Confusion as one bookmaker priced up without Wren
The Cockney Wren Rule 4 fiasco has taken a new twist after the Racing Post learned on Thursday at least one bookmaker did hear the original non-runner announcement and not only did he not price up Harry Fry's filly, he also tried to alert fellow layers.
Peter O'Toole, who was betting in Tattersalls, left non-runner Cockney Wren off his board - and a racegoer claimed five others initially did the same.
O'Toole yesterday confirmed he did not initially price up Cockney Wren – who is due to run in the mares' bumper at Ludlow today – but in the confusion added then removed the filly from his market.
"My step-daughter Lynn does the computer and quite a time before the race she heard the horse announced as a non-runner, so she withdrew it from our list," he explained. "When we eventually came to price the race up we did so without her.
"She was still priced up on Betdaq at around 17, so we would have put her in at 14-1 if we hadn't heard, but we didn't price her up. Others did.
"There was another bookmaker on the row in front of us and they kept shouting at us 'it's a runner, it's a runner'. We tried to say it wasn't and that there had been an announcement and we'd seen it on the big screen, but they weren't having any of it.
"It was cold, we were soaking wet, and we'd done very little money all day because of the small crowd, so we were fed up with the world by that point. They kept screaming at us so eventually we put it on the board as a 14-1 shot and then two minutes later the Cheltenham people put out a message confirming she was a non-runner.
"It was all a bit of a cock up. We weren't even told there was a Rule 4 until after we'd paid everyone out and were halfway home."