Horse Racing: Mmmmm, one more would have been nice.
FORGET everything we have told you before. Discard erroneous thoughts of form, ground and draw, then banish misplaced ideas about jockeys, trainers and breeding. It turns out that the route to finding winners comes from none of the above. It comes from the letter 'm'.
Proof positive that the road to riches is found somewhere between T and 'n' came at Kempton yesterday when a betting shop punter with a fondness for the 13th letter of the alphabet almost became Ladbrokes' biggest ever horseracing winner.
The unnamed punter entered one of Ladbrokes' Ipswich offices and spent pounds 6.30 on a 10p Lucky 63. His first selection, Mafeking, won at 50-1. His second, My Secrets, struck at 10-1. Next up was Mina (note the trend forming), a 7-1 victor in the third, with that one followed 30 minutes later by Million Percent, his inspired 25-1 choice in the fourth race.
Then, after Marajaa's 8-1 triumph in the penultimate heat, the punter stood to win pounds 758,000, pounds 258,000 more than Ladbrokes had paid out before. He only needed 2-1 favourite Moon Emperor to win the finale. Unfortunately, Moon Emperor could finish no closer than sixth.
Even so, Ladbrokes, who twice before were relieved of their previous pounds 500,000 limit, once at the Cheltenham Festival and once as a result of Frankie Dettori's Magnificent Seven, must still pay out pounds 151,000.
The happy punter probably thinks it's marvellous.