Bookies bruised again

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: June 20 2014, 16:59 BST

The bookies' open wounds failed to heal on day three of Royal Ascot as more favourites went in.

Leading Light (r) gets up to win the Gold Cup
Leading Light (r) gets up to win the Gold Cup

Having been backed into odds-on, Leading Light won the feature race, the Gold Cup, after Cannock Chase had landed a gamble in the Tercentenary Stakes. Joint-favourite Elite Army also won the closing King George V Stakes.

Thursday's results mean favourites (or joint-favourites) have claimed 11 of the 18 races at the meeting so far with two days remaining.

Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: "It's been another day to forget.

"Ryan Moore and Joseph O'Brien were our chief tormentors steering home huge gambles aboard Cannock Chase and Leading Light.

"We're miles behind and have a huge mountain to climb just to finish level on the week."

Estimate nearly came to the bookies' rescue but Leading Light held off last year's winner in a tight finish.

"The Queen's horse Estimate nearly saved Ladies' Day for us, but it wasn't to be and we count the cost of another favourite smashing us for six," said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

In the aftermath, Sky Bet, Hill's and Betfred all quoted Leading Light at 3/1 to win the race again in 2015. Stan James were more wary at 2/1.

Sky Bet's Michael Shinners said: "Although Leading Light doesn't do anything quickly you couldn't help but fault his guts and determination.

"There is no reason why he wont return for next year's race and we make him 3/1 to retain his crown next year."

Earlier on the card, the bookies got some respite when The Great War was beaten in the opening Norfolk Stakes.

William Hill subsequently pushed the colt's odds for next year's 2000 Guineas out to 33/1.

The winner, Baitha Alga, was given a 20/1 quote by bet365 but looks set to race over a shorter distance than a mile next season.

  • Preview posted at 1655 BST on 18/06/2014.