What are the UK’s biggest horse racing wins

Horse racing is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the UK. It has been a popular past time of the young and the old for centuries. In the modern day it’s as popular as ever, and the avid betting scene amongst UK and Irish racing sites that surrounds it has led to some incredibly lucrative winnings for single bets on the horse races. Today, we’re going to look at the five biggest horse racing wins in the UK.


1. Steve Whitely, £1.45 million


The single biggest winning a punter has ever taken home on the horse races is £1.45 million, on an incredible £2 wager. Naturally, it’s the accumulators that tend to pay out the biggest amounts, and this is how horse racing fan Steve Whitely took home the biggest single winning ever made on the horse races in the UK.

Whitely himself was and is a heating engineer from Devon, and in March 2011 he went out for a day on the races and decided to place a £2 placepot bet on The Tote. The horses he bet on ranged in odds from 16/1 to only 2/1, and every single one managed to win, meaning he could take home a staggering fortune.

It will likely be some time, if ever, until such good fortune ever strikes such a cheap bet ever again.


2. Fred Craggs, £1 million


Following Whitely, though a cool £450,000 behind, one other punter managed to win £1 million betting on a few lucky horses, the first and last being respectively named Isn’t That Lucky and A Dream Come True—truly a poetic moment! The punter himself did not even realize he had won until he went into a betting shop the next day, and was there told by the William Hill staff he would be walking out a millionaire.

Fred Craggs was a fertilizer salesmen in North Yorkshire, and placed a tiny 50p accumulator bet on a few races in different places in the world. The odds of the overall accumulator were an incredible 2,000,000/1, giving you a sense of just how unlikely his fortune was.

Craggs’ bet remains the second most lucrative horse racing bet of all time.


3. Conor Murphy, £1 million


Our next lucky punter was actually a stable boy, and was keenly aware that Nicky Henderson was entering the 2012 Cheltenham Festival with an incredibly strong team of horses. Cheltenham is naturally one of the biggest annual horse racing festivals in the UK, so knowledge of the trainers and the horses can be a big advantage in betting. Four months before the races began in November of 2011, stable boy Conor Murphy put down a £50 accumulator on five of the horses his boss had trained.

Murphy’s bet was so on the money that bet365 had to trigger their rule for maximum pay out, meaning he walked away with a £1 million pound windfall. Had the maximum pay out rule not been in place, the betting giant would have owed the stable boy a lot more—something to the tune of £2 million. Murphy took the money and decided to move to Kentucky, where he would fulfil his ambition of becoming a trainer in his own right.


4. Anonymous, £986,807


From just a £10 wager, one anonymous bettor took home close to £1 million in 2013 with the accumulator bet adding up to £986,807. The bet was six fold, and split between races in Naas and in Galway, and were all ran over a nail-biting 90 minutes. The bet was made with Paddy Power, and remains to this day the single largest pay out they’ve ever had to make on the horse racing.

While we don’t know who the lucky punter was, we can only hope they’re enjoying their winnings somewhere.


5. Anonymous, £823,000


Finally, another anonymous bettor managed to take home £823,000 on a bet that only cost £19 in total. The bets were placed on six races in the Punchestown Festival in 2017, consisting of five £3 bets and one £4 bet. The punter, again, remained anonymous, but had been placing bets of this kind for the better part of two decades.

His betting finally payed off as he checked his results in the early morning the next day, and after that didn’t think he would ever carry on betting.

With a dash of good fortune and some astute selections, then, punters have made some simply staggering winnings on the UK horse races. Most of us place a few bets on the horses for a bit of fun or maybe to win back a few hundred pounds, if we’re lucky. These punters managed to take the bookies to the bank for millions of combined pounds, and it only makes the rest of us hope we might one day have the same luck!