Racing: Windfall for bookies as Yeats is ruled out

If it is hard to feel too upset for a pair of serial winners in John Magnier and Aidan O'Brien as their colt Yeats limps out of the Derby, think of the punters who nurtured ante-post betting slips bearing the colt's name through the long winter months only to see their dreams die at the eleventh hour.

If it is hard to feel too upset for a pair of serial winners in John Magnier and Aidan O'Brien as their colt Yeats limps out of the Derby, think of the punters who nurtured ante-post betting slips bearing the colt's name through the long winter months only to see their dreams die at the eleventh hour.

When Yeats won a maiden race at the Curragh late last September he was immediately installed as favourite for the Derby, nine months hence, at odds of around 12-1. Some, seemingly astute, punters lumped on there and then, and spent the intervening months trying to pat themselves on the back as the colt emerged as O'Brien's flagbearer to follow in the hoofprints of Galileo and High Chaparral, and his price for the premier Classic tumbled to as low as 9-4.

Those punters have, sadly, contributed to a windfall for the bookmakers, which the layers admit could amount to £1m.

It is also a triumph for the bookmakers', and indeed punters', grapevine as all money for the colt had dried up long before O'Brien first began giving assurances last week that all would be well with his charge despite the fact that he was receiving physiotherapy for a minor muscle problem. Anyone who stepped in to back Yeats as the bookmakers set bait for the uninformed by easing him to a seemingly generous price was not in on the inside information.

"We looked at him again this morning," O'Brien said yesterday, "and his muscle problem has not improved sufficiently, so we think it is in the best interest of the horse not to run in the Derby. We plan to give him a complete rest.

"It is bitterly disappointing for everyone here at Ballydoyle as Yeats has always worked like a champion. He is a very similar horse to Galileo and I've tried to take the Galileo route with him to Epsom."

On the day the colt departed from the race it emerged that he is not, as widely thought, named after the poet William Butler Yeats, but his brother Jack, the painter. Even poetry has flown from the fallen idol.

In the absence of Yeats, Godolphin's Snow Ridge has move to the head of the market for racing's Blue Riband and the Dubai team now have the favourites for all three Group One races at Epsom this weekend, with Punctilious and Sundrop vying for top spot in the Oaks, and Doyen in the Coronation Cup.

Simon Clare, of Coral, however, believes that there could be another upheaval in the betting before the colts line up for the latest-starting Derby ever at 4.20pm on Saturday. "Ultimately, the betting public will decide who starts favourite," Clare said, and after last year's plunge on Kieren Fallon and Kris Kin, I am certain the Sir Michael Stoute runner this time, North Light, will be backed into favouritism on the day."

Percussionist, now as low as 7-1, has been cut from 12-1 over the last couple of days, and is another on a march up the betting.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice