Epatante was our biggest loser on the opening day and she duly obliged to land her first Champion Hurdle under Barry Geraghty, who went on to have a brilliant week. Punters felt that the way in which she sprinted at the back of the last flight in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton would see her very tough to beat here and so it proved.
It got worse for us with Honeysuckle a very popular selection to beat the hot favourite Benie De Dieux. A lot of punters may have wanted to stay away from backing odds-on favourites and so Honeysuckle was a very good way of betting against one as it looked a two horse race on paper. That proved to be the case in the race itself with the unbeaten Honeysuckle once again showing how good she is.
Queen Mother Champion Chase day didn’t turn out to be too bad for bookmakers in general. Although there were some fancied horses winning we came out the right side of it. Onto Thursday and with Simply The Betts‘ form given a huge boost with Imperial Aura winning on Tuesday, punters were willing to back this horse at any price and they were right to do so as he landed the Browne Advisory with something to spare.
It was a bad week on the handicap front for bookmakers and it seemed that anyone who was lucky enough to win money early in the week was reinvesting it in Saint Roi in the County Hurdle. Barry Geraghty came there travelling so well coming to the last I don’t think bookmakers ever stood a chance!
Onto the feature of the week and, although there was a good spread of cash around plenty of selections, anytime a horse retains it’s crown it’s a bad result for bookmakers and it proved costly with Al Boum Photo powering up the hill for Paul Townend, who ended up being crowned Champion Jockey for the week.