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banner Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 17:58 GMT
The one-horse race
Tony McCoy has enjoyed plenty of victories - but this was his most bizarre
Tony McCoy enjoyed a bizarre win at Southwell
For once, Lady Luck deserted Britain's bookies as an astonishing series of events at Southwell left them out of pocket.

In one of the most remarkable races ever staged in Britain, all seven starters failed to put in a clear round in the 1.40 (1340 GMT).

But the drama did not end there.

Odds-on favourite Family Business was later remounted and steered to victory by champion jockey Tony McCoy.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds had been staked in betting shops across Britain on the lucky winner.


It is unbelievable
Champion jockey Tony McCoy

One Coral punter in West London waged a single bet of 5,000 only to walk out of the shop in disgust when McCoy's horse fell.

"Of all the horses to win such a crazy race it had to be the red-hot favourite with McCoy on board," groaned Coral spokesman Simon Clare.

And another gambler was celebrating after he staked 4 with betting exchange Betfair at odds of 1,000-1 in running on McCoy winning the race.

McCoy's mount went down with a circuit to go and five horses still in the race.

But all five subsequently either fell, refused or unseated their rider.

That prompted McCoy, the six-time champion jockey, to leap back on Family Business and enjoy an unchallenged ride to the finish line.

"This was the most extraordinary race since the void Grand National in 1993 and will be featured on sports quizzes for many years to come," added Clare.

Lucky man: Jockey Tony McCoy

McCoy could hardly believe his luck.

He said with a smile: "I can't believe it, it should have been only a matter of getting round on him and I fell off.

"But if someone offered me another winner like that, I wouldn't say no!"

McCoy is relentless in his search for winners, and is looking to break Sir Gordon Richard's record total of 269 victories in a season.

The scenes at Southwell were reminiscent of the 2001 Grand National, when only two horses completed the course unscatched in heavy rain.

On that occasion, McCoy again remounted, and ended up finishing third on Blowing Wind.

Some bookmakers claimed the Southwell race should have been made void because Family Business had jumped one fence twice.

However, stewards' secretary Phil Tuck said: "We have spoken to London and they say that jumping a fence twice is not a reason for disqualification but it would be if he missed a fence out.

"A horse can be remounted and continue in the race as long as he goes back to where he departed."

The standard time for the three miles one furlong test is 6mins 10.2 secs.

But through all the mayhem, Family Business was timed at 10mins 30.9 secs, including the spell while he was waiting for McCoy to renew the acquaintance.

Mark Bradburne, jockey on Oh No Whiskey, was taken to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham to be 'checked over as a precautionary measure'.

But the rest of the jockeys and horses escaped unscathed.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Luke Harvey
"You will not see a more remarkable race"

Sports Talk SPORTS TALK
Tony McCoy's one horse race was a bizarre sporting moment - what others can you think of? Wacky races
Send us your strange sporting incidents

Champion jockey Tony McCoy has won his 200th race of the season in record time
Legendary AP roars on

Over the jumps

Round-up

The winning post

Racing section

Cornelius Lysaght

Meetings in-depth
Links to more Funny Old Game stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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