Sunday, October 11, 2015
Seventiesness pt 2
"Harley’s great passion aside from performing is horse racing and he has owned a string of horses over the years.
Appropriately enough the thoroughbred that earned him the most was a three-year-old called Cockney Rebel.
And it wasn’t even one of his.
It belonged to a friend Phil Cunningham, a man who could boast authentic Cockney roots as he was born within the sound of Bow Bells.
Cunningham fancied his latest acquisition to win Newmarket Classic race the 2,000 Guineas in 2007.
Harley, who lives just a half-hour drive from the racecourse, would get up at the crack of dawn to watch Cockney Rebel’s morning gallops.
What he saw so inspired him that he began placing ante-post bets when the odds were as high as 50-1.
As Harley says: “You don’t need a lot of money to win a lot of money at that kind of rate.”
He proceeded to make a series of £200 each-way wagers with internet betting sites that stood to make him more than £6,000 apiece.
“The mistake I made was drinking wine in the evenings,” he laughs.
“I’d be thinking ‘that was a good gallop’ and I’d go on to put £200 into another firm somewhere.
"Because I was drinking I’d go to bed and forget which accounts I had opened!”
Cockney Rebel raced home first and Harley spent the next few weeks unearthing online nest eggs:
“They just kept adding up.
"It was a wonderful adventure.
"Virginia Woolf said, ‘All is experiment and adventure’.
"That’s how I live.”
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