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Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Record-breaking Winner

 


On August 13, 2020, a three-year-old named He Knows No Fear won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Leopardstown at odds of 300/1. In so doing, he became the longest-priced winner in the history of horse racing in Britain and Ireland, eclipsing the previous record set by Equinoctial (250/1) at Kelso in November, 1990.


Bred, owned and trained by Luke Comer and ridden by Chris Hayes, He Knows No Fear was having just his second start after finishing only twelfth of fourteen, at 250/1, in a similar race on his debut at Limerick the previous month. At Leopardstown, he showed signs of inexperience when asked for his effort but, once the penny dropped, made rapid headway on the outside of the field. He went second in the final hundred yards and stayed on strongly to collar the hot favourite, Agitare, who had gone clear inside the final furlong, in the shadow of the post and win by a head. The winning trainer said later, 'He Knows No Fear is a nice horse. The first race, you couldn't go by, because he got left in the stalls.'


Comer, for whom training racehorses is almost a distraction from his main property development business, had not saddled a winner for nine years. Indeed, he had previously hit the headlines in 2017, when he was repeatedly fined by the Turf Club and was in danger of having his licence withdrawn, after a catalogue of 'very serious rule breaches', including refusing permission to inspect his stables in Kilternan, Dublin, failing to arrange adequate supervision for his horses and providing misleading and false information.