Devil’s Angel pulls off a 50-1 upset

By Nick Seddon

Coach Jedd O’Keeffe admitted he was surprised that Devil’s Angel (50-1) was sent off at such a big price, after watching him seal an emphatic success in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Sprint Handicap at Haydock Park today.

The six-year-old Gray arrived here following a win at Sandown Park two starts ago and he was quick to poke fun at his underdog label, moving smoothly through proceedings and giving a clear kick inside the last furlong.

The result came as no surprise to O’Keeffe, although he did reveal he was slightly surprised by his prize in the bet. He explained: “When we were watching them come in and the prices were going up on TV, I couldn’t believe what a price it was.

“I knew he was going to be a big prize but he won two starts ago and the thing with him is because he has a minor stalling problem he’s kind of hit or miss but when he is touched, it is very good. It certainly wasn’t impossible that he wasn’t going to do well today and he’s just a nice horse to train.

Meanwhile, winning jockey Callum Shepherd added: “He’s a bit weird and we’re probably kindred spirits! I think he likes to be ridden with a lot of confidence and to take his time during a race, so maybe we suit each other. I thought at 80 he was not out of luck with the pace of a 16-runner race to aim for and if he can continue that form he could still climb the ranks.

This afternoon’s seven-race card was highly competitive, with a huge offer of £200,000 plus several other incentives. And even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it turned out to be something of a gray afternoon on the track, with the gray Charyn (9-2) joining Devil’s Angel in the winner’s enclosure.

Roger Varian’s charge had his first start in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Newcomers EBF Maiden Stakes over six furlongs and showed great professionalism throughout, tackling well for a half-length success.

A performance that delighted winning jockey David Egan, who believes that Dark Angel’s son could have a bright future. He said: “He’s a lovely person, I had the pleasure of sitting on him for the past week and he’s shown nothing but positive signs.

“I would have thought a good 1,400 meters here would be enough for him, but he had a very professional attitude throughout the race and even in the preliminaries – that is exactly what is expected of him. a newcomer.

“There are some nice prize money today so people will target those kinds of races, but he did it very well. He was an expensive yearling, so he seems like a nice guy.