Cheltenham goes into the ‘Guinness’ book of records
Published: 13 March 2017
Cheltenham – The four-day jumps festival at Cheltenham is the busiest week of the year for British bookies – yes, turnover surpasses Royal Ascot – and this year they are even taking bets on how many pints of Guinness will be drunk, with 220,000-plus the most popular option.
Guinness is the favourite tipple of the Irish contingent, who will converge on those picturesque Cotswold Hills tomorrow in droves – daily crowds of 65,000 are estimated – and the Irish are as much a part of Cheltenham as the Pope is of the Vatican.
Willie Mullins, Ireland’s nine-times champion trainer who has finished top-dog here in five of the last six years, has experienced a roller-coaster winter, losing 60 horses when Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary threw his toys out of the pram early on and then, having found Vautour, one of his stars of 2016, dead on the gallops one morning after a freak accident, injuries robbed him of past former Champion Hurdlers Faugheen and Annie Power as well as the exciting novice chaser Min.
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