Free Bets changes during Cheltenham

The sight of the Cheltenham festival this week hasn’t had the bookies running for the ‘free bets‘ cover I thought they would have done, they will no doubt wait for Aintree before withdrawing all offers on mass.

Totesport made the most significant change, reducing their Free Bet offer from £60 to £50. Coral bucked that trend and have upped their free bet offer from £10 to £20 during the festival.

The action on the course saw Irish bookie Paddy Power not have to refund thousands of losing bets with one of their ‘money back specials’ after Dunguib failed to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The man himself, Paddy Power, said the result of that race on its own made a difference to his firm of around £4 million. Not bad for a days work. It goes to show just what a massive price he puts on publicity.

Binocular and Tony McCoy also cost a few layers on Betfair a lot of money after winning the Champion Hurdle.

Reminiscent to that of Kicking King back in 2005, Binocular was originally withdrawn a few weeks prior to the festival with trainer Nicky Henderson saying the horse wasn’t right and wouldn’t be running.

Layers on Betfair – as they do – decided to offer stakes on Binocular at the maximum Betfair price of 999/1. Some stupid punters (six in all) decided it was worth a risk (or didn’t realise) and decided to back Binocular at this price and the rest, as they say, is history.

Like that of Kicking King, the circumstances later changed and Binocular took part and won on Tuesday resulting in the six stupid punters cashing in at 999/1.

What fools, backing a horse that isn’t running! Do I feel sorry for layers trying to take advantage like this? What do you think!!

I loved the Betfair spokesmans comment of the lucky six, he remarked “The only downside for the winning sextet is that they can never strike a winning single bet at bigger odds in the future!”

I’m sure the layers are sharing in the particular grief of that downside as well, just goes to show that there is no such thing as free money.

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