Racing: Punter at loss over 1-66 shot

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The Independent Online
A PUNTER cost himself pounds 640 yesterday simply by failing to walk a few yards to take advantage of the Tote's decision to return a minimum dividend of pounds 1.10 to a pounds 1 stake on any winning horse.

The last-race winner at Beverley, Victory Spin, returned a starting price of 1-66, the shortest price since on-course betting tax was scrapped.

One punter collected the paltry sum of pounds 160 after wagering pounds 8,000 at odds of 1-50. But he would have netted pounds 800 for the same risk had he simply put the money on with the Tote.

The Tote's spokesman, Rob Hartnett, said: "We are conscious that this sort of thing can happen but on these rare occasions when a horse is shorter than 1-10 we still prefer to return a dividend."

After commission payments to the course have been counted, the race will have cost the organisation in the region of pounds 15,000. The Tote win pool on the race was pounds 126,196, of which pounds 124,770 was bet on the winner.