200-1 shot Absolute Steel caused a major shock when recording his first success over hurdles at Exeter on Sunday to become the joint longest-priced winner of a race in Britain since 1990.
The Tom Lacey-trained five-year-old was sent off the rank outsider for the 2m2½f novice hurdle having been beaten by a combined 111 lengths in his first two starts.
Absolute Steel had finished last on his debut in a Market Rasen bumper before beating just one rival on his hurdling debut at Chepstow.
Josh The Boss, who had contested a Grade 2 on his previous start and Lowry’s Bar, bidding for a perfect five-timer over hurdles, were among Absolute Steel’s seven rivals.
Despite veering left and right approaching most of his hurdles, Absolute Steel made all under Stan Sheppard to deny 4-9 favourite Lowry’s Bar by a length and a half to defy a Betfair SP of 813-1.
It was the first time a winner had returned at a price of 200-1 in Britain since Inspiratrice’s win at Taunton in December 2022 with the record held by Equinoctial’s success at 250-1 in a Kelso novice handicap hurdle in November 1990.
The record for longest-priced winner in Britain or Ireland is 300-1, held jointly by Sawbuck (at Punchestown in 2022) and He Knows No Fear (Leopardstown, 2020).
“I didn’t think he was as bad as his last run at Chepstow," Sheppard told Racing TV of the shock winner. “That was very poor.
“I was actually relatively happy enough with him at Market Rasen, I know he finished last but he wasn’t really beaten overly far and we didn’t go that fast. He sort of stayed going the same speed turning in.
“I’d say that Nigel’s [Twiston-Davies] horse [Josh The Boss] and Philip Hobbs’s [Lowry’s Bar] horses have probably slightly underperformed there but I’m not that surprised.
🚨2⃣0⃣0⃣-1⃣ WINNER!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 11, 2024
Absolute Steel causes a HUGE shock down @ExeterRaces as he repels the challenge of odds-on favourite Lowry's Bar in the novice hurdle.
The winner was beaten 99 lengths at Chepstow last time.@tflacey | @StanSheppard9 pic.twitter.com/DOWQxljzPW