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Watching any horse fly past the finish post is an exhilarating feeling, but that feeling is amplified when it’s a huge-priced winner. And if you’ve placed a bet on the horse in question, so much the better!
However, even if you haven’t, it’s nice watching anyone defy the odds.
Here are some of the longest priced winners to win Group and listed races at Royal Ascot.
Les Arcs, The Diamond Jubilee Stakes, 2006
It’s often the case that horses perform better for some trainers than others. Just like humans, they have their likes and dislikes. So, when slightly quirky handicapper Les Arcs moved from Richard Guest’s yard to Tim Pitt’s down in Shropshire, it was only to be expected that his form might change.
Thankfully for Tim Pitt, it changed quite remarkably for the better.
Pitt decided to drop Les Arcs down in distance to 7f and mile-long races. The change proved the making of the horse and he soon began racking up the wins. He’d achieved five wins in a row, including a listed race, so Pitt decided to step things up another gear.
He entered the horse in a couple of group races but was finding the 5-furlong distances too short. His winning streak came to an end, being thoroughly beaten in two races on the trot.
So, when it came time for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, on race day number 5 of Royal Ascot, it was looking incredibly unlikely that Les Arcs would neither be able to return to previous form or better it by a considerable margin.
However, on the day, that extra furlong proved a lifeline for Les Arcs, who flew to victory to win by just a neck over Balthazaar’s Gift.
He set off a 33/1 shot, making his win a nice surprise for anyone who’d had a bet on him.
Accidental Agent, The Queen Anne Stakes, 2018
The most recent long shot to win a Group 1 race at the festival was Accidental Agent. He looked an unlikely contender for the 2018 Queen Anne Stakes as he was sweating terribly before the race. However, he flew from behind to just clinch the win by 1/2 a length over Lord Glitters.
Since then Accidental Agent has proved himself to be a worthy contender. He seems to favour the course at Newmarket, having won there on his last time out despite being relatively advanced in age for a flat racing horse.
If you’re looking for a horse to place your money on for Ascot then you’re sadly out of luck with Accidental Agent and his family-owned stable. Instead, it might be wiser to search for a more fancied horse to support. If you’re struggling to find great odds, using one of the Royal Ascot free bet offers could be a good way to get better value.
Flashmans Papers, Windsor Castle Stakes, 2008
The Windsor Castle Stakes may not be as renowned a race as the previous two, but still draws plenty of attention from those looking for good value bets, including our own tipsters at Which Bookie. It was in 2008 that the best value imaginable came in, with Flashmans Papers winning this race at incredible odds of 100/1.
The horse received such enormous odds because his trainer, John Best, had never yet produced a Royal Ascot winner. Not only that, Flashmans Papers had stablemates running in the same race who were more fancied. Mullionmileanhour, for example, was sent off a 16/1 and had been chosen as the ride of Best’s stable jockey.
While there were several good horses from well-respected yards that were very well fancied, Flashmans Papers was one of six horses who received the 100/1 odds. Despite this, his trainer had high hopes for him.
The horse had been struggling to quite make the short five-furlong distance, so after a break to beef up a bit, it was hoped that he’d done the trick. It turned out that he had, as Flashmans Papers came from behind in the final 2 furlongs to win the race by half a length.