Real hope for Coolboy’s Ciarán in Cheltenham!
Talented Gethings will ride Maria’s Benefit on Thursday
COOLBOY’S Ciarán Gethings hopes his fantastic season to date will keep on getting better as he attempts to claim victory in the Cheltenham Racing Festival 2018 at Prestbury Park in England.
The Coolboy native has been plying his trade as a jockey in England for a number of years now, but this season is proving to be his finest, with 29 winners in the bag for the talented Wicklow man.
With a possible three rides at the festival for Ciarán, it’s on Maria’s Benefit in the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on Thursday that he feels he has his best chance of what would be a magical victory.
The six-year-old is unbeaten in five starts and most recently knuckled down well to see off Irish Roe in a Grade Two at Doncaster.
Maria’s Benefit was since found to have had heat in a knee, but trainer Stuart Edmunds is confident that issue is behind her as she prepares to take on the Willie Mullins-trained hot favourite Laurina tomorrow (Thursday).
“It’s my best season so far,” Ciarán told the Wicklow People on Tuesday evening as he returned home from racing. “I’ve 29 wins so far, 19 was my best before that, and there’s still two months to go. It’s unbelievable,” he added.
Son of Hugh and Mary Gethings, Ciarán believes his mount to have a “great chance” as he goes up against the Willie Mullins trained Laurina who is expected to go off as favourite for the race.
Ciarán says that Maria’s Benefit is a “very hardy” mare and that she may have picked up that attribute from her breeder who was none other than former Kilkenny hurler Charlie Carter who is travelling over for the race.
Ciarán’s other rides are on Clondaw Native who he feels has an each-way chance in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1), and he might have picked up a spare for Gordon Elliot on Friday as well.
Ciarán’s most recent win was on board Queenohearts in The EBF Stallions/TBA Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race at Sandown Park last Saturday afternoon, so he travels to Cheltenham in fine fettle and with the hopes of Coolboy and the county as a while behind him.
Maria’s Benefit goes off in the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) at 4.50pm tomorrow (Thursday) evening.
Ciarán Gethings riding Queenohearts (R) win The EBF Stallions/TBA Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race at Sandown Park racecourse on Saturday. Photo: by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images.