Anonymous Football Punter

Anonymous Football Punter  Saturday, April 30, 2022 featured a total of 16 matches in the top two tiers of English Football and became a red-letter day for one lucky football punter. The anonymous fortune hunter staked just £0.60 on a 16-fold accumulator on all the matches in the Premier League and Championship and, amazingly, copped for a massive £157,865.59 after correctly predicting all 16 results.

The winning bet was all the more remarkable for the fact that it consisted just half a dozen odds-on selections and the only draw, Cardiff City versus Birmingham City, in the top two divisions. Alex Apati, Public Relations Manager at Ladbrokes, who laid the bet, said, ‘Our punter has played an absolute blinder here, correctly predicting the outcome of all 16 games in the top two tiers of English football on Saturday.’ He added, ‘…truly remarkable stuff and we’re delighted…’

Thankfully, the final selection, Manchester City, justified odds of 2/7 by cruising to a 4-0 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road in the late kick-off but, earlier in the day, the intrepid gambler had experienced one of two anxious moments. Burnley trailed Watford 1-0 for much of the game at Vicarage Road, before late goals from Jack Cork and Josh Brownhill rescued the tie for the visitors. At St, Mary’s Stadium, the situation was even more tense, with Crystal Palace needing a winner from Wilfried Zaha, deep into injury time, to keep the bet alive. Nevertheless, the fickle football gods were on the side of the punter on this occasion and his, or her, luck held long enough to land eye-watering accumulative odds of 263,109/1.

Ahoy Senor

Ahoy Senor  Trained by Lucinda Russell in Kinross, in the Scottish Lowlands, Ahoy Senor is a 7-year-old gelding who developed into one of the best staying novice steeplechasers in training in 2021/22. A winning pointer for previous trainer, Melanie Rowley, Ahoy Senor sprang a major surprise when winning the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree at 66/1 in April, 2021, on just his third start under Rules.

However, sent over regulation fences in 2021/22, the son of Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe winner Dylan Thomas proved that result was no fluke. He unseated rider Derek Fox on his steeplechasing debut at Carlisle in late October, but made amends when making all to win the John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury the following month by 31 lengths, unchallenged. At Kempton on Boxing Day, he was made marginal favourite to beat his old rival Bravemansgame in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase but, having nearly unseated Derek Fox again, at the fourth-last fence, had to settle for second, beaten 7½ lengths.

Ahoy Senor was next seen at Wetherby in early February, where he once again made all the running for an impressive, 5½-length victory over subsequent Grand National winner, Noble Yeats, in the Towton Novices’ Chase. Next up was the Cheltenham Festival, where Ahoy Senor ultimately proved no matched for the hitherto unbeaten L’Homme Presse, but nonetheless finished a highly creditable second, beaten 3½ lengths.

On his most recent start, in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree, Ahoy Senor was sent off 4/1 third favourite to reverse his earlier form with Bravemansgame and L’Homme Presse. However, neither of those rivals gave their true running, leaving Ahoy Senor to beat Fury Road – who, while no slouch, was sent off 14/1 outsider of the four runners – by a comfortable 5 lengths.

Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore  Heading into the Punchestown Festival, which concludes the Irish National Hunt season, Rachael Blackmore trailed Paul Townend by just four winners in the Irish jump jockeys’ championship. Despite winning the Irish Champion Hurdle for the second year running on Honeysuckle, she failed to overhaul the reigning champion, but can still reflect on a remarkable season in 2020/21.

Blackmore, 31, is no stranger to ‘firsts’; in 2016/17, she became the first female jockey to win the Irish Conditional Jockeys’ Championship and, since becoming principal jockey to Co. Waterford trainer Henry De Bromhead in 2018, has risen to the top of her profession. She is already the most successful female jockey, of any description, in the history of British or Irish horse racing.

However, her more recent historic successes have thrust her firmly into the public eye. In March, 2021, Blackmore not only became the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle, on the aforementioned Honeysuckle, but also the first to win the Ruby Walsh Trophy, awarded to the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival. The following month, she rode Minella Times to victory in the Grand National, thereby becoming the first female jockey in the 182-year history of the Aintree showpiece to do so. Immediately afterwards, Blackmore said, ‘I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human.’

Love

Love  Foaled on April 13, 2017, Love is a regally-bred filly, by Galileo out of a Pivotal mare, who is owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. Susan Magnier and trained by Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Love made her racecourse debut in a fillies maiden at Leopardstown in June, 2019 and went on to win three of her seven starts as a juvenile, including the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

However, it was during her three-year-old campaign, in 2020, that Love came to the attention of the wider racing public. She reappeared in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which she was sent off 4/1 joint second-favourite behind Quadrilateral, who had beaten her in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile, over the same course and distance, the previous October. Love reversed that form, though, winning the 1,000 Guineas by 4¼ lengths and bettered that effort with an impressive 9-length win in the Oaks at Epsom the following month. She was almost as impressive when winning the Yorkshire Oaks by 5 lengths a month later and finished the season 3-3, all at Group 1 level.

With connections keen to avoid testing conditions, Love made her belated reappearance, as a four-year-old, in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, 2020. She once again justified favouritism, making all the running and keeping on gamely in the closing stages to win by three-quarters of a length. At the time of writing, Love is rated 126 by Timeform, making her the highest-rated older filly, and the joint-ninth highest-rated older horse of either sex, in Europe. In her career, so far, she has won seven of her eleven races and approximately £1.14 million in prize money.