A delighted Paddy Power customer stung the bookies on Gold Cup day with a huge £46k windfall after placing an inspired series of bets last year.
Back in November the punter, from the west of Ireland, parted with £8.40 on an accumulator bet involving five different races at the Cheltenham Festival. After the first four all came in, winning a potential life-changing sum all rested upon the marquee race of jump racing, and whether Rachael Blackmore could become the first female winner of the event on A Plus Tard.
And sure enough, Henry de Bromhead's horse produced a storming finish, moving ahead of Minella Indo after the last and racing clear to win by some 15 to 20 lengths. And it wasn't just the jockey and trainer who had reason to be ecstatic afterwards.
With odds of 540/1, four months ago the insightful race-goer backed Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle [backed at 7/4 in November, won at 8/11], Energumene in the Champion Chase [4/1 in November, won at 5/2], Allaho in the Ryanair Chase [7/2 in November, won at 4/7], and Flooring Porter in the Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle [10/1 in November, won at 4/1], and then A Plus Tard [7/1 in November, won at 3/1]. The bet got off to a good start on Tuesday when Blackmore rode Honeysuckle to a win in the feature race.
On Wednesday, Paul Townend and Energumene also prevailed after favourite Shishkin was pulled up, before the same jockey did the business with Allaho on Thursday. Flooring Porter's brilliant run with Danny Mullins aboard then had the anonymous punter waking up on Friday morning knowing he stood on the brink of winning £46k.
And after the incredible sequence was completed, the Galway man told Paddy Power: “I couldn’t believe it really. Rachael Blackmore is just unreal. I watched it somewhere else because my internet wouldn’t be great. But I was never in any doubt.
“I honestly didn’t think it would come down to this [the Gold Cup result]. Shishkin was the main man in Queen Mother Champion Chase, obviously, so when Energumene won, I couldn’t believe it."
Perhaps to the frustration of those who study the form books inside out, the man isn't even a regular better. And he admitted his disbelief at his own luck.
“Obviously, I had to back Flooring Porter, being a Galway horse. I just said I’d go for it and do the accumulator, so I stuck the €10 [£8.40] on. I wouldn’t normally back horses. I’d only have the odd flutter. But Cheltenham is Cheltenham. This is the kind of thing you only ever read about. It’s unbelievable!”
More than 250,000 punters came through the door at Cheltenham last week, as the Festival enjoyed record crowds following the empty stands of 2021. Friday proved a tough day for bookmakers though, with four of the big favourites coming in as Vauban, State Man and Billaway joined A Plus Tard in living up to their billing.
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