A lot of people associate dramatic comebacks with sports like football and cricket. Justifiably so, football has given fans incredible moments like Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick corner against Barcelona in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Football and cricket are also the most popular sports amongst bettors, and maybe that is because anything can happen in these sports, regardless of how decorated the athletes are.
A similar case can be made for horse racing. The sport brings dozens of bettors every year, but it also provides fans with incredibly inspiring comebacks. One of the best examples is the return of racehorse Edwulf in 2018.
A memorable return
Edwulf’s win in 2018 is considered one of the best modern comebacks in horse racing since many speculated a year prior that he would never take to the track again.
In 2017, Edwulf collapsed during the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. Spectators feared the worst as he spent more than an hour seeking medical attention before being moved to the hospital.
In a move that shocked and surprised many in the horse racing and betting community, Edwulf began his return to racing in 2018. Bettors did not expect such a quick comeback, and upon the news of Edwulf’s plans to race at Leopardstown in 2018, bookmakers gave him odds of 33/1 to win.
Part of the attraction of the sport is to bet and put money on horse racing odds. A horse that is expected to win will have a small offer price, whereas if the odds for a horse winning are large, it is less likely to do so.
The odds given to Edwulf indicated that he was classified as a long shot or an outsider, and with favorites in the race to win like Our Duke, Edwulf was at the back of the conversation.
However, Edwulf demonstrated persistence and strength in the Irish Gold Cup, two qualities that allowed him to win the three-mile steeplechase. The win came only eleven months after many thought his career was over.
Something all athletes fear
Unfortunately, career-ending injuries are common and feared in all sports, such as football, where we saw Ryan Mason retire in 2018 due to a head injury sustained during a match against Chelsea while playing for Hull City.
We also see it in ice hockey. In 2004, Todd Bertuzzi hit Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche during a game against the Vancouver Canucks. The hit, with the fall and pile-on, resulted in severe injuries that ended Moore’s career. Many expected Edwulf to have a similar story after collapsing in 2017 at Cheltenham, but he proved to be one of the lucky ones.
A critical injury followed by a quick comeback, Edwulf gave himself, spectators, and bettors something to remember for decades to come. There are many other examples of comebacks in horse racing that bettors and fans may or may not have predicted, but Edwulf will always be in a class of his own due to his strength and work ethic.