LORD OF THE RING
BUSINESS was brisk early on day one — maybe punters were coming out to experience the ‘Festival roar’. They didn’t bet like lions though. There were more £1,000 and £500 bets than you would get at a usual Saturday meeting, but it was generally light on the bigger backers we would expect at the Festival.
Our rails pitch laid £20,000 El Fabiolo at 11-8 and bets of £2,000, £5,000, £4,000 and £11,000 on Constitution Hill. Unsurprisingly, the Champion Hurdle was where one of the big-hitting office punters waded in, with a single bet of £230,000 struck on Constitution Hill at 4-11.
Honeysuckle winning was an extremely popular result with the crowd but losing £4,500 on course was not too costly as the big punters left her out. There was some relief when Jazzy Matty won the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at 18-1 but the last was a real kick in the teeth.
The odds-on favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil was well-backed and looked in trouble only to benefit from the second-last fence fall of Mahler Mission when he was in command. That was a huge turnaround on what had already been a bad day on and off course.
I have to say that business on course was disappointing for the opening day but ultimately it was just as well the big hitters didn’t come out swinging as given the day’s results the losses on the day could have been so much worse for us.
With three days to go there’s still plenty to play for.