Mystery over huge failed gamble that proved disastrous and left puzzled trainer complaining he'd been 'thrown under bus'
MYSTERY surrounds a huge failed gamble that proved disastrous and left the puzzled trainer at the centre of it feeling like he had been 'thrown under a bus'.
Bookies were on red alert Monday morning after a surge of market support for five David Jeffreys-trained horses.
One of the runners had been backed from 50-1 into 6-4 at one stage and left Sky Bet fearing a seven-figure payout.
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However, the ambitious five-fold which took in three tracks fell at the first fence, so to speak.
Notnow Seamus plummeted from 20-1 to as low as 6-4 before the 1.00 at Southwell only to be pulled up before the eighth flight in the 2m chase.
The next horse in the gamble was Perfect Predator in the 2.03 at Southwell, who eventually went off at 10-1 before coming in a distant ninth after briefly going as short as 6-5.
Worse was to come in the 3.40 at Kelso.
There, Getaman, backed as short as 5-4 from 12-1, finished dead last while Jeffreys' other horse, The Gold Bug, was a non-runner.
The only part of the gamble that proved even remotely successful was Blood Eagle in the 4.20 at Plumpton, who came third after going from 50-1 to 6-4.
Where the money came from for these apparent no-hopers remains a mystery.
There was speculation it was a specially hatched plan to falsely lower the horses' prices before backing them to lose.
Or punters could have tried to cash out their bets once the horses' odds were slashed.
What we do know is that this was the second major gamble to hit bookies in as many months.
A £10million coup was almost landed in February after two horses backed at huge odds won – only for the final horse in the treble to come fourth.
But this latest one did not seem to have anywhere near the same level of professionalism about it.
And a puzzled Jeffreys said he had no explanation for the surge of market support for his runners.
He told the Racing Post: "I feel like I've been thrown under the bus a bit to be honest by some people backing my horses the night before, but that's the punting game.
"It's crazy, I've got absolutely no idea [where it came from]. When they're at those prices I presume the liabilities become very big very quickly.
"It's back to the drawing board and I even said that it's a nightmare to train some of them."
Sky Bet stopped punters cashing out once the prices on the horses dropped.
And spokesman Michael Shinners said: "I don't think we'll ever find out for sure what caused it. We really don't know where this has come from."
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