Source: The Mercury, 30 September, 1996, p.35


Bookies wail after
Dettori's super seven

   London
   BOOKMAKERS were left 
running for cover as Frankie 
Dettori rode all seven winners 
at Ascot yesterday and made 
two punters half-millionaires.

   On one of the most 
astonishing days in British 
racing history, the cumulative 
odds on Dettori's winners 
amounted to 25,095-1, send-
ing shudders down the odds-
makers' spines.

   One lucky punter staked 
just over £60 (about $120) in 
a special combination bet 
with bookmakers William 
Hill on all Dettori's mounts 
and ended the day more than 
$990,000 richer.

   Another won a similar 
amount with a Ladbrokes 
shop in London after staking 
an each-way accumulator 
costing $20.

   William Hill spokesman 
David Hood said: "It is the 
worst day in bookmaking his-
tory. Our managers will be 
settling bets until midnight.

   "The fifth winner was ex-
pensive, the sixth dismal and 
after the seventh, it was time 
to put the lights out."

   Another Hill spokesman, 
Graham Sharpe, echoed: 
"Frankie's seven winners have 
made this the blackest day in 
British bookmaking history.

   "I shudder to think how 
much it's cost us. It's a 
disaster. We don't expect any 
sympathy but it's the worst 
day's business we've done 
since Lester Piggott was in 
his heyday and winning the 
Derby every year. It will cost 
us millions."

   Dettori's last three winners 
were all favourites, forced 
down to much shorter prices 
than forecast by the sheer 
weight of money running up 
from earlier bets, such as 
doubles and trebles.

   Dettori, who finished 10th 
on Bullwinkle in last year's 
Melbourne Cup, joked after 
his historic seventh win: "I'm 
just warming up. Is there any 
more racing? This is every-
body's dream. God was on my 
side.

   "After the sixth win, I felt 
it was almost impossible to 
do seven and I told the trainer 
Michael Stoute that I would 
blame him if I lost! I noticed 
when I came out the horse 
who was 12-1 in the paper, 
was 2-1 favourite, so I am 
sure you all had a pound on 
it. Go and collect your 
money." The two-day Ascot 
festival end today with 
another seven-race card. 
Dettori has mounts in each and 
the first three are favourites.

   On such sparkling form he 
might even fancy a tilt at a 
record set in August 1933 by 
Sir Gordon Richards, who 
rode 12 winners in 
succession.

   The first came in the last 
race at Nottingham, followed 
by all six the next day 
Chepstow and the first five 
the next day at the same 
track.

   Another Ladbrokes spokes-
man Ian Wassell expressed 
the hope bookmakers might 
be able to recoup the losses 
on the second day of the 
carnival.

   "Tomorrow is another day 
to try to get some of our 
money back," said Wassell.

   Reuter-AAP


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