Bookies Lose Millions On Four-Horse Bet
A gambler and former trainer appears to have given the bookies a hammering with wins on four bets placed on outsiders paying out millions.
Ireland's Barney Curley, who is known for his eye for horses, had connections with each of the winners, all of whom were racing in not-particularly important races.
Eye of the Tiger started off the success with a win at Lingfield after not having run for nearly 500 days.
He started off at 10-1 but the odds were cut to evens favourite after punters flocked to place a bet.
After that came Seven Summits at Catterick who went from 7-1 to 9-4 favourite.
Mr Curley's luck continued with a win at Kempton when Indus Valley - running for the first time in 700 days - moved up from being a 20-1 outsider to win as the 4-7 favourite.
The final bet which, bookmakers say, could have brought the win up to at least £5m went with Low Key at Kempton.
He started off at 7-1 having finished last in a two-mile race at Southwell last February and came in to win comfortably as the 4-7 favourite.
Coral's David Stevens admitted the bookies had had to pay out, saying: "We did see a number of multiple bets featuring these four horses both online and in shops, and throughout the day this number increased as word of the gamble that was taking place gathered momentum.
"Victory for all four horses has cost us a six-figure payout, and based on our losses we would estimate the industry has been hit for something in the region of £2m, which although still costly, is perhaps lower than some claims."
Ladbrokes, too, said a day of "frenzied betting activity" had stung the betting industry.
Experts said that, once the name Barney Curley was put into the mix - although there was no official confirmation he was involved - a lot of the bets placed would have been from punters with no knowledge of any plot but who were simply joining in the gamble.
Paddy Power accepted its loss with good humour, claiming the four winners had cost it more than them ?1m (£820,000).
"This is a weapons grade coup, they've well and truly taken our pants down. I'm only jealous I wasn't on myself!" a spokesman said.
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