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Christopher Downes

Leicester fan Christopher Downes could land almost £900,000 tomorrow

  PICTURE: Jon Parker Lee  

Leicester fan hoping
to Scoop huge bonus pot

AN AVID Leicester City fan who won last weekend's Scoop6 has vowed to buy a racehorse and name it 'Vardyavinaparty' after the Foxes' record-breaking striker if he wins nearly £900,000 in the bonus fund on Saturday.

He was one of the small-staking winners of last week's bet that stand to land almost a million pounds, product of more than 30 rollovers, if they alone pick the winner of the Betfair Hurdle.

Chris Downes, 58, said that he is likely to side with the well-backed 7-2 favourite Blazer in the richest handicap hurdle in Britain.

"I don't have to make my selection for the bonus race yet but I do fancy Blazer, which won the fourth leg of the Scoop6 at Leopardstown last Saturday," Downes said.

Vardy tribute

He added: "As well as making my selection, which will probably be Blazer, I won't be changing my betting patterns and will put £20 as usual on Leicester winning at the Emirates on Sunday.

"I hope to spend my winnings on following Leicester’s Champions League campaign around Europe next season, and if I’m lucky enough to win the bonus I’ll have a racehorse with James Given called ‘Vardyavinaparty’."

James Vardy has powered Leicester to the top of the Premier League table with 18 goals, scoring in a record 11 consecutive matches in the first half of a season in which relegation candidates Leicester have stunned English football.

Downes, who already has shares in two horses with Middleham Park Racing, including Aguerooo, who is named after the Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, won £66,000 last Saturday for an outlay of £64.

Spotlight success

He is joined in chasing the £895,771 bonus by Londoner Billy Threadwell, 27, who spent just £16 on last week's successful bet.

He said: "I pick my horses based on the form and always keep an eye on the Racing Post spotlight selection. I've been following horse racing for eight years, since I was 19. When I won the money I couldn't believe it.  

"The bonus fund is an inconceivable amount of money and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It will be a nerve-racking afternoon at Newbury but I'm going to enjoy it."  

'One for the girls'

The third small-staking winner is a 53-year-old woman from Crawley, West Sussex, who staked £4 online with Paddy Power and admitted to going "absolutely bonkers" when she realised she had won the Scoop6.

She did not wish to reveal her identity but did say "I hope you do put that I'm female - this is one for the girls".

Three further ticket holders are hunting the monster bonus pot.

'Live the dream'

Totepool spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: "Our six ticketholders will live the dream of every punter on Saturday with a free shot at a whopping £895,771 bonus fund.

"To have three small-staking players in the mix makes it extra exciting and we'd love to see one of them win the whole caboodle."

Saturday's Scoop6 comprises of races from Lingfield, Newbury and Warwick.

Scoop6 races

Leg 1: 1:50 Newbury
Leg 2: 3:15 Warwick
Leg 3: 3:35 Newbury - bonus race
Leg 4: 3:45 Lingfield
Leg 5: 4:20 Lingfield
Leg 6: 4:25 Warwick

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