Plumber scoops £12,000 in Cheltenham betting bonanza

A plumber from Lakenheath has celebrated the biggest win of his life after scooping nearly £12,000 on a multiple bet at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Rafe Ashby, 29, picked up £11,965 on day three of the meeting on Thursday after all five of his selections in 12p each-way Lucky 31 won.

Obliging for Rafe in the bet, which cost £7.44 and consisted of one five horse accumulator, four fourfolds, 10 trebles, 10 doubles, and five singles, was Taquin Du Seuil, (8/1) Fingal Bay (6/1), Dynaste (7/2), More Of That (9/1) and Ballynagour (16/1).

“When I got to three up I knew I had a decent return and when the fourth won I thought that was my Friday bets covered,” said Rafe.

“I was working around someone’s house at the time and he had the racing on the television.

“As Ballynagour came to the last in the fifth race I turned around as I couldn’t watch it. The customer shouted he is over it. After that I just walked out as I said I have something to sort out.”

Although knowing he had won in excess of £5,000, Rafe, whose previous biggest win was £445 on the opening day of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, when three of his four horses won in a Lucky 15, only found out the extent of total when visiting his mum and dad.

“I went around to my mum and dad’s house and my dad had worked out on a piece of paper that the win part would be in the region of £10,500,” said Ashby.

“When I got a better a signal on my phone I checked my account and in it was £11,965. I was lost for words for a couple of minutes as I just didn’t know what to say.

“My wife Jen does not like me betting but after I told her what I won she told me that she was glad I had a bet today. She shed a tear or two.”

Although wasting no time in spending the cash the father of two has been sensible as to where he has spent the vast majority of it.

“We have recently moved house so this has paid for the kitchen and other things in it which is huge weight off my mind,” said Rafe.

With the final major National Hunt race of the season, the Crabbies Grand National, less than a month away Rafe has picked out a long shot he hopes can win him more cash.

“I like the look of Balthazar King should he run in the race as he jumps and stays well,” he added.