Bookies finally take their revenge as favourites flop

Bookmakers finally clawed back some of the losses from what had a been a punter-friendly Royal Ascot as the six races on day four of the showpiece meeting failed to produce a single winning favourite.

For the first time in the week, the opening race was a positive result for the bookmakers as 14-1 chance Cursory Glance swooped late to deny American challenger Sunset Glow and 9-2 joint-favourite Patience Alexander.

And the momentum stayed with the layers in the Wolferton Stakes, with 2-1 favourite Bold Sniper, owned by the Queen, gunned down late on by Contributer (9-1) in the Wolferton Handicap.

It was then the turn of the relatively unconsidered Eagle Top to swoop at 12-1 in the King Edward VII Stakes, accounting for 6-5 favourite Adelaide in impressive fashion.

Rizeena was generally accepted as being the best juvenile filly around last season, but a reverse in the 1000 Guineas saw her returned at 11-2 in the Coronation Stakes in what was another good one for the bookmakers as market leader Lightning Thunder and the well-touted My Titania did not make the first three.

Another favourite was sunk as Marzocco had to settle for third in the Queen’s Vase, which went to Mark Johnston’s Hartnell (7-2) in a race the Middleham handler does so well in.

Louis The Pious completed the punting misery with his 33-1 shock in the concluding Buckingham Palace Handicap.

Rory Jiwani of said: “The bookies got off to a good start as 14-1 shot Cursory Glance took the Albany although she had been supported in from 20-1 on the show.

“Ed Dunlop’s Contributer foiled the gamble of the day in the Wolferton Handicap with Ed Dunlop’s charge coming from last to first under George Baker to deny Bold Sniper.

“The punters then went in for Adelaide in the King Edward VII Stakes, but the 6-5 favourite was only second behind impressive 12-1 winner Eagle Top. We laid John Gosden’s charge early on, but the money for Aidan O’Brien’s jolly meant he was a winner in the book at the off and another good result on the day.

“We had kept on the right side of favourite Lightning Thunder in the Coronation with My Titania by far our worst loser but we got another result as Rizeena bounced back to her best.

“Marzocco was the only bullet we had left to dodge in the Queen’s Vase and he came up short too as Mark Johnston took the race yet again with Hartnell who we had deliberately kept on side.”

Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: “It was a long time coming, but results have finally gone our way and the balance sheet is much healthier as we head into the final day.”

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