Irish trainers and their horses have always had a huge impact on the Cheltenham Festival and this year looks set to be no different with a number of raiders crossing the sea for battle at the world’s most prestigious race meeting.
This year it is thought that around 10,000 racegoers will venture across the Irish Sea and with a number of their horses at the head of the antepost markets, they will be hoping that they can return to Ireland with plenty to cheer about. Travellers will be hoping they can top their showing in 2006 when Irish trained horses won a record ten races at the Festival.
The current betting point towards another stellar year for the Irish, but as everyone knows - there are no certainties in racing!
William Hill have issued prices on how many Irish trained winners there will be at this year’s Festival. Punters can get a free £25 bet on this year's Cheltenham Festival by entering the bonus code F25 when signing up with William Hill.
The bookies make exactly eight winners their 11-4 favourites, while a record breaking 11 or more winners can be backed at 10-1. Hills also offer 7-2 for exactly nine Irish winners, 4-1 exactly seven Irish winners, 13-2 exactly ten Irish winners, 7-1 exactly six Irish winners, 8-1 exactly five Irish winners, and 14-1 four or less Irish winners.
William Hill Irish spokesman Tony Kenny commented “The Irish team heading over to Cheltenham looks as strong as ever, and it would be a huge disappointment if there wasn’t at least six winners from the Emerald Isle.” He continued “The early money has been for eight, nine, ten and eleven or more Irish winners – which suggests it’ll be another bumper year for the Irish.”
Meanwhile, William Hill have also opened betting on how many pints of Ireland’s favourite tipple - Guinness will be sold at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Last year there were 199,469 pints of the black stuff sold at Prestbury park, and William Hill are predicting another stellar year for Arthur Guinness’s 250 year old brew.
The bookies make 180,0001 to 195,000 their 9-4 favourites, 210,001 or more is 11-4 195,001 to 210,000 is 3-1, 165,001 to 180,000 is 3-1, 150,001 to 165,000 is 11-2, and 150,000 or less can be backed at 8-1.
William Hill’s Irish spokesman Tony Kenny said “Last year 199,469 pints of Guinness were sold at the Festival, and with St. Patrick’s Day falling on the Wednesday, the 200,000 pint barrier must be in danger of being broken.” He continued “The Guinness Village is normally heaving after an Irish winner, and we think there’ll be plenty of Irish winners for the visitors to toast at this year’s Festival.”
How many pints of Guinness will be sold at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival:
(William Hill Bet) 8-1 150,000 or less, 11-2 150,001 to 165,000, 3-1 165,001 to 180,000, 9-4 180,001 to 195,000, 3-1 195,001 to 210,000, 11-4 210,001 or more - (bets settled on the official number of pints of Guinness sold at Prestbury park during the Cheltenham Festival. Bets will be void if any of four days doesn’t take place)
Number of Irish trained winners at the Cheltenham Festival: (William Hill bet) 14-1 Four winners or under, 10-1 Exactly five, 7-1 Exactly six, 4-1 Exactly seven, 11-4 Exactly eight, 7-2 Exactly nine, 13-2 Exactly ten, 8-1 Eleven or more
The Irish will also be looking for a couple of their famous Cheltenham Festival gambles and leading bookmaker Paddy Power is willing to refund all losing bets on the Spinal Research Supreme Novices' Hurdle if “Irish banker” Dunguib wins the 2m½f Festival opener.
It is a remarkable special from the bookmaker and it could make the Cheltenham roar even louder with punters knowing that the offer could cost the firm up to £2 million.
Unbeaten over hurdles and heading the market at 4/6, Philip Fenton’s superstar looks Cheltenham banker material and Paddy Power can’t believe they have come up with the offer: "I still can't quite believe that we are doing this money back special. If, or when, Dunguib wins, it's hard to say just how much the result will cost us by both paying out on him and returning losing stakes, but it'll be at least a million quid and possibly even double that."
Head to Paddy Power and sign up now, with the firm offering new punters a £50 free bet on any of their Cheltenham markets.
The offer applies only to win singles and the win part of each-way singles placed and Dunguib, who also holds an entry in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle, must run in the Supreme.