Tuesday 8 February 2022

1998 - Great Yarmouth - Henry Cecil - Wajna - It Was A Certainty to Win & Lose

Funny story about betting odds-on back in the day. 

Going back to the year 1989 - 19th July, at Great Yarmouth (2:15). I'm checking this out as I write as my memory isn't that good. Henry Cecil (before the knighthood) with a 2yo debutante called Wajna. My brother and I were there (I imagine Dad was too but can't quite remember) and it was a debutant priced 1/2f. 

For some reason (even in those days we followed the Group entries and pretty sure this had an impressive string of lofty engagements) we decided to bet £100.

Considering this was just about all of our money for the day it was a decision we might live to regret. Anyway, we bet the £100 at 1/2f or something daft. 

Potential win/stake £150 potential loss just about all our money on the first race and return home in 'tears''...lol. It all seemed a good idea at the time. 

Once the bet was placed, we started to wonder if it was such a good bet. I had this nagging feeling that Lord Huntingdon (sure he was just William Hasting-bass in those days) had a debutante called Varnish (9/2). I must admit Lord Huntingdon always did well at Yarmouth and often popped up with a nice debut winner. Anyway, the bet was on. 

A mixture of emotions from its a certainty to win (and lose) 

All was going well until Varnish loomed up at the 2f pole and there ensued a battle for about a furlong (which seemed like a mile and they were only running 7f) and I was literally praying Wajna could get the upper hand. 

Thankfully she ran on and won by a length. 

That felt like the hardest £50 we ever won. 

I was pleased to survive the experience and enjoyed the rest of the card. 

As it happened Wajna was a decent filly. She run just five races in her career running second time out at France in the Prix Marcel Boussac (Group 1) finishing 6th (beaten 3 1/2L) behind the mighty Salsabil. She ran three times at three winning a Listed race at York by 6L (just a four-runner race) (1m 6f) before concluding her career 10 days later at York (2m) when a 2/1 second favourite. Finished 3rd of five beaten 12L. 

Good memories of those early years of racing.

Source: Racing Post

Author: Jason Coote

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