Biggest US horseracing bet EVER – up to £2.9MILLION – to be put on Kentucky Derby favourite by mattress salesman

Biggest US horseracing bet EVER – up to £2.9MILLION – to be put on Kentucky Derby favourite by mattress salesman


A MATTRESS salesman is set to make US horseracing and Kentucky Derby history – by placing what is thought to be the biggest bet EVER on a horse.

Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale has pledged to stake up to £2.9million on 2-1 favourite Essential Quality.

Should it come in, McIngvale will celebrate a monster profit of £5.8m, with the unlucky bookie returning £8.7m to the gambler in all.


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McIngvale, 70, a businessman from Houston, Texas, who owns the Gallery Furniture Chain, has pledged the cash as a way of covering a promotion at his stores.

'Mattress Mack', who says he will bet at least £1.45m on the horse, has launched the 'Kentucky Derby fav wins, you win' initiative.

Any customer who buys a mattress for £2100 or more will get their money back if the favourite obliges on Saturday.

The plucky businessman, who expects to flog 2000 mattresses, said: "The favorite has won the Derby six out of the last seven times and if that happens this year the people who bought the mattresses will get 100 per cent of their money back.

"We have gotten a lot of response so far and expect a lot more response over the next few days.

"In this day and age of Amazon, we bricks and mortar guys have to do something to be different, something to stand out."

However, controversy has engulfed the favourite after human rights lawyers launched a legal complaint against the horse's owner.

Sheikh Mohammed, the billionaire ruler of Dubai, could see his horse BANNED from the big race if the complaint is upheld.

Chances are, though, that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will throw out the complaint, like they did in 2019.

And for his part McIngvale, a renowned bettor who put more than £2.5m on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl, is confident Essential Quality will prevail.

He told Thoroughbred Daily News: "He's won all his races, was the champion two-year-old and is by Tapit, the best sire in the country.

"So you have to like the horse. There's nothing not to like about him.

"I don't get nervous doing this. To me, it's fun and exciting and it's exciting for the customers."


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