BOOKIES FEAR EXCHANGE - Sunday 12th of June 2005

There's been a major gamble ahead of this afternoon's action at Royal Ascot at York, with the Dermot Weld-trained Simple Exchange attracting a flood of cash in the 4.20pm race, the Wolferton Handicap.

Weld landed something of a coup in the race two years ago with In Time's Eye and it seems that plenty of punters are expecting a repeat.

Simple Exchange, an encouraging third on his reappearance recently, was flagged up at 9/1 by Pricewise first thing this morning but those odds have been slashed into 4/1 by Hills.

David Hood, PR Director for Hills, said: "One of the most remarkable facts about this gamble is the speed. The price became available at the start of business at 8.30am, but by 8.31am the liability on our internet site had gone from zero to over £100,000.

"We were still laying the 9/1 in our betting shops until 10.30am as part of our usual guaranteed early bird price offer, and now estimates of industry liabilities must be approaching £10million."

It's a similar story elsewhere, with totesport going 4/1 from 8/1.

Paul Petrie, totesport spokesman commented: "It has already been a winning week for punters at Royal Ascot in York but this result will really knock the stuffing out of the bookies.

"It is certainly the biggest Royal Ascot gamble in recent times, if not ever. If this gamble comes up I am sure the punters will want Royal Ascot to take place in York every year."

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