GOOD humoured punters latched on to a topically-named runner at Newcastle on Saturday.
Racing fans couldn’t resist having a flutter on Dubious Affair in the Northumberland Plate – the day after The Sun broke the news of Matt Hancock's affair with an aide.
The Charlie Fellowes-trained runner was sent off the 11-2 second favourite for the £150,000 contest.
The five-year-old mare ran a fine race to finish second at Royal Ascot on her previous outing.
But the bookies reckon punters were siding with her because of her "apt name" with former health secretary Hancock in the news.
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Coral's Dave Stevens said: "She was a very popular selection in the Northumberland Plate."
"While that was largely due to the horse having very strong form, I’m sure there were a few punters backing the horse because of his rather apt name this week."
William Hill's Rupert Adams added: "It appears that our betting shop customers have a sense of humour and could not resist the coincidence."
Another bookmaker posted on social media: "Dubious Affair is the most popular racing selection in our shops today.
"Wonder why punters have latched on to that one?
"Guess it was an eye-catcher at Ascot – but even so, wouldn’t have expected it to be the most supported horse today."
Punters saw the funny side of the gamble on Twitter.
One said: "I wonder if Matt Hancock is backing Dubious Affair in tomorrow's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle?"
Another Tweeted: "I suppose DUBIOUS AFFAIR will be a well backed runner for Conservative party supporters in the Northumberland Plate."
And another quipped: "Dubious Affair runs @NewcastleRaces today, what you think of his chances @MattHancock ???"
Unfortunately for Dubious Affair’s backers, the horse ran below expectations, trailing home in 11th in the 20 runner field.
And Matt Hancock didn't enjoy a particularly lucky afternoon either.
The under pressure minister resigned from his post on Saturday after three years in the job.
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