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Punters cash in after McCoy takes bookies to the cleaners

Northern Ireland’s Tony McCoy was the darling of punters at Cheltenham yesterday after winning the Champion Hurdle on Binocular.

And for some, it was a case of cashing in at odds of 999-1 in a case of Cheltenham deja-vu.

One Punter in the Republic scooped €11,000 (£10,000) thanks to a mere €11 (£10) wager.

In 2005, Gold Cup winner Kicking King was backed on the betting exchange Betfair at 999-1 — the maximum odds possible after being taken out of the race, only to be re-entered and go on to win it.

That was repeated yesterday thanks to McCoy, who encouraged trainer Nicky Henderson to run Binocular after Henderson had said he had a lack of form and sparkle.

That saw Binocular take a walk in the betting market and he was matched on the exchange at 999-1.

The rest, as they say, is history as the horse bolted up the Cheltenham hill to victory.

Six Irish Betfair punters were celebrating after matching the horse to just over €57 (€28.50 backed and €28.50 laid) while €968 (£874) was matched at 99-1 or bigger on a horse who at one time was outright favourite and won at an SP of 9-1, although 12.5-1 on Betfair.

The biggest bet was laid at 999-1 — €11. The other bet sizes were €5.77, €5.50, €3.28, €2.20 and 75c — the latter bet returning €750.

Barry Orr of Betfair commented: “Kicking King was backed at the maximum odds of 999-1 when getting off his sick bed to win the 2005 Gold Cup at the Festival and now lightning has struck the Cheltenham winning post twice with Binocular repeating the feat.

“The only downside for the winning sextet is that they can never strike a winning single bet at bigger odds in the future.”

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