Bookmakers William Hill were breathing a huge sigh of relief at around 1.38pm this afternoon as Cue Card – looking to batter them with a seven-figure shell-out – met with defeat in the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Ruby Walsh carried the colours of John Hales to victory in the Grade One Novices’ event and with it, saved William Hill a journey to the bank to write a £1MILLION-POUND cheque for punters.
Hills held the 3-1 price of Cue Card from 8.00am until 10.30am this morning, allowing punters an average of £100 each on the special odds. Those who invested each-way reaped small consolation though after the favourite landed fourth spot – which as an added concession Hills had pledged to pay out over.
Al Ferof has been immediately installed by William Hill as 8-1 favourite for next year’s Arkle after his Champion Handler Paul Nicholls identified chasing as his likely future. The diminutive grey also received a 10-1 quote for the 2011 Champion Hurdle.