Gobsmackingly Huge Bets On Winx, And Some Unusually Small Bets Too
As Winx returns to the track, something strange is happening in the betting ring. Allow us to explain.
Winx resumes racing in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick this Saturday, gunning for her 30th straight win in an unbeaten streak dating back to May 2015.
This will almost certainly be her final campaign. Just four more runs in her celebrated career. And in the eyes of punters, just four more chances to cash in.
Realising that they're running out of chances to make a quick buck out of the nearest thing in life to a sure thing, punters are betting up big. Really big. Crazy big, you might argue.
"We're definitely seeing a new wave of money this time around," Tabcorp's Gerard Daffy told 10 daily.
Daffy said that two years ago, a bet of $40,00 would have been considered huge. But that sort of bet is small potatoes now.
"One punter had $150,000 on her this week, then 40 minutes later he put another $100,000 on.
As usual, Winx is very short odds for this race. In an average horse race, you'd expect the favourite to be odds of $2.50 or thereabouts. That means you'd collect $250 for a $100 bet (a profit of $150).
Winx is currently listed at $1.09. That means a $100 bet would return $109, or a profit of just nine dollars.
That guy who bet $250,000? He stands to win $22,500. Which is a lot, but a quarter of a million is an awfully large amount to risk.
Yet the huge bets still come. On Thursday, someone bet $225,00 on Winx. Potential win: $20,250.
"There's no sporting person or team in the world that dominates like she has," Daffy says.
"The big punters are viewing this as a meal ticket."
But it's not just the big punters who are opening their wallets. As Daffy explains, the TAB has also received numerous tiny bets this week, many of them as a small as a dollar.
Why bother when a $1 bet on Winx would barely win you ten cents?
The memorabilia factor, that's why.
"People want to hang onto the ticket for posterity's sake," Daffy explains. "They want to be able to say that they backed the champ."
Despite her short odds, such is the weight of money that sports bookies including TAB Sportsbet will still lose heavily if Winx wins.
Daffy loves sporting champions but he also loves winning. Who to cheer for?
"I hope she wins, and I've hoped she won her last 20 starts. The sport is a winner overall when Winx wins. It's extremely rare we see good news stories in racing and she's delivered that for the last few years now.
"Long may it continue. I wish she could run every week."