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Letter: How one lucky lady turned into a Keen ITV 7 punter.

Byline: COLIN JONES

Colin Jones was reminded of very fortunate 20-year-old coup

READING about the recent Jackpot winner at Southwell who chose "unnamed favourite" for the last leg and then saw a 33-1 shot backed in to 7-2 and hose up, I was reminded of a similar incident 20 years ago.

The bet was the old ITV 7 and the horse involved was a Henry Cecil miler called Keen.

Keen lost his maiden tag as a three-year-old in a race that happened to be the last leg of that afternoon's ITV 7.

The following week, a lady from Liverpool was cheerfully paraded on the telly because she had pulled off the ITV 7, winning pounds 30,000-plus for a 5p stake - a record accumulator at the time.

During the inevitable interview, she admitted she knew nothing at all about form and that her selections had been based on the names of the horses.

Nice story, but nothing remarkable.

Then we were told that she had not picked Keen in the last race. Her original selection had arrived down at the stalls but had refused to go in.

The rules of the bet were that, under those circumstances, the selection would be replaced by the favourite.

Lucky lady - but you had to know something else about Keen to appreciate quite how lucky.

In his previous race, Keen had run a brilliant fifth in that year's 2,000 Guineas. The year was 1984, and the four three- year-old milers in front of Keen were: El Gran Senor, Chief Singer, Lear Fan and Rainbow Quest.

As I said, lucky lady.

COLIN JONES Abergavenny
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 8, 2005
Words:270
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