Shortest-priced loser over jumps since 1909 as 1-20 shot turned over at Ludlow
Tree Of Liberty on Thursday equalled the unenviable record for the shortest-priced loser in British jump racing history when beaten at odds of 1-20 at Ludlow.
The Kerry Lee-trained chaser was unable to justify his prohibitive odds when going down to 20-1 chance Cap'N in a three-runner 2m novice contest.
The only other 1-20 jumping loser was the great Jerry M over fences at Newbury in 1909, when he fell in a two-horse race and was remounted to complete the course. He won the Grand National in 1912.
In defeat Tree Of Liberty became the shortest-priced loser of any race in Britain since Triple Dip on the all-weather at Lingfield in 2015, joining a band of nine others beaten 1-20 shots.
The record for the shortest-priced loser in British racing history is held by Royal Forest, a 1-25 shot who was second at Ascot in September 1948.
Tree Of Liberty's reverse was the biggest shock as four odds-on chances were beaten in the space of 30 minutes in Britain and Ireland on Thursday, with the pain starting at Cork where 4-5 shot Karalee was beaten in the 2.35.
Next up was 4-9 chance Global Academy in the 2.40 at Wolverhampton and then in Chepstow's 2.50 1-2 chance Kupatana could manage only second as well. Tree Of Liberty's defeat in the 3.00 rounded off a gruesome spell for the hotpots.
Kerry Lee and Jamie Moore, Tree Of Liberty's trainer and jockey, would be forgiven for wanting this week to end quickly. At Chepstow on Wednesday the rider was found guilty under the non-triers' rule and banned for 14 days when Kings Monarch, also trained by Lee, was beaten into fourth.
Moore reported Tree Of Liberty had bled from both nostrils and, referring to his Chepstow ban, said: "I rode a horse yesterday to not bleed and I've got done for it."
It happens to the best
Tree Of Liberty does at least keep some good company as the same fate befell last year's Dubai World Cup winner Arrogate.
The now-retired American star was also defeated at 1-20 in a Grade 2 at Del Mar, finishing fourth.
However, he still laid claim to the title of World's Best Racehorse in 2017 according to the Longines-backed rankings, to the bewilderment of many.
Lee said of Tree Of Liberty: "He was beaten by a better horse."
The 20-1 shock winner Cap'N was sent off the shortest price of his career, having been beaten by champion hurdler Buveur D'Air and Elgin in two of his previous four starts over hurdles.
Now with Claire Dyson, the seven-year-old made headlines when having his first start on Qipco British Champions Day behind Order Of St George in the Long Distance Cup last year, and was getting off the mark at the first time of asking over fences.
Dyson said: "The favourite hasn't run his race but he got into a nice rhythm and jumped superbly. I much preferred coming here to run in a small field for his first chase rather than going in a big-field handicap and the prize-money was good too. We'll be able to afford a gin and tonic on the way home, that's for sure."
The veterinary officer reported Tree Of Liberty had bled from the nose and in a sad postscript to the race Over To Midnight, the 25-1 outsider of three, suffered a fatal fall at the third-last when holding every chance.
SHORTEST-PRICED LOSERS IN BRITAIN
Royal Forest Clarence House Stakes Ascot 23/9/1948 2nd of 4
Saucebox Gartsherrie Plate Airdrie 9/8/1855 2nd of 2
Caller Ou Queen's Plate Liverpool 15/7/1864 2nd of 2
Kilwarlin Bretby Plate Derby 4/9/1886 2nd of 3
The Sinner Hunters' Flat Race Manchester 12/4/1887 2nd of 2
Jerry M Open Steeplechase Newbury 6/12/1909 2nd of 2
Bayardo Goodwood Cup Goodwood 28/7/1910 2nd of 3
Prince Palatine Jockey Club Cup Newmarket 31/10/1912 2nd of 2
Glendower Chepstow Stakes Chepstow 28/6/1947 unseated
Triple Dip 32Red Maiden Stakes Lingfield 25/3/2015 2nd of 4
Tree Of Liberty Alfa Aggregate Nov Chase Ludlow 22/3/2018 2nd of 3
Compiled by John Randall
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