THE Day began with Frankie Dettori landing a comeback winner.
The writing was on the wall when his Lingfield rivals dangerously left him alone in front.
But even Dettori’s comeback had long been forgotten by the time Low Key had battered the bookies by completing a monster-plunge four-timer at Kempton last night. Again, the writing was on the wall from an early stage.
The country’s leading bookmakers were quick to play down any claims of a “multi-million pound bloodbath” after four horses with some link to legendary gambler and former trainer Barney Curley obliged across the country. Yet there was no denying the cleverness involved with the bookmaking industry having been on red-alert from early morning after latching on to the well-backed quartet, all of which were returning from lengthy absences and struck at Lingfield, Catterick and Kempton.
First up was Eye Of The Tiger in the 32Red Casino Handicap at Lingfield, eventually going off at even-money and cruising nine lengths clear under Shane Kelly. He had been 4-1 in the morning and 10-1 on Tuesday night.
Now trained in Newmarket by Des Donovan, Eye Of The Tiger was a German Group Two winner but had not featured in seven starts for Curley, the last of which had been when finishing last of 13 at Haydock in September 2012. Donovan said: “He’s had very bad problems and he won’t run under a penalty.”
Like Eye Of The Tiger, the Sophie Leech-trained Seven Summits was a former Curley inmate and made no mistake at 9-4 in the yorkshire-outdoors.co.uk Handicap Hurdle at Catterick. He had been 7-1 overnight.
Indus Valley, also trained by Donovan, then landed the third leg of the gamble in the kempton.co.uk Handicap at the Sunbury track, but the 4-6 shot had to work hard to collect. Indus Valley had been an 8-1 chance in the morning but a whopping 20-1 overnight.
And all eyes were then on Low Key, trained by Curley’s former assistant John Butler, in the division two of the Kempton For Weddings Handicap. The seven-year-old made no mistake on his first start since finishing seventh of seven at Southwell last February.
Sent off at 4-7 in a first-time visor, Liam Keniry’s mount was always travelling with real purpose in the mile-and-a-half event and cruised up to take a gap at the quarter-mile pole. Low Key had been 7-1 in the morning.
And all this on a day when Dettori returned to action with not one, but two winners at Lingfield – first on Eco Warrior followed by Gone With The Wind an hour later. Yet the day was unquestionably about the mega four-timer even if David Williams of Ladbrokes was happy to put a brave face on.
Williams said: “It was a bad day at the office, nothing more and nothing less. We dodged most of the early morning frenzy but you can’t stop moving trains and we got caught up in some of it as the day panned out.
“Suggestions of a multi-million pound bloodbath are probably wide of the mark so we’re not going to lunge for the violins just yet.”
One very much for the punters nevertheless.