Often times people take a punt on a long odds horse for a bit of a laugh, but anyone who backed He Knows No Fear in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Leopardstown will have been laughing all the way to the bank.
The race was held on the 13th August 2020, and out of the 15 runners taking part, He Knows No Fear was the joint longest odds at 300/1. Not only that, but there was a pretty clear favourite in Agitare who was priced up at evens, as well as another couple of horses at 5/2 and 9/2, with the rest of the field being at much longer odds.
Nevertheless, according to the market, not only was He Knows No Fear not fancied, but he was joint least likely to win; every other horse in the race was considered to be better.
It was only the horse’s 2nd race to be fair, having come 12th out of 14 in his first ever effort at Limerick a month before. What’s more, his trainer, Luke Comer, wasn’t even a full time race horse trainer, doing it alongside his full time job as a property developer. Comer’s brother had even admitted once that they hadn’t got enough time to concentrate on it properly. Unbelievable, right?
Almost as unbelievable as the win itself.
He Knows No Fear was lost somewhere in the middle of the pack for the majority, making up a lot of ground from about 1 furlong out and getting himself into 2nd place for the final 150 yards.
The favourite, Agitare, had done what everybody expected and held just behind the leaders until about 2 furlongs out before making his move and taking the lead.
However, He Knows No fear gained on him as the winners post approached, and in dramatic fashion managed to not only get level but even get ahead by a nose right on the line, winning the race by a matter of inches.
He Knows No Fear, the biggest-priced winner in British and Irish racing history.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) August 13, 2020
Bookmakers reported that their customers had bet on the 300/1 shot too, with PaddyPower commenting that around 100 punters had placed small stakes on him, and Ladbrokes Coral (now Entain) saying they had taken 63 bets on the horse across their brands – one of which had been €100 each way, netting the brave bettor €36,000.
He Knows No Fear became the longest odds winner in British and Irish horse racing history, with the previous record dating back to 1990 when 250/1 shot Equinoctial took an unexpected win at Kelso.