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Saturday 23 August 2014

Racing bosses to review winning horses in coup

Nicola Anderson and Marcus Armytage

Published 24/01/2014 | 02:30

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Trainer Johnny Butler and Low Key after the winning race at Kempton
Trainer Johnny Butler and Low Key after the winning race at Kempton

THE British Horseracing Authority is to review the previous races of the four horses involved in the €2.4m betting coup on Wednesday.

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Robin Mounsey, the BHA's spokesman, said that the integrity team had followed events closely from the outset and had liaised with stewards at Lingfield, Catterick and Kempton. "They are now collating the full set of circumstances and this remains ongoing," he said.

The fallout was still being felt by bookmakers yesterday. In anticipation of another coup with a horse tenuously linked to Barney Curley – it was once trained by his former assistant John Butler – Pipers Piping was shortened from 22-1 to 6-4 in the seven-furlong handicap at Kempton.

It turned out to be the moment when the bookies began to recoup their losses as Pipers Piping was unplaced and, ironically, the race went to stablemate Prohibition at 16-1.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said they saw "a good bit" of bets for Pipers Piping but nothing like the previous day. He believed punters had been "making the connection" and attaching some of the previous day's sentiment to it, hoping that another coup was on the cards.

However, he said some horses that are heavily tipped in the newspapers do attract a good deal of betting and said it was "nothing out of the ordinary".

"We're not quaking in our boots like we were (on Wednesday)," he said. He added that in this case, there was only one horse involved.

On Wednesday, all four horses – Eye of the Tiger, Seven Summits, Indus Valley and Low Key – were returning to the track after long absences. They were unfancied in all their races at Lingfield, Catterick and Kempton racecourses in England.

But the horses were heavily backed with favourable odds before bookmakers adjusted them. Bookmakers reported a flurry of bets for the accumulator, which forced them to shorten the odds throughout the day, but ended up with staggering losses. They would not admit exactly how much they lost after Wednesday's coup, only saying it was "over seven figures".

"It's done us for a good bit," admitted the spokesman. "It was not something you'd expect on a quiet racing day. "

And while he said it was "quite extraordinary" for something like this to happen, the bookies have suffered "worse days" and will continue to do so.

Irish Independent

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