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Conor O’Dwyer toasts shock 300/1 winner

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Conor O'Dwyer celebrates with the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown in 2006 - the jockey-turned-trainer enjoyed another notable winner at the same venue yesterday. Picture: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

Conor O'Dwyer celebrates with the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown in 2006 - the jockey-turned-trainer enjoyed another notable winner at the same venue yesterday. Picture: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

Conor O'Dwyer celebrates with the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown in 2006 - the jockey-turned-trainer enjoyed another notable winner at the same venue yesterday. Picture: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

Conor O’Dwyer will toast his shock 300/1 success from sunny Spain after Sawbuck became the joint biggest-priced winner in Irish racing history when landing the opening maiden hurdle at Punchestown yesterday.

After not making much of an impression in six previous starts, the four-year-old was one of four rank outsiders, but he made a mockery of those monstrous odds to come home a comfortable four-length winner under the trainer’s son Charlie.

That left the elder O’Dwyer, who is on holiday in Marbella, smiling from afar with the Gold Cup-winning jockey as surprised as anyone after an “unreal” performance from the Zoffany gelding.

“It was a great surprise. We always liked him but he was just a bit weak and backward, it took him time to come to hand and being honest I thought that if he was seventh or eighth there, I’d be quite happy,” O’Dwyer told the Irish Independent.

“It would have been progress to finish midfield with him. But the progress kind of jumped ahead of me and caught me out a bit. To win a maiden with him is great. He’ll be a smashing horse; he’s still filling out and growing so a lovely horse.”

O’Dwyer was disappointed to admit that Sawbuck, which had an SP of 999/1 on the Betfair Exchange, didn’t carry any of his money but he will still raise a glass after joining Luke Comer’s 2020 Leopardstown maiden winner He Knows No Fear in the history books by scoring at 300/1.

“You can have your last tenner on that one, that won’t be 300/1 let me tell you,” O’Dwyer said when asked if cocktails will be part of the celebrations. “I’d probably rather be known for the shortest-priced winner than the longest, but we’ll take it.”

Meanwhile, all roads lead to the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot for Mooneista with Jack Davison reporting that his star sprinter is primed after a fine showing when an unlucky third in the Greenland Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

“She has come out of it really well,” the Meath trainer said. “She’s in great form and was striding out like a cheetah this morning.

"She’s great so it’s exciting times. A stiff five furlongs and if they go a real good gallop who knows what can happen at the highest level with her. She’s a gem.”

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