Cheltenham festival is one of the most important weeks in the racing calendar, and it is often the scene of some big impressive wins and dramatic results too,
This was definitely the case in 2021, when plucky bettor Paul Dean stuck a fiver on a five fold acca that ended up giving the bookie a massive scare.
The crazy thing is, the first two legs of the acca were made up of races at Royal Ascot the year earlier, so the bet was running for almost 12 months before it was eventually cashed out.
Yes, that’s right, Mr. Dean cashed out this acca before the end, but still took a fortune from Betfair with whom the bet was placed, and it was an incredibly shrewd decision too, despite the original bet having odds of over 102,000/1 and a payout of £511,225,
So with the first two legs of his bet won when Golden Hoard won the 2020 Commonwealth Cup, and Hello Youmzain was first past the post in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, it was a 9 month wait for leg 3.
It All Hinged on Envoi Allen
The acca was obviously placed ante post, and was made up like so:
- Golden Hoard / Commonwealth Cup – 12/1
- Hello Youmzain / Diamond Jubilee Stakes – 10/1
- Shishkin / Arkle Chase – 4/1
- Bob Olinger / Ballymore Novices Hurdle – 25/1
- Envoi Allen / Marsh Novices Chase – 9/4
Shishkin won with ease on the opening day of the festival, leaving only Bob Olinger and Envoi Allen standing in the way of a humongous £511k payday for Mr. Dean.
In the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, Bob Olinger broke away after the final fence having kept things pretty tight throughout the race, and ended up winning by an easy 7.5 lengths. With Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore in the saddle the horse started at 6/4, while Paul Dean got it at odds of 25/1.
The final leg would take place the next day, and Betfair had been in touch with Paul to offer him the opportunity to cash out. We say ‘offer’, in reality it was more likely a desperate attempt to convince him to cash out rather than see the bet through, since Envoi Allen was favourite in the Marsh Novices Chase.
Mr. Dean had all night to think about, but said on the day:
“So after celebrations last night, four hours sleep, an hour’s walk at 5am, I’ve decided to take a partial cash out offer of 300 Envoi/250 the field,” Dean said, earlier on Thursday.
“With other bets my position on the race is £322,000 Envoi or £250,000 the field.”
Clearly a man with a lot of irons in the fire then, but his decision couldn’t have been better.
Envoi Allen caused shockwaves by falling at the fourth fence, which would have scuppered the bet completely, but since Paul had already accepted the cash out offer a few hours before the race began, he was £250k better off.
Betfair are probably still kicking themselves.