HK$2.8m bet 'ruined everything for owner'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 April, 2007, 12:00am

Caspar Fownes was delighted to provide Horace Cheng Lung-don a brilliant winner on yesterday's QE II undercard but was horrified that the owner's opportunity to have a bet was destroyed by forces beyond anyone's control.

In the early afternoon, Cheng's three-year-old Horace's Choice was showing $80 in the sixth race but shortly after the running of the fifth event, the pool was flooded by a HK$2.8 million investment - the result of a huge all-up bet.

'I told Horace that the horse had a good chance, an each-way chance, but it was difficult to be confident from that barrier [12],' Fownes explained.

'Anyway, that all-up bet came through and the next thing you know, the horse was $25 - that ruined everything for him.

'He was impossible to back at that sort of price.'

If the mystery punter thought Horace's Choice was a 'good thing', he would have been feeling on good terms with himself on the home turn as visiting jockey Darren Beadman switched the Strategic gelding to the outside of short-priced favourite Northern Hero (Douglas Whyte).

'He's gone to the outside and I was waiting to see what he'd do, but he's gone past the favourite in a couple of strides.

'Ultimately, he's won very easily, so that punter's a better judge than any of us,' Fownes added with a laugh.

The market eventually corrected to some extent, with Horace's Choice getting out to $49.50. The all-up punter eventually pocketed HK$13.72 million, and there was no evidence of any further all-up investment.