'I had a few quid on definitely - you couldn't not at 150-1'
Cotswold-based farrier Andrew Martin wants to make a name for himself as a trainer and he went some way towards doing just that when winning Newbury's bumper on Saturday with Charlie's Glance, who was available at a whopping 150-1 on Friday night before returning at 14-1.
Ridden by Harry Beswick, Charlie's Glance lined up alongside representatives from Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls in a contest won by the latter's classy hurdler McFabulous when it was last staged in 2019.
Held up, the five-year-old made good headway turning in and kept on strongly to deny Our Jester, with Nicholls' Silent Revolution, the 11-4 favourite, third.
Charlie's Glance opened up an 18-1 chance before being trimmed into 14-1, but fancier odds were snapped up by those in the know.
Martin, who had six winners in 2018-19, said: "I had a few quid on definitely – you couldn't not at 150-1 last night.
"Why not? I pay a lot of money to train him, so you've got to take your chances when they come. It might not have come off today, but, in the bigger scheme of things, the money I put on last night would have been nothing compared to what we've invested to get him here.
"I'm over the moon. It's fantastic to come to Newbury on a Saturday and beat all the top trainers – I'm a farrier by trade."
Martin, assisted by sons James and Tom, ran his unheralded winner's brother Can You Call in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival last season before he was sold.
He has high hopes for Charlie's Glance and added: "That was very nerve-racking as you put a lot of effort into these horses.
"At home, the horse had done everything we'd asked of him, but how good he was, we didn't know. We knew he was quite good, but the reason I'm here today, and it's a big step, was all to do with the course and the ground.
"It didn't matter if it was the Champion Bumper, we needed to come because we needed to find out what we had, but we needed the right course and right ground.
"If he'd finished mid-division we'd have gone somewhere less, but he's more than done it well.
"The two races I earmarked were today and Aintree's bumper at the Grand National meeting provided the ground is okay as the course will suit him there too. He's a super jumper and could be a Stayers' Hurdle horse in time; he'll stay a trip."
An accomplished amateur who rode winners in the point-to-point sphere and under rules, Martin has a small string near Chipping Norton, but is keen to expand.
Charlie's Glance runs in his colours and the 55-year-old suggested it might need to stay that way. "He's not for sale unless it was a monumental amount of money," he added. "He'll take us places and I need a flagship horse and more owners. I need to press on.
"I've got eight in and I could make room for more; I'd soon put a barn up. We could have 20 horses in. It'd be lovely to get more owners. I'm not Nicky Henderson or Paul Nicholls, but I'd like to be!"
Martin has previous for upsetting the odds, winning a handicap chase at Ascot in 2019 with the useful Militarian, who was a 50-1 shot.
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