After his astounding start to proceedings on day 3 of the Royal meeting at Ascot, some bookmakers refused to accept multiple bets on Frankie Dettori rides and it’s something that has met with anger from punters’ groups and even other bookmakers, one even calling the move pathetic.
Having already notched one winner at the most competitive meeting on the calendar, Dettori managed to ride the first four winners on the card on Gold Cup day leading to his fifth ride, Turgenev, being hauled in from 12/1 and 14/1 generally to 7/2 favourite.
Having hit the front to astonishing noise, Turgenev was just about hauled in by Biometric which saved the layers from a multi-million-pound payout to thousands of punters.
It has since transpired that bet365 refused some 4-horse accumulators and all five-horse bets on Dettori’s mounts for the final two days at Ascot, something SkyBet joined in with at the weekend.
That prompted major annoyance from the betting public with many taking to social media to vent their fury and a well-known bookmaker to question his colleagues’ stance. Star Sports owner Ben Keith was hugely critical and pointed out that the old school oddsmakers such as Joe Coral and William Hill would never have made such a move.
Big Success at Ascot
Back in 1996 Frankie Dettori rode a perfect seven from seven at Ascot, crushing the bookmakers that day but as has been pointed out by numerous people including Keith, surely the major firms can take a big losing day once every 23 years?
The major problem most people have is that by taking this stance after Dettori’s four-timer, these firms cannot really call themselves ‘bookmakers’ in the classic sense. They can react to major public moves by shrinking prices, which they did with both Turgenev and Questionare, but to refuse multiples just smacks of teenagers picking up their ball and going home with it when things haven’t gone the way they wanted.
Not all firms took this stance and so punters can shop around, the truth of the matter being though that many don’t as they are enticed by loyalty offers and such and so only actively use one account.
Had that account been with bet365 or SkyBet, then they would have been very disappointed when trying to get on a Dettori multiple at the weekend.
What has been pointed out is that, while very unlikely, this sort of pattern emerging concerning one of the best and most popular jockeys in the world was always possible, so oddsmakers absolutely should have factored this in to their early prices rather than crashing them and/or refusing multiple bets after it becomes clear he is riding winners.
Here are Frankie’s Royal Ascot winners in full:
Raffle Prize 18/1
Crystal Ocean 3/1
Star Catcher 4/1 (had been a general 8/1)
Stradivarius 1/1 (had been 6/4)