Punters win Ascot war
Royal Ascot ended with bookmakers crying enough as the fifth and final day was again dominated by well-backed winners.
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The writing was on the wall as early as Tuesday when Toronado and Kingman obliged for odds-on punters, and although Treve's disappointing run on Wednesday allowed bookmakers some respite they ultimately had to concede defeat.
David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "Its been a pretty rough week all told. On reflection we only found a tatty old plaster on Friday when what we actually needed was full-scale surgery.
"We'll take our medicine and pray that the Summer improves. After a costly Epsom we were hoping to claw it all back during the Royal meeting but we could scarcely have been more wrong.
"We had one good day on Friday but the other four days were rank bad."
Sir Michael Stoute played a big part in swaying things against the layers earlier in the week with the likes of Integral and Cannock Chase, both of whom went off well-backed favourites, and it was he who provided the best-backed winners on Saturday courtesy of Arab Spring (11/4) and Telescope (7/4).
Ed Lynam had already struck Group One glory when Sole Power flew home to win Tuesday's King's Stand Stakes and he secured an impressive sprint double when 7/2 favourite Slade Power landed the Diamond Jubilee, while the very final race of the meeting also went the way of a popular Irish-trained runner as Pique Sous landed a touch for Willie Mullins and leading jockey Ryan Moore.
Rory Jiwani of StanJames.com said: "A succession of winning favourites has been the theme of Royal Ascot this week and that was the case today. We thought we were back in the game yesterday but we've well and truly done our proverbials again on the final day.
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths added: "It's been like watching a horror movie unfold in slow-motion. It was a disastrous afternoon and we've taken a proper pasting
"Picking winners has been like shelling peas for punters this week and we're heading back to Manchester with little more than loose change."