Harry Findlay: Biggest Bets, Wins and Losses

Harry Findlay High Stakes PunterIf you asked a typical British horse racing punter to name one of the biggest characters in the sports’ betting community, chances are, they would pick Harry Findlay.

Harry became a gambler at a young age, when his mother took him to the dog track to demonstrate how easily he would lose his money if he ever took up the hobby. Harry lost £5, borrowed another £2 from her, and walked away at the end of the day with more than £80 in his pocket.

It was not the message his mother had hoped he would learn, but things turned out alright for Harry in the end, and his dear old Mum even ended up as a part owner of Gold Cup winner, Denman, with her son.

Findlay is a fan of backing short odds favourites at high stakes, and he doesn’t just stick to horse racing either, with football, rugby, greyhounds and tennis all featuring regularly in his betting portfolio – although it doesn’t always pay off. He once lost £2.5 million betting on the All Blacks to win the Rugby World Cup.

Harry is the sort of bettor who knows everybody. He is and has been part of different syndicates, regularly advises others on what to bet on, and also has other people make bets on his behalf.

His philosophy towards money is different to most people’s, with the following quote summing up his thoughts perfectly:

“When Warren Buffet dies, he’ll leave over $80 billion but, in his lifetime, he spent less than $2 million. There will be less than 80 pence in my will but I’ve already spent over £20 million. Who do you think has got the maths right?”

In his life he has gone from living on the streets and spending time in prison, to being a millionaire invited to VIP areas at the biggest sporting events, and rubbing shoulders with the stars.

He has survived a plane malfunction that was 30 minutes from disaster, and been a substitute for the Australian cricket team, and his wild antics were even enough to fill a book, which was released in 2017.

Often described as ‘marmite’, Findlay certainly divides opinion, but one thing no one will argue about, is that he is one of the most prolific bettors of his time.

Harry Findlay's Biggest Bets

Pro Gabler Harry Findlay LOSES £2.5 Million on the All Blacks

Bet: £2,500,000 - New Zealand to Win Rugby World Cup - Lost

After a period of relatively successful punting back in 2007 (including breaking a world record for the biggest horse racing payout a few months earlier), Harry Findlay was about to get a nasty dose of reality.

He was so sure that the All Blacks would win the 2007 Rugby World Cup that he gathered together as much as £2.5 million to back them with, and convinced a lot of his friends and gambling contacts to do the same.

Anyone who knows their rugby will know already that this bet was a loser, but it made Findlay even more notorious than he already was.

Harry Findlay World Record Horse Racing Payout of £1.85 Million

Bet: £143,000 (£143,000) - 2 x 8-folds

Winning one big racing jackpot is impressive enough, but winning two in a weekend is something else. If anyone was going to manage it though, it would be Harry Findlay, the undisputed boss of horse racing betting in the early 2000s.

Findlay bagged £1.85 million from his two winning 8-fold accas, and also broke a world record in the process for the biggest horse racing payout ever. He was probably happier with the money than with the record, but still, quite an achievement.

Denman Secures £1.2 Million Win for Harry Findlay at Cheltenham

Bet: £0 - Denman to Win Novices' Chase - Won

Owning a successful race horse and watching it win a big race like the Novices' Chase at Cheltenham is one thing. Backing the horse for tens of thousands of pounds and then winning £1.2 million off the back of it (on top of the prize money), is quite another.

This is what Harry Findlay managed to do with Denman back in 2007, backing the horse many times for months before the race. The total amount of money wagered has never been made public, but Harry is on record as having placed at least £50,000 at 5/1 which makes up a good 20% of that win.