Sunday 17 November 2019

Prince Of Johanne catches everyone out with shock Cambridgeshire show

Chris Cook

For those punters who failed to see the potential behind Prince Of Johanne, the 40/1 winner of the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, it may be some consolation to know the owner is a professional gambler who was as surprised as anyone else to find himself lifting the trophy. "We honestly thought we couldn't win, because of the draw," said David Storey, a 40-year-old who has never worked outside the betting industry.

The reason for his pessimism was Friday's Silver Cambridgeshire, when those involved in the finish raced against the far rail, whereas Prince Of Johanne was due to start from stall 31 of 35, close to the stands' rail. Bafflingly for those trying to find the winner, that proved the right place to be.

Storey, who owns this horse and one other jointly with a schoolfriend, has made his money by gambling on Betfair but says he has been much less busy since that firm introduced a premium charge for their most successful players this year. "I've had quite a few weeks off in the summer with the school holidays and things," he said. The prize money of £77,000 would, he added, reduce the pressure on him to get involved once more.

For the winning trainer, Tom Tate, this was a first winner for 71 days. "I could tell you he's been laid out all season for this but he hasn't," he said. Based in Tadcaster, Tate was the nearest thing to a local success in the major races, Irish horses carrying off the first two Group races and a French runner, Sahpresa, landing the Sun Chariot for the third time.

That victory added to the quite astonishing record here of her jockey, Christophe Lemaire, who was winning his seventh Group One on the Rowley Mile. Lemaire said this would serve as a timely confidence-booster ahead of his ride on Sarafina, favourite for next Sunday's Arc.

Aidan O'Brien was also asked about the Arc after training the first three home in the Royal Lodge. "So far so good," was his report on the well-being of So You Think, a 5/1 shot for the Longchamp contest. A decision as to who will ride will be made later in the week.

Meanwhile, Loosen My Load made an impressive seasonal bow in the Le Grande Chase at Navan.

Henry de Bromhead's charge was among the leading novice performers last term, finishing third in the Jewson at Cheltenham as well as placing at Grade One level.

He was sent off the 8/11 favourite for his return over two and a half miles and apart from a slight mistake at the third fence, he turned in a most accomplished display. Andrew Lynch was well in control some way out and after assuming control three fences from home, he eased right up aboard the seven-year-old to triumph by seven lengths from Sebadee.

"I'd hope he'll improve a lot from that run," said de Bromhead.

Elsewhere, the British Horseracing Authority may be prepared to contemplate a change to the rules as to who gets punished when a jockey weighs in light. Kieren Fox was given a four-day ban at Kempton last week when he weighed in light but his colleague Richard Hughes protested in yesterday's Racing Post that the ban was "wrong" and jockeys should not bear sole responsibility for the contents of a saddle that is out of their control for 10 minutes after weighing out.

Trainers have sometimes been punished in cases where there has been clear evidence of fault, however, in the absence of evidence, only jockeys are punished.


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