“I won an awful lot of money on Friday, you’ll be thrilled, I know,” on-course bookmaker Geoff Banks wrote of Gold Cup day at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
And it’s not hard to see why: 10/1, 11/1, 33/1, 20/1, 15/2, 12/1 and 16/1 were the SPs of the seven race winners on the final day of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. Not a favourite among them.
This included Lord Windermere winning the Betfred Gold Cup at 20/1 with well-backed favourite Bobs Worth beaten into fifth place.
Of course, the bookmakers did not have it all their own way over the four days with Willie Mullins’ winners Vautour (7/2f) Quevega (8/11f) and Faugheen (6/4f) doing some damage. But, overall, the bookmakers definitely had the better of the Cheltenham Festival 2014.
If they can now get another skinner in the annual ‘bookies’ benefit’, also known as the Crabbie’s Grand National Chase (recent winning SPs 66/1, 33/1, 14/1, 10/1jf, 100/1), then that really will cap a good Spring for the racing layers.
How the Gambling Commission and the Levy Board will have wished they had all those offshore internet betting firms already licensed in the UK to hoover up all that lovely extra betting tax and racing Levy from the bookies’ good run. Oh well. But as every die-hard punter knows, there’s always next year to get it all back.