The stable lad who won £1m – but did he deserve millions more?

Cheltenham's big winner still turns up to work after record payout is capped by bookie

Cheltenham

Conor Murphy, the stable lad who became a millionaire at Cheltenham on Thursday, was back at work as usual at 5.30am yesterday, still unable to get his head around his amazing good fortune.

But behind his fairytale win lies a sense of frustration. If the reported odds of his five winners are correct he would have walked away with more than £3m, only Bet 365, which took his bet, has a legitimate £1m maximum payout.

It is believed that the odds taken were 6/1 Sprinter Sacre, 12/1 Simonsig, 6/1 Bob's Worth, 8/1 Finian's Rainbow and 10/1 Riverside Theatre. If that is the case, a straight £50 win accumulator would have netted Murphy £3,153, 100 (once his £50 stake had been subtracted). If the odds are correct, some might question whether the bookmaker should have taken a bet that was large enough to exceed its maximum payout if it came in. Bet 365 was unavailable for comment last night.

In any event, the 31-year-old Irishman remains the chief beneficiary of his boss Nicky Henderson's record-breaking week at the Cheltenham Festival. The Lambourn trainer saddled six winners over the first three days and his loyal employee had five of them in a £50 accumulator.

"I still cannot believe it. It is still sinking in. I haven't even thought about the money yet," he told Newbury Today, before adding to the Racing Post: "I don't have a clue what I'll do with it. You don't expect to win a million, so it's very hard to plan for it. I'll be staying here for the moment anyway because I like it here and sure I'll have a good holiday in the summer.

"I always wanted to be a trainer but I think that ambition has worn off me. Working with the calibre of horses here kind of spoils you and it would be so difficult to start from scratch with average horses, I don't think I'd be able to hack that."

His first two winners, Sprinter Sacre (Arkle Trophy) and Simonsig (Neptune Hurdle), hardly gave him an anxious moment when winning easily on Tuesday, but both Bob's Worth (RSA Chase) and Finian's Rainbow (Queen Mother Champion Chase) had to pull out all the stops for their victories on Wednesday.

Murphy's fortune and a future life in clover then hinged on Riverside Theatre winning the Ryanair Chase and it looked for the world as though the dream bet would fail as Albertas Run led him over the last. But in a stirring finish which had even those without a financial interest on their feet and cheering, Riverside Theatre, owned by actor James Nesbitt and ridden with customary skill and power by Barry Geraghty, edged in front in the final 50 yards and held on by half a length. Murphy, who rides out Finian's Rainbow every day, put his incredible win down to good luck.

He said: "I put the bet on before Christmas. I just picked the five best horses and hoped for a lot of luck, I didn't think much about it.

"And I wasn't really thinking about the bet when they all started coming in. You try so hard to get even one winner here, the day just draws you in."

Winning run: How his bet multiplied to £3m

All races at Cheltenham

* Sprinter Sacre 6/1 (Arkle Trophy) £50 stake pays £350 (including stake)

* Simonsig 12/1 (Neptune Novices Hurdle) £350 stake pays £4,550

* Bob's Worth 6/1 (RSA Chase) £4,550 pays £31,850

* Finian's Rainbow 8/1 (Queen Mother Champion Chase) £31,850 pays £286,850

* Riverside Theatre 10/1 (Ryanair Chase) £286,850 pays £3,153,150

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?