A CHELTENHAM Festival punter can win £1,000 without his horse even running – thanks to a miraculous £20 bet.
But he has vowed NOT to cash out and take his chance at the £8,000 jackpot should Epatante win the Mares' Hurdle.
The ridiculous ante-post double has odds of around 400-1 – but leg one is already in thanks to Cachet's victory in the 1000 Guineas back in May.
George Boughey's stable star was sent off 16-1 for the Newmarket special but the punter backed her to win at a whopping 50-1.
Showing incredible foresight, they included that punt with Epatante to win the Mares' at next month's Festival.
Her odds were 16-1 then but now she is a best-price 4-1.
As a consequence of Cachet's win and Epatante's price shortening, the punter can cash out their £20 stake for £1,048 right now.
Letting it run will return a massive £8,068.
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As things stand, it looks like a game of chess between the punter and Epatante's trainer Nicky Henderson.
The 2020 Champion Hurdle winner and dual runner-up to Honeysuckle in the same contest could still be aimed at the big race on the opening day.
Henderson's other horse Constitution Hill is around 1-3 and looks a shoo-in to win.
But Henderson forgot to enter Epatante – who hosed up in a Grade 2 at Doncaster when last seen – in the Mares'.
He will have to pay a £5,000 supplementary fee for her to run in the race she has a much greater chance of winning.
Epatante, who is owned by legendary Irish billionaire JP McManus, has finished a well-beaten second behind Constitution Hill on both their runs together.
She is 33-1 for the Champion Hurdle, so while she could nick a place, in all likelihood the Mares' looks the most obvious chance of glory.
Mind you, that race is hot in itself, with dual Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle the 9-4 fav.
Marie's Rock, who could go to the Stayers' Hurdle, is 7-2, while Love Envoi, Echoes In Rain and Brandy Love are 6-1, 7-1 and 8-1 respectively.
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