This update is a little bit special as it emphasises Fujiyama Crests role and that of six other race horses in one of the biggest betting bonanzas in horse racing history. Coined the ‘Magnificent seven’ , the horses in question were all ridden on one unforgettable day in 1996 by Champion Jockey Frankie Dettori. Dettori has such a dedicated following that some of his more enthusiastic supporters made the decision to bet on all seven of the horses he was riding that day at Ascot racecourse. The horses in question were Wall Street, Diffident, Mark Of Esteem and Fatefully – all trained by Saeed bin Suroor – as well as Decorated Hero, Lochangel and finally Fujiyama Crest in the last race.
Betting odds of the selections ranged from Wallstreet and Fujiyama Crest at 2-1, to bigger odds, with Diffident at 12-1. Of course any bet relying on all of these horses winning was going to be a substantial payout for punters, and as luck (or skill!) would have it, that is exactly what transpired that day. It was a bad day for bookmakers by all accounts (off course bookie losses amounted to £30,000,000+) and a very good one for those choosing to go with Dettori’s talent, and that of the magnificent seven horses, when placing their bets. Winning seven races on a race card was a feat never achieved before or since.
News of the betting feat spread not just across UK media, but around the world and word of those lucky punters who placed accumulator bets on all seven selections started to emerge. The cumulative odds of those opting to bet on the seven horses was over 25,000-1, with much bigger odds available to punters opting for early betting odds rather than SP. Two fortunate punters won more than half a million pounds each. One, named Darren Yeats from Morecombe, UK had a £59 accumulator bet on the seven selections and won a staggering £550,000.
The horses involved in the magnificent seven have cemented their place in racing history. Some of them such as Mark of Esteem and Fatefully put in career best performances, just snatching a win in tough battles. Fujiyama Crest was the last, but not least, selection needed to complete the magnificent seven bet. Running in the Gordon Carter Handicap which he’d won the previous year, the Michael Stoute trained horse was certainly in with a shot. Bookmakers would save millions of pounds if he lost. Taking an early lead and staying ahead of the pack, all was well. Late of though. Pat Eddery on Northern Fleet decided to try to throw a spanner in the works, but Furiyama Crest showed grit and determination and won by the neck. The rest as they say is history!
Sadly Fujiyama Crest died in 2015, but he lived to the ripe old age of 25. His life as a hurdler and flat racer was eventful, as was his retirement. Touched by his role in the most memorable series of wins of his career, Frankie Dettori had bought the horse so it could enjoy its retirement. It had been with him for the past 15 years as a family pet having a well earned rest!
“Fujiyama Crest was the horse that made me famous. I didn’t know anything about all the bets that had been won until the next day, but even now, people will still come up to me and tell me how much I changed their life.” said Dettori of the horse