Kerin and Co set Cheltenham punters right in Fermoy
Controversies come and controversies go but the profits at Paddy Power continue to rise. The man whose name fronts one of the world's most popular betting enterprises was in Kerin's Bar, Fermoy on Tuesday night to advise, assist, guide, direct and counsel horse racing fans before the betting bonanza that is Cheltenham kicks in.
Paddy of course, has seen it all and before a flag is raised, a leg up given or a bet placed, you can be absolutely certain that he will emerge triumphant from his annual scrap with the punters.
Aidan Kerin managed to assemble a first rate top table for this year's Cheltenham preview and was rewarded with a full house. As usual each race was examined forensically by the assembled experts - jockey Bryan Cooper, Irish Examiner pundit Pat Keane, Tom Segal who wears the hat of Pricewise when he tips and Gary O'Brien from At The Races. Kevin O'Ryan was MC for the night.
Some of those in the audience were 'back of the envelope' types, some recorded the tipping data in notebooks, others preferred to use laptops and smartphones and some were boisterous while others were reserved. The gender breakdown was about 60/40 in favour of the boys and the drink flowed freely for this near 3 hour event.
Those who have a fondness for backing favourites were reassured to hear that Hurricane Fly would enter Champion Hurdle folklore by winning again, value merchants were directed the way of Bailey Green in the Champion Chase and the 'bet of the festival' was announced as Carlingford Lough in the RSA Chase - available to 10/1 at any Paddy Power outlet.
Some will emerge from Cheltenham with a few quid to their name, others will be massacred - the only man smiling will be the man that never stopped smiling on Tuesday night - Paddy Power.
Well done and thanks to all those who supported the raffle in aid of the J T McNamara Fund. Micheal Leahy, who is organising a dance for the fund, was also in attendance - this event takes place in The Hazel Tree on Monday, March 31.
Friday 14th March 8:38am