L'Es Fremantle delivers 80-1 shock on 56th start to snap trainer's losing run
A debut success at 80-1 after 55 defeats, a first success for trainer Michael Chapman in two years and a finish full of in-running betting drama all combined to make it a memorable success at Market Rasen on Thursday for L'Es Fremantle – the horse with the unmistakable white face.
The winner, who only cost his trainer £600, traded at a high of 450 in running before flying home under a well-judged ride by Rachael McDonald in the final 100 yards of the 2m5½f handicap chase to collar long-time leader Follow The Swallow, who was matched at the minimum 1.01 to the tune of £3,000.
Chapman, who trains a stone's throw from the track, said: "He jumped brilliantly and coming to the last I thought he was going to be a fine third, then he sprinted like a gazelle at the end.
"We're over the moon as he only cost £600 and my wife Mary owns him. He likes it here; he was third at 100-1 back in June. He's a poor traveller but he only has to cross the road, so he doesn't have time to get a sweat on."
Chapman, 80, added: "We've been on the cold list for too long but we have had lots of places."
The stewards looked into L'Es Fremantle's improved form and noted the trainer's explanation that the seven-year-old seems to act at the course. L'Es Fremantle was subsequently routine tested.
The story of a dramatic race did not end there as amateur Lilly Pinchin, rider of Follow The Swallow, was suspended for 13 days (dates to be notified) for her use of the whip.
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