In horse racing the biggest racing gambles are pulled off by the big money spending connections. Their success is due to breeding and owning the best horses. A typical example is the recent success of Irish runners in the 2017 renewal of the Melbourne Cup in which they secured the first three home.
However they were foiled in the 2015 running as the local horse Prince of Penzance shocked the world in winning at odds of 100/1.
The jockey Michelle Payne in the process became the first female jockey to win the race in its 155 year history.
There have been many other shock winners throughout history in racing. Check out this infographic to find these out as well as some of the biggest racing bets ever landed!
You can now also bet on horse racing with Paddy Power as all roads lead to the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Let's have a look at the horses that landed these huge gambles and try to tease out reasons that might explain how they managed to succeed.
Equinoctial was a bay gelding of only moderate ability. Prior to his 250/1 win, on good to soft ground in a 2m 6f Novice handicap hurdle at Kelso in November 1990, he had achieved moderate success in point to points earlier that year; winning one and coming 2nd in another.
Both were run over 3m but significantly these successes came when the going was soft or good to soft. In the 4 races he completed subsequently, before his 250/1 win, the going on each occasion was either good to firm or good.
A knowledgeable punter who studied the form might well have picked up on the fact Equinoctial was a horse capable of winning a modest race but had not encountered the going conditions to see him to best effect. However on that fateful day at Kelso the going had changed in his favour enabling him to pull off one of the biggest racing gambles of all time.
Dandy Flame was a 2yo chestnut gelding when he popped up in a class 5 Wolverhampton 5f maiden at the surprising odds of 200/1.
Again a canny punter might well have considered him over priced in just the second start in his racing career. Maiden races are notorious for throwing up surprises but the clues were there:
1. His first race had been on turf at Windsor and Wolverhampton was on all weather which as it turned out suited him better (he went on to win twice as many races on the all weather)
2. His first race may have come too soon, just 2 weeks, after being gelded.
3. The Wolverhampton race contained some fancied runners - Tom Dascombe's Gerrard's Return 6/4F, Robert Cowell's Wadood 5/2 and Richard Hughes' Goodwood Crusader 3/1.
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