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Week-long battle in betting jungle leaves honours even

There was little to choose between punters and bookmakers after a week-long battle in the betting ring came to a close at Royal Ascot yesterday. Results were mixed during the first four days of the summer showpiece meeting, with Fame And Glory's Gold Cup triumph on Thursday earning the backers a welcome verdict following the demise of the same yard's So You Think a day earlier in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Both the layers and the punters headed into the final day full of optimism that they were still in a position to come out on top.

But it was the latter who got off to a flying start as Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore combined with 5/2 favourite Maybe in the Chesham Stakes. The Ballydoyle betting boys were at it again in the Hardwicke Stakes, with the hugely promising four-year-old Await The Dawn sent off the 4/7 favourite and duly dotted up, leaving the bookies fearing for the worst.

The O'Brien victories ensured Irish bookmaker Paddy Power would not be coming out on top.

"After the first two races today we were never going to come back, although the Wokingham and the Golden Jubilee were good results for us," said Power. "But they were just a salvage operation and punters marginally got the best of us over the week."

Sunday Indo Sport