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How did day one of the Cheltenham Festival do for the bookmakers?

With numerous favourites coming out on top, various tipsters making big money and nearly a £100m loss on a single bet; it was certainly a turbulent day for those setting the odds.

It was a tough start to the week for bookmakers with a number of favourites winning gold on day one of the Cheltenham festival including Honeysuckle and Constitution hill meaning it’s the punters who came out on top. Paul Binfield from Paddy Power said, “With five favourite horses winning it was a good day for the punters”, admitting that the win for Honeysuckle cost the company close to £1million.

It is a common occurrence that bookmakers find themselves down on day one, but will no doubt be looking to turn a corner with a tighter looking schedule on day two. The numbers will undoubtedly be big whatever the outcome; in 2022 bookmakers processed over £500m bets during the festival with three and a half million individual bets being placed on the Gold Cup.

It has also come out that Paddy Power had to stop bets on yesterday’s each way acca as they were facing close to a £100million pay out. 32,000 punters had put on the 2155/1 accumulator which had been backed by betting expert Andy Robson (@AndyRobsonTips). This bet would have come off had it not been for the nasty looking fall from Dynastar Dynamo costing him his lead.

Looing towards today’s action there are some tightly matched line-ups which look difficult to call. The action gets underway in the Ballymore Novices’ hurdle with Impaire Et Passe the favourite at 2/1. The banker of the day looks to be Gerri Colmbe racing in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, a horse that agent Kevin Ryan via The Racing Post says “doesn’t get the credit he deserves”, and that it is “very difficult to see him getting beaten.”

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