SPLASH OF GINGE, bought by his Liverpool owners as a future Grand National horse, won Britain’s richest handicap hurdle, the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.
But the gelding’s trainer and regular jockey, Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies from Naunton in Gloucestershire, thought the odds were stacked against the horse and went to Warwick instead where they failed to have a winner.
It was conditional jockey Ryan Hatch, winning the biggest race of his career, who came in for the ride on the 33-1 chance who may now head for the Cheltenham Festival.
Splash Of Ginge led approaching the third-last flight and fought off a number of challenges to record a gutsy success.
The winning trainer, speaking from Warwick, said: "It's wonderful – I was thinking of having a go at a bit of the 40-1, but it was a competitive event and you can't ever be too hopeful
"Sam wanted to come here because he didn't think he could win and thought he would have better chances, so it's terrible for him, but the horse has got a great bunch of owners and he won't be lacking for support there.
"He's entered in the Sky Bet Supreme and the Neptune at the Festival and he might well be weighted out of the handicaps now."
"You always like to be positive going into these races, but of course it's a nice surprise," said Hatch.
"He didn't have a lot of weight and we knew he'd handle the ground too. He's very tough and he kept finding for me.”
Splash Of Ginge was cut from 50-1 to 25s by sponsors Sky Bet for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.