Motivator’s stunning success in the Vodafone Derby at Epsom brought a mixed reaction from the bookmakers.
The five-length victory of the 3-1 favourite was described as the “worst possible” outcome by Coral, who lost a “substantial six-figure” sum on the race.
But William Hill were not too unhappy after seeing plenty of money for the unplaced Gypsy King and Oratorio.
“Motivator has been backed at all rates down from 40-1 over the last nine months and the betting public piled hundreds of thousands of pounds on him today,” said Coral spokesman Simon Clare.
“It was quite simply the worst possible result for Britain’s bookies, who will face a multi-million-pound pay-out.”
But Hills’ David Hood said: “It’s smiles all round in the Derby with the big fans of Motivator delighted with the win and a good result for the bookies with the money for the well-supported Oratorio and Gypsy King staying in the satchels.
“Industry estimates of £100 million for the day are thought to be spot-on, with turnover on a par with previous years and an open Derby providing interest in a number of runners.”
Damien Walker of totesport said: “Motivator has cost the bookies an estimated £5 million. It was our worst possible result. Motivator was a big loser ante-post and on the day.
“We laid him at 40-1 ante-post and then at 14-1 after the Racing Post Trophy. It is always a bad result when the winter Derby favourite wins.
“We lost about £300,000 on the race and being five per cent of the industry, that equates to a £5m loser.”
Paddy Power called it a “poor result ante-post with Motivator having been at the front end of the Derby betting since he won the Racing Post Trophy.
“However, it was not a bad result on the day as there was significant support for Gypsy King and Fracas, especially in Ireland.”