Tote dividend not quite what the doctor ordered

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The trainer Dr Philip Pritchard was given a £220 fine after his Happy Hussar pulled off a 100-1 success in the novices' chase at Hereford yesterday. Punters were left bemused when the winner paid a place dividend of just 11-10 on the Tote.

Following the eight-year-old's neck success over 20-1 chance Rusnetto, the stewards were unhappy that the trainer was unable to explain the gelding's improvement in form. Before yesterday's victory, Happy Hussar had won just once in 18 attempts, a bumper in 1998. However, Tote backers who backed the gelding to finish in the first three were left scratching their heads in disbelief when the winner paid £2.10 for a place.

The dividend was described as a "freak" by the Tote's Matt Chapman. "There was a place pool of £925 for the race and £106 was for the winner, with £70 of that placed on course." Chapman pointed out that matters often work out differently. "When Downland won at Ascot on Saturday at 40-1, the Tote win dividend was £130.10 with place backers receiving £19.90."

* Paul Eddery was banned for three days at Nottingham for irresponsible riding aboard Festive Affair.

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