'Lucky Irish' a myth, say bookies
There is no such thing as the "Luck of the Irish", according to research by a major bookmaker published on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes and racing website lovetheraces.com studied 12 months of Ladbrokes' betting data and found that there are more lucky Brits than Irish.
There is a traditional belief in the betting community that Emerald Isle punters have the uncanny knack of being able to find more winners.
However, the researchers looked at 28,123 punters each side of the Irish Sea - a total of 56,246 - and found that 5,902 Brits win more than 40% of the time, compared with 3,471 Irish.
It is not all bad news for the Irish, though. When Irish punters do win, they scoop an average of 167% more than the Brits.
The average amount won per bet in Ireland is £40.16 whereas conservative UK punters pocket an average of just £15.04.
David Williams, from Ladbrokes, said: "The results of the survey are staggering and have exposed as a myth one of the most widely-accepted sayings in betting history.
"The Irish are certainly fearless punters but it's the Brits who seem to enjoy the luck. No doubt the Irish will look to correct the injustice at the Cheltenham Festival.
"It's the biggest betting week of the year and the euros that flood over from Ireland are enough to make any bookie go weak at the knees. We've always kept our ear to the ground for whispers from the Irish but perhaps we should have a re-think."