She’s got the stamina of Kauto Star with the form of Barry Geraghty. And that’s just at the bar. Here’s the latest Cheltenham report on from our raving reporter Sarah O’Flaherty.
It’s the last day of the festival. Can’t believe it. The night before the Gold Cup is extra wild. And last night did not disappoint as we shape up for today’s showdown between Kauto Star and the young pretender, Long Run. The Queens hotel was rockin’ last night with its own face-offs between young bucks and veteran winners.
Damian Roach, a real character from Co Kerry, is a singer known for holding court in bars during all the big race meets, and last night was no different here in the Queens. “Bring on the Gold Cup, Bring on Aintree,” he shouted during a rendition of ‘Molly, My Irish Molly’.
Back to daylight. They say self-praise is no praise. But I tipped three out of six winners yesterday, along with two that were places. So I hoped you backed Sir Des Champs (3/1), Salut Flo (9/2) and Sunnyhill Boy (13/2).
You might have seen the video in which JP McManus told me to put €2.50 each-way on SunnyhillBoy because he was worried about the ground after I blogged that he was worth €5 each-way. At Least JP has a sense of humour, which came in handy after I asked him if he fancied Albertas Run, who is owned by Trevor Hemmings. Scarlet.
“I would, if only he was my horse,” JP said. Even the former Irish finance minister Charlie McCreevy got a laugh out of it.
Rugby star Ronan O’Gara’s horse ‘Your Busy’ didn’t win and it’s just as well the Irish ace didn’t turn up as he was training in Dublin for the big game against England tomorrow. Ex-England cricketer Phil Tufnell and former star of “I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of Here” was there though.
He asked me for a free Paddy Power bet. Sure I’m still waiting for one myself! “Our syndicate has hooked up with Jonjo O’Neill,” Phil said. “I love the racing, we have a laugh, enjoy the day and of course the buzz.” And what about today’s Gold Cup. “Long Run will be hard to beat,” he said.
Riverside Theatre’s owner James Nesbitt was as funny as I’d always expected, after his horse won the Ryanair Chase yesterday. Flanked by the media, I did my usual and cornered him afterwards. Private chats are always the best.
“I love this, love Man United and my football, but this is something special, I’ll never forget it,” before adding that he feels it’s going to be Long Run’s day!
Here’s who I’ll be cheering on at Gold Cup day..
1.30 Pearl Swan, Urbain De Sivola e/w
2.05 Olofi, Moondice e/w 50 Kilkenny fans are on route by bus to support him
2.40 Boston Bob, Mount Benbulben e/w
3.20 Synchronised, following AP McCoy and JP all the way
4.00 On The Fringe, Merchant Royal e/w
4.40 Toner Doudairies, Art Professor e/w
5.15 De Boitron