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Herald's Niall given €20k for Charity

MOMENTS after completing his first race at Cheltenham, the Herald's Niall Cronin was handed a cheque for €10,000 by a wealthy well-wisher.

The money doubled the 25-year-old's takings for Cancer Research to more than €20,000 and left the tipster in disbelief.

"I was shocked when he walked up to me and handed over the cheque," Cronin told the Herald today. "This guy wouldn't like it known, but I know him, and he's pure class."

The moment came at the end of an amazing day for the racing fanatic. Niall donned jodhpurs and race silks to ride at the Cheltenham festival.

His mount The Baler, a 14/1 shot, ran a credible eight and Cronin could barely hide his excitement after the race.

"The thrill of a lifetime, no one can ever take it off me, to go around at Cheltenham -- a lot of jockeys don't get to do it," he said.