Racing: Punters warned on complexity of French betting system

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The Independent Online
Ladbrokes are warning punters to ensure that they understand what price they are taking with their bets on the racing at Longchamp this weekend.

"We are keen to remind our customers of the different bets available to ensure that they make the right choice,"Andy Clifton said .

"The main area of choice is on win bets, which can be placed either at Ladbroke prices or the French PMU returns [or even on Tote Direct for the Arc itself].

"If a customer does not specify, the bet will be settled at PMU odds. It is worth reiterating that horses in the same ownership are coupled under the French system.

"This means that you could have two or more horses running for you, but clearly the return is likely to be smaller."

Tote Direct bets on the Arc must be made on one of the normal Tote betting cards.

Pasternak will take his chance in today's Tote Cambridgeshire - despite reservations over the going.

Pasternak's trainer Sir Mark Prescott had insisted that the leading contender would only take his chance if there was significant rain. The wet weather has not arrived at Newmarket but Pasternak was, nevertheless, among the 36 horses standing their ground for the nine-furlong handicap.

"The horse will run. We would like rain but we are not going to get it," said Prescott.

With the doubts over his running removed Pasternak, a winner of the Magnet Cup on his last outing, is now the clear favourite in most bookmakers' lists. The sponsors now make the four-year-old 8-1 after cutting him from 12-1.

Gulf Shaadi has made the line-up after battling all week against a foot injury.

Yesterday's withdrawals were good news for handicap expert Reg Akehurst, whose Mihriz was in danger of being eliminated. Apprentice Paul Fitzsimmons will be on board and his 7lb allowance will take Mihriz's weight down to a featherweight 7st 3lb.