Horse racing on a Sunday has been a fact of life in Britain since 1992, but Sunday, September 16, 2018 was still a red-letter day for one anonymous Scottish punter. The unnamed father-of-five, who was celebrating his birthday, cast his net far and wide, staking just £5.35 – in the form of four-folds, six-folds, seven-folds and an eight-fold, at a thrifty £0.05 apiece – on eight selections at Bath, Ffos Las and the Curragh throughout the afternoon and early evening. He placed his bet, at starting price, at his local William Hill betting shop in Leith, Edinburgh.
Of course, the nature of his bet meant that at least 50% of his selections must win to guarantee a return, but his confidence was not misplaced. The bulk of his selections were at Ffos Las, where Time Stands Still (8/1) got the ball rolling with a comprehensive, 3-length victory in the 7½-furlong handicap, despite 3lb overweight. The temperamental filly was subsequently followed into the winners’ enclosure at the West Wales track by Syndicate (11/1), Alra Vita (9/4), Homing Star (10/1) and Ascot Day (14/1); the latter, which was his final selection of the day, barely gave him an anxious moment, staying on well under Martin Harley to win by 3 lengths.
In between times, the fortunate Scot also latched on to Havana Grey (15/8) and Barbill (6/1) at the Curragh, plus My Boy Sepoy (5/2) at Bath, for a total return of £682,282.14. The eight-fold bet, alone, netted £203,969.39 and the total return represented a mind-boggling Return on Investment (ROI) of 12,752,837%. Rupert Adams, International PR Manager at William Hill, said, ‘We believe it is the biggest accumulator payout in Scotland.’ In Britain, as whole, the permed accumulator ranked third and was the biggest since Frankie Dettori went through the card at Ascot in September, 1996.