Ridden by Srikant Kamble, Player carried a huge gamble that saw his odds getting hammered down from 15-to-1 to 5-to-1 minutes before the race was run.
In what can easily be described as one of the most sensational coups in recent times, it seemed everyone was backing Jayantilal’s horse as if defeat was out of the question. To the delight of his backers, Player, lying fourth in a 13-horse field, accelerated in the final furlong to post an authoritative victory.
Ironically, trainer Jayantilal did not have even a penny riding on his horse. “I don’t bet, but I was so confidant about my horse that I told anyone who cared to listen to go and back my horse as much as they wished,” the jubilant trainer, who went dancing down the track to the deafening applause of hundreds of grateful punters who lined up the rope on both sides, to lead in the winner, told MiD DAY after the race.
Apparently, the whole racing crowd — from the ten-rupee punter to the millionaire bettor — cottoned on to Jayantilal’s widely-circulated tip, and made a killing, creating huge liability for some bookmakers who dismissed the trainer’s claim as just hot air.
“This guy (Jayantilal) hasn’t won a race for more than a year. So I don’t think we did anything wrong in laying his horse. But the funny thing was though we kept on lowering the price, people just went on backing madly at any price.
I think we completely miscalculated — (we) never expected such a small trainer to command such a huge following,” a bookmaker requesting anonymity told MiD DAY.