Levins right to play down ‘cloud cuckoo land’ gamble

Johnny Levins: the trainer's six runners at Dundalk have been well backed

PICTURE: Patrick McCann Levins right to play down 'cloud cuckoo land' move By Tony McFadden 21:05PM 26 OCT 2016

COUNTY Kildare trainer Johnny Levins on Wednesday morning played down the gamble on his runners at Dundalk in the evening, saying anyone thinking the yard will walk away with six winners is "living in cloud cuckoo land" – and he was right to do so.

Rumours of a plot were rife on Twitter after bookmakers slashed the price of Levins' runners, with five heading the market or backed into a share of favouritism, although all six runners were beaten on the evening.

Palavacini Run could finish only third in the opener, resulting in Deeds Not Words drifting out to 12-1, and finishing sixth an hour later.

The theme continued with Bective, Rateel and Sixtyfiveroses failing to trouble the judge, while the final runner, Havelock Ellis, finished third in the finale.

Levins was earlier quick to deny he was plotting a coup and wrote on his Facebook page: "We're on 16 winners for the year so far which represents a record year for the stable but anybody thinking we'll end the night on 22 winners is living in cloud cuckoo land. Don't be fooled by your bookmaker!

"I'm updating early today from the sales in Newmarket as I'm informed my runners have moved in price and feel it's important to update the betting public as to my thoughts."

Johnny Levins' Dundalk runners

5.30: Palavacini Run – 9-4 (top overnight price) into 6-5 3rd SP 6-4f

6.30: Deeds Not Words – 10-1 into 3-1 6th SP 12-1

7.00: Bective – 16-1 into 7-1 5th SP 20-1

8.00: Rateel – 10-1 into 7-2 9th SP 10-1

8.30: Sixtyfiveroses – 9-2 into 15-8 4th SP 12-1

9.00: Havelock Ellis – 7-1 into 3-1 3rd SP 11-1

Levins may have rightfully played down the chances of his runners but bookmakers were still wary on Wednesday morning. Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "The very first bet that we laid at the meeting was a Canadian featuring five of Johnny's six runners and we've had the snowball effect since then which means that if the Curragh conjuror manages to pull it off, it will be a very costly evening at the East coast riviera venue!"

Notable gambles of recent times

Byrnes's treble
Roscommon was the scene of Charles Byrnes's well-orchestrated gamble on August 2 earlier this year as three runners, who were available at double-figure prices early in the morning, were latched onto by punters with each returning as convincing winners. Bookmakers reported losses stretching into six figures.

Sheena's plunge goes west
A quartet of runners for Sheena West were all soundly beaten after being backed into short-priced favouritism at Wincanton and Lingfield on November 19 last year. The four horses finished pulled-up, last, second last and last.

Curley enhances cult status
Barney Curley achieved legendary status with punters after executing several well-executed gambles. In 1975 he landed the famous Yellow Sam coup and in 2014, after he had retired from the training ranks, was involved in a gamble involving four horses that had previously been in his care or were running for his former assistants. Bookmakers claimed losses in excess of £2 million after all four won.

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