Tree of Liberty had been as short as 1/33 the day before he raced at Ludlow, with only two other runners joining him on the field.
Having two wins and a 2nd place finish from his last three outings, it had been a strong few months for Tree of Liberty, who had also changed trainer before this string of good form. What’s more, one of those wins had been at Ludlow, so you can understand why the bookies had him at such short odds.
They did close to a 1/20 SP, but still, very short odds indeed.
It was the 3pm Novice’s Chase at Ludlow on the 22nd March 2018, and the other horses were Over to Midnight at 25/1, and Cap’n at 20/1, so everyone expected nothing more than a schooling.
However, Tree of Liberty never managed to get more than a few lengths ahead of the other two, and while none of them raced brilliantly, they were all together over the 3rd to last fence.
Tragedy struck at the next as Over to Midnight fell and sustained what would prove to be a fatal injury, leaving just Cap’n to challenge the favourite.
Challenge he did, keeping pace over the last and then romping ahead towards the finish line to an eventual 2 1/2 length victory, and costing the bookies too, who hadn’t really taken any money on the favourite since the odds were so short.
Tree of Liberty became the shortest priced loser over jumps since 1909, when Jerry M fell in a two horse race and unsurprisingly couldn’t catch up after being remounted. He did go on to win the Grand National in 1912 though.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 22, 2018