ASK other punters to sum up Charles Byrnes in one word and the answer is simple: Genius.
But this controversial, mysterious figure is far from a household name.
Byrnes, seen here celebrating a Royal Ascot winner with Princess Eugenie, is one of the top trainers in the game and a ‘genius’ when it comes to landing a gamble
Maybe he should be.
Byrnes recently won £103,000 for masterminding Run For Oscar’s victory in the Cesarewitch handicap at Newmarket.
It had all the makings of a typical Byrnes sting.
Classy over hurdles and rated 144, Run For Oscar made a mockery of his 90 rating on the Flat to cruise home in the 2m2f contest and sweep the pot.
Basically, through shrewd, clever campaigning the horse had snuck into the race rated way lower than what he should have been.
Byrnes admitted himself after the win ‘the race had been laid out for him’.
This wasn’t the first time.
Perhaps Byrnes – who is known to put £30,000 on a horse he fancies – is best known for his monster multi-million pound coup at Roscommon, Ireland in 2016.
Gambled off the boards, the three horses won at a combined starting price of 42-1.
Earlier in the day you could have backed them at 3,314-1.
After pocketing an estimated £5million in the sting, it’s easy to work out which of the prices Byrnes was most likely on.
War Anthem, the first of the treble, was backed from 16-1 to 6-1, While Mr Smith went in at 7-4 having been 12-1.
Top Of The Town, the final leg, won easily at 5-4.
Asked about his multi-million pound gamble, Byrnes smiled: “I needed it. I did my brains in at Galway.”
He added: “It’s just the way it happened. I wouldn’t say I planned it.
“I had a bunch of horses come into form and I put them in together.
“It was the last couple of weeks I was able to put it together. Long-term it would be impossible to plan.”
But could the grand master – who in January last year lost his licence for six months after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance – be plotting another one for Cheltenham Festival in March?
Byrnes kept things open when asked about the plans for the highly promising Blazing Khal recently.
The six-year-old gelding was favourite for last year’s Albert Bartlett but missed it through injury.
Byrnes said there is ‘no definite plan’ at the moment for the horse staying over hurdles or going chasing.
But some punters claimed to have already solved the riddle.
Blazing Khal’s price for the Stayers’ Hurdle – won for the past two years by Flooring Porter – on the Betfair Exchange dipped recently, matching as low as 12.0 having been 32.0.
Where did that money come from?
No one knows for sure – but you can bet Byrnes will be following the market closely.