RACING Legend AP McCoy led a top-class panel that included Cork jockey Davy Russell, Joseph O’Brien, Gary O’Brien and David Casey at the annual Cheltenham Festival Preview night at the Castle Bar, Glanmire this week.
All the races over the four days were discussed with AP McCoy lavishing praise on the prospects of Defi Du Seuil in the Champion Chase on Wednesday, but he had words of consolation for the O’Connell family of Glanmire, whose superstar horse Un De Sceaux was retired last week after picking up an injury in his preparations for this race.
“I think every genuine horse racing follower had nothing but genuine respect and admiration for Un De Sceaux as his loss to racing is huge, but I am sure the Colm O’Connell, who is here tonight, will have nothing but happy memories over an incredible six years.
“Looking ahead, I think Defi Du Seuil has a serious chance, but the reigning champion Altior will not go down without a fight.
"I think this race could be the most intriguing one over the four days,” said AP McCoy.
The opening day on Tuesday brought a huge debate among the panel with the Supreme Novices Hurdle with McCoy going for Asterion Forlonge, but trainer Joseph O’Brien opted for Abacadabras to get punters off to a winning start in the same race.
The feature on Tuesday is the Champion hurdle and Epitante ticked all the right boxes with the majority of the panel.
Davy Russell was bullish about Envoi Allen in the opening Ballymore Novices Hurdle on Wednesday with Gary O’Brien tipping Longhouse Poet as a lively outsider.
AP McCoy has a strong fancy for Champ in the RSA Chase with Summerville Boy rated a decent horse that could win the Stayers Hurdle on Thursday.
The large attendance encouraged the panel for a value bet in the Bumper with Davy Russell giving 25/1 Darling Daughter a strong each way chance.
The Glanmire O’Connell family were represented by Colm who was bullish about the prospects of his father’s horse Bachasson a 16/1 chance to win the Coral Cup on Wednesday.