BEAUTY PARLOUR 13.00 1.80
TROIS LUNES 101.00 21.00
Each Way Terms: 3 places 1/5 odds
OO-la-la! Punter’s Dream. Odds in red are what Sportsbet put up for some horses in the French Oaks and at right are the correct odds.
IT is every punter’s dream and it finally happened.
Australian online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au put up the wrong odds for the French Oaks run at Chantilly racetrack on June 17, 2012.
Sportsbet installed the 100-1 shot Best of Allas odds-on favourite and the short-priced favourite Beauty Parlour at 12-1. Second favourite Kissed (4-1) was put up at 22-1 with win or each-way betting allowed.
It was a bungle which might have gone down in the legal and ethical text-books. What would a punter do if they discovered the juicy odds about the hot-pots? An astute gambler could have backed the two favourites each-way and thrown in a smaller bet each-way on 20-1 shot Trois Luneswhich was posted at 100-1. Would the bets pass legal muster if the punter had a big collect at the wrong odds?
Queensland author and journalist Bernie Dowling discovered the error 38 hours before the running of the French Oaks, the €1 million Prix de Diane at Hippodrome de Chantilly, north of Paris.
“It was the first day of my free international tipping service on Twitter,’’ Mr Dowling said.
“It’s a fun thing to promote my novel, Iraqi Icicle with the second edition due late this year.”
Mr Dowling decided tipping into the French Oaks was a plan so he did what a journalist or seasoned punter would do, searched the internet for form.
“I found stories on the entries of billionaire owner the Aga Khan and top Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien but I couldn’t find a thing on the false favourite, Best of All,” Mr Dowling said.
He found the unbeaten Beauty Parlour was highly regarded and stumbled across a betting market – though not from a bookie – which had that filly at odds-on.
“I suspected both this market and Sportsbet’s were wrong and the correct odds on Beauty Parlour were somewhere in between, so I had a small bet of $5 each way on the filly.”
Ploughing on with the research, Mr Dowling found the source of the wrong Sportsbet market and then one by the delightfully named European bookmaker paddypower.com.
“I knew Paddy would have it right.”
Here was an ethical quandary with possible legal ramifications.
“Oddly, it did not cross my mind to have a real go each way on the first and second favourites.
“It was not for legal reasons; I believe the epic struggle between punter and bookie should be fought on high moral ground.”
What did cross that punter’s mind was tweeting the error.
“What a start that would have been to my international tipping service.
“I have only a handful of followers as I don’t believe in manipulating a following on Twitter.
“But I am sure my tweet could have gone mini-viral among punters who mould have scrambled to see what their own bookie was betting.”
“But once I had decided the right thing was to tell Sportsbet, I could not tweet their mistake before I contacted the bookie.”
Mr Dowling was particularly disappointed he was unable to tell one follower, a journalistic colleague who gave him the idea of a punting service.
“She has tipped me a couple of winners on the pacers. I suppose those tips will dry up now.”
Mr Dowling rang sportsbet.com.au about the error and within minutes the Oaks betting market was suspended.
The Queensland author is left with another dilemma to sort out.
“The main character in my novel Iraqi Icicle is Steele Hill who has been banned for life from all Australian racetracks for his minor role in a race fix.
“I am wondering if I should revoke the ban as a reward for my good dead.”
Mr Dowling admitted not every punter would see it as a good deed.
“It’s a tough call. The bookie always has the house percentage over you. Through an honest mistake, Sportsbet put the odds massively in favour of the punters. It will be interesting to find what others would have done in my shoes.
Sportsbet informed Mr Dowling his $10 bet on Beauty Parlour at 12-1 would stand.