THE remarkable punting stories just keep coming out of Sportsbet.com.au.
Hot on the heels of an NRL punter who turned $20 into $37,000 on a two-leg multi, a Sportsbet.com.au punter’s $400 outlay on the quaddie at Moonee Valley on the weekend has made him a very, very rich man.
Plenty of punters made an early exit from the quaddie when $26 chance Merriest won the first leg. If they did happen to make it past the first race, they would have survived through the win of favourite Voodoo Lad ($2.70) who saluted in the second leg.
Almost all of them would have been ripping up their virtual tickets when $31 bolter Awesome Rock won the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
But the lucky punter had two runners in the last leg, leaving him to sweat on the result of the race, and then cheer when $5.50 second favourite Killarney Kid scored well.
His $400 wager became a remarkable $788,171.17.
Even our hearts flutter when writing that.
“There was no field job in any leg, with the punter selecting Merriest one out and only Awesome Rock and The Cleaner in the Dato,” the bookie’s Ben Bulmer said.
“He is either a genius or got incredibly lucky using a blindfold and a pin.”
In the feature, Awesome Rock booked a spot in the Cox Plate with a huge win, and will now look for group one success in a lead in to the big race, in either the Toorak Handicap or the Underwood Stakes.
The five-year-old started at $31 and held off Real Love ($41) and Set Square ($20), along with cult figure The Cleaner, who was gunning for a third straight win in the race.
It was redemption for connections of Awesome Rock, who were left bleeding in the autumn when the horse lost the Australian Cup after a protest.
“You can’t dwell on the past,” trainer Troy Corstens said.
“We can only worry about where we’re going and the horse has made really good improvement … and he has more to come.
“We’ve had him in the Cox Plate the whole way along but he needed to do something like that for us to take the next step up and have a real crack at it.”
Jockey Stephen Baster won the race, but will now miss 13 meetings after he pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge, following his move to shift out and cause interference on the race winner.
He said Awesome Rock was now a better horse than he was in autumn, when the stewards ruled against him and gave Preferment the Australian Cup.
“That’s the best he’s ever felt under me, he towed me into it,’’ Baster said.
“There wasn’t a lot of room there.
“He towed me and that’s what good horses do.’’
Nine-year-old star The Cleaner did not disgrace himself, leading for much of the race before being swamped as they sped for home, finishing in fifth place in the $250,000 race.
Awesome Rock is now rated a $26 chance for the Cox Plate on October 22 while Tosen Stardom and The United States share the third line of betting at $17.
So how did the lucky Sportsbet punter turned $400 into $788,171.17?
Leg 1: Race 6 – 11 Merriest (win).
- Leg 2: Race 7 – 4. Keen Array (P2), 1. Fast ‘n’ Rocking (L), 3. Voodoo Lad (win)
- Leg 3: Race 8 – 7. Awesome Rock (win), 3. The Cleaner (L).
- Leg 4: Race 9 – 2. Killarney Kid (win), 1. Tall Ship (L).
Golden Rose Astern for favourite
All eyes will be on Astern when the smart colt takes to the course in the Golden Rose Stakes on Saturday.
Spooked by the three-year-old’s big win in the Run To The Rose, Sportsbet.com.au shredded his price from $13 in to $4.60.
And the punters jumped on in droves, smashing the James McDonald mount into $3.20.
“Astern showed a great turn of foot to win the Run To The Rose and by all reports has improved off that run,” Bulmer said.
“There is some concern he may be a risk at 1400m, but the punters don’t think so.”
But it is by no means a one-horse race with Divine Prophet ($4.20) as second favourite and Omei Sword – who may not accept for the Group 1 – is on the third line at $5.
And if you think Astern is home, don’t tell that to Divine Prophet’s hoop Tommy Berry.
“Astern has the form on the board and his win the other day was electrifying,” Berry said.
“Obviously if (Divine Prophet) gives Astern a big (start) he will be hard to run down but my bloke will be very strong at the end of 1400m.
“I didn’t expect him to win from where he was on the corner (first-up) but it just shows his quality.
“The other day we drew wide so we took him back … but my bloke is going to benefit from drawing a barrier where we can have him a bit closer in the run, like midfield.
“(But) I’m confident I’ve got the right horse for the right race and I believe he will be very hard to beat.”
2016 Golden Rose betting
$4.20 Divine Prophet
$10 Yankee Rose
$13 El Divino
$26 Good Standing
$101 Wine Bush
$101 The Reverend Demon
$101 Terminally Pretty
$101 Taj Mahal
$101 Swiss Design
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au