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Saturday 16 December 2017

Frankel fries the bookies

Bookmakers reported mixed results on the opening day of Royal Ascot, which was lit up in no uncertain terms by the incomparable Frankel.

Henry Cecil's superstar put up arguably the best performance of his career and his prohibitive price did not stop some punters wading in.

From a general morning price of 1-5, Frankel was eventually sent off the 1-10 favourite in the wake of some hefty bets.

His 11-length win, which would normally be cheered by the bookmakers as it is unusual for such a short-priced favourite to be so well backed, got the meeting off to a great start for his supporters.

David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "Frankel's devastating win in the opener got punters off to a flier, but we clawed much of it back in the other future races.

"A long week lies ahead and there were no knockout blows."

The Coventry Stakes was won in gritty style by Jim Bolger's Dawn Approach, who was allowed to go off at odds of 7-2 -- a result which was not welcomed by Paddy Power.

Power himself said: "We face an uphill battle after Dawn Approach's win which was a disastrous result and we're well down.



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"Power getting beaten (in the St James's Palace Stakes) helped dramatically, but the day started badly as well with Excelebration trailing in behind Frankel compounded by us having inserted him at 1-3 in our opening Queen Anne market originally."

William Hill were also glad to see Power finishing well beaten behind Most Improved in the St James's Palace as they went the biggest industry price about Aidan O'Brien's colt.

However, Hills reported taking good money on Frankel to win by more than five lengths at even money. They took £500,000 on Frankel just to win.

Spokeswoman Lucy Rhodes said: "It would take investors in savings accounts years to get the same rate of return that Frankel provides in just over a minute and like his National Hunt counterpart Big Buck's, he is considered a bomb-proof investment and the winnings are tax free."

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