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"3 Million in 3 Weeks": The extraordinary story of the Squirrel Syndicate

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

It all started with a rustling in the undergrowth. Coleen McLoughlin, set to marry footballing legend Wayne Rooney, had, in anger, tossed her engagement ring into a forest. A short while later, scrummaging in the leaves, racing enthusiast Richard Brocklebank, believing he'd found it, excitedly called a group of Sun journalists on the story. They included fellow Scoop6 fan Charles Yates. Building a friendship (while ignoring the ring) Yates and Broklebank would embark on a gambling adventure that saw them rake in a fortune. The full story has now been told by the pair in a new book, £3m in 3 Weeks – The Squirrel Syndicate: A Gambler’s Tale, available with a foreword from Frankie Dettori.

Over a pint, the two men decided whenever they, or a handful of other Scoop6 players, had a winning ticket, they’d get the others on board, increasing their chances of landing the bonus. “It was a pivotal moment,” Yates tells me on the phone, “when we tried it at Goodwood. Not least because Richard had picked Pivotal Point, who duly won the Stewards' Cup.” Counting their winnings, and having employed a squirrel costume to great effect, the Squirrel Syndicate was born. And up to Newmarket the group headed, where they landed a first seven figure sum in the 2007 Cesarewitch meeting.