Even odds that horseracing’s premiere Cheltenham Festival will go ahead
WHILE the Irish Betfair betting exchange has listed even odds that the Cheltenham Festival will get over the coronavirus hurdle, punters in Ireland at Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort in Kildare, Ireland were hedging their own bets based on top tips from a venerable panel.
The festival is scheduled to open as planned on Tuesday, 10th March in England and last Wednesday evening, 4th March at the luxury hotel in the Thoroughbred County of Ireland, Irish broadcast sports commentator Des Scahill was there to put racing’s luminaries through their paces in the hope that the best of the runners would find their way to the Winner’s Circle.
“First and foremost, we have to hope that the festival will go ahead,” said Des Scahill when he opened the odds-on favourites to be selected at the Moyvalley Hotel Cheltenham Preview. “In the anticipation that it will go ahead the opening race will be the Supreme Novice Hurdle and we had load of information to share. Our experts were there with tips in the event that the Cheltenham Festival goes ahead.”
Odds-on favourites to perform well at the festival in the opening race were Fiddlerontheroof followed by Chantry House while in the Arkle Chase, Notebook looked well. Epatante was top pick for the Champion Hurdle while in the Mares Hurdle, Benie Des Dieux earned unanimous support from the panellists.
Irish horse trainers John ‘Shark’ Hanlon, Dermot Weld and Tony Martin were joined on the panel by renowned Irish jockeys Barry Geraghty, Frank Berry and Robbie Power along with handicapper Andrew Shaw, Bar One Racing’s Peter Kingston and horseracing opinionator Bishop Liam MacDaid.
“Hopefully it is a go-ahead for Cheltenham,” said Brendan McGowan, the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. “We were there for a bit of valuable information and you might get a nugget out of Cheltenham.”
Punters who were at the Moyvalley Hotel Cheltenham Preview ponied up €10 per person in admission fees and donated up to €10 towards raffle tickets to raise funds for the Shabra charity, founded by hotelier and horse owner Rita Shah and the late renowned horse trainer, Oliver Brady.