Black Tears Bails Bookies Out Of Cheltenham Bloodbath

The famous roar was missing as the Cheltenham Festival got under way on Tuesday afternoon, but absent punters still had plenty to celebrate after bookmakers took a few major blows on the first day of racing action.

Punters couldn’t have got off to a better start after odds-on favourites Appreciate It (8/11) and Shishkin (4/9) bolted up in the first two races

…after being backed off the boards in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and The Arkle respectively.

A worrying start for the bookies was compounded when hot favourite Honeysuckle maintained her unbeaten record to land the Champion Hurdle having been backed all the way in to 11/10 before the off.

However, a catastrophe for bookmakers was narrowly avoided when Black Tears edged a thrilling finish in the Mares’ Hurdle, with Willie Mullins’ 10/11 favourite Concertista just a head short of landing punters an abundance of opening day multiples.

80/1 winner Jeff Kidder provided further respite for traders in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle before punters hit back with popular 7/2 shot Galvin in the last.