Kildare racing fans getting ready for the off at Cheltenham

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Kildare racing fans getting ready for the off at Cheltenham
10:21 Tuesday 13th of March 2018

Hundreds of Kildare people will be in Cheltenham this week for the annual racing extravaganza which kicks off today.

Many others will take a few days off work to watch all the action in pubs or at home.

Preview nights have been held across the county where punters have been picking up tips.

Trainers Gordon Elliott and Joseph O'Brien were at a charity function in Kildare Town last Friday night.

One of those travelling to Cheltenham this week is Lilywhite Stephen Byrne.

Stephen told the Sun newspaper: "The rain will make things very interesting this week, that’s for sure."

He added: "But it won’t stop us enjoying is. We might just have to rethink our picks.”

250,000 pints of Guinnness 

Thirsty race-goers will sink more than 250,000 pints of Guinness over the next week trackside, or in many of Cheltenham’s famous pubs.

They are also expected to down 120,000 bottles of beer, 125,000 pints of lager, 30,000 bottles of wine, 18,000 bottles of champagne and 18,000 gallons of tea and coffee.

Punters will also have their pick of food to choose from, with every taste catered for.

Racing enthusiasts will enjoy 25,000 beef burgers and hot dogs, 20,000 portions of chips and 46,000 rounds of sandwiches.

If you want to dine on more extravagant food, there will also be three tonnes of smoked salmon, two tonnes of fillet or sirloin of beef and nine tonnes of potatoes served up.

Boosting local economy

Irish punters fork out a fortune to the the local economy during the annual festival. We spend a massive €5.2million on entertainment each year, followed by €4.5m on food and drink and €4.1m on accommodation, according to the Sun newspaper.

The average spend per customer on entertainment was €556, with €508 going on tour packages, €419 on their hotel or B&B digs, and €374 on food and drink, according to a research team at the University of Gloucestershire.

They also found that Irish attendances have increased by 22 per cent since 2010.

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