Punters were on cloud nine on Thursday evening when Saffie Osborne piloted home a staggering 6500/1 three-timer in the final Racing League event.
Her team, Wales & The West, were 36 points behind title leaders London & The South heading into the fixture at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park, but Osborne’s stunning evening saw her outfit – led by her dad and former jockey Jamie – take the crown.
Saffie, a young apprentice jockey, also managed to overthrow previous jockeys’ championship leader Sean Levey, earning herself a handy £20,000 bonus.
Her first success of the night came aboard Tregony, a 9/2 favourite who had already won twice during the weekly Racing League fixture list.
Osborne’s second win of the night was rather more unexpected and emotional. She was riding Raising Sand, a ten-year-old veteran on the Flat on whom the young Saffie had learned to ride as a child.
The pair overcame odds of 40/1 to prevail, and so delighted was Osborne she broke down in tears in the winner’s enclosure.
“I feel really pathetic crying, but this horse just means so much to all of us,” she said afterwards to ITV Racing.
“He was one of the first racehorses I sat on, he used to tank me up the gallops and that’s what he pretty much did today.”
An already stellar evening for the Osbornes was about to get even better as Saffie guided the 28/1 outsider Billy Mill, trained by Rod Millman, to victory next time out to complete the stunning 6500/1 payday.
The win for the Wales & The West was not unduly unexpected, but Osborne was very much the outsider in the jockeys’ championship race.
“I think I was 100-1 to win this at the start,” a stunned Saffie revealed.
“Dad said to me on the way here if I had two winners I might win, but I told him there was no chance of that! I’m a bit shocked.
“Sometimes you get a bit of luck like this. I’d never even ridden a treble before, so to get a £20,000 bonus on top of it is quite nice.”
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The battle for the Racing League title continued even after Osborne’s hat-trick, and solid runs from their entries Honky Tonk Man and Watchya saw her team accumulate enough points to overthrow London at the top of the leaderboard.
Osborne snr, a Grade 1 winning trainer and former Cheltenham Festival champion jockey, was understandably delighted – not least because it afforded him the bragging rights over ITV pundit Matt Chapman, who managed the London team.
The pair have been embroiled in a ‘is it real or isn’t it?’ rivalry throughout the competition, and Osborne was delighted to have the final say.
“Matt has been consistently very smug and very noisy,” he said.
“We just played our best cards on the night simply to annoy him.”