Saturday 21 September 2019

Bookies stung by Big Zeb win


BOOKIES in North Wexford took a beating on St. Patrick's Day as local horse Big Zeb sailed home in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

While the bookies may have recouped their losses in the following days, it was a massive win for the locally owned and trained horse.

Owner Paddy Redmond, of Redmond Construction, was in Cheltenham with his wife Fiona and other family members to witness the big win. 'To win such a high profile race in Cheltenham, especially with the first horse I bought, is unbelievable. It's a dream come true.'

Paddy and his brother Tommy own the Amber Springs and Ashdown Park Hotels in Gorey, where customers and staff shared in their success last week. The Redmonds were also joined by trainer Colm Murphy and his team in Jack's Tavern in Camolin at the pub owned by Paddy's brother Jack, on their return from Cheltenham last Thursday night.

Paddy was full of praise for Killenaghbased Murphy and his team. 'He's done a fantastic job,' he said. 'To get him to Cheltenham and have him peak on the day is not easy.'

Paddy bought the horse as a threeyear-old at Goffs five years ago, and kept him at home for a while before bringing him down to Colm Murphy.

'There were a lot of good horses in the race. It was touch and go all the way,' he added.

Paddy said that while he had not placed a bet on Big Zeb while he was in Cheltenham, he had put a 'few pound' on him before he left Ireland. Many locals, eager to see the local horse do well, had backed Big Zeb and at odds of 10 to 1, they did very well out of him.

'Everyone threw a few pound on him,' said Paddy. 'The bookies got a bit of a sting. I suppose when a local horse wins, everyone feels they own part of him, and having a local trainer makes it all the better.'

The £180,000 sterling prize for the winning owner can't be that bad either!

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