Millions of viewers all around the world watched enthralled as the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton took place in a fairytale atmosphere at Westminster Abbey and a few hours later a horse named Royal Wedding ensured a fairytale outcome for punters at Fontwell as he landed the Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Handicap Chase.
With Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, busy celebrating their newly-wed status, jockey Liam Treadwell had to work hard for the topically-named winner whose win at odds of 4-1 ensured one of the heaviest beatings for the bookmakers in recent times.
The Nick Gifford-trained Royal Wedding was in front from some way out but began to toil over the last three fences, making a notable slip at the second-last but he was game for the task as he dug deep after the last to repel Take A Mile by 12 lengths.
Gifford said: “It’s been the plan to run for about two months and we are delighted it’s all worked out.
“Phil Bell the general manager at Fontwell, asked me about running him at this meeting after he won here in February and we said if there was a race that fitted in with his schedule and was suitable, we would love to come.
“We had it in our minds for a couple of months and we’ve had a good chance to just freshen him up a bit after his run at Stratford earlier this month and it’s all worked out well.
“I’m delighted and a bit relieved he won after we’ve had so much publicity. We just didn’t want him to do anything stupid like fall at the first or anything like that.
“He’s not been the most consistent horse, but we are absolutely thrilled with the result.”
The popular verdict left the bookmakers counting the cost, with Coral’s David Stevens predicting a multi-million pound payout on the victory.
“On the day Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, there was only going to be one winner of the race, and Royal Wedding didn’t let the side down, becoming the most aptly-named winner since Party Politics won the Grand National just five days before the 1992 General Election,” he said.
“Thousands of people placed bets on Royal Wedding, and the bookies will be paying out millions as a result.”
Victor Chandler spokesman Charlie McCann added: “Layers on the track certainly wanted to get the horse and it was 5-1 only a couple of minutes before the off. “We bet 4-1 during the period of the service at Westminster Abbey thinking it would be returned nearer 2s.
“A great day just got even better for many coincidence punters and fans of the Royal family.”
T20 World Cup