YOU'LL FIND it hard to find a person from Ireland England Scotland or Wales who hasn't placed a bet on a horse in Cheltenham, and the small few that haven't will all have heard of it at least.
Our own little county will contribute in no small way with Closutton trainer Willie Mullins sending 40 horses across the Irish Sea to compete in the four day mega festival.
Huricane Fly, Quevega, Up the Beat, Call the Police and many more noble steeds will take to the sod this week the hopes and dreams of more than owner and trainer also riding on their shoulders.
Mullins told At The Races "I'm really looking forward to "Sir Des Champs" run because he's a lovely laid back horse and he will really come on in the next year or two".
Mullins said "we don't go over there expecting to win, but things might go our way on the day and you never know" when speaking of Blackstair Mountain, but Mullins feels that flatter tracks like Punchestown and Aintree would suit the horse better.
Hurricane Fly is the name on everyone's lips this year and why wouldn't he be with 12 wins from 14 over hurdles in his career so far. Mullins spoke fondly of the horse on his Closutton based website; "He has great gears, and he's a real fighter, he never knows when he's beaten and he just keeps putting the head down, I was very impressed with him in Punchestown last year it looked like he was beaten but you could see him losing his temper, that's the quality he has, he wants to win all the time".
Mullins holds Hurricane Fly in high esteem comparing him to the likes of Kato Star and Istabraq, two of the greatest horses to ever run in the Cheltenham festival.
Midnight Game also runs in Cheltenham out of the Bagenalstown stood but the trainer reckons he still has to see what the horse is capable of. Boston Bob came in for great praise when Mullins said he wasn't expecting from the novice but was delighted when he kept up with some of the more experienced horses recently.
In case you think we left her out, this is one occasion where instead of ladies first it's possibly best till last with Quevega being regarded as one of the best hurdle mare's in Ireland in Willie Mullins eyes.
Mullins said "she's easy enough to train, she has a great temperament, she's able to take a break and come back as ready as her last race where other horses would need a run or two to be right".
Quel Esprit will find it tough against the likes of Kato Star in the Gold Cup, but Mullins never rules anything out saying "you never know he might" when talking about his horses chance of stealing a win and reaching the lollipop first.
It's set to be a great week of racing with thousands of Irish punters forgetting about recession and crossing the water with the Closutton 40 in the hopes of bringing home some fun inspired cash.