Wednesday 22 November 2017

O'Leary has plenty to smile about ahead of racing fest

Michael O'Leary and his wife Anita celebrate after winning The JCB Triumph Hurdle Race during Cheltenham Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival. Photo: Mark Condren
Michael O'Leary and his wife Anita celebrate after winning The JCB Triumph Hurdle Race during Cheltenham Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival. Photo: Mark Condren

Roisin Burke

Punchestown gallops on to the social calendar from Tuesday.

It's set to be a spectacular showcase of Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary's incredible stable of horseflesh.

O'Leary (above, with his wife Anita after his Tiger Roll won the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham) has more than 50 horses from his Gigginstown House Stud set to race.

They include Don Cossack, which missed out on the Powers Gold Cup last Sunday at Fairyhouse, and Cheltenham Gold Cup entrant First Lieutenant, which ultimately didn't run but is tipped as one to watch in the Gold Cup at the Kildare festival this time, and Cheltenham winner Savello, running on Tuesday in the Champion Chase.

O'Leary's only rival in numbers is the stable of Limerick moneybags JP McManus, with more than 40 horses entered, including Grand National success Shutthefrontdoor and another, the intriguingly named Nearly Nama'd.

Pharma tycoon Ronan Lambe's Cheltenham winner Spring Heeled has an entry and four other horses of his, Silver Concorde Diplomat, Vaxalco and Crown of Gold.

Email: rburke@independent.ie
Twitter: @roisinmburke
Nick Webb is on holidays

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