and jockeys, and the full house of winning jollies has come at Plumpton on a Monday, not Ascot on a Saturday.

“That said, it’s still a nice early festive treat for plenty of punters.”

It’s not the first time this year that there has been a full house of winning favourites, with Leicester seeing the unlikely feat on a six-race card back in March.

And at Fontwell in April, there were six winning favourites out of the seven renewals, although the average SG that ay was slightly lower at 4/5.