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Bookie Basher: Alpinista’s Arc victory cost bookmakers a big payout Edward Whitaker (

By Harry Wilson (Racing Post)

Well-backed favourite Alpanista’s Arc victory was a costly result for bookmakers with one describing it as “the worst result in the book since Enable”.

The top-class mare, trained by Sir Mark Prescott in Newmarket, was second in the market behind Luxembourg and could be backed at around 5-1 in the morning, but sustained support meant she started at 33-10, the shortest-priced winner since Enable’s second success at evens in 2018.

William Hill spokesman Tony Kenny said: “Alpinista was a hugely popular winner of the Arc but she wasn’t for us, and her sixth Group 1 in a row was a pretty costly result.

“Sir Mark Prescott’s mare had always been fancied for the race but the money really began to stream in and she went off a well-backed favourite. It’s looking like she’ll be the worst result in the book since Enable.”

Betfair Sportsbook were among bookmakers offering enhanced placed odds in paying down to fifth place and with the first three home coming from the top four in the betting, spokesman Barry Orr said it was a “stinker” of a result.

“It’s a bad result for us and having started the day as a 5-1 second favourite behind 4-1 shot Luxembourg, she finished up being the best-backed horse of the day on both the Sportsbook and the Exchange,” he said.

“We were paying five places to each-way punters on the Sportsbook and having Vadeni and Torquator Tasso placed was also a stinker.”

Gambled-on Prescott horses have been a theme throughout his career and although Coral’s David Stevens echoed the feelings of other bookmakers, he acknowledged the result was good for racing.

“Alpinista was an extremely popular choice all day and as a result was sent off favourite and, thanks to a wonderful ride from Luke Morris, her many backers had reason to celebrate,” Stevens said.

“Whilst it clearly wasn’t a great result for us, it was a great result for racing, and will no doubt go down in history alongside the many legendary gambles Sir Mark Prescott has landed over the decades.”

ITV’s coverage of the Arc suffered for a clash with the Manchester Derby and the London Marathon, with a peak audience of 552,000 tuning into the action at Longchamp and a programme average of 260,000. By comparison, last year’s peak viewing figure was 881,000 and average 456,000.