CHELTENHAM is just around the corner and the tension is already mounting and while all racing enthusiasts are busily marking their cards in anticipation of a bumper festival Niall Cronin, pictured left, has put the final plans together for his big day as he attempts to win the Charity Race on Gold Cup day, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Niall will be taking the ride on Ger Langan’s ‘The Baler’ in the charity event. Ger of course is well known around the Johnstownbridge area and tasted success last year when ‘The Baler’ was first home in the annual Farmers’ Race at the Punchestown Festival.
Trained by Philip Dempsey, Naas native Niall Cronin says he is delighted to have his plans finally in place for the big day. Like Niall himself, Ger is a big GAA fan and his colours are very close to that of Johnstownbridge colours (green and blue) with a bit of white added in.
Meanwhile Niall Cronin reports that he is very happy with the way his fund raising is going for the Charity Race. He has to fundraise E5,000 in order to take his place among the other celebrities on the day.
Niall’s main fund raising venture will take place in a Cheltenham Preview Evening in Kavanagh’s of Naas on Monday 5 March. Those taking part include Matt Champan of At The Races (there’s only one), Jessica Harrington, Katie Walsh, Paul Carberry and Leon Blanch of Boylesports who are sponsoring the evening.
Niall of course will also be on the panel and no doubt the Racing Correspondent with The Evening Herald will be imparting his vast knowledge on all the races at the Festial. Entry to Preview Evening is E15 and includes a free E10 bet.
Amongst the times up for auction on night are a framed (signed) pair of Ruby Walsh’s britches.