When He Knows No Fear broke the record to become British and Irish racing’s longest odds winner in 2018, people were saying they would never see the like again in their lifetime.
Then, on the 24th May 2022, Sawbuck was entered into the maiden hurdle at Punchestown
One of four 300/1 priced horses that day, Sawbuck’s racing career had been uneventful up until that point, finishing towards the back of mostly larger fields in his first 6 races, 2 of which had also been at Punchestown.
Indeed, his career after the fateful 300/1 win was only marginally better, so it really was an anomaly.
This would be Sawbuck’s only win, but what a win it was.
There were 22 horses in the race, and Sawbuck took an early lead after the first before moving in closer to the rail. Of course, an early lead is often not representative of much in racing especially not in National Hunt races with lots of runners, and indeed, when Poker Night pushed past Sawbuck after the second he did seem to slow.
Here’s one you don’t see every day ????
History was made at Punchestown this afternoon as Sawbuck became the longest-priced winner in the history of jump racing with victory at odds of 300-1 ????
These sort of results set you apart to win our big prize pots every day on WKW ???? pic.twitter.com/1vqM3xPXvq
— Who Knows Wins (@whoknowswins) May 24, 2022
Sawbuck kept the number 2 spot nevertheless, but had several other runners gaining ground behind him over he next fence.
With less than 5 furlongs to race there were 5 horses battling at the front, but a few mistakes over the fourth gave Sawbuck a chance to take the lead once more, with Lihyan and Vocito (the favourite) nipping at his heels.
He gained ground and kept the lead despite making a slight mistake over the final jump, a rode home 4 lengths clear after a commanding race in which he never showed any real signs of weakness.
Trainer, Charlie O’Dwyer said after the race:
“He’s been in great form at home, and after his last two runs over hurdles, I came here thinking if he could finish somewhere in the middle of them, I would have been delighted.”
“The minute the flag dropped he travelled great and I couldn’t fault him anywhere. He just got a bit close to the last but he’s done it fairly handily enough.”
Despite the unbelievable victory, punters had very little to cheer about since practically nobody backed him. Coral reported a single £2 each way bet on Sawbuck, which returned £724, and we can assume it was a similar story at most other bookies.
Sawbuck probably attracted a lot more betting activity for his next race at Wexford though, for which he was priced at 16/1 but pulled up.