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31st October 2006

The Craziest Betting Race Ever – Ladbrokes

With the Melbourne Cup only days away and the Japanese horse Pop Rock selected to win by respected journalist Les Carlyon; the following story from the Racing Post on Monday 2nd October 2006 provides an insight into the betting potential of the Japanese if their horse looks like having a chance. Japanese star Pop Rock is currently 12th in the Cup entry order.

This, in part, is the Racing Post story of what happened when the Japanese descended on Paris’s Longchamp Racecourse to barrack and bet on for their horse in the 2006 L’Arc de Triomphe.

“The craziest betting race I’ve seen in 35 years” said Mike Dillon, the long time face of U.K. betting giant Ladbrokes, when an E1.6million gamble on the Japanese super star Deep Impact came unstuck.

Dillon described Deep Impact as the heaviest backed horse in the history of The Arc.

“I’ve never seen anything like it” he said “I saw as many as 6,000 Japanese punters waiting hours for the windows to open so that they could back their horse at 1-10 when he was available at 5-2 in the U.K.”

Figures returned by French betting officials confirmed the magnitude of the Deep Impact gamble. Of the total E2.948 million bet into the race pool – E1.6m was bet on this one horse.

As a result of this frenzy for Deep Impact support, on course turnover was up from E3.1 million in 2005 to E4.01 million this year.

The Japanese to a man backed their horse outright to win. In running third Deep Impact saved a massive payout.

In Melbourne on the 1st Tuesday in November with Japanese hopeful Pop Rock, to be ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver in the Cup, anything is possible.

Japan St Leger winner Delta Blues is the other highly fancied Japanese runner in the Cup.