£3 Million In 3 Weeks

Charles Yates

April 23, 2024

£3 Million In 3 Weeks

The Squirrel Syndicate was involved in some amazing antics en-route to success, landing some record-breaking wins, and above all they had a hilarious time. If you have a sense of fun and adventure, and don’t mind a bit of madness, then this book might be just what the doctor ordered.

IT was an incredible winning streak on the horses which helped a band of pub punters gallop home £3 million richer… in just three weeks.

Their sensational success left them celebrating with the finest champagne, as the plaudits and congratulations from fellow racing fans flowed just as freely. And the win set them on a course to racehorse ownership and a trip to the Cheltenham Festival as owners with their first syndicate purchase.

A new book lays bare some of the secrets of the system the pals used, and the untold stories behind their barely believable betting coups that began with a £1.5 million win on Leg Spinner in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and ended 21 days later with the November Handicap at Doncaster.

It tells how the Squirrel Syndicate, as they dubbed themselves, employed a mix of mathematics and form study to claim their bumper winnings on the Tote's flagship Scoop6 pool bet. The authors both wanted to put something back into racing, so got a share in a runner with the Albatross Club and now they are both also with Old Gold Racing as owners in Tom Clover trained Oh Darling.

The remarkable run which included jovial jaunts to racecourses, with several pubs being drunk dry, but also some generous donations to a children’s cancer charity, began when their Irish-trained pick Leg Spinner at 14-1 won the famous Cesarewitch race at Newmarket. They had a single ticket on it to land £1.5 million having already secured the first five winners on that day's Scoop6 card.

And only 21 days later the syndicate hit the jackpot again after Malt Or Mash amazingly came from last in the field to win in the closing stages at Doncaster, after a horse called Philanthropy took the early lead. The Sunderland-based children’s charity which the syndicate backed, The Thomas Russell Cancer Trust Fund, got a mention on terrestrial TV from anchorman Derek ‘Tommo’ Thompson and a donation from signed copies of the new book go to the fund.

Syndicate member Richard Brocklebank, aka The Squirrel, takes up the story of how the group from the Three Tunnes pub in Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire, pulled off the feat against astronomical odds - estimated at 993 billion-to-one.

Richard, of Hyde, Greater Manchester, said: ‘The first £1.5 million in that remarkable run came on a Saturday at Newmarket when an Irish-trained horse called Leg Spinner won the Cesarewitch.

‘At the start of the bet we calculated our chance of success at six per cent, but one member of the syndicate was keen on some French raiders at Newmarket. We decided to place a perm taking those into account.

‘From more than 800,000 tickets in at the start of the bet, just 21,340 were still standing when Miss Lucifer at 20-1 won the first leg, but that also saw our chance of the win dipping to around two per cent.

‘On the plus side, the French raider Literato flew in on the 4th leg, and by the final leg we had still had eight tickets alive in the win pool. Most of the 16 of us in the syndicate that week had met in the pub to watch the final leg Cesarewitch. When Leg Spinner won the race carrying our single ticket, the beers went flying. We drank the bar dry that evening celebrating.

‘The perm cost £16,000 and every tenner in was worth more than £900 in winnings, plus we had the Scoop6 bonus to tackle which could see that become even more.

Of the 2007 wins, Richard added: ‘With £1,519,301 due in my bank account, I jumped on a plane for the family half-term holiday to Majorca. Some people thought I’d fled to Brazil with all the wonga.

‘The bonus race was a sprint at Doncaster with just £10k prize money which the Tote had selected as the bonus race, but our free selection wasn’t the winner. Undaunted, we went on the attack the next weekend with a new £424,674 win fund, and that bonus had now grown to £1,137,972.

‘Once again, we got through the first five legs unscathed and met in the Three Tunnes to watch the final leg. It was an eight-runner race with 36 tickets still standing, and we had a ticket on each of the runners. Three lesser fancied runners of the field were only carrying one ticket each, and those tickets were ours.

‘The syndicate had grown a little by now and as we watched them go into the dip at Newmarket, the first three in the race were all our single ticket picks – it was a case of Irish eyes smiling again as Charlie Swan’s raider Jalmira at 8-1 landed us the entire £424,674 win fund on our own.

‘We now had a free selection for a £1,137,972 bonus fund the following weekend the November Handicap at Doncaster and we won.

‘Those three weeks and the £3.1 million made a lot of people very happy, but a couple of years later we did it again with another then record-breaking bonus win of £3,184,369 when Russian Trigger won the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter in March 2009.’

A Racing Post review stated: ‘What really stands out is the real human element to punting through some of the people with whom Brocklebank and Yates join forces.

‘Those stories are the crux of the book. Yes, most of the syndicate are expert gamblers in it to win it and do rub shoulders with A-list celebrities and pro punters, but the casual punters at the heart of the sport are just as vital to their success.

‘It is sure to be a hit with all racing fans and if you do like a bet, who knows – it could even be your guide to a fortune.’

Hardback editions signed by the authors to include a charity donation are available via http://www.squirrelbook.shop/ . Use OLGGOLD10 for a 10% Discount.

Written by:

Charles Yates

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