Billesdon Brook snatches victory from jaws of defeat at 999-1

Thu 3 Aug 2017

By Oliver Brett

Billesdon Brook rewarded in-running bettors with a huge payout after storming through from the back of the field to win the Telegraph Nursery Handicap at Goodwood on Thursday.

The Richard Hannon-trained juvenile had been matched for £10 at 999-1 in-running on the Betfair Exchange and continued a feel-good vibe for punters on day three of the Qatar-sponsored Festival.

After two difficult days on the Downs for form students, with just one favourite obliging amid a slew of big-priced winners, Thursday was very different.

Endless Time (5-2f) and Winter (10-11f) had already come good by the time Billesdon Brook, a daughter of Champs Elysees was sent off the 10-3 favourite under Sean Levey.

But nothing much went to plan for Levey and his mount for most of the race, with the jockey already seeking racing room from around the three-furlong pole. A chink of daylight finally became apparent a furlong from home but it looked too late for connections to expect anything more than place money.

With the race apparently in the safe keeping of stable companion and 16-1 shot Cheeky Rascal, however, Billesdon Brook swept past in the final knockings.

"It was an absolute disaster of a race,” Levey, celebrating his first win at the meeting, told Racing UK. “She has obviously got a bit of class about her as she got me out of all sorts of trouble.

“She suffered a lot of interference from the three furlong marker down, and when we got to the cut away we just got turned over by horses. I was hoping for gaps to come, but when we got them, we got turned over again.

"I saw the half-furlong marker and I thought, 'Do you know what, we've got a running chance at them now'. I can't believe she won, but she has. The boss just told me that if I'd got beat there, I'd have been sacked!"

Hannon added: "She's obviously a very good filly to win from where she did. The second horse looked like he was going to win - he took his time to waken up. But the filly is nine pounds well-in after her third in a Listed race last week and is pretty talented. We'll look for some black type now."

Billesdon Brook's half-sister Billesdon Bess, had won a handicap at the meeting for the same owner-trainer partnership on Wednesday. They are the only two fillies to have raced for their eight-year-old dam Coplow, and between them have chalked up an impressive five wins from 13 runs.

Favourite backers still had two more chances to toast success on the day: the even-money shot Roulette landed the fillies' maiden for Michael Bell and James Doyle before Quench Dolly (10-3) gave Oxfordshire-based trainer John Gallagher the first Glorious Goodwood winner of his career.

Martin Chapman of Star Sports Bet said Billesdon Brook's win was "an absolute crippler" coming on "one of those days when we just haven't been able to get going."

“Our punters have had a torrid time over the first couple of days but today was a bonanza for them,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams. “Winter’s win was the worst.”

Alan Alger, whose Betway were top price 13-8 about Winter in the morning, said: “We were offering 25-1 on five or more winning favourites at Goodwood today and that’s cost us!

“Although big price winners on Tuesday and Wednesday put us two nil up, today’s results have seen the punters fight back and the momentum definitely looks to be shifting.

“We had a number of customers lumping on the Endless Time/Winter double, while Roulette was a very well-backed even-money shot and the punters have definitely hit back.”

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