The victory of the heavily favoured Alpinista at the Arc was a costly one for the bookmakers; one called it “the worst result in the book since Enable.”
The elite mare, trained by Sir Mark Prescott in Newmarket, finished in second place behind Luxembourg and was backed at about 5-1 in the morning, but continued support caused her to start at 33-10, making her the shortest-priced winner since Enable’s second victory at evens in 2018.
William Hill spokesman Tony Kenny said: “Alpinista was a hugely popular winner of the Arc but she wasn’t for us, and her sixth Group 1 in a row was a pretty costly result.
“Sir Mark Prescott’s mare had always been fancied for the race but the money really began to stream in and she went off a well-backed favourite. It’s looking like she’ll be the worst result in the book since Enable.”
With the first three home coming from the top four in the betting, Betfair Sportsbook was one of the bookmakers offering enhanced placed odds in paying down to fifth place. Spokesman Barry Orr called the outcome a “stinker.”
“It’s a bad result for us and having started the day as a 5-1 second favourite behind 4-1 shot Luxembourg, she finished up being the best-backed horse of the day on both the Sportsbook and the Exchange,” he said.
In spite of sharing the sentiments of other bookmakers, Coral’s David Stevens acknowledged that the outcome was positive for racing. Gambled-on Prescott horses have been a recurring theme throughout his career.
“Alpinista was an extremely popular choice all day and as a result was sent off favourite and, thanks to a wonderful ride from Luke Morris, her many backers had reason to celebrate,” Stevens said.
“Whilst it clearly wasn’t a great result for us, it was a great result for racing, and will no doubt go down in history alongside the many legendary gambles Sir Mark Prescott has landed over the decades.”
The Manchester Derby and the London Marathon clashed with ITV’s coverage of the Arc, which resulted in a peak audience of 552,000 viewers at Longchamp and a programme average of 260,000 viewers. The peak and average viewing numbers from last year were 881,000 and 456,000, respectively.