Death, taxes and Envoi Allen winning the Marsh Novices’ Chase.
That was the idea anyway, but a calamitous fall from the odds-on favourite caused punters around the globe to draw their breath on Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival….not least Paul Dean.
He’s the now infamous punter who was eyeing a potential £511,000 payday after placing a five-fold acca of legendary proportion.
🤔 Take a £275,000 cash out offer? Or let an extraordinary £500k acca ride?
That’s the dilemma facing @istabraq_king with Envoi Allen 4/9 to win Thursday’s first race at Cheltenham.
What would you do?#CheltenhamWithBetfair
— Betfair (@Betfair) March 17, 2021
With four legs in the bank, Dean just needed Envoi Allen to oblige at Cheltenham to bank the big bucks from a mere £5 stake.
But then there was the cash out to consider – Betfair offered Dean the chance to walk away with no risk; £250,000 would be banked come what may, and £300,000 would be the total win if the horse formerly trained by Gordon Elliott had of obliged.
Some stark soul searching followed, and after a nigh-on sleepless night Dean decided that a guaranteed windfall was the smart course of action.
So after celebrations last night, 4 hours sleep, an hours walk at 5am I’ve decided to take a partial cash out offer of 300 Envoi / 250 the field. With other bets my position on the race is £322,000 Envoi or £250,000 the field. Thanks to @BetfairBarry @Betfair # ComeOnEnvoi! 🥰
— Paul Dean (@istabraq_king) March 18, 2021
In the end, it proved to be the wisest course of action as Envoi Allen came down early on in the Marsh, and even though he would have been disappointed to miss out on an extra £70,000 or so Dean can reflect on the week of his life in which he became a ‘quarter millionaire’.
Here’s the tale of the tape from each of the five legs:
Golden Horde – 12/1 (Commonwealth Cup, Royal Ascot)
The excitement got underway back in June at Royal Scot.
Golden Horde, who went off as the 5/1 second favourite in the Commonwealth Cup, took full advantage of a poor run from the market principal Pierre Lapin to win by a length from the Frankie Dettori ridden Kimari.
Dean, who had taken 12/1 ante post, was up and running!
Hello Youmzain – 10/1 (Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Royal Ascot)
Things got even better 24 hours later when Hello Youmzain obliged in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The four-year-old was prominent throughout, but a late charge from Dream of Dreams looked to have ended Dean’s own dreams of untold riches.
But Hello Youmzain battled back in a thrilling final straight to take the spoils, and leave the punter’s ante post mastery – he got 10/1 on the 4/1 winner – clear for all to see.
Shishkin – 4/1 (Arkle Chase, Cheltenham Festival)
With a decent, but non life-changing, betslip still live, Dean’s attentions turned to the Cheltenham Festival.
And his meeting got off to the best possible start when Shishkin bolted home in the Arkle on day one.
Available at a best price of 4/9 on the day, Dean’s foresight scored him a tasty 4/1 ante post winner.
Bob Olinger – 25/1 (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, Cheltenham Festival)
With a few entries, nobody was quite sure which race Bob Olinger would go off in.
But the Ballymore was agreed upon as the target, and Dean’s heart would have been a-quiver – he got 25/1 about a horse that started the race priced at 6/4.
And the six-year-old justified his position as the betting favourite with a powerhouse display to hold off Gaillard Du Mesnil.
The dream was still alive….
Envoi Allen – 9/2 (March Novices’ Chase, Cheltenham Festival)
Just holding a coupon for Envoi Allen at 9/2 is a victory in itself – what extraordinary ante post punting that is.
In the end, it wasn’t to be for the horse or the man known as ‘Istabraq King’ on Twitter, who watched on as Envoi Allen took a tumble early in the piece – thankfully, he got up fine and will hopefully race again.
As for Dean, it’s a case of what might have been. But imagine if he hadn’t taken the cash out offer….