‘Dettori effect’ eases pain for bookies after ‘punter friendly’ Ascot

Bookmakers could breathe a sigh of relief on Sunday after John Gosden’s heavily-backed Enable suffered defeat at the Qatar Prix De L’Arc at Longchamp, finishing the race in second place.

Following five favourites winning at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, William Hill revealed that it had amounted a seven-figure loss as a result, while Coral PR Executive Harry Aitkenhead described Saturday’s racing as ‘very punter friendly.’

Aitkenhead explained: “The racing results on Saturday were very punter friendly with the favourites going in at Ascot and also on ITV over at Newmarket and Redcar too. 

“Billesdon Brook, no stranger to the bookies having won big races before at big odds, helped break that streak in the Group One at Newmarket and that definitely helped us – but lots of Coral customers would have had winning slips on Saturday!”

With Gosden’s two-time Qatar Prix De L’Arc champion priced at 4/6 before the race, a number of punters opted to back Enable via doubles and trebles alongside Battaash and Mehdaayih

Aitkenhead continued: “The short price had meant that plenty of punters were happy to just watch rather than back her so a win would by no means have been disastrous for us. The doubles with Battaash were the most popular selections of those wanting to back the British favourites and those slips were down before the latter even ran but it would have been such a great story for horse racing if she could have made it three in a row.”

Enable’s popularity has partly been attributed to choosing Frankie Dettori as the filly’s jockey which, as seen at this year’s Royal Ascot, will lead to an influx in punter interest. 

When quizzed on whether Detorri had any influence on Enable’s popularity, Aitkenhead commented: “Definitely. Frankie is as popular as ever with punters and his rides are almost always well backed in all kinds of different ways. So for him to be onboard Enable with the story behind it definitely made the whole situation even bigger and he went into the race in good form, having won on Anapurna at the track the day before.

“There was no joy for Frankie or his punters on Sunday but we are sure they’ll be supporting him just as much as ever the next time we see him on the big stage.

“This year we saw great interest in the racing at Longchamp and that is always helped by the ITV cameras but this time around it was definitely ramped up a notch with history so close to being achieved.

“It wasn’t to be in the end but it was high-quality action and Enable has been such a popular horse for fans and punters over the last few years. She has been absolutely magnificent.” 

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