Yankee Doodle Dandy!

Big Yankee win on Met Day

Winning ticket

Winning ticket

Leading Gauteng Bookmaker Mark Michael has been in horseracing long enough to know that dreams can and sometimes do come true. He paid out a winning Yankee bet of R1 197 860 for an outlay of just R1100 to a lucky punter, following Anton Marcus’ Met Day four timer. The unnamed punter strolled into the popular Meyersdal Sports Bar in the Meyersdal Mall in Alberton and set himself up for a dream Met day.

And in a month that saw our interest rates rise for the first time in years, the punter also paid his bond off. Mark Michael takes up the story: “He is a regular punter who doesn’t play particularly big. He apparently dreamt that Anton Marcus would win on all four of his rides on Met day. So he walked in here and took the bet with one of our tellers.

He paid cash and left. The next time we saw him was when he casually returned to cash his ticket,” he said almost disbelievingly. The Yankee is like a patent but with four selections and no single bets. It incorporates 11 bets ie: 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four fold all on. The eleven bets were in units of R100 each and the all on of the four horses (Happy Forever/ Hill Fifty Four / Castlethorpe/ River Crossing) paid R699 620 to just R100!

Marcus actually had five rides on the day, after he picked up a chance on Glen Kotzen’s Counts Rocket in the Investec Cape Derby. That was his only losing ride. But the lucky punter obviously was oblivious to that when he took his bet. The winning ticket shows that the punter got off to a good start in the third race when Happy Forever won easily at 18 to 10. Marcus then produced the magic in the Met itself when Hill Fifty Four did what seemed unthinkable about 400m out. The Captain Al gelding beat Yorker to win at 20 to 1.

Two down, two to go.

Marcus then produced another of those rather regular moments of genius when he got Mike Bass’ Castlethorpe home at 16 to 1 to beat Roman Manner in the final strides in the tenth.

Three down, one to go.

When Marcus pushed River Crossing through a tight gap at the 200m to go on and win the J&B Jet Gr2 Stayers, the dream had been realised. Bang. Yankee Doodle went to town on a little pony. Bond repaid. And the rest! Mark Michael said that he was only too happy to pay the bet.

“Bookmakers are often maligned but fixed odds betting on horseracing is one of the most exciting bets in town. When I did my book on the Met I saw that he was going along rather nicely. The rest is history as they say. An old friend once said : Pay and the pain goes away. We live to fight another day. As long as the customer wins, we all win, ” he laughed.

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