WHEELIE-BIN cleaner Craig Brazier last week came face to face with the Wiltshire-trained racehorse that made him a millionaire.
Craig put a £2 bet on the Scoop6 the Saturday before last and found all six winners, the last leg being Chatez trained by Alan King at Barbury Castle.
Brazier, a Betfred betting shop punter from Mansfield, became one of seven millionaire winners of the bet and pocketed a staggering £1,342,599.
“I nipped into the Betfred shop as I knew there was a rollover,” said Craig. “I went home to watch the racing and started panicking after I got three out of three.
“I couldn’t see the telly for the last leg because I was running up and down the room riding Chatez home. I went berserk when he won and I was still up at 4am wondering if it had really happened.
“On Sunday I went fishing to let it all sink in, but all I caught was some sleep on the bank.
“My biggest previous win was on New Year’s Day in 2008 when Blazing Bailey (another Alan King-trained horse) landed me a Lucky 15.”
Last Wednesday, Craig, his wife Tracy and daughters Casey and Jessica, travelled down from Mansfield to King’s stables south of Swindon where Betfred boss Fred Done was on hand to present the cheque.
King was away on holiday in the Canaries, but assistant trainer Ollie Wardle showed Craig and his family around the yard, and Fergus Sweeney, who rode Chatez to win at Haydock, also ensured that it was a special occasion for the Braziers.
Craig said: “I just loved being given the opportunity to pat Chatez, the horse that made me a millionaire.”
First thing that Craig plans to do is swap his two-up and two-down terrace house for a five-bedroom detached property in the Mansfield area, and then he will be off to Florida for a family holiday at Disneyworld.
The 39-year-old, who has vowed to carry on cleaning bins, missed out on the opportunity to land a further £5,481,763 when he picked a loser in last Saturday's bonus race at York.
Craig chose to go it alone and his bet Tumblewind faded into 11th place after running prominently.
The £5.5m Scoop6 bonus was, however, shared among three of the syndicates that held winning tickets from the main bet the previous week. They included the 12-1 winner Top Boy among their three selections.
"I can chill out now and enjoy the rest of my life,” Brazier said. "It’s still life-changing."