Cheltenham: Bookies have last laugh at end of four-day battle
Punters' dreams of a profitable finale to the Cheltenham Festival were sunk as Lord Windermere topped several surprise results when favourites drew a blank on an eventful last day.
With six double-priced winners out of seven, backers were out for the count as the layers delivered a knock-out blow.
It was 20-1 outsider Lord Windermere who, according to Ladbrokes, saved the bookies from a multi-million pound hiding as the nation put its cash on Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti – who both finished unplaced.
"We could scarcely have written a better script. Lord Windermere all but slipped off the radar and we enjoyed our best day of the meeting by far," said Ladbrokes' spokesman David Williams.
"We went into the final day with honours fairly even, but punters looked a bit dazed as the Festival came to an end.
"It's a very different feeling to 12 months ago when we endured our own 'Black Friday'."
Gold Cup sponsors Betfred were also cheering after fearing the worst as they saw an avalanche of money for last year's winner, Ulster-bred Bobs Worth.
Victory for the defending champion would have left them facing a £2million pay-out.