Ladies’ Day arrived in all its colourful glory — along with some good weather at Ballybrit.
It’s the biggest day of the week for numbers and the one day of the week when the vast majority of the punters are more interested in clothing than the animals running around the track.
One thing you need with Ladies’ Day is a bit of good weather and the man upstairs even obliged on that front. The promised washout never arrived. The rain did but it didn’t hang around. Not that anyone cared.
Ladies’ Day is a force of nature which defies all logic. Standing in a hat and high heels in the rain shouldn’t be fun but apparently it is.
Judge and perennial Galway attendee Dáithí Ó Sé usually makes a few days of the meet but was only in town for Ladies’ Day this year.
And, boy, do the ladies love him. He could barely travel five steps without being stopped for selfies.
The Kerryman said he was here for one last blowout before getting in training for the Rose of Tralee.
“Usually, I’d be here for three or four days but I was working all week,” he said. “The PR stuff for the Rose of Tralee starts next week. I’ve a tux to get into so I’ll start the serious training after. Detox starts tomorrow, I’ll be on the apple cider vinegar and that stuff like quinoa.”
As for any thoughts of retiring from the annual gig in Tralee, Dáithí was showing no signs of slowing down.
“It’s a gig no one would want to give up,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest gigs in town. It’s a gig everyone wants to do. It’s one of the top gigs, like The Late Late Show. People ask me if I want to do The Late Late Show. Every presenter in the country wants to do The Late Late Show. Everyone — male, female, young or old. If you’re a year out of college, if you’re in TV a hundred years, you want to do The Late Late Show because it’s the biggest gig in town.”
As for tips, Dáithí wasn’t having much luck, having a few bets earlier in the week: “I’ve had no luck at all so far. I had four tips for the first day but they came nowhere, they didn’t even place.”
As for the racing, the big winner was Clondaw Warrior which took the Hurdle. The horse is owned by a partnership which includes Ruby Walsh’s wife. He was bought for just €9,500 but has earned nearly €500,000.
Hayley O’Connor of Ladbrokes said Ladies’ Day was not good for the bookies.
“Clondaw Warrior, who seems to hit us between the eyes at all the big festivals, costing us a fortune at Royal Ascot a couple of years ago and Galway last year, has delivered another crowd pleaser for the punters,” she said. “As glasses are clinking, we’re leaving Ballybrit with the lightest satchels we’ve had all week.”
Féilim Mac An Iomaire from Paddy Power said it was the worst day of the week for the bookies.
“It was Ladies’ Day at Ballybrit and Lady Luck was in the punters’ corner as the bookies were bashed on the busiest days of the festival,” he said. “Scamall Dubh got the bookies off to a flyer in the first but once the clouds cleared the results went in favour of the backers to leave it at honours even going into the final day.”
As for me — no winners but a few places. Happy days.
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