Bookmakers breathe easy: relief for layers after huge Tramore gamble is foiled
Bookmakers breathed a huge sigh of relief on a wet and dreary but far from mundane Monday evening at Tramore, avoiding six-figure payouts when the second half of a plunge went astray.
Victory for Tornado Watch, owned and trained by Emmet Mullins, sparked high hopes of a string of big-priced doubles being landed, but the defeat of Sunday At Augusta in the bumper meant bookmakers avoided a battering.
Tornado Watch was a best priced 16-1 earlier in the day and was returned the 11-4 second favourite, while market confidence behind Sunday At Augusta was even stronger.
The Stephen Murphy-owned Sunday At Augusta started the day as big as 50-1 but was sent off a 5-2 shot. However, while he ran well, he could not match 6-4 favourite Cuneo – owned by Gigginstown and trained by Henry de Bromhead – in the closing stages and finished second.
Paddy Power, who were by no means best-priced about either, were among the firms that would have been bowled over, with the double available with them at 532-1 early in the day.
'It will take our pants down'
Speaking after the first half of the double had been landed, their spokesman Paul Binfield said: "Punters have come for the double. We were 40-1 about Sunday At Augusta and he's now 15-8 [after the first winner].
"We've seen a few singles for Sunday At Augusta, but it's mainly the double and it will take our pants down. It's over six figures."
At those prices earlier in the day, a £200 double would have racked up £106,600 in terms of liabilities for Paddy Power.
Commenting after Sunday At Augusta had been beaten, Binfield added: "That was squeaky bum time and we're a trifle relieved."
'Nothing we can't cope with'
For Coral, David Stevens, speaking before Sunday At Augusta’s defeat, said: "These are races that we would typically trade carefully when the market was first up, and while we laid a couple of bets on the double early doors it was nothing of any great note, and clearly at the bigger prices available earlier it takes only a small amount to build up liabilities.
"While there is always a snowball effect to these things, it doesn't appear we're on the end of a widespread coup; obviously if both legs win there will be some winning punters, but nothing we can't cope with."
Mullins, who is part of the famous family dynasty headed by Ireland's reigning champion trainer Willie, is in his third season with a licence.
Speaking earlier in the day when phoned about the gamble, Mullins said: "I haven't had any money on it anyway, I don't know any more about it than you do.
"You're the one telling me about the gamble, I don't know anything about it."
Asked again if he had been involved in the gamble after Tornado Watch had won, the trainer replied: "Thank god he won."
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