Tote warn of threat to minimum payout

The Tote will consider reducing its minimum win dividend after being "stung" yesterday.

Bright Heritage and Pat Eddery made all the running for an 18-length victory in the Matty Bown Memorial Maiden Stakes at Pontefract, returning at the highly prohibitive odds of 1-33, but punters at Bath and Pontefract took full advantage of the Tote's minimum return of pounds 1.10 - the equivalent of 1-10 - with a win pool on the race of over pounds 50,000.

The volume of money involved might force the Tote to reduce its minimum payout to pounds 1.05 (1-20) if such betting tactics became a trend, according to Rob Harnett, spokesman for the Tote. "This sort of thing is always under discussion and we might have to reduce it in the light of this occurrence because of the greed of a few," he said.

"The pool on that one race was larger than that at 50 per cent of the entire individual meetings during the year. At one stage we were going 116-1 bar one horse, and a couple in the race were over 1000-1 against.

"The majority of the cash in the pool was placed at Bath. It was obviously well organised, with pounds 50,000 in the win pool. And you don't get that sort of return from a building society."

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