Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Bookies are floored by the cost of Royal flush at Ascot

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Lady Cecil reacts after Tom Queally riding Riposte wins the Ribblesdale Stakes on Ladies' Day during day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2013 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

Bookmakers were happy to join in the celebrations of a famous Gold Cup triumph for the Queen at Royal Ascot – despite being forced to count the cost.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Estimate was sent off a strongly-backed 7-2 favourite for the showpiece and, much to the delight of racegoers and punters up and down the land, the filly carried the Royal silks to a narrow victory following a pulsating finish.

Despite costing the layers millions of pounds, Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams believes the result will be a good one for bookmakers, and racing, in the long term.

Williams said: "Racing has a priceless ability to throw up some dream results and we're happy to join in the celebrations.

"Sure, we lost a packet on the race but the day will go down in history and more than pay for itself in upbeat coverage over the days, weeks and months to come.

"Sometimes we need to look beyond the balance sheet and think about the marketing potential. Estimate's win could be the best news for racing - and betting – in a very long time."

Rory Jiwani of Stan James revealed Estimate's victory was only one of several major blows for the bookmakers on an incredible afternoon in Berkshire.

Lady Cecil's Riposte (9-2) brought the house down when running out a poignant winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes following the death of legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil last week.

Jiwani said: "The biggest bet we took was one of £10,000 on Estimate to win at 7-1 and there will be plenty of happy punters toasting the Queen tonight.

"Our woes were compounded when Remote took the Tercentenary Stakes with John Gosden's colt sent off the 9-4 favourite after being backed all day."

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