A New York publican has promised the mother and father of all St Patrick’s Day parties after bashing the bookies at Cheltenham.
Irish Rover pub owner Aidan ‘Red’ Shiels and his fellow Irishman and New York resident Niall Reilly hit the jackpot when 20-1 shot Benefficient won the opening race on Thursday.
The pair and their celebrating entourage had to be asked to leave the winner’s enclosure ahead of the next race as the party started on the Cotswolds.
And a delighted Shiels has vowed to get the celebrations going all over again when he flies back to America on Saturday for the real party at the Irish Rovers.
The Queens based pair plotted their raid on Cheltenham from the pub and produced the wildest celebrations of the meeting according to the Irish Times.
They also landed a massive gamble after emigrating to the States from Westmeath and Meath respectively 20 years ago.
Shiels told reporters; “It was the biggest bet I ever had. I’m not getting paid back in cash, so figure it out yourself.
“I’ll be able to buy a few horses that’s for sure. All I’ll say is the bookmakers won’t be paying me back in cash. We’re going to have some few days.”
“We’ve both been in New York for 20 years but I just love it here.
“Great atmosphere, great people. We’ll have some party when we get back to the pub. We are flying out early on Saturday morning because we have to get back to New York for St Patrick’s Day. But I’m sure the party will start tonight.”
Construction worker Reilly praised trainer Tony Martin for masterminding the win.
Reilly told the Irish Times: “I said ‘Aidan we’re going to earn some respect after this race – not us, I mean the horse – because people used to say, he’s lucky, this one fell, that one fell.’ We knew this guy was going to have his big day.
“We’ve been known to celebrate when there’s hardly anything happening – so this is a big emotion, a big day for us.”
Ireland stood on 10 winners after day three of the festival but there was heartache when amateur jockey JT McNamara was airlifted to hospital after suffering a suspected broken neck in a fall.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore