Bookies get that Friday feeling
The bookies hit back on Friday at Royal Ascot with all of the best-backed horses turned over.
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Major gambles on Adelaide and Bold Sniper went astray and defeats for fancied runners such as My Titania in the feature Coronation Stakes allowed the layers to take an enormous sigh of relief after three days of suffering.
David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "We desperately needed some breaks and we got some cracking results. For the first time this week we were able to come out of darkened rooms and enjoy the racing. The gambling gods were with us for the first time all week.
"We're probably still some way behind on points but at least we've stemmed the flow. We can head into the final day with a fighting chance."
It was a view shared by Stan James, whose Rory Jiwani said: "Contributer foiled the gamble of the day in the Wolferton Handicap with Ed Dunlop's charge coming from last to first under George Baker to deny 2/1 favourite Bold Sniper.
"The punters then went in for Adelaide in the King Edward VII Stakes but the 6/5 favourite was only second behind impressive 12/1 winner Eagle Top.
"We laid John Gosden's charge early on but the money for Aidan O'Brien's jolly meant he was a winner in the book at the off and another good result on the day."
Rizeena also caused a minor upset in the Coronation Stakes, bouncing back to the form she'd shown as a juvenile as both My Titania and Lightning Thunder failed to make the frame - albeit the former ran well on her return to action.
Cursory Glance had got bookmakers off to a flying start by denying two of the top three in the betting for the Albany Stakes, in the process marking herself out as a filly with a potentially big future.
Paddy Power made Roger Varian's filly a standout 25/1 chance for next year's QIPCO 1000 Guineas but the most impressed firm were William Hill, who offered an industry-low 14/1.
"Cursory Glance was really impressive, although we weren't quite as taken as we were with Kiyoshi last year, but there is a long way to go and a lot of races to run before we get a real handle on next year's 1000 Guineas market," said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.
Mark Johnston's fine record in the Queen's Vase continued when Hartnell survived a stewards' inquiry to beat Century, and again there was a well-backed favourite beaten as 11/8 favourite Marzocco could only manage third.
The sponsors made the winner just 14/1 for the Ladbrokes St Leger, with Sky Bet matching that price, whereas William Hill cut him from 50/1 to a standout 25/1. That's also the price they quote about Century, with bet365 offering 16s.
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: "It was a long time coming, but results have finally gone our way.
"We hardly had a losing race all afternoon and the balance sheet is beginning to look much healthier as we head into the final day."
However, the day at least ended on an almighty high for Betting Zone followers as Ben Linfoot's 40/1 tip Louis The Pious landed the final race on the card.