Sports betting

Cheltenham Review: Frodon victory “probably the worst result of all time” for bet365

Bookies report a roller-coaster week after six consecutive favourites went in across the Wednesday and Thursday

Britain’s bookmakers have described this year’s Cheltenham Festival as a roller-coaster after several favourites romped home on the Wednesday and Thursday to offset a strong Tuesday and Friday for the layers.

Just one favourite did the business on the Tuesday when 5/1 fancy A Plus Tard won on the 16:50 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Wednesday also started well for the bookies but victory for 4/11 favourite Altior in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase saw the tide turn in favour of racing punters.

Altior inspired a run of six consecutive favourites winning across two days of the festival, but bookies reclaimed some of those losses on the final day of racing to draw even.

Bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “A solid start, a bad Wednesday, a miserable Thursday and a great Friday made it a roller-coaster of a Cheltenham in which we ended up just about even, but it could have been so much worse.

“The worst result of the festival, and probably of all-time, was Frodon, with Siruh Du Lac, Paisley Park and Sire Du Berlais making Thursday a day to forget.

“However we fared so much better on the Friday, seemingly a common theme over recent years, with Al Boum Photo being the best of the day,” he added.

Betway’s Alan Alger also described the week as a roller-coaster, and the pulsating action continued into the Premier League following a last minute 4-3 win for Betway-sponsored West Ham United.

Alger said: It’s been a roller-coaster few days for Betway. We’re not used to the Tuesday of Cheltenham being so kind, so we were possibly lulled into a false sense of security after day one at Prestbury Park.

“Altior won our Betway Champion Chase in Wednesday’s middle race, and that was seen as acceptable as a favourite was due, especially at his price.

“After that it really turned against us though – following Altior’s victory nine of the next ten races of the Festival were won by either the favourite or second favourite.

“That left us up against it with seven races remaining on Friday and we also found a running-up bet that would hit with Might Bite in the Gold Cup to land one Betway customer £1m.

“Fortunately we had a very good day, with Might Bite failing to win and bookmaker-friendly results in the remaining races.

“Some punters still had winnings to play up on Saturday though and a late winner for West Ham over Huddersfield on Saturday landed a number of accumulators for punters who might have thought they had no hope when the Hammers were 3-1 down,” he added.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said the operator avoided “disaster” after Friday’s racing results: “In terms of Cheltenham, it was a very mixed bag and one which ultimately we came out around level pegging with the punters,” he said.

“Day 1 went our way as only one favourite won and the shortest winning SP was 5/1. To top it off, our biggest turnover event was the Unibet Champion Hurdle, which also returned the biggest winning price and, with none of the big three even placing, it was by far the biggest shock result of the day.

“However once Altior managed to get his head over the line first in the Champion Chase, the next day and a half were absolute heaven for the punters and looking at the book after every race was extremely painful viewing over here.

“But Friday was the final day us layers had been praying for as we clawed it all back, and a ‘few’ pennies on top for all our trouble, to avoid disaster,” he added.

bet365 | Betway | Cheltenham Festival | Kindred Group | Sports betting