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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 23:00 GMT
Punter watches 1m win disappear
Babodana races Little Indian
Babodana's rider (right) was suspended for careless riding
A "desperately unlucky" punter saw a jackpot of nearly 1m drop away to just 90 as his winning horse was disqualified after the race.

The unnamed gambler placed the 2 bet at a branch of Ladbrokes in Newcastle, on Saturday, it has emerged.

Had stewards not disqualified Babodana from a race at Newmarket in favour of Sleeping Indian, he would have picked up a cheque for 957,714.

"I feel so desperately sorry for the guy," said the shop's manager.

He has not yet come forward to claim his 90 winnings.

As well as missing out on the Scoop6 payout of 857,714 the man had linked many of the same horses in an accumulator, which was worth another 100,000 with Babodana as the winner.

It was the win of a lifetime and then... it's gone
Billy McKeown

He instead won a 90 dividend from the Scoop6 after the horse was demoted to second.

Although Babodana was first past the post in the Ben Marshall Stakes stewards decided it had forced runner-up Sleeping Indian right in the closing stages.

Babodana's rider Darryll Holland was given a two-day suspension for careless riding.

"It was the win of a lifetime and then... it's gone. I don't know the name of the punter, he comes in every once in a while," Billy McKeown, who runs the betting shop, told the Racing Post.

"Everyone in the shop was talking about it. We're waiting for him to come in to collect his 90, though I suspect he's in no mood to speak to anyone."

A Ladbrokes spokesman said: "This customer has been desperately unlucky.

"However, the disqualification has turned out to be very fortunate for the punters who backed Sleeping Indian."

Dreams come true for lucky punter
21 Sep 04 |  West Midlands


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