A CONTROVERSIAL 100-1 winner surged home at Fontwell – but furious punters claimed the race should have been VOIDED after a calamitous start.
The Michael Madgwick-trained Big ‘n Better won by two lengths from 9-2 shot Bembridge in the opener over 2m 3f.
Odds-on favourite Drakes Well – who went off at 8-15 – flopped, finishing fourth in the maiden hurdle.
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Incredibly, oddschecker reported that Big ‘n Better, ridden by Marc Goldstein, accounted for just 0.1 per cent of all bets on the race placed through them.
The horse was a couple clear approaching the penultimate hurdle and took it well.
The nine-year-old, who had never finished better than fifth in five races under rules, flew over the last and was never caught on the run-in.
It is fair to say Big ‘n Better had not shown a lot in previous races.
Beaten by a cumulative 129 lengths in five prior contests, odds of 100-1 seemed about right before the off.
But some punters were furious the race went ahead following the chaos at the start.
Just as the starter’s flag was lowered, Drakes Well got spooked and darted off to the left, getting in the way of Bembridge.
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Three other jockeys seemed hesitant to start the race as Wireless Operator set off in front.
One punter watching the action said: “The starter has had a shocker there, how’s he let that go?
“Awful start, whole race should have been voided.”
Another said: “The start there at Fontwell… someone is getting sacked in the morning… if not right now… disgraceful.”
One joked: “Anyone back the 100-1 winner? (apart from the starter).”
A fellow Twitter user said: “100-1 winner. Monday madness.”
But the result stood and anyone who backed the winner was left counting their cash.
This was believed to be the highest-priced winner so far this calendar year in UK racing – until amateur jockey Peter Summers rode 125-1 Catchin Time to victory at Wincanton later the same afternoon.
While there were two 100-1 victors within the space of a week at Sedgefield last November.
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