Big Money Winner

Big Money Winner  In 2014, Wolverhampton became the first racecourse in Europe to install the Tapeta surface but, even so, it would be fair to say that the Dunstall Park track rarely attracts much attention. However, it did so on January 6, 2016 when, at an ordinary midweek meeting, an anonymous Southampton man went through the card and won £245,000 for his £10 stake.

The 34-year-old motor mechanic made his selections based on their market position and, more importantly, their names. He said, ‘I chose the horses based on their names. I looked at ones who were favourites and selected them at random based upon names that I liked.’ On a day when six out of seven favourites won, he also did himself a favour by taking early prices about his selections when he placed the bet the previous evening; at starting price, his £10 seven-fold accumulator would have yielded ‘just’ £80,000.

The punter admitted that his windfall was more down to ‘brilliant luck’ than any system or selection technique. However, after watching his first six selections – Whitecliff Prince, Artful Mind, Mr Boss Man, Oakley Girl, Perfect Cracker and Bank Of Gibralatar – prevail, his nerve was tested by his final selection, Ohsosecret, who only led inside the final 50 yards of the closing 5-furlong handicap and was all out to win by a head.

Nevertheless, win she did, sparking riotous celebration. Reflecting on his good fortune, the man said, ‘I was watching the results come in and after the first three had won, I started texting the wife. When the seventh one won, I was jumping around the place. It’s the biggest high I have ever had.’

Lucky Punter

Lucky Punter  According to the song, ‘Old Christmas comes but once a year’ but, for one anonymous Sky Bet punter, the festive season started several weeks early in 2017. On December 7 that year, the unnamed individual staked £2.30 each-way on a five-fold accumulator on National Hunt racing at Leicester and Wincanton. Four of his five selections – Arthington (3/1), Vocaliser (18/1), Lagavara (9/2) and Dontmindboys (4/1) – were at Leicester, where his only really anxious moment came in the fifth race on the card, the Lubenham Mares’ Handicap Hurdle. Sent off 4/1 second favourite, Lagavara drew clear with 11/4 favourite Daytime Ahead from the final flight but, after a ding-dong battle with the runner-up on the run-in, eventually prevailed by the narrowest possible margin, a nose.

Thankfully, the gallant gambler was spared any such drama elsewhere, including in the Watch Racing UK On BT TV “Junior” Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race at Wincanton; in that race, his final selection, Acey Milan (7/2), was sent off a well-backed 9/4 second favourite and quickened clear in the closing stages for a comfortable, 9-length victory. In so doing, the Anthony Honeyball-trained gelding landed a jackpot payout of £23,631.36.

Interestingly, none of the winning selections started favourite, a fact that didn’t escape Michael Shinners, Racing Odds Manager at Sky. He said, ‘I’ve got to take my hat off to this customer, despite him causing plenty of glum faces in our trading rooms today, that’s for sure! To take on any favourite and be counting your profit in one race is hard enough, but to do it in all five is just top-class punting.’

44-fold accumulator!

44-fold accumulator!  Sometimes it ‘pays’ to highlight the very opposite of a favourite to show whats possible in the racing world! The Republic of Kazakhstan is famous for many things, including oil, natural gas, wild horses and, of course, Borat. It would be fair to say that gambling is not high on the list of attractions, but winners are winners wherever they appear. One such winner, who made the headlines in 2021, was a 44-year-old inhabitant of Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, by the name of Mukhazhan.

The intrepid Mukhazhan who, by his own admission, bets exclusively on football, staked 100,000 Kazakhstani Tenge, or approximately £175, on an all-correct 44-fold accumulator, which returned approximately £1.53 million. Having backed a raft of selections, none of which were offered at decimal odds greater than 1.48, or fractional odds just shy of 1/2.

However, domestic punters hoping to emulate Mukhazhan should be aware that 1xBet, as a company, is prohibited from operating in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, despite offering unlimited accumulator bets, in terms of the number of selections involved, 1xBet apparently credited the eye-watering sum immediately, despite the final match taking place in the evening.

Mukhazhan admitted that he was, understandably, nervous as his bet progressed. He woke his wife, in part for moral support, but he was ultimately delighted to keep his promise to provide financial support for the homeless animal charity of which she is an administrator. Mukhazhan said, ‘…the debts of local veterinary clinics have been settled, this is great joy.’ He added, ‘Not even the win, but the fact that they were able to help. People call and they just cry from happiness, from the fact that this happened.’

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion  With the title challenge almost certainly over with now, Arsenal come into this one knowing they need to keep winning just to keep pace with Manchester City in the hope they make a rare mistake or two. A home game against a Brighton and Hove Albion team who just got thrashed 5-1 is a hard game, though, with the Seagulls looking to make up for what was probably the worst loss of their season.

Arsenal News

Arsenal are missing a few important players, with the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko and William Saliba almost certain to miss out here. Outside of that, long-term absentees Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny will both have to sit this one out. Zinchenko is unlikely to make it back this season, so expect Kieran Tierney to get a chance to re-establish himself.

Brighton & Hove Albion News

Brighton are missing a few themselves, with Joel Veltman, Tariq Lamptey, and Adam Lallana all guaranteed to miss out. Solly March is a doubt, which would be a shame as he has been one of the Seagulls best players this season. Outside of this, though, Brighton are relatively healthy – if somewhat bruised after the 5-1 defeat to Everton.


Arsenal to win, but only just. They are running on fumes, and the only saving grace is that with the loss to Everton Brighton have probably missed out on their UEFA Champions League dream. If Arsenal do pull this off, it will not be by much – Brighton rarely drop consecutive poor games.

Score Prediction: 2-1

Manchester City v Leeds United

Manchester City v Leeds United  If you could pick a game to have as your first in a new job, away to Manchester City would be pretty far down the list. Sam Allardyce steps into the fire as Leeds United job, managing the biggest club he has ever been involved with. Can Big Sam find something in his favour in this crucial first match?

Manchester City News

Expect City to line up in their now-common 3-4-1-2 formation. They are only missing Kevin de Bruyne for this one. Despite his qualities, they have enough depth and cover to be able to comfortably handle the loss of their talismanic playmaker.

Given they play Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi finals next week, he likely would not have been risked for this one anyway.

Leeds United News

Leeds have a bit more work to do on the injury front. Tyler Adams is almost certain to miss out, as is Luis Sinisterra after he was injured at the wrong time. Leeds are also without Marcelo Bielsa era stalwarts in Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas. Dallas has missed the whole season and is not likely to return until next year.


Really, the best that Leeds can hope for is that self-proclaimed Leeds fan Erling Haaland decides to show mercy on his boyhood team. The Whites have little to no hope of getting anything from a team that looks almost certain to go and win at least the league title – though has its eyes set on a treble. Home win.

Score Prediction: 3-0