LONDON, Nov. 25, 2008 -- For 28 years, Anthony Knott has been racing horses in Dorset, western England.
And, for 28 years, with a consistency that should have scared away even the most ardent racing enthusiast, he has been losing.
"Everyone's been saying it's a waste of time you doing that," he said. "Even my children have been giving me grief."
Until now. The Kentucky Derby it wasn't but a win in the Racing Post's Hands and Heels Novices' Handicap Hurdle is still a win.
"I just literally can't believe it," he said. "It's like a dream."
A dairy farmer by profession, 44-year-old Knott has been racing horses as an amateur since he was 16. He has finished fifth a couple of times but his most familiar position has been dead last.
That losing streak assured him a place in a long line of lovable British losers. There was Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, perennial last-place finisher in the Olympic ski jump, and boxer Peter Buckley, who won his first bout earlier this month after a record 256 straight losses.
"I've been stopped but I've always ended up on my feet," Buckley told ABC News' Miguel Marquez recently. "Suppose I got a good chin."
Knott says his luck took a turn for the better three weeks ago when he bought a new horse, a 6-year-old called Wise Man Say. It had recovered from a serious injury, which Knott said reminded him of another unlikely winner -- Seabiscuit, the unlikely champion thoroughbred racehorse in the 1930s.
"I've just been training a bit different this time and it's just paid off but the horse helped me out a lot," he said.
Knott was something of a local hero even before the win. Dairy farmers in western England have lived through troubled times recently and Knott says his racing gave fellow farmers and neighbors a welcome distraction.
"It's been so much doom and gloom lately," Knott said. "I guess they were just happy to see something else."
Down the final stretch, Knott was so pleased with himself that he nearly lost the race. Now, the only thing he'll be milking are his cows. He has decided to retire as a winner.