With the Cheltenham Festival kicking off today and many Irish either heading to the festival or spending the week glued to the radio and television, we look at why it will be the most Irish Cheltenham ever.
Record Guinness Sales - 250,000 pints
Last year some 236,472 pints of the black stuff were sold last year. Prestbury Park staff reckon that will be broken this year, setting a new record. Betfair will give you 6/5 over over 250,000 pints being sold. That's enough to fill a 25m swimming pool. Is there any bigger sign of an Irish Cheltenham?
100,000 Irish Punters
The Mirror reckon some 100,000 Irish will make the journey to the festival. With 250,000 in total expected through the gates, that's a remarkable 40% of punters coming from Ireland.
That's the same as the population of Monaghan and Longford clearing out for four days. An Irish Cheltenham in a very literal sense.
An Irishman as top jockey
With his pick of the top horses in the game, Ruby Walsh should have the most winners at the festival. Paddy Power rate it a skinny 2/5 chance. Should Ruby not oblige the next three in the betting are Barry Geraghty, Bryan Cooper and AP McCoy - all Irish.
Irish jockey's have won this every year since 2008 in fact, Choc Thornton in 2007 was the last non-Irish jockey to take the honour.
An Irishman as top trainer
Willie Mullins has four hot favourites on the first day alone. He is rated just 11/8 to win seven or more races, a feat only managed once in the last 20 years. Mullins is just 1/8 to win the honour this year, with the Mullins/Walsh double just 4/9.
Mullins has wont he award three of the last four years, Nicky Henderson won it in 2012 with seven winners.
It's all set to be the most Irish Cheltenham ever, stick with balls.ie during the Cheltenham festival as we bring you the latest news, all the paper's tips and the reaction.
See Also: QUIZ: How Much Money Will You Win At Cheltenham?