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    Bookmakers find solace as El Fabiolo exits
Bookmakers find solace as El Fabiolo exits
El Fabiolo with jockey Daryl Jacob at Leopardstown. Source: Healy Racing

Bookmakers find solace as El Fabiolo exits

Relief was granted to bookmakers following El Fabiolo's defeat in the Champion Chase, preventing a potentially costly outcome for the punters on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Willie Mullins had enjoyed a successful start to the meeting with a treble on day one, setting the stage for a repeat with Ballyburn and Fact To File securing victories at short odds.

Despite the absence of Jonbon, El Fabiolo entered the Betway-sponsored feature as the 2-9 favourite. However, the bookies were spared as the favourite's jumping faltered, leading to his subsequent withdrawal. Irish raider Captain Guinness then seized the opportunity, winning at odds of 17-2 and lessening the blow for the bookmakers.

Coral's David Stevens acknowledged the expectations surrounding Mullins' hot favourites and the relief felt by the bookies when El Fabiolo's misstep dashed punters' hopes. BoyleSports' Lawrence Lyons expressed gratitude towards Captain Guinness for averting a potential loss.

While the victory of Captain Guinness did not benefit many punters, the 'Rachael Blackmore – Serial Winners Fund' received a £10,000 boost from Betfair, contributing to the charity initiative supporting the Injured Jockey Fund and the Irish Injured Jockeys.

BetVictor's Sam Boswell remained cautious amidst the celebrations, noting the advantage tilted towards punters as the event entered its final two days. Paddy Power's Paul Binfield highlighted the significance of El Fabiolo's error, which prevented substantial payouts and ultimately saved the bookies from a significant loss.

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