THE first upheld protest in Albury Gold Cup history was not only a stinging blow for the trainer and connections of Fabriano yesterday.
Bookmakers also felt the pain after the longshot was denied victory in the stewards’ room.
Leading Leeton bookmaker Terry Coelli said the decision had been a costly turnaround.
“The protest has cost me $25,000,” Coelli said.
“On Thursday night at the call of the card at the Commercial Club I took one bet of $2000 at $7.50 on Niblick.
“That was the biggest bet I took for the carnival.
“Then I was betting $8 today and the same punter had another $1000 with me.
“It was my worst-ever result on a single race.
“Overall it was also one of my worst days I’ve ever had bookmaking.”
Coelli’s pain didn’t end there.
He also bought Coliseo at the Commercial Club Calcutta on Thursday night.
First prize was $9500.
None of the earlier races provided any respite for Coelli either.
“The professional punters won on the first, second, third and found the last winner at decent odds as well,” he said.
Coelli said plenty of cashed-up punters had helped generate increased turnover compared to previous Albury carnivals.
“It was a lot higher than previous years,” he said.
“But most of the bookmakers I spoke to had losing days.”
Punters started the day on a high when $1.65-favourite Auguste won the opening race.
While only two more outright favourites saluted, five of the eight winners paid less than $5.
Adrian Ledger Memorial winner Piazza San Pietro was also a disastrous result for the satchel swingers.
“Piazza San Pietro was the best-backed horse in the ring for the whole carnival,” Coelli said.
“It was backed into $4 from an opening of $6.
“Even the last winner, Tarrabandra, was $14 into $10.”