Trainer Burke's phone 'still hopping mad' after Killahara Castle's 200-1 strike
Thurles trainer John Burke reported on Monday that his phone was "still hopping mad" 24 hours on from Killahara Castle's stunning 200-1 success in the Listed mares’ hurdle at the family’s local track.
Burke’s achievements in sending out the longest-priced winner in Irish racing history was recognised by the national broadcaster RTÉ, who carried the story on their evening sports bulletin.
However, despite the lucrative odds, Burke revealed that everyone he knew bar his mother decided against having a wager on the apparent no-hoper.
He said: “I didn’t back her myself but my mother had a few quid on, which wasn’t too bad.
“We were looking on the internet before the race and saw she was in at around 66-1 and 100-1, but we didn’t think she’d ever go as big as 200-1.
"The race was off by the time I thought about backing her and I didn’t think she’d be that big in the market.”
Burke, who trains just four horses and legged up his brother Martin on the mare, revealed that the plan to be represented in the race had been hatched a year earlier.
He continued: “The race cut up last year so I said to myself, ‘Jaysus! Whatever I do next year, I’ll make sure to have something for it'.
“The original plan was to run Like An Open Book in the race, but the ground got too soft for her so we threw in Killahara Castle hoping to get some black-type.
"Everything went right for her and it all just fell into her lap – she’d been crying out for a race like that for her past 20 runs!
“My phone has been hopping mad since the race. I haven’t had the chance to get back to everyone, but it’s great and I can’t complain.”
Christmas comes early for some exchange punters
Inevitably there were big winners and losers on the exchanges and Betdaq revealed one British-based customer, who chose to remain anonymous, had £517 on Killahara Castle, winning a cool £516,482.
Killahara Castle was available at the maximum 1,000 on Betfair, with the firm’s Barry Orr revealing there was £532.22 traded at such odds before the race, £60.50 wagered at Betfair SP, and a further £467.65 traded at 1,000 during the race.
He said: “A Betfair SP of 1,000 – 999-1 – is as rare as hen’s teeth but they do pop up now and again, the previous time in Ireland being Capture The Drama, who had an industry SP of 100-1 when he won at Gowran on March 19, 2016 but was ten times those odds on Betfair.”
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