What was supposed to be an uneventful and low grade race became the story of the day in horse racing at Fontwell on Monday as an action-packed maiden hurdle meant huge payouts for a few lucky punters.
The 2.55 race was worth a paltry £4,800 and was a Class 5 event, one meant to be won by champion jockey Richard Johnson and crack trainer Philip Hobbs with their 1/2 favourite Umndeni, however things didn’t quite go as expected in Sussex.
Johnson was unseated from his mount right at the start of the contest after 50/1 chance Bigdeal jerked towards him.
That left the race wide open but still nobody could have quite predicted what would happen as two horses went clear towards the end to fight out an incredibly tight finish to the two-and-a-half mile race with 66/1 shot My Destiny, who was making his hurdling debut, just getting the better of the verdict over 40/1 Carrick Roads.
The result meant that the exacta, a bet focussing on the first two in the race, paid a total of £2,533. With the race paying three places, more misery was felt by those concentrating on those at the head of the market as 100/1 chance Crossley Tender came home third.
That result meant the placepot paid an incredible £6,000 to a £1 stake with even the quadpot paying out £1,516 for the four races including this one.
As if that didn’t provide enough amazement, despair and outright hilarity, Carrick Roads’ jockey Harry Cobden also managed to unseat after crossing the line before then declaring that he believed he had won what was a very tight finish.
Those betting on the tote had a great result even if only backing the winner as Brendan Powell’s horse paid out £91.70 for the win, almost 91/1. More power to those who got on!