Tuesday 18 December 2018

Punters have upper hand on profitable first day

Bookmakers were left on the ropes after day one of Royal Ascot as punters came out on top.

Wins for Canford Cliffs, Frankel, Power and Frederick Engels hit the layers where it hurts and had them praying for a few outsiders to oblige on day two.

"Punters have definitely had the better of us," said David Williams of Ladbrokes.

"All the big races went to fancied runners and they're off to a flyer."

Irish firm Paddy Power were hit particularly badly by the Coventry Stakes winner Power, with the bookie saying: "I can't really whinge, with the Power name I should have seen it coming!"

Roger Teal's stable stalwart Steele Tango is having a well-deserved holiday after a lucrative spell in Dubai and a busy early season nearer home. The six-year-old won two of his four races at Meydan and ran creditably at Newmarket and Goodwood on his return before suffering a slight setback.

"We're just easing off him," said the trainer. "We'll bring him back for something like the Rose of Lancaster at Haydock in August."

Cochabamba, another of Teal's stable stars, faces a race against time to get fit for a Listed race over a mile at Sandown on July 2.

Roger Varian has side-stepped Thursday's Tercentenary Stakes at Ascot to wait for the King Edward VII Stakes on Friday with his exciting prospect Mijhaar.

"We might run him in the King Edward in Friday," said Varian.

"They are saying there's a good amount of rain coming in on Friday, so we'll declare the horse and when we get there we'll have a look at the ground."

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