The owners of Our Duke say that they can’t believe their dreams of having a horse run up the Cheltenham hill are about to come through.
Speaking to Midlands 103 live from the Cheltenham Festival this morning, Sloan Cooper says he and the rest of the family are gearing up for a memorable day.
He said: “We spent years going to Leopardstown and Fairyhouse watching the likes of Beef Or Salmon and Istabraq.
“We always thought it would be great to have a horse like that but we never believed we’d get to Cheltenham. It really is a dream come true.”
Looking ahead to the race, which starts at 3.30pm, Sloan reckons any of the 18 runners could win.
He said: “There are obvious dangers from Native River and Might Bite but any of the 17 horses can win.
“We would like the ground a bit better but Our Duke will go on it.
“The performance of Presenting Percy which won on Wednesday gave us great confidence as well after Our Duke beat him a few months ago.”
While there will be a huge Laois presence in Cheltenham, Sloan also revealed that plans are in place for people to watch the race in Coolrain.
Sloan said: “Sheerin’s in Coolrain have a big screen set up and there will be a big crowd there.
“They have also made a statue of Our Duke which will go in the Mountrath St Patrick’s Day parade tomorrow.
“Lar Hogan is a great man up there and he has it all organised.
“If we win, we will hopefully land in there sometime tomorrow evening and we will have some party then.”
Another horse with Laois connections, Total Recall, also goes in the race.