It wasn’t quite the fairy tale ending for Cheltenham’s hero Tiger Roll, who was pummeled by a steadying friend as he ran the final race in heavy rain pouring down his horse, jockeys and jockeys all afternoon.
Although Wednesday at the carnival is traditionally considered Women’s Day, this year lacked style as riders hid their outfits with raincoats and clung to fliers.
The Jockey Club, which hosted the festival, has again scrapped the Women’s Day style award and is instead donating £5,000 to its partner charity WellChild.
Crowd slightly was smaller than yesterday at 64,431, but it was still the festival’s record-breaking second day, with the previous peak attendance of 59,209.
It was a particularly emotional day for Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, seeing his horse Tiger Roll run for the last time.
The audience cheered as the 12-year-old got so close to winning his last race, but O’Leary’s other Delta Work horse pushed him to the finish line.
Aboard Delta Work, kerry jockey Jack Kennedy wasn’t at his best on reception, but was undisturbed.
Addressing the winner, Kennedy said, “People hate me now but I don’t care. After I studied with him the day before, I told my brother I could be the most hated man in Cheltenham on a Wednesday night, and I was right. ”
Asked if he would consider To let the retirement horse win, he said, “That’s the funniest question I’ve ever been asked.”
Still, it’s definitely what O’Leary wants to see: “If I could get it under control, I’d roar at Jack to come second on Delta.
“I booed myself and said, ‘Please, Jack, don’t overtake him, let him win it, God help us.’
“It’s not often that you want to give away a win at Cheltenham. I really enjoyed watching Tiger win; It’s hard not to feel disappointed.
“It was just a magical fairy tale. He ran a great race and owes us nothing. “
Tiger Roll equestrian Davy Russell said he thinks it’s unfair for his competitors to be booed.
“Grunk in the cheek, some people boo Delta Work, and I don’t think it’s fair that he’s put in as much effort as Tiger so he deserves the credit,” he said.
Paddy Power revealed that bookies lined up to collect €35 million across the industry hit when Tiger Roll took his sixth Cheltenham win, adding 500 million euros he has paid the price throughout his career.
But in losing to Delta Work, the legendary horse really cost the industry more.
The trainer of both horses, Gordon Elliott, said “of course” he wanted Tiger Roll to win – but once one of his horses had won, he didn’t mind.
It wasn’t the coach’s only win of the day as jockey Shane Fitzgerald took home the Coral Cup aboard Commander of Fleet at 50/1 odds.
As he entered the winner’s ring, Cork excitedly said that his victory was something “dreams come true”.
Fitzgerald’s friend Rachel Donovan from Moneygall, Co Tipperary, said they would “tear the town apart” in celebration.
“We don’t have the money for him, but it’s fantastic for such a young driver to have won at Cheltenham. It would be great; he will be happy,” she said.
“That’s it [surreal] rethink [to 2020] And what lies ahead, we have no real clue how bad it will be. Maybe in retrospect we shouldn’t have come, but it’s hard to say no to Cheltenham. ”
Lewis Gregg from Derry and his friend Conn Kavanagh from Wexford were present for the day are from Newport.
Even though she looks drenched in a makeshift ponchocollege students say they finally enjoy being at a crowded event again.
“We are in our second year [of college] so last year nothing happened [for Cheltenham], but I’d say next year we’ll probably be back. We’re going to make it a tradition,” Conn said.
Singer Rebecca Ferguson is at the festival yesterday with TV presenter Eamonn Holmes.
The The X Factor The winner was delighted with the casualness of a crowded festival.
“It’s great to be back,” she said. “We missed it – it was a very strange time for all of us. We are very happy.
“This is the biggest event I have attended recently. Good to see it’s still busy – even in the rain people are still here. ”
The Northern Ireland TV presenter, who has attended Cheltenham for many years, said he feels like it has been at the festival in 2021.
“I have a real connection to Cheltenham. I’ve been coming here for 35 years,” said Holmes.
“I was convinced I was here last year, I told everyone.
“Then I realized that it had been two years since I was last here.
“Cheltenham is a great catch if you like your horses, you love fashion, are Irish.”
Football fans also enjoyed a reception at the carnival yesterday as former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater and former Liverpool full-back
Glen Johnson enjoyed a day at the races.
Race horse owner Johnson is supporting Galopin Des Champs.
“The way he performs to chase and the way he has performed in the last few races, he will be very difficult to fix, so he is mine. number one choice,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/horse-racing/cheltenham/oleary-admits-to-booing-winner-as-tiger-roll-is-denied-fairytale-finish-to-his-final-race-41455784.html O’Leary admits booing winner when Tiger Roll is denied completing fairy tale for his final race