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Tuesday 19 July 2022

Buster Edwards

Named Ronald 'Buster' Edwards, who served nine years in prison for his part in the Great Train Robbery in 1963, the equine Buster Edwards sprung one of the biggest surprises in recent history when winning at Haydock on December 30, 2019. Trained by David Pipe and ridden by Jack Tudor, the 6-year-old was sent off 7/2 favourite for the Bryn Gates Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, run over an extended three miles on soft going. However, Buster Edwards had to be ridden along from just after halfway and Tudor was hard at work for most of the final circuit.

Two less-than-fluent jumps at the final two obstacles appeared to have sealed his fate and, at one point, he traded at the maximum 999.00 on Betfair and was matched for £289 at that price. Nevertheless, having jumped the final flight in a seemingly impossible seventh position, eight lengths off the pace, Buster Edwards produced an extraordinary finishing effort that surprised everyone, including his jockey. Tudor later joked, 'Mr Pipe said not to get there too soon', but even he could not have anticipated how his mount 'sprouted wings' in the closing stages.

Strike West, ridden by Billy Garrity, appeared to have taken the measure of his nearest pursuers, Donnie Brasco and Passam, on the run to the line and was matched for £7,332 at 1.01 on Betfair. However, in the final half a furlong, Buster Edwards honed into view of television cameras, coming home with a wet sail to collar Strike West in the final stride and win by a head in a jaw-dropping finish.


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