non-runner no bet on Cheltenham Bookmakers have offered non-runner no bet on the five Cheltenham championship races after a sequence of upsets at Leopardstown Patrick McCann 1 of 1 By Jon Lees UPDATED 8:08PM, JAN 2 2018
A succession of shock results over Christmas and the uncertainty they inflicted on the Cheltenham Festival markets has led three leading bookmakers to take the unprecedented step of offering non-runner no bet on the five biggest races.
Historically bookmakers have resisted offering the concession until much nearer the four-day March meeting – one of the biggest betting events of the year – when running plans are clearer.
But a sequence of upsets at Leopardstown, where superstar hurdler Faugheen, pulled up at 1-6, was one of a host of reverses endured by Willie Mullins, who also lost Nichols Canyon to a fatal injury, saw Min disqualified, and Djakadam and Yorkhill flop, while Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Sizing John finished seventh of eight, has led to a rethink.
In a bid to stimulate interest in festival markets bet365, Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook on Tuesday went non-runner no bet on the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, Unibet Champion Hurdle, Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle and Ryanair Chase.
Bet365 spokesman Pat Cooney said: "We've had many requests to go non-runner no bet on these races and feel it makes sense to offer it from now on. The markets do look confusing, with so many horses having uncertain targets.
“It's the earliest we've gone on these five races – we usually offer it from early February, with the remaining festival races at the end of that month.
“The jumps season revolves entirely around the Cheltenham Festival in terms of discussion nowadays, but at this stage of the season we have relatively low levels of turnover, with trainers keen to keep their options open, which is understandable.”
He added: “Non-runner no bet is a more attractive betting option on these races and, in addition, we are best odds guaranteed on these races, so punters can take current odds knowing they'll be paid out at SP if greater. We now expect to be a lot busier on these races.”
Just had a glance at one race, the champion hurdle , and Powers prices are as usual an insult to the average punters intelligence. What a vile firm they are , with their special needs odds compilers , who couldn’t price a coin toss. 11/4 faugheen 4 yorkhill 6 Melon Could anyone in their right mind think these prices could possibly be shorter when the horses are at the start ? I myself would lay anyone 1000/100 to single out any of the above named horses to sp shorter than any of those prices on the day. I didn’t bother looking at the rest of their prices bar the champion chase where they are going a whopping 4/5 Altior, and I couldn’t look at any more of the nonsense as the nausea was starting to overpower me.
Just had a glance at one race, the champion hurdle , and Powers prices are as usual an insult to the average punters intelligence. What a vile firm they are , with their special needs odds compilers , who couldn’t price a coin toss.11/4 faugheen 4