Britain’s bookmakers are hoping for a successful Grand National on Saturday, following the hammering they took at the Cheltenham Festival just three weeks ago.
It is estimated that the industry lost around £60 million, as a string of heavily-backed favourites led by horses owned by former Barclays banker Rich Ricci, romped to victory at Cheltenham.
The nightmare started with a £10 million loss on day one, after victories for 3/4 favourites from the Willie Mullins stable. In fact, the bookies were spared a £50 million pay-out as Min finished second behind Altior in the first race.
Moving on to the Grand National, and the bookies are fearful of a similarly catastrophic result, as punters pile money on last year’s Grand National winner, and this year’s 7/1 favourite, Many Clouds.
David Williams, Media Relations Director for Ladbrokes, said: “A repeat win for Aintree hero Many Clouds in Saturday’s Grand National is Ladbrokes’ nightmare result after the recent pain of the Cheltenham Festival.
“Cheltenham was just about as bad as it gets and the wounds haven’t healed. We’re now dreading the prospect of Many Clouds landing back-to-back Nationals. It could seal the worst month we’ve ever known.”
“Last year Many Clouds was a terrific result for the bookies. This year it could be horrendous. What a difference a year makes.”