Pub regulars hope to win big at Cheltenham Festival as horse they got for FREE bids for glory

Pub regulars will be cracking the champagne open this week if the racehorse they got for free wins at the Cheltenham Festival .

Landlord Colin Evans and 16 customers at the Cresselly Arms paid £20,000 to train Tobefair after one of them was given the gelding as a gift.

The horse has since won seven of his 13 races and is now the 6/1 favourite for the Pertemps Hurdle Final on Thursday.

Colin, 51, told The Daily Mirror: “It will be nothing short of a fairytale if he wins. To think something we all got together on after a couple of drinks in the pub one night could go on and achieve so much is just amazing we know nothing about horse racing.

“The horse has become so popular in the pub we had to turn the rugby off the TV so they could watch the race – and in Wales that is saying something.” Former dairy farmer Michael Cole was first given Tobefair in 2015 after he looked after three foals for a nearby stud.

Regulars of the Cresselly Arms who are part of a syndicate which owns Tobefair
(Photo: Facebook)

But he could not afford to train him, so he teamed up with drinking buddies, who were happy to form a syndicate. Now aged seven, Tobefair has banked £47,212 in winnings and could double that with Thursday’s £54,000 prize.

Colin, of Pembroke, West Wales, said the horse had a big following in the town. After one of his wins, the local bookie had to borrow £20,000 from a larger branch to cover a payout.

Now a bus is being laid on for 57 ­regulars to make the journey to­ Cheltenham on Thursday. Colin, however, will have to miss the big day to man the pub. He said: “I expect the pub is going to be full with people supporting us. People have really taken the horse to their hearts.

The Cheltenham Festival is huge in the racing calendar
(Photo: Getty)

“But win or not, it’s just been an incredible journey for us. We’re just waiting for the film rights now, althought I don’t know who will play me, a grumpy old man, De Niro maybe.”

The Cheltenham Festival starts tomorrow and ends with the world-famous Gold Cup on Friday.

More than 260,000 people attend each year and punters across the UK will bet an estimated £300million on the event.

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