Cheltenham is one of the most important race meetings on the calendar. Many an Irish fortune has been made and just as many hearts have been broken there. In the run up to the big event, homework needs to be done. Forms need to be studied. Rumours need to be investigated. How do you spot the outside chance which might make your festival? All over the country there are Cheltenham preview nights where some of Ireland’s top jockeys and trainers will give you their top tips. Even better many of these events are an important source of fundraising for local and national charities. Here are some of our favourite events.
Champion jockeys in Cork
First out of the blocks on Monday 26th Feb is The Stable Bar in Carrigaline . Champion jockey Davy Russell, and trainer of the moment Joseph O’Brien will join an expert panel to give their top tips for the festival. Entry is free but there is a charity raffle on the night. All proceeds will go to the Irish Cancer Society and Hurling for Cancer.
Also in Cork in Larry Tompkins Cork’s Sports Bar on Tuesday 27th Feb there will be a stellar panel including Charlie Swan, Tony Mullins, Enda Bolger, and Colm O’Connell of Un de Sceaux fame imparting their knowledge. Entry is €10 and includes a €5 bet. There will be complimentary finger food. A great atmosphere is guaranteed. And best of all? Proceeds are for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
Top tips in Tipperary
On 27th Feb in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Davy Russel, Joseph O’Brien and others will be making sure the punters in Tipperary are just as well informed as the Cork contingent. All proceeds will go to St Mary’s GAA club.
Dream start in Dublin
On Feb 28th the Kettles Country House Hotel in Swords will be hosting a Cheltenham Preview Night in association with the Irish Daily Star. Tickets are €10 and all proceeds are in aid of Pieta House. Eamon Dunphy, Davy Russell, Jack Kennedy and many more will make sure that you will be top tipster this year.
On March 1st in Kennedys on Westland Row, under the shadows of Trinity College there will be studying of a completely different kind. For €20 there will be entry into a raffle, €5 Paddy Power bet, complimentary food and tips and hints galore from Kate Harrington, Patrick Mullins and more. All proceeds raised on the night are in aid of the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.
Winner alright in Waterford
Getting closer to the big day, on March 1st the Woodlands Hotel in Waterford will be hosting their annual Ladbrokes Preview Night. This year you are in for a huge treat. David Casey, Ted Walsh, Nicola McGeady are just some of the top racing personalities to take part. Tickets are €20.
Down the final straight
On March 5thReardons on Washington Street in Cork will be hosting racing legend Sir AP McCoy, along with Matt Chapman and Davy Russell. A charity auction on the night will raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
Or on March 7th see AP join forces with Davy again, along with David Casey, Joseph O’Brien and Gordon Elliot in D2, Harcourt Street in Dublin. This dream panel will be sure to have the inside track on the festival favourites. And all proceeds are for the Irish Cancer Society and Davy Russell’s Hurling for Cancer.
And Nina Carberry will join the dream team on Thursday 8th in Hayes Hotel in Thurles. Again proceeds go to the Irish Cancer Society and Davy Russell’s Hurling for Cancer Research. The home of hurling is the perfect place to raise funds for such a fantastic cause.
Finally, there is one last chance to study the form on Friday 9th March in the Youghal GAA Club Pavilion in association with Cry104 fm. A panel of experts includes winning jockeys Danny Mullins and Denis O’Regan. They will be going through the card, advising on strategy and hopefully ensuring that Lady Luck is with you during the festival. Entry is €10. And all proceeds go to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.
And they’re off….
These are just a few of the fantastic Cheltenham preview nights taking place all over the country in the run-up to the festival. You can talk with authority at the water cooler and help raise funds for some great causes. Sign up here to save your favourites. And for a full list of events visit here.
Finally, all details were correct at the time of publication. However we recommended you confirm with organisers before starting on your journey.