Maoi Chinn Tire stuns Wetherby punters with shock 200-1 win

Maoi Chinn Tire created the biggest shock of the fledgling National Hunt season to date - and became Britain's longest-priced winner in 20 years - by landing yesterday's Weatherbys Bank Wensleydale Juvenile at Hurdle at Wetherby at a staggering 200-1.

The victory did not come in a run-of-the-mill race either as there was 15,000 up for grabs in the Listed contest and racing superpowers Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Alan King were all represented.

For trainer Jennie Candlish and her main supporter Alan Baxter, the race will live long in their memory, and for the handful of people on track who were lucky enough to back Maoi Chin Tire - including the owner.

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The betting suggested that Nicholls' Domtaline, an easy winner at Chepstow on his British debut, and Henderson's Grandouet were the ones to concentrate on but neither were placed. Grandouet did shoot clear down the back straight after Domtaline helped force the early pace but all the time Alan O'Keeffe on Maoi Chinn Tire could be spotted making stealthy headway, despite pulling hard early on.

A moderate performer on the level for Stan Moore, he was claimed after running at Kempton in September over six furlongs so stamina had to be an issue.

O'Keeffe was sat tight at the last and, despite a bit of a mistake, he already had the race in safe keeping and he came home nine lengths clear of 50-1 chance Meetings Man.

Equinoctial in November 1990 at 250-1 remains the biggest-priced winner of modern times.

"I didn't expect that!" said Staffordshire handler Candlish. "He'd done nothing wrong at home and settled in brilliantly, but we obviously didn't know if he'd stay.

"He'd taken everything in his stride, so all credit to his previous connections.

"He went to Yogi Breisner for three days to get him to jump and he told us that he would be grand. His home work has been brilliant.

"We got him out of a claimer and obviously people don't like to lose horses, but that's the risk you run.

"Whether today is his Gold Cup or not, it doesn't matter."

Winning owner Alan Baxter said: "I managed to back him at 300-1 so he has nearly won back the 7,000 we claimed him."

Never mind 200-1 winners, Ayr racecourse will settle for any sort of action this afternoon after officials yesterday called a 7.45am precautionary inspection for today.

With the going currently heavy, an adverse forecast is giving cause for consternation.Clerk of the course Emma Marley said: "We're forecast rather more rain than expected throughout Friday and up to 12pm.

"It's heavy at present, but we will stage a precautionary inspection in the morning to assess conditions."

Meanwhile, Carruthers will only make his seasonal reappearance in today's bet365 United House Gold Cup - the big race at Ascot - if there is sufficient rain.

This year's Cheltenham Gold Cup fourth is due to carry top weight for the valuable three-mile handicap chase, which has attracted 13 declarations.

Mark Bradstock's seven-year-old also held an entry in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, but connections will opt for the Berkshire track, as long as conditions are suitable.

"We've walked the course and although the track is in good nick, he won't run if we don't get enough rain," said Sarah Bradstock, the trainer's wife.

"Either way, we're not expecting the ground to go to his favoured soft conditions.

"Plan C would be to go straight for the Hennessy, but that wouldn't be ideal."

Free World is 5lb out of the handicap as the weights have not gone up due to Carruthers being declared, but his trainer Warren Greatrex is still hopeful of a good run. "He's come on nicely from his Cheltenham third - it was a great run. It's just slightly annoying Carruthers runs as we're 5lb wrong," said the Upper Lambourn trainer. "The step up to three miles will help and I think he'll run a big race.

"He deserves his chance and if Carruthers wasn't running and ours was off 10st 1lb, I'd think we'd be in business."