Nick Goodway: Don't pity the bookies: they'll get their cash back

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The Independent Online

Outlook If you were fortunate enough to have been at Cheltenham today and cheered home the winner of the big race, Hurricane Fly, with your money on its back, well done.

The bookies would have you know that it was yet another good day for the punters and a bad day for them. Three favourites and one second favourite all came home. Ruby Walsh rode three winners.

One of the biggest bookmakers said it dropped £500,000 on a single race. Don't weep for them. They know as well as you do that every pound which was taken from them on Tuesday will be safely back in their bags come Friday.

There is nothing better for the bookies at a big race meeting than a first day which sees the punters happy, confident and ahead. They will spend more in the bars and clubs of Gloucestershire and their average stake on the Gold Cup on Friday will be bigger than it would have been if they had lost.