HEREFORDSHIRE horse trainer Tom Lacey provided a huge upset at Exeter races on Sunday when his 200/1 shot came home the winner.

Absolute Steel, ridden by jockey Stan Sheppard, made all of the running to win the two-mile two-and-a-half furlong novices’ hurdle.

Sent off at the huge odds Lacey’s five-year-old was a little novicey at some of the early hurdles, but the Ledbury-based Sheppard kept his mount’s mind on the job in hand in the very testing going conditions.

The big challenge came at the final hurdle when odds-on favourite Lowry’s Bar came to challenge, but as he edged left Absolute Steel showed determination on the run-in to cling onto his lead, to and win by a length and a half; with a further 13 lengths back to the third home, 25/1 chance Diamatiste.

The winning jockey Sheppard told Racing TV of the horse’s seeming poor first few runs:  “I didn’t think he was as bad as his last run at Chepstow, his first over hurdles, but I was actually relatively happy with his first run in his bumper at Market Rasen.

“I know he finished last (of five runners) but he wasn’t beaten overly far, we didn’t go fast and he just stayed going at the same speed.”

Sheppard went on: "I’d say today, the favourite might have underperformed, but while I’m surprised, I’m not that surprised.

"He had a good look at the first three hurdles in the home straight but Running to the last, I was thinking if the favourite comes by me within five strides of the line, I might not get back by him – but when he came at me, he picked up well again."

The win gave both Sheppard and Lacey their 26th wins of the season.