Racing: Jack bets ready for collection

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The Independent Online
BRADFORD'S dentists will be looking forward to some overtime after a ruling yesterday that bets on 33-1 winner Jo N Jack must be honoured, some two weeks after the horse passed the post at Lingfield. As the bookies at last hand over the money, you can be sure that their teeth will be gritted with potentially ruinous force, writes Greg Wood.

The Betting Office Licensees' Association (BOLA), which originally recommended that its members should withhold payment of an estimated pounds 85,000 pending an inquiry into 'irregular betting patterns' in the Bradford area, rescinded that instruction yesterday. The decision marks the end of an embarrassing episode for BOLA, as the organisation had persisted in refusing to sanction the payout even after Jockey Club and police investigations into the race had found nothing untoward.

Punters preparing for a serious investigation of the form for Ascot's Festival meeting on Saturday now have the five-day declarations to work with. Going concerns mean that the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, centrepiece of the card, is likely to go ahead without at least one of its principals - Rodrigo De Triano if it rains, All At Sea if it does not - but should still provide a fascinating contest. Selkirk, Marling, Second Set, Brief Truce, Lahib and Zaahi are among the probable starters.

The QEII is one of several leading races that, for all their competitive allure, are struggling to find a sponsor. One contest did rid itself of that dubious distinction yesterday, however, when Madagans plc announced that it is to support the 1,000 Guineas, the season's first Classic, for the next three years. The company is one of the few whose survival in the teeth of the recession seems assured. They are debt collectors.

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