It’s not every day that you would be confident in picking five winners from a horse racing festival and bring home over £168,000. Well, Martin Palk, from Tiverton in the UK, was extremely lucky for the much-loved Cheltenham Festival last week, when a £1 each-way bet secured exactly that for him.
The father of two saw four of his forses come in including Penhill in the Stayers’ Hurdle feature race. He was worried, however, that his last selection Missed Approach would not win. So, like all good friends do, Palk’s mates headed to the local Betfred shop with him to provide moral support in the hopes his bet would pay off.
As the race started, Palk promised his seven buddies a trip to Vegas for each of them was on the cards if he did indeed pull off the bet. Missed Approach, at 10/1, was bet on widely by punters at top online betting sites.
He raced beautifully and led from start, plastering a joyous smile across the face of Palk and his posse as they began to realise the bright lights of the Vegas strip, the gambling capital of the world, were quickly becoming a reality. It’s clear that Palk, who owns an industrial cleaning company, didn’t expect to be “cleaning up” at the bookies:
“I’m normally quite tanned, but everyone says I went white as a sheet. Before the last race I said half-jokingly if I win I’m taking all of us, all seven to Las Vegas for four days. It was a bit of banter, but I’m a man of my word, so the Magnificent Seven are off to the Strip.”
However, Palk is making sure that the “Magnificent Seven” pay their dues after his excellent Cheltenham win:
“It will cost me £10,000, and I’ve told them they could bring their own spending money.”
The avid horse racing betting fan, who has been married to wife Colleen for 33 years, had picked out runners trained by either Willie Mullins or Gordon Elliott, who both had excellent starters at the festival. Palk’s five winning bets were Sheltered Love at 5/1, Delta Work at 9/1, Penhill at 12/1, The Storyteller at 7/1 and Missed Approach at 10/1.
Some of Palk's picks made our experts suggestions. Palk’s story is even more incredible considering that he would have only won £112,819 after beating the combined odds of 68,000/1 if it wasn’t for Fred Done, the bookie’s manager, who was offering a special Cheltenham Promotion, bringing his win up to the £168,751 mark.
The lucky punter is hopeful that he and his mates will receive ample permission from their wives prior to sorting out their trip of a lifetime to Vegas, where some of the world’s top casinos are located:
"I really didn't think I had any chance in the last race which was a 10/1 shot and that's why I promised we'll all go to Vegas on me if I did win. We are going to meet next week and sort out the details and check none of us have any criminal records! Then there is the question of permission from the wives but can't see any problem on that front. I still feel numb - like I am dreaming and someone will be pinching me and waking me up.”
"Next day I was at work at 5am as usual. I had to be because everyone else had been celebrating with me - and phoned in sick. I tell you what, we won't be saving it or anything boring like that. Money is for spending and having a good time.”