Businessmen hope charity bets can clear all hurdles
Paddy Power has given bosses a free charity bet for Cheltenham says Nick Webb -- but what takes their fancy?
THE tape will be raised at 1.30pm on Tuesday. Cheltenham is back. Bad news for the economy and productivity, good news for bookies and Guinness.
Every year, Ireland's biggest bookie Paddy Power has kindly donated a stack of bets for some of our best-known businessmen, entrepreneurs and gamblers to have a punt for charity. The bookie has given six €250 bets for some of the shrewdest players in corporate Ireland.
Legendary IFSC-based investor and dealmaker dermot Desmond knows all about Cheltenham, with his brilliant Commanche Court landing a huge gamble to win the Triumph Hurdle in 1997. Commanche Court also won the Irish grand National.
Dermot's horse for Cheltenham 2010 is the JP McManus-owned Get Me Out Of Here in the opener on Tuesday. Desmond fancies Get Me out Of Here to give the current hot-pot favourite Dunguib a bit of a scare. Dunguib is already a ridiculously low 5/6 at Paddy Power, with Get Me Out Of Here a backable 6/1.
Desmond is betting each way for his nominated charity Respect
Horse racing fanatic and builder Michael Bailey has a stunning record with his Cheltenham Charity bets. The Bovale Developments chief tipped Sublimity to win the Champion Hurdle at odds of 20/1 a few years back, so his tips are worth noting.
This year, Bailey has plumped for the Tom Mullins-trained Tavern Times in the Bumper on Wednesday. Paddy Power was quoting 11/1 on Tavern Times. Bailey is splitting his bet, with the other half going on Noel Meade's Go Native in the Champion Hurdle. Paddy Power has odds of 3/1 available for the horse, which is favourite for the big race on Tuesday. "I have been watching them all year and think they'll win at good prices," according to Bailey.
His chosen charity is the Hope Foundation in Foxford, Co Mayo, run by the nuns
One51 boss Philip Lynch is a shrewd backer of horses. He's holding his fire until Friday, the last day of the legendary festival, and is going for one of the hardest races to crack.
"I will put my wager on Alaivan in the Triumph Hurdle on Friday," according to Lynch. "Alaivan was a top flat runner and was very impressive last time out and will suit this field." Paddy Power had a price of 4/1 available for the Eddie O'Grady-trained favourite.
Any winnings from Lynch's €250 bet -- courtesy of Paddy Power -- will go to Self Help Africa
Fine Gael TD Sean Barrett is an expert in horse breeding and bloodstock, through the insurance business he founded. Barrett's fancy for this year's meeting is Noel Meade's Go Native in the Champion Hurdle.
"Go Native has done everything right so far this year, including already winning at Cheltenham, proving it can handle the course."
Barrett is going each way, with Blackrock Hospice his nominated charity
Gene Murtagh Jr
Kingspan boss Gene Murtagh is one of the smartest young executives in the country. He's plumped for hotly fancied The Package in the William Hill Chase on Tuesday which is priced at 11/2 with Paddy Power. He's splitting the bet as €150 on the nose and €50 each way. "I am advised that The Package has a good each-way chance on Tuesday."
Murtagh's chosen charity is ARC Cancer Support Centre
Barchester Health supremo Denis Brosnan knows a thing or two about landing major coups.
The Horse Racing Ireland chairman is splitting his bets, with €75 each way on Willie Mullin's 9/2 shot Quel Esprit in the Neptune on Tuesday, with the other €100 on the nose for short-price favourite Master Minded in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday. Master Minded is a short 5/6 with Paddy Power.
His nominated charity is St Vincent de Paul