He Knows No Fear is a name quizzers everywhere will need to lodge in their memory banks after the Luke Comer-trained colt became the longest-price winner in the history of Irish or British racing, courtesy of his 300-1 victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Leopardstown this afternoon.
The son of Mourayan made an inauspicious start to his career 27 days ago at Limerick, beaten a combined total of 18 lengths as he trailed home in 12th place in a field of 14 on his racecourse debut.
However, He Knows No Fear found massive improvement for that initial outing to reel in even-money favourite Agitare on the run to the line as he scored by a head under Chris Hayes.
The 300-1 industry SP was dwarfed by the starting price on Betfair, where the ceiling SP of 1000 (999-1) was returned, with the place market on the exchange paying out a SP of 122.38 (121.38-1).
The longest-price winner in British or Irish racing up to this point had been Equinoctial, a 250-1 shot who left punters scratching their heads when he prevailed in the Grants Whisky Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Kelso in 1990.
The Norman Miller-trained, Andrew Heywood-ridden five-year-old had shown promise in Irish point-to-points, having been placed at Patrickswell and won at Askeateon, but his form under Rules after being transferred to England was dire.
Beaten 62 lengths prior to recording his huge upset win at Kelso, he'd also fallen once and been pulled up twice.
The longest-price winner on home soil had been Killahara Castle, who somehow claimed the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Boreen Belle Mares Novice Hurdle at Thurles in December 2017.
The daughter of Vertical Speed was sent off an unconsidered 200-1 chance for the father-and-son team of John and Martin Burke.
Comer's name may be on the training licence, but the billionaire property developer has a key assistant to help run his operation in Dunboyne in the form of Jim Gorman, who was far less shocked by the result.
"He got left half a furlong in Limerick, so we didn't really know much after it, and because some of our horses weren’t in great form at the time, we backed off them," Gorman revealed afterwards.
"Going to Limerick we thought he was a real nice horse, but he got left so far we couldn’t get any kind of guide to him.
"It was great because it’s one of Luke’s own stallions and his own mare. That gives him the greatest thrill, to breed his own."
Gorman insisted that connections had backed the horse on debut, but the wagers must have been small ones as He Knows No Fear returned at 250-1.
"We had a few quid on him each-way in Limerick, but he broke so badly and was left in the stalls that day," the assistant handler added.
"All our horses have been running well in the last few weeks and knocking on the door without winning, so it’s just great to get a winner.
"Today was a learning curve for us with him, so we’ll see what the handicapper does and see where we go from there.
"He’s a work in progress and is going to improve, because he was a bit green."
How did it happen?
It would take aftertiming of the highest order to suggest He Knows No Fear could have been predicted as a winner at Leopardstown, but the result isn't a totally inexplicable one if you consider the horse's performance on his first start, his pedigree, his change of rider, and the pace scenario in today's victory.
Gorman's post-race quotes give an insight into a debut that wasn't devoid of promise, if you looked hard enough.
He Knows No Fear blew the start at Limerick, the way inexperienced horses often do.
Having passed two rivals in the opening couple of furlongs, he then made a little more progress on the home bend before his effort petered out under tender handling in the straight.
His greenness was evident throughout. Progress would have been anticipated - just not so soon and so spectacularly.
The Comer runner was partnered at Limerick by an almost-unknown apprentice by the name of Gabi Bourke, who has had just three rides under Rules. It's unreasonable to expect that one so light on experience herself could have provided that type of assistance in the saddle that a star pilot like Hayes could and would.
He Knows No Fear has plenty of stamina in his pedigree and victory today came in a race where the leaders did too much, too soon.
Sire Mourayan also broke his maiden tag at Leopardstown over a mile, but that came as a two-year-old, and he went on to win over trips up to two miles.
Dam Tripudium had only scored with one of her progeny until today, with Thecornishbarron a winner over nine furlongs at Yarmouth and placed over longer trips.
Thecornishbarron's sire was Bushranger, and Mourayan is a far greater influence for stamina.
It's likely He Knows No Fear, who clocked one minute 42.23 seconds in victory, will step up in trip pretty soon.
That time is significant. Royal Dornoch recorded a winning time of 1:41.86 in the race which followed over course and distance. It's a quicker time, but one which was achieved by a fellow three-year-old, carrying less weight, and it came in Group Three company.
Given the class disparity between the two races, the time difference should have been greater. So why wasn't it?
Sectional times for Irish racing may not be available, but even a cursory analysis and comparison of the mile events provides much illumination. The leaders in the maiden didn't hang about, which helped the winning time, but compromised the finishing effort of the leading protagonists, including race favourite Agitare, who only went down by a head.
If Agitare's effort was premature, He Knows No Fear's was timed perfectly, with Hayes getting the fractions just right and causing the biggest shock racing punters have ever seen.