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Tuesday 15 June 2021

Bubble Boy

Respected professional punter Alan Potts once said, 'The principle is that if as a result of your form analysis, you can make a good argument for supporting a longshot, then you must make the bet.The key factor is that no bet on such a horse can be expected to fulfil the same exacting criteria that you would apply to a 4/1 shot.' A case in point was Bubble Boy, a six-year-old gelding, trained by Brendan Powell, who won a beginners' chase at Fontwell, on his chasing debut, on January 24, 2005, at odds of 100/1.

Sired by the American-bred stallion Hubbly Bubbly – at that stage, already responsible for winning steeplechaser Cloudy Bays – Bubble Boy was bought by Powell, on behalf of the late John Plackett, from former weighing room colleague Adrian Maguire. According to Powell, Maguire told him 'not to waste our time over hurdles and to put him straight over fences'. Bubble Boy did run twice in National Hunt Flat Races for his new connections, while he didn't win, but finishing fifth of fifteen at Exeter in April, 2004 and tailed-off tenth of thirteen, after a 202-day break, at Plumpton the following November.

Obviously, when he lined up at Fontwell, his previous form was, at best, modest, but he was, at least, unexposed, which is not something that could be said for many of his six rivals. The decision to send him straight over fences was intriguing and, for a horse with sufficient size and scope to justify the idea that he would make a steeplechaser, his earlier defeats were entirely forgiveable. In any event, Bubble Boy made all the running under conditional jockey James Davies and, although all out at the finish, held on to beat 8/13 favourite Distant Thunder – who had been beaten on his four previous starts over fences – by half a length.


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