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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Melissa Jones

Punter proposes to girlfriend by winning post after 20-1 Cheltenham Festival horse wins

A punter proposed to his girlfriend by the winning post when their 20-1 Cheltenham horse stormed to victory.

Chris Foley asked Sarah Breen the all-important question moments after Facile Vega won at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The 8-11 favourite, trained by Willie Mullins, was one of the most impressive winners at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Months ago, when the handler spoke favourably about the five-year-old in a clip on social media, the couple placed their bet for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

Now a top price of evens for the Champion Bumper on March 16, Facile Vega is one of the 'bankers' of the entire week.

The couple hold a 20-1 ante-post slip with bookmaker Paddy Power – and will scoop around £450 if the horse wins again.

Chris, 33, who had been planning the proposal for weeks, felt it all worked out perfectly as the couple love their racing.

Chris Foley and Sarah Breen got engaged at Leopardstown races (Submitted)
The couple's ante-post bet on Cheltenham Festival favourite Facile Vega (Submitted)

Near where Facile Vega crossed the line, the chartered tax advisor asked his 31-year-old partner if she would marry him.

"We were by the winning post after Facile Vega won and I pulled the ring out of my pocket," Chris said.

"I had kept it in there all day and I was nervous about losing it in the crowd.

"Leopardstown has special memories for us, so I thought it was the perfect place."

In the company of Sarah's sister Rachel Breen and friend Leanne Cronin, who won tickets to Saturday's event, the racing fans backed plenty of winners.

Sarah, not knowing what Chris had in mind, was already celebrating when picking out 18-1 winner Conflated before the Irish Gold Cup.

"I was buzzing when the horse won, as he was such a big price," the teacher from Kerry, Ireland, said.

Facile Vega was steered to victory by Patrick Mullins in the Leopardstown race (©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

"It was really exciting – winners are even better when you're not expecting them."

Overall it was a successful weekend on the betting front for the couple, who have been together for ten years.

They have always enjoyed the Leopardstown fixture – and the 2018 meeting was particularly memorable.

Sarah's pick, 33-1 shot Edwulf, pipped Outlander, who Chris needed to win for a treble.

At weekends, they spend their time at the races or watching the action on TV, as well as keeping up to date with the latest news on social media.

Facile Vega's 12 length triumph was just what they wanted to see for their November ante-post bet – and then there was an even bigger reason to celebrate.

"I didn't expect Chris to ask me then," Sarah said.

"I was watching the horse, thinking he has a huge engine and our bet was looking good – everyone was impressed by it.

"Then it all happened quite quickly and I was panicked the proposal was going to go viral!

"It was a really fitting end to a great few days.

"If Facile Vega can win at Cheltenham, it will be the icing on the cake."

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