A LAMBOURN stables lad who won £1 million by backing five of Nicky Henderson’s winning horses at the Cheltenham Festival has spoken of his shock at the windfall.
Exclusively speaking to NewburyToday from the Seven Barrows stables in Lambourn today (Friday), Cork-born Conor Murphy (pictured right with Finian’s Rainbow), said he had no clue how was going to spend his new fortune after
“It was just pure luck,” he said.
“I put the bet on just before Christmas in December, I just picked the five best horses and hoped for a lot of luck, I didn’t think much about it.”
Mr Murphy, aged 31, successfully called five of Henderson’s six winners; Lambourn based horses Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Bobs Worth, Finian’s Rainbow and Riverside Theatre, through Bet365.
Of the final horse which landed him the jackpot yesterday, Riverside Theatre, he said it “never looked like winning”.
“From the moment it set off it never looked like winning, he made loads of mistakes and looked miles off. I could not believe it when he came back to win,” he said.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the bet when they all started coming in; you try so hard to get even one winner here, the day just draws you in.
“Finian’s Rainbow is the apple of my eye, I ride him every day and he really is a special horse, for him to win the Queen Mother chase and be one of the winners is just unbelievable, that has been the special moment.”
The betting triumph has added to a glorious festival for the stables so far as Henderson has become the most successful trainer in its history in the process, and he said it “couldn’t have happened to a nicer lad”.
Henderson secured four winners on Wednesday to surpass the previous record of 40 overall winners at the festival, which was held by Fulke Walwyn.
“What a story. Nobody can believe it, everyone is so pleased for him he is such a nice lad,” he said.
“He rides Finian’s Rainbow every day. He must have had a lot of faith in me.”
Mr Murphy served at Seven Barrows as a stable lad for two years before returning in 2009 as a second hand lad.
Even with his new-found fortune he was quick to make sure it was business as usual ahead of the final day of the festival, when Henderson’s champion horse Long Run goes up against the legendary Kauto Star in the Gold Cup later today.
“We’ve got another long day today, I haven’t had time to think about what I am going to spend the money on, I’ll think about that later. Let’s hope we can win the Gold Cup today,” Mr Murphy said.
Who would bet against him?