Horse trainer Paul Nicholls forced to eat words after 'embarrassing' prediction | The Sun
'EMBARRASSED' Paul Nicholls was left eating his words after saying his 50-1 horse had absolutely no chance of winning.
The Ditcheat trainer was talking to Betfair's Barry Orr about last Sunday's Royal Ascot Racing Club Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Berkshire track.
Nicholls was absolutely certain Blueking D'Oroux had 'no chance' of winning the 2m contest worth just over £20,000 to the victor.
And he said stablemate Afadil, ridden by the yard's No1 jockey Harry Cobden, was a much safer bet.
The odds looked to reflect that, with Blueking D'Oroux sent off a whopping 50-1 for the Class 2 contest.
Afadil, by contrast, jumped off 15-2 behind 5-1 fav Arclight.
Speaking before the race, Nicholls said: "Blueking D'Oroux, top weight, how he's got a mark of 127 is totally and utterly beyond me.
"He wouldn't be within a street of Afadil but the handicapper has given him 127 even though he's run ordinary for us.
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"Basically, he's got no chance off that mark.
"He needs to come to a more realistic mark and get some experience into him for next season."
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Racing can make a fool out of anyone though and Nicholls was forced to eat his words and 5lb claimer Angus Cheleda bounded up the hill on the four-year-old gelding.
Amazingly, he finished two lengths ahead of Afadil – completing a bonkers 1-2 for Nicholls.
Speaking to Betfair on Monday, a sheepish Nicholls admitted: "Talk about embarrassing after my update on Friday when I said Blueking D'Oroux had no chance of beating Afadil!
"It just shows what a wind op can do for a horse.
"He galloped beautifully, was strong to the line and we're very pleased with that.
"It just shows as much as we think we know you can never be sure – or how much a wind op can bring on a horse!"
Winning owner Johnny de la Hey said: "To be honest, we thought he was badly handicapped off 127 but I didn't think he was a 50-1 shot. That was quite crazy."
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