TWE - VIEW: Betting Multiples

TWE - VIEW: Betting Multiples

Every week here at the Winners Enclosure on the 'VIEW', we discuss commonly discussed topics and debates, presenting our opinions and opening the floor to yours.

In the couple of weeks since Royal Ascot, the betting industry has been resting in the spotlight over the possibility of betting on multiple selections, in particular focusing on one selective jockey.

Frankie Dettori has arguably been in the form of his life this season with seven Group One winners and we are only in July, including three in the last two weeks.

The 48-year-old rode seven winners at the royal meeting, including an unbelievable four-timer on the Thursday, which featured back-to-back wins in the Gold Cup for John Gosden-trained Stradivarius.

As a result of his early Thursday dominating antics, the odds on his final two rides on Ladies Day absolutely crashed and were slashed into short-price favourites.

Turgenev - where the unbeaten run ended in race five, started the day as a big as 25/1 and went off as short as the 2/1 favourite with bookmakers fearing for their losses and potential liabilities.

Bookies as a whole have been forced to adopt a new approach and strategy going forward, in the mind of being able to manage and control the outcome of large pay-out accumulator bets from small-stake punters, most commonly featuring the Italian jockey Dettori.

They were left wobbling again after Frankie rode a treble at Coral's Summer Festival at Sandown on Saturday, which was headlined by Enable's sensational return in the Eclipse Stakes.

Coral went 'starting price' [SP] only on his final two rides after the Group One feature at 3:35, in an attempt to keep their giveaway margins down.

Meanwhile, other leading firms such as Sky Bet and bet365 restricted the number of selections in a multiple and the amount one could stake on it - the same action they took on the final two days of Royal Ascot.

This was immediately flagged up by ITV Racing Presenter Matt Chapman before Sandown's seven race card, who branded the decision to restrict certain bets as 'absolutely pathetic'.

His official words were: "What absolutely pathetic bookmaking from Coral restricting fivefolds and sixfolds today.

"Basically what Coral are saying is we do not want you to win. What a pathetic attitude from a bookmaker, they really need to grow a pair."

Now halfway through the season, the July Festival at Newmarket, the King George at Ascot and Glorious Goodwood on the south-coast are swiftly approaching, and bookmakers are preparing for protective action.

They are plotting up ideas to safeguard themselves such as pricing up Dettori’s mounts at shorter odds in an attempt to reduce accumulator risk.

The real debate here is the ability to place multiples, and not just necessarily on the odds.

Bookies as a whole are in their right to lower the odds of a certain horse, but yet they are together taking each other on and challenging for the best price.

The way they make their money is by accepting all kinds of bets, where there can only be one outcome to pay out on.

They have added certain new features to try drive further traffic and income such as best-odds guaranteed and Cash Out, but if they are fearing for big payouts, surely they should not be offering these in the first place?

Together they all form a team against the punters, who judging on results, looked to have certainly have had the edge on them recent weeks.

But in actual fact, figures show that the bookmakers still finished up at Royal Ascot when basing it over the week and not just four Frankie rides that went in on one day.

'The bookies always win' is a common statement and reflection from those against having a flutter or a heavy punt, or even us that try take them on anyway.

Not allowing certain bets on multiples is pathetic bookmaking no question - they are running away before a flag has been dropped.

The bookies are essentially gambling as much as the punters, and it is almost as like they do not want any of the punters to win, just like a poker play walking away from the table with someone's money after making a bit of profit.

They cannot walk away from the betting industry as horse racing survives on it, and if they need to pay out a big sum they are more than obliged to do so - particularly adding in that they are paying that out from all the other losing selections.

Flip the coin at a race-meeting, with all the punters standing unanimously on the terrace standing there with blank faces not wanting a bet.. I think the men or women on the steps will be shouting a little louder crying for bets!

Look, the odds are always in favour of the bookies, and just because six or seven weeks have leaned towards the other end of the spectrum should not disillusion them of their overall profits.

Add in the fact that the few weeks where the punters are ahead, the winning money is going to be back in the bookies hands in no time and should be seen in their favour that more bets are going to be placed for them to win it back.

It is a contentious issue, and one that will not 'lay' off anytime soon.