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300-1 stunner equals record for longest-priced winner in Britain and Ireland

Winning connections celebrate with shock 300-1 Punchestown scorer Sawbuck
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Tuesday: Punchestown

Sawbuck, a 300-1 rank outsider, stunned punters and bookmakers alike when equalling the record for the longest-priced winner of a race in Britain and Ireland after a comfortable victory in Punchestown's opening 2m½f maiden hurdle.

It equals the feat of the Luke Comer-trained He Knows No Fear, who set the record when winning at Leopardstown in August 2020.

Ridden by Charlie O'Dwyer for his father Conor and owner Dominic Jones, Sawbuck was never far from the lead and kept up the gallop from the second-last to beat market leaders Ballybawn Belter and Vocito by upwards of four lengths.

Watch a replay of Sawbuck's remarkable triumph here

The gelding, who started at 999-1 on Betfair, was having just his third run over hurdles. The other two were in juvenile maidens at Punchestown late last year when he was beaten a total of 98 lengths. He had most recently finished tenth of 12 in a 1m2f Dundalk maiden in early April.

Sawbuck clears a hurdle on his way to a stunning 300-1 victory

The winning rider was not completely surprised, though, and said: "He's been in great form at home, and I thought after his two previous runs over hurdles, if he left here with a nice run and finished somewhere in the middle I'd have been delighted.

"But from the drop of the flag he travelled great and I couldn't have faulted him anywhere. He did it handily enough."

Sawbuck's previous form

1m2f maiden, Navan, 15/5/2021: 14th from 18, beaten 27 lengths at 200-1
1m1½f maiden, Gowran Park, 14/6/2021: 9/10, beaten 17l, 100-1
1m1f maiden, Curragh, 26/10/2021: 14/23 beaten 30l, 66-1
2m 3yo hurdle, Punchestown 13/11/2021: 7/12 beaten 43l, 125-1
2m maiden hurdle, Punchestown, 23/11/2021: 16/20 beaten 55l, 250-1
1m2½f handicap, Dundalk, 8/4/2022: 10/12 beaten 13¼l, 50-1

Celebrations for one lucky punter

Coral reported that one optimistic punter had placed a £2 each-way bet on Sawbuck to scoop £724, while William Hill said bets on the surprise winner accounted for just 0.14 per cent of all stakes placed on the race.

Coral's John Hill said: "After showing little form prior to his victory at Punchestown, Sawbuck went off as a 300-1 outsider for his race, however, he has matched the record for the biggest-priced winner in British and Irish racing history."

"Not many punters looked twice at the horse, but we tip our hat to the customer who placed £2 each-way on the winner. They clearly saw something others had missed."

William Hill's Tony Kenny said: “A total of 28 punters chose the Conor O’Dwyer-trained runner, accounting for just 0.14 per cent of all stakes placed on the race.”

Sawbuck did not come to the attention of our Spotlight race analysts either, who had written before the race: "Modest sort with no realistic chance."

Record holders

He Knows No Fear set the 300-1 benchmark when winning a mile maiden at Leopardstown in August 2020 for Comer and jockey Chris Hayes. 

Before that, the Irish record had been set by 200-1 shot Killahara Castle when triumphing by five lengths in a Listed novice hurdle at Thurles on December 17, 2017. No previous winner in Ireland, Flat or jumps, had started at more than 100-1.

The British record is held by Equinoctial, who started at odds of 250-1 when landing a novice hurdle at Kelso on November 21, 1990.

The previous joint Irish-British Flat record was held by several 200-1 shots, the most recent being Intercessor at Newbury on June 13, 2020.

Longest-priced winners trained in Ireland

300-1 He Knows No Fear Leopardstown (Flat) 13/8/2020
300-1 Sawbuck Punchestown (hurdles) 24/5/2022
200-1 Killahara Castle Thurles (hurdles) 17/12/2017
150-1 Chocquinto Curragh (Flat) 26/7/2020
150-1 Seanjohnsilver Tipperary (Flat) 14/9/2020
150-1 Freewheelin Dylan Irish Grand National 5/4/2021

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From the drop of the flag he travelled great and I couldn't have faulted him anywhere. He did it handily enough
E.W. Terms