Saturday 18 November 2017

Irish punters racing to Cheltenham

Eamon Heffernan
Eamon Heffernan

By air and by sea, the Irish are flocking to the UK for the four-day Cheltenham festival.

Only a small amount of rain is forecast, so revellers are looking forward to good weather and racing thrills at the event, which gets underway today.

Dubliner Keira Kennedy (37), from Stepaside, has been going to Cheltenham for the last few years and believes the luck of the Irish will prevail.

"I have a few friends who are involved in the horse racing industry and I think it's really where the Irish show themselves off to the best of their ability," she said.

"I'm never that lucky with the betting, I like to go for the fun and the social side of it.

"Ladies Day is Wednesday and I have a hat I'll keep for then," she said.

Eamon Heffernan (72), from Glenageary in Dublin, is at his 40th Cheltenham festival. "The Irish seem to be a bit weaker than previous years," he said. "But I'm sure they'll still get a double-digit number of winners."

"Over the last four or five years they've done particularly well," he added.

"If you go by the experts it looks like the English might do better this year, but there's no reason why we can't come out on top again," said Meath siblings Karl and Zohra Smith.

Irish Independent

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