Australia batters bookmakers

  • Last Updated: June 7 2014, 17:14 BST

Bookmakers were left licking their wounds after 11/8 favourite Australia won the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Joseph O'Brien was smiling - but the bookmakers weren't - after the Investec Derby
Joseph O'Brien was smiling - but the bookmakers weren't - after the Investec Derby

Aidan O’Brien’s charge was a beaten favourite in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas but punters retained their faith ahead of Saturday’s Classic.

Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners said: “As it was the biggest Flat race of the season we felt we had to take on the most high profile horse in the race. Unfortunately from a long way out it was clear the Ballydoyle runner was going to live up to the hype and our price boost proved an expensive one. This is our worst racing loser of the year so far by a considerable margin.”

William Hill were another firm to take Australia on in the morning, Kate Miller saying: "We're facing close to a £5million payout after Australia's win. Every type of punter wanted to be on Australia today. Ballydoyle maintain he's the best they've ever had. He's the worst Derby result we've ever seen."

Ladbrokes' David Williams added: "We went into the race with a one-horse book. We were cheering anything but Australia, but the racing gods ignored us. It was a desperate result for bookmakers."

Rory Jiwani, of San James, echoed those thoughts, saying: "We were praying for heavy rain this morning to hinder Australia's chances but we didn't get nearly enough - the ground had returned to good a couple of races before the Derby.

"Australia was our only loser in the book and a huge one at that. Anything else would have done for us but hats off to the winner and to Aidan O'Brien who made no secret of how good he thought he was."

All eyes are now on future plans for Australia, Sky Bet cutting the Epsom hero to 5-1 from 8-1 for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.