Cheltenham punter banks £250k as he justifies cash-out with Envoi Allen failure

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Cheltenham punter Paul Dean has won £250,000 despite Envoi Allen’s surprise defeat in the Marsh Novices Chase.

Dean put a bet on in June, backing five horses to win at last year’s Royal Ascot and the ongoing Cheltenham Festival.

His first four runners were all victorious with Dean accepting a partial cash-out offer ahead of the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.

It meant that he is still £250k to the good with his other horse Envoi Allen struggling in the first race of Thursday.

Envoi Allen fell early in the race, dashing the hopes of Dean and plenty of other punters.

Dean had said: "I was never going to take a proper cash-out. The reason I put the bet on was to cheer on Envoi Allen, who I want to win so much.

“I discussed partial cash-outs with Barry [Orr, Betfair head of PR]. Betfair offered £300,000 for Envoi Allen and £250,000 the field."

Envoi Allen was expected to romp to victory in the first race of Thursday at Cheltenham though fell early with jockey and horse thankfully okay.

It makes Dean's decision a wise one. Had he chosen not to cash out and instead hope Envoi Allen banked him £511,225, he would have now been left broken-hearted.

Dean had said: "It's not so much the races that make me nervous, it's the months leading up to the festival when my selections shortened. You've seen how many drop out and you just hope yours doesn't get injured.

"I study form all the time and the festival is my big target every year. I'm gutted I can't be there as it's the first festival myself and my father Eric have missed in 19 years – we've made lots of friends."

And though he misses out on an extra £72k, there is still plenty of things for Dean to spend his money on.

He added: "It's a life-changing sum. I might buy another house or perhaps invest in my own horse. I'll be going on plenty of holidays and would like to take my parents away."

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