For a gambler who is a legend and thinking nothing about betting $ 1 million on one horse, JP McManus, an Irish businessman, is by all accounts is known to be a surprisingly reserved person.
From a humble start as a bookmaker, JP McManus gained a reputation as the man who is fearless on the track and would take on any bet, no matter how big the wager was.
Now worth an estimated one billion dollars, the 62-year-old horse owner, and property mogul was a big player at the recent Cheltenham Festival, which is one of Britain's biggest betting events. Known as the great Olympics of jumps racing, over 820 million dollars is wagered during the festival that lasts four days, with lots of punters who take their lead from McManus, who is almost mythical.
Nicknamed the Sundance Kid because of his bold gambling, JP McManus famously won 1.3 million dollars in a single day in 2016 at the Cheltenham, in a series of bets with identically daring bookmaker known as Fearless Freddie Williams.
While the Cheltenham was wrapping up for another year, the Cable News Network's Winning Post took a look at some of the most magnificent betting stories of horse racing of all time.
The Stable boy-turned-millionaire
Last year, Conor Murphy, who is 29 years old was a stable boy till one lucky bet at the Cheltenham transformed his life forever. The native of Ireland could have charged with allowing his heart to rule his when the man bet 75 dollars on all the five of his horses winning off his boss. But Conor gladly proved that the skeptics wrong scooping 1.5 million dollars in an accumulator, which is a single bet relying on all horses winning.
Conor placed the bet online three months before the beginning of the race, giving him higher odds, and higher returns than the people wagering on the day.
Against the Odds
The Kentucky Derby Museum said that the three-year-old colt continues to be the greatest odds winner in the race history, positioned at 91-1.
A century ago, those placing 2 dollars on the Donerail would have collected 184.90 in winnings. By the standard of today, it's approximately the equivalent of putting a 46-dollar bet and getting 4,300 dollars back.
The winner Donerail from Surprise pulled away in the final stretch and set an amazing new track record with two minutes plus four seconds, beating his closest rival by a length that was half. It was a unique victory for the purebred, who won just ten of his sixty-two races.
Dettori's Magnificent Seven
In the year 1996, Frankie Dettori, a jockey, left bookmakers crying after he defied the odds of 25,000-1 by winning all the seven races at the Ascot Festival in Britain. The rider from Italy got the day that was record-breaking advancing with a victory on the aptly entitled the three-year-old colt, Wall Street. Darren Yeats placed an 89-dollar accumulator wager on all of the races in Dettori. Yeats left the track 830,000 dollars richer.
The Biggest Loser
Kerry Packer, an Australian media tycoon, was called The Big Fella for famously halving the betting odds in minutes with his wagers of a million dollars. Kerry, who had an approximated fortune of 6.7 billion dollars in 2005, when he died, was a legendary man on the track. He had a hard time finding individual bookmakers with money that was enough to take him on and wager.
In the late 80s, a Sydney bookmakers’ consortium combined forces to accept Kerry's outstanding wagers, which could be around 5 million dollars in one race. However, the bookmakers rubbed their hands at Golden Slipper Stakes in Sydney in the year 1987 when Kerry lost around 7 million dollars throughout the day, which included 2 million dollars on his horse, Christmas Tree.