Ingenious trainer landed 509-1 double after buying 20 tonnes of special wood that allowed horses to run on frozen ground
INGENIOUS trainer James Moffatt landed a 509-1 double after buying 20 tonnes of special wood fibre to train his two shock winners.
In-form jockey Charlotte Jones rode 50-1 shot Dagian and 9-1 The Steward to victory at Newcastle earlier this week.
Jones' victory on The Steward set social media alight – with Love Island star Chris Hughes admitting he had never seen anything like it.
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The jockey surged more than 30 lengths clear at one point, with the chasing pack unable to reel her in.
Jones' win proved massively controversial as punters cursed the jockeys in behind for not taking her on, while others lauded her for her amazing ride.
As it turns out, top trainer Moffatt had planned the spectacular triumphs all along.
With his two all-weather gallops frozen solid, he used the wood fibre to build a new hacking ring.
And it proved to be a master stroke as it meant Dagian and The Steward could keep working despite the adverse weather.
Speaking of his stunning coup, Moffatt told SunSport: "It was a planned raid.
"We had two horses that needed a final workout, but floods, snow and frost had brought us to a standstill.
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"Our two gallops were far too hard to use, so I bought 20 tonnes of wood fibre to pull off what we called Operation Charlotte after she told us how she'd ride them.
"Though the new ring is only a furlong and a half long, it was enough to bring both horses to the boil.
"So we went to Newcastle knowing that we had two very good chances.
"I told my owners and they put their money down in singles and doubles.
"They're not big punters, mostly £50 each-way, but with Simon Wilson's [owner of Dagian] bigger bets, the bookies could well have been hit for £50,000 or more.
"My friend Jim Crowley recommended Dagian, who had won on the Flat for Amanda Perrett.
"Jim rides a lot for Amanda and knows a good horse when he sees one."
And Moffatt revealed a stable newcomer could be set for great things.
Aqamar, formerly trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, has arrived at Moffatt's Pit Farm stables in Cartmel, Cumbria.
Champion jockey Brian Hughes is on his way to Moffatt's yard to school him.
Moffatt said: "This was a very good horse on the Flat and I'm hoping he'll take to hurdling.
"He's already schooling well and I'm thinking of running him later this month, followed by a race at the Grand National meeting in April."
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