Irish Punters are staying loyal to local Cheltenham Festival hopefuls and staking over 30% more on Irish horses compared to their British counterparts according to the Racing Post.
It’s a strategy that has paid dividends over the last number of years with the Anglo-Irish rivalry tipped in Ireland’s favour with the continued dominance of top trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott. Between them, they have won the festival’s Leading Trainer Award for the last seven years. Bar the Irish pair, Nicky Henderson was the last handler to win it in 2012.
The Prestbury Cup finished level last year however bookmakers have it as short as 4/7 to go Ireland’s way this year. It is also odds on in places to see the class of 2020 secure between 15 and 18 winners next week.
Racing Post data suggests that punters are putting their faith in the travelling Irish with the average Irish horse seeing 28% higher staked bets than the average British horse. With high-profile Irish horses such as dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll going off short price favourite it’s no surprise to see such homegrown support.
“Our data reflects what is seen across the board, Irish customers tend to support their own during racings biggest week of the year,” said Racing Post Head of Betting Brian Morris when asked about Irish favouritism.
Morris continued by stating the trend is likely to increase over the festival: “With the data we have we expect these figures to increase throughout the festival. During the four days, we see a lot of first time or once a year bettors who are likely to stick to patriotic roots and favour local fancies.”
The Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday, March 10th with the Racing Post Arkle one of the Grade 1 highlights of the day. Visit www.racingpost.com for the must-have info throughout the festival.