Tea gambled foiled at Chepstow

  • Last Updated: January 8 2013, 8:46 GMT

William Hill narrowly avoided a £1.4 million payout on Saturday afternoon with the defeat of Teaforthree in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow.

Teaforthree is tackled at the last by Monbeg Dude
Teaforthree is tackled at the last by Monbeg Dude

The Rebecca Curtis-trained chaser had been the subject of a strong ante-post gamble, and heavy day-of-race business after William Hill offered 5/1 in their morning prices.

With AP McCoy aboard, the nine-year-old was sent off the well-supported 11/4 favourite, and lead through the business end of the race before the Paul Carberry-ridden Monbeg Dude swooped late to take the spoils.

Kate Miller, spokeswoman for William Hill, said: "We got our tactics wrong in hindsight today and luck, it appears, was on our side.

"We were keen to lay Teaforthree but 5/1 was clearly viewed as a massive price by punters and they duly came in droves this morning.

"It was equal to a Cheltenham Festival runner in terms of popularity, and 25,000 win singles alone were struck on Rebecca's runner throughout the day.

"We've dodged a £1.4million payout and so 'The Great Escape' is definitely our office anthem of the day.''

Teaforthree has been cut to 20/1 from 25/1 for the Grand National with his victor Monbeg Dude also quoted at the price.

The favourite remains Prince de Beauchene at 16/1.

BetVictor have cut Jeremy Scott's Melodic Rendezvous from 25s to 14/1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheteltenham Feastival and from 25s to 16/1 for the Neptune after his fluent success in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.

Sky Bet make him 14s for the Supreme while he is 14/1 (from 20/1) with Boylesports.

Leon Blanche, spokesman for the latter, commented: "Melodic Rendezvous confirmed his progressive profile by winning well in a good Grade 1 event.

"His trainer said afterwards that he is every inch a stayer but that he has plenty of speed. They have options at the Festival."

Swnymor was so nearly the merrier at Chepstow but, looking to have the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow at his mercy, fell at the last flight of hurdles.

He is unchanged at 16/1 with Boylesports for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The winner Ruacana has been introduced at 20/1 by Boylesports for the same race. The staying-on runner-up in the contest, Caid Du Berlais, is also 20/1 with Boylesports for Triumph success.

Leon Blanche said: "Swnymor looked set for a good win when asked for a big jump at the last by Richard Johnson and they just met the flight wrong.

"Overall, though, it looked a good event and he remains very much in the Cheltenham picture."

He added: "Horse and rider walked away apparently unscathed from the mishap."