Legendary football managers can’t stop winning at Cheltenham

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson saw two of his horses ride to victory on Day Three of the festival, pocketing him £275,000.

And former Tottenham, West Ham and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp won with Shakem Up’Arry to land £67,500.

Oxford Mail: Winners at Cheltenham

Sir Alex, who was joined by former Bolton and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce and footballer Bryan Robson, said: “I’ve finally had a winner here. Two in 40 minutes! It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? It’s a special place.

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“It has been probably 20 years that I’ve wanted to have a winner here, as when I first started I just had Flat horses and no National Hunt ones.

“It’s special here, it’s like the Derby or the FA Cup final and I’ve waited a while to experience this. A lot of people who buy horses have never had a winner, never mind here. It’s a feeling of elation.

“Of course it’s not the same as winning at football, that was my life, I was immersed in that, this is what I do for pleasure so it’s a different feeling. I don’t have to worry about it, I leave that to the trainer.”

Mr Redknapp, whose name was chanted from the terraces around the winner’s enclosure, was equally overwhelmed, celebrating his first Festival success after years of trying.

He said: “I can’t believe we’ve done it. He travelled so well and jumped the last and I thought ‘please, don’t stop now’. People were saying ‘Go on Harry, he’s won’ and I thought ‘no he ain’t!’.

“Racing has been a big part of my life. I grew up at West Ham as a player where we had a team of punters, that’s how it was back in those days. We all loved a bet, we all loved racing.

Oxford Mail: Winners at Cheltenham

“I’ve been lucky to have got into racing as an owner and when you buy horses you dream of having a winner at Cheltenham.

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“It’s great for Sir Alex to have a winner as well, we had some great days. Going into his office at Old Trafford at quarter past two when the teams were out and we’d watch a bit of racing for 15 minutes and then we’d go out and I’d do my best to try and pull off a miracle and get a result!

“We both loved the racing and we both loved the football. For him to get two winners today is great and for me to get a winner is fantastic.”

One lucky Betfair punter put all three horses in a £5 accumulator they were calling ‘The Gaffers Treble’. It returned £16,195.

Betfair spokesperson Barry Orr said: “The punter must not only be a racing fan, but also a big football fan.”



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