Horse Racing

Paddy Kehoe: ‘I supported Princess Zoe to win €50,000

He didn’t crack the code for the Irish Lottery, brought his colors by the record-breaking Grabel (GB) (Bold Owl {GB}), invested lucrative sums in the stock market and battled with The bookie almost daily basis by brief one or two comments.

Now, Paddy Kehoe is preparing to back up his latest theory that his pride and joy Princess Zoe (Ger) (Jukebox {Ire}) could win the G1 Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday, and if correct, the 75-year-old businessman and famous racehorse owner will earn himself 50,000 euros to go first in the panel. Winner’s check for £500,000 show Thursday.

“This mare will win,” Kehoe said confidently as he sipped his fourth pot of tea at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Sunday morning.

“She has the form in the books. Tell me another horse in the race that is in better shape than Zoe? Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) was an excellent horse but he disappeared. One of my biggest bets of the week will be Zoe beating Stradivarius in a bet and I can get 2-1 odds. I will definitely get 6-4.

“It’s an absolute chore. If we can’t beat Stradivarius, we might as well give up. If he wins the Gold Cup this year, he’ll want to start on Wednesday.

“He’s a great horse, it’s not like he hasn’t done it yet, because he did, but he’s eight years old now and we beat him easily into last year.

“That was despite the fact that we were blocked in our run. Joey [Sheridan, jockey] too far back because he was watching Stradivarius even though I told him he was not someone to worry about.

“If we had raced ourselves last year, we would have won the Gold Cup, and I think we are bringing a better mare to Ascot this year. Where will Stradivarius find the improvement to beat us? I can not see it “.

This may sound like pub talk, but, again, also the idea of ​​devising a plan to win the lottery. But that’s exactly what Kehoe, along with math genius Stefan Klincewicz, did back in 1992 when they defeated the system and unleashed the most daring gambling coup in Irish history, which resulted in change the way the National Lottery works.

“There were all sorts of obstacles in our way,” he said, almost tired of telling the story. “I remember driving out onto South Circular and Gardai, people from Lotto and the press were watching me. It was world news at the time. ”

He added, “One of the boys was on vacation and he picked up a newspaper in Spain and who was in front of it? I! He called home Jamesie O’Donnell [another friend] and said, ‘Kehoe after what now?’ It was several years after Grabel won the richest diving race ever held in America. That’s absolutely crazy stuff. ”

That Irish lottery coup would go down as one of Kehoe’s biggest payouts and, the man who understood the odds best of all, understood all too well that there was more than a chance to beat Ascot next week.

Having said that, the people of County Wexford are confident that his trainer Tony Mullins, who was in the disc aboard the Grabel on that fateful day in Kentucky in 1990, had Princess Zoe in even more form. better than 12 months ago, when the mare completed a second chivalry after Subjectivism (GB) (Teophilo {Ire}).

“I made a lot of money for her,” he said. “I asked her to help me win 50,000 euros. We supported her each way 16-1, 12-1 and I gave her 500 euros each way the other day 12-1 when she should have been 8-1. We have value and we have horses, jockeys and trainers. If she wins, great, but if she doesn’t, it’s not the first time it’s happened and I’m going to put it on bad luck. I know in my heart and soul that she is a better mare this year so we are very confident. ”

Kehoe added, “You have to give Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}) the respect he deserves but it doesn’t look like he’s going to run for the ground now. What leaves as favorites? Kyprios (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})? And what did he hit?

“He beat Search For a Song (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at Navan and she has been hitting really well ever since. To be fair, he won again at Leopardstown [the G3 Saval Beg Levmoss S.] but it’s an egg and spoon race because he starts as a 1-10 favorite that tells you what he has to beat.

“Kyprios also hasn’t won over 1m6f yet so he’s not sure he’ll get the trip. For my money, the Gold Cup is a two-horse race between Zoe and Scope (Ire) (Teophilo {Ire}), the horse that won last year’s G1 Prix Royal-Oak, and now I see that it doesn’t. There is no doubt to run for the earth.”

Kehoe enjoys betting as much as he plays a liter of Smithwick, hates referees as much as he plays pranks, has never been married and never intended to. It’s an all-singing, all-dancing activity, which begs the question, where does he find the time to fully fund it?

“I wake up at four o’clock every morning, by five o’clock at the latest – when I don’t have to drink to pay the price to be able to get work done. You’ll finish your work at 10 or 11 a.m. and you’re done. I can never sleep. The way I see it, when you’re 75 years old, every minute of the day you’re alive is a reward. What will you lie in bed for? ”

Kehoe makes no secret of the fact that he enjoys a good night out – and when Wexford won the All-Ireland in 1996, there were rumors that there were some – but he also runs a hugely successful business specializing in ceilings. hangs, goes to race meetings and sporting events all over the world, which helps explain why sleep isn’t pecking orderly on his list of priorities.

“One day a man told me I could remember everything that was said on a night out, and I told him I could remember the day I was born!”

That’s when Kehoe’s phone lit up for the seventh or eighth time within an hour, each number different to the last, none of which were stored under a single name. No need.

“I don’t bother saving them. I know every number in there, I have them all in my head. I don’t like computers. Never. Probably my mother [Ina] was 96 years old and she could tell me everything that was going on. I talked to her this morning and she was talking about tennis, results from football matches, everything.

“The first thing I do every morning is check the stock market and turn to Sky News to see what is happening in Ukraine. My mom will have all the sports news and everything for me. She’s even registered for the Galway races again this year. ”

It was at Galway where Princess Zoe came to prominence, winning the top two handicaps at the summer festival before returning to Ballybrit at the end of 2020 to win the Oyster S list.

Princess Zoe has earned Kehoe 238,500 euros in career earnings, not bad for a mare costing only 39,500 euros, but he doesn’t like being labeled lucky when he’s associated with a money-hating man. so.

“If I hadn’t been unlucky, I wouldn’t have been,” he said, half jokingly. “Let’s take the Antarctic Bay as an example. He won the SunAlliance in 1985 and was the favorite for the following year’s Gold Cup. He never set foot on the track again after the victory over Cheltenham. Abbey Glen (GB) (Furry Glen {GB}) was hit in the neck in Arkle, qualified for the Grand National of Ireland and was pulled straight after being damaged. He’s also a favorite for next year’s Gold Cup. Two pre-post favorites for the Gold Cup. Both go. And people say I’m lucky? Stop.”

A night on the town with camp Kehoe is not for the faint of heart. It may be easier to predict the lottery numbers than it is to predict the outcome of Thursday’s race but the most certain thing is that the tour team of Irishmen and women will make the most of the opportunity.

“There will be 15 or 16 of us going to Ascot and we will be back at the Cassidy Pub in Dublin at 11:30pm on Thursday. There were guys from Paris, New York – everywhere – and they all believed she was going to win.

“I told them not to be disappointed if we lost because we would drink as much if she lost as we would drink if she won. It won’t make any difference.”

Money is secondary.

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