Man who collected National punter’s winnings hunted

AN UNLUCKY punter backed the winner in the Grand National, only to lose his betting slip and have it cashed in by someone else.

A 25-year-old man from Telford, who has not been named, picked Ballabriggs from the 40-strong field in the world’s greatest steeplechase and put his bet on before heading up to Aintree to cheer the gelding home, which dutifully obliged at odds of 14-1.

The man queued patiently to collect his winnings only to find he had lost his slip, which he then reported.

Three days later, on Tuesday, April 12, a man walked into a Coral Bookmakers in Hessle Road, Hull, and used the slip to collect winnings of £174, no doubt celebrating his own good fortune.

He is now, however, wanted by police on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation and officers have released a CCTV image of him in the betting shop in an effort to trace him.

Anyone who recognises the man can call Humberside Police on 0845 606 0222.

A spokesman said: “The man who lost this betting slip had put the bet on prior to the Grand National then gone to the course to watch his horse coming home. Unfortunately, when he went to collect his winnings he realised his slip had gone missing and reported it to the authorities.”

The winning ride itself was not without controversy, with jockey Jason Maguire earning a five-day ban for his use of the whip, triggering a British Horseracing Authority inquiry into the issue.

The win did, however, produce a piece of sporting history with victorious trainer Donald McCain being the son of Ginger McCain, trainer of the incomparable Red Rum, the only horse to win three Grand Nationals.