Friday 26 December 2014

Punters are right to celebrate when bookies are taken to the cleaners

Paddy Power

Published 24/01/2014 | 02:30

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

Who would have thought a random January Wednesday would end up like this? It was a great day for a small group of in-the-know punters who had pulled off an expertly planned and executed betting coup.

Many figures have been bandied about as to how much the coup has made the organisers across the betting industry and I guess we'll never know, but we paid out the guts of a million to punters who of course include both the insiders and others who were shrewd enough to get on the bandwagon when they saw the coup was on.

The first two went in the space of just 10 minutes with Eye Of The Tiger starting the ball rolling in the 1.30 at Lingfield. He was backed as if defeat was out of the question, from 4/1 to even-money favourite by punters who were undeterred by the fact that the horse was beaten a total of 423 lengths in six previous starts, the latest of which was back in 2012.

Then it was across to Catterick where Seven Summits' odds were tumbling from 11/2 into 9/4 and, although defeat wasn't quite as out of the question as it was for Eye Of The Tiger, the second favourite fell and he came home in front.

Now we had a couple of hours to dust down the CVs and start to look at recruitment sites before the next leg ran in Kempton's 4.25. It was starting to heat up a bit and we knew we were on the wrong end of a pasting.

Evasive action consisted of Indus Valley's odds being slashed from an early show of 10/1 to odds-on 4/6 favourite.

The coup had now become public property and the 'ball rolling' that was Eye Of The Tiger had become a proper avalanche, and no matter how fast we were skiing, there was no outrunning it.

We took some solace in the fact that Indus Valley had finished unplaced in his previous four races, a trend that was not to continue as he got the job done despite toying with our emotions by having a bit of a wobble in the home straight.

Low Key was the name of the last leg but at this stage he was anything but. He had been 5/1 but was now as short as 1/3 and was carrying the hopes and wallets of many, many punters – I'm sure the Kempton alikadoos didn't expect this much interest in their 6.25 race!

The only thing in his way was his form, which had seen him beaten 90 lengths on his previous start. Thankfully he was on his A-game and so the gamble was landed.

Many bookies are feeling sorry for themselves and licking their wounds. I'm as sick as a parrot . . . that I wasn't on myself!

Us bookies make enough money so when we have our pants taken down, punters are dead right to celebrate. A proper, old-fashioned job well done. Hats off to you, lads!

Paddy Power is a spokesman for Paddy Power bookmakers

Irish Independent

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