By Calum Madell
The Tatling ended his 176 race career with victory in the Dine In Horizons Restaurant Handicap at Wolverhampton.
The Milton Bradley trained gelding won for the 18th time in his career – which started all the way back on the 15th May 1997 at Newmarket.
Starting sluggishly, he fought in the rear for his position and turning for home, the fairytale victory looked too good to be true.
But with a furlong to go, he started to get going and came with an electrifying run down the middle to grab the race on the line from Novabridge, with long time leader and favourite Grand Stitch 2 short heads back in 3rd.
The Tatling, who has been in the hands of trainer Milton Bradley since 2002, matched at a high of 299/1 in running and finished at an SP of 16/1, making him a popular winner for sentimental punters.
Winning jockey Richard Kingscote who had lost the 5 times he had ridden on him before said: ” It’s nice isn’t it for everyone down at Milton Bradley’s and Milton himself, I’m sure it’s a very pleasing moment for him.
“He comes late and I thought it was going to be a hard luck story but he got there in the end.”
Since being claimed in 2002 for just £15,000, The Tatling improved rapidly, showing his highest level of form in 2004 when taking the then Group 2 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and finishing runner-up in The Nunthorpe and Prix De L’Abbaye.
Owned by Darren Hudson-Wood, the horse had been taken out of retirement a number of times after still showing he wanted to be running in races.
Mr Hudson-Wood said about his charge: “I nearly cried a second ago. I didn’t expect him to be in the first five to be honest with you. It’s absolutely incredible and justifies going out like that. Thank you to Mr Bradley for everything involved with the horse.”