A bloke who bet his last £62 on Frankie Dettori to ride seven winners has the Italian jockey to thank for his life now as a multi-millionaire.
Darren Yates – who was a joiner at the time in 1996 – placed all the money he had on Dettori at Ascot and had the shock of his life when all seven winners came through to net him a whopping £550,823. The former joiner ended up using his massive payout to build a property and development empire he later sold for a staggering figure of £20million.
After his spectacular win over 25 years ago, Yates opened up about his new-found wealth with William Hill where he revealed that just 24 hours before the accumulator, he was denied a £700 overdraft. Looking back on the day of his victory, he said: "I’d been playing football for my local team in Morecambe and only caught the racing results over a post-game pint.
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"I asked how it was going and they said Dettori had four out of four. I reckoned I’d won £700. Then Dettori's fifth and sixth horses went in and I thought I was heading for the £24,000 mark. So I went down to the betting shop to watch the seventh race and just quietly sat there. I couldn’t believe it when Frankie stormed home. I asked the counter girl how much I'd won, thinking it would be about £50,000.
"When she told me it was over £500,000 I almost fainted." It remains Dettori's crowning achievement in his 35-year career as the Italian will say goodbye to Ascot on Saturday (October 21) as he swaps England for the United States where the 52-year-old will race across the pond as well as on the international circuit. While he initially retired from the sport, he U-turned on his decision as he's set to continue racing.
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In a recent interview, Yates admitted that he sobbed when telling his wife Annaley of their life-changing victory. "I went home and just burst out crying," he said. "I told my wife Annaley, ‘I’ve done it, darling. We’ve hit the big one’. "She started crying. We sat there hugging each other for about an hour and we just couldn’t stop crying. That was the best moment of my life — knowing all our worries were over."
The couple used part of their winnings to move from their modest home into a spacious mansion in the resort of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.
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