Sports betting

Weekend Review: Bookies come out ahead at Royal Ascot despite major scares

Layers turn a profit on the week despite Frankie Dettori’s mid-week heroics and some risk-management controversy

Bookmakers “dodged a massive bullet” on Thursday following Frankie Dettori’s four-race win, but Royal Ascot culminated in a decent week for the layers – in spite of several scares.

Dettori’s mid-week heroics resulted in several bookmakers, including bet365 and Sky Bet, refusing to accept big multiples on the jockey throughout the remainder of the festival.

The action ended on Saturday after Blue Point completed a rare Royal Ascot double, adding the Diamond Jubilee Stakes to Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes victory.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “At Ascot, despite some real ups and downs with results, we finished up happy enough with how the week went.

“Hermosa getting beat in the Coronation Stakes was our biggest winner of the week, while Daahyeh winning the Albany Stakes was marginally our biggest loser, followed very closely by Arizona winning the Coventry Stakes.

“And, although we finished ahead on the day on Thursday, Dettori’s win on Stradavarius, already a big loser in the book, hit extra hard as the last of the four-timer.”

Betway’s Chad Yeomans added: “With five of Saturday’s seven winners returning 7/2 or shorter, including three favourites, it was a bad day to end what was a good week overall.”

According to Alex Apati, Dettori finishing with four instead of five or six saw Ladbrokes avoid one of the worst days in the history of the event.

Apati said: “It was a huge weekend across the board on the sport front – Ascot could’ve been a lot better as you can imagine, with the main talking point being Frankie’s four winners on the Thursday.

“We narrowly avoided one of the worst days in the history of the Festival, thanks largely to Biometric in that final furlong.”

Away from the racing, Norway’s penalty shootout win over Australia in the last 16 of the women’s World Cup was Kindred Group’s biggest event of the weekend.

Gill said: “The sports book was topped by the Women’s WC this weekend, with Norway’s penalties win over Australia being our biggest event, as well as a decent overall winner.

“Another extra time win came in as our second biggest, when France beat Brazil for another very solid margin.

Ladbrokes also suffered on the women’s World Cup, as patriotic punters backed into Phil Neville’s England during their 3-0 win over a lacklustre Cameroon side.

Apati added: “England women were well-backed in the handicap market which cost us somewhat, given that they were around the 1/7 mark in the match betting.”

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