By Lynsey Dreaper
As the Hennessy Gold Cup meeting drew to a close, all eyes turned to Cheltenham and the outcome of the Leopardstown meeting may have raised some doubts and sealed some fates for one of the most significant racing festivals of the season.
The only way to muddle through all of the possibilities and have a chance to come away with a few more Euro than you started with is to quiz the experts. To make this easier, Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA club have gathered them all in one place for Friday, 1st March at 8.00pm, poised and ready to answer your questions.
Now that Flemenstar is unlikely to feature at Cheltenham, reportedly suffering from a lung infection after having succumbed to Sir Des Champs in the feature race on Saturday, the one man who can throw some light on the subject is special guest, trainer Peter Casey. Peter will be joined on this year's panel by Flemenstar's jockey, Andrew Lynch, who is also regular partner to top chaser Sizing Europe.
Following the success of last year's edition, with the unforgettable guest appearance of Barney Curley, a full house is expected once again this year as punters fill the seats in the impressive clubhouse.
An all-star panel has been assembled for the night with trainers Jim Dreaper and Robbie Hennessy joining Peter Casey, while jockeys Andrew Lynch, Bryan Cooper and Keith Donoghue revealing some secrets from the saddle.
Rubi Light is another star to watch and having finished third and fifth in the last two Ryanair Chases he is going for third time lucky this year. Trainer Robbie Hennessy is reportedly pleased his condition and is hoping that racing will go ahead for the Red Mills Chase at Gowran, where he hopes to cross the line first for the third consecutive year. Having worked Rubi Light at the Curragh with jockey Andrew Lynch, Hennessy is confident of his decision to withdraw from the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham and concentrate on the Ryanair Chase.
RTE's racing correspondent Tony O Hehir will MC the evening, making sure that no one sidesteps any tough questions. Mike Vince from SIS and The Star sports editor Brian Flanagan will draw on their encyclopaedic knowledge to remind us of past victories and disappointments and to point out a few trends that may prove valuable indicators for the coming festival.
Once again, Bambury Bookmakers are sponsoring the evening and the €20 ticket price includes a €10 bet from Bamburys. There will be exclusive offers on the night and with enough pressure Bamburys can be pushed to make an offer in front of a full house, so make sure you don't miss out.
A feast of racing stories, Cheltenham tips, finger food, a €10 bet, raffles and a chance to talk about all things horses, all for €20. Sure where else would you be?
For further information and tickets contact Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA on 01 8499140 or call in to the club house.