It promises to be some week for sport and while a potential Grand Slam will dominate Saturday for many, Tuesday to Thursday will present a lot more opportunities for a head to head clash of Champions between England and Ireland at Cheltenham.
It hasn’t always been as good as it is now. In 1989 Irish trainers and racegoers returned home empty-handed with not a single Irish trained winner. As short a time ago as 2012 we were celebrating five winners from what is effectively the World Championship of National Hunt Racing.
In 2017 however, we set a new high water mark with no fewer than 19 of the 28 races making their way to Irish trained runners.
It all kicks off in the Cotswolds tomorrow and we will have daily content focused on some of the stories that make a difference away from the winner’s enclosure.
This will include an interview with an Irish sports star on Wednesday who is swapping a passion for speed on two legs for speed on four legs with a strong family connection to one of that day’s Irish favourites.
It’s all about the sport but in a sense its all about the betting as well.
There are deepening concerns over the impact of problem gambling and the devastating impact it can have on those affected and those closest to them but for most, like with alcohol, it is an adult pleasure which in moderation, is enjoyed by most.
Cheltenham is the busiest week of the year and Paddy power is expecting that over €400 Million will be bet here over the course of the next four days.
That figure will rise if money is recycling through well-backed favourites winning early on and on industry standard margins it means a likely win for the bookies over the week of something between €10 and €20 Million.
Paddy Power could afford then to spend a little on a video released at the weekend where brand ambassador Ruby Walsh, a likely star of the next week despite missing most of the season after breaking his leg in November was forced to make up for his absence by doing a few unexpected jobs around the office…
Ruby Walsh is back riding just in time for Cheltenham. He owed us a few man hours after all those months off… pic.twitter.com/MKZDVbhWsI
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 8, 2018
Image Credit: Cheltenham Racecourse