IF Pado Flynn’s most successful achievement as a GAA manager was leading Palatine to a senior football championship title in 2022, then he gets nearly as much kick out of his involvement with the Closutton Racing Club. He admits it is the stuff of dreams for him where they have a runner in the Mares Hurdle on the first day of the Cheltenham Racing Festival this year with Shewearsitwell. She is considered one of the outsiders according to the bookies but many of the shrewder punters have tipped her to push for at least a place finish.
The mare had mixed form earlier in the year where she was pulled up in Galway in July but was fourth at the same venue in September.
The syndicate have eight horses including Carrigamona Queen and Quel Reve in their name. James Fenton trains the horses in Cork and when they are ready they go to the Willie Mullins yard on a six-week programme.
Shewearsitwell was brought to Punchestown in November where they would have been happy with a top four finish. She did better than that
“Coming around the last bend, I knew she was coming like a rocket. To get into the first four we were shouting. The next minute I said she is going to win it. She came between horses. She got a peach of a ride. I took some savage photos. It was pure magic,” recalled Pado.
She ran in the Dublin Racing Festival where the 15/8 was up against the odds-on favourite, Queens Brook. Pado was perplexed as to why the bookies had her so far behind the hot pot in the race.
“I always study form when it comes to horses. This horse beat that horse or whatever. I couldn’t understand why Queens Brook was such heavy favourite for the race. We won with any amount in hand that day,” said Pado.
The dream was Cheltenham and here they are now, going for the Mares Hurdle.
“Reality is if she makes the first four we will be absolutely thrilled. Once she comes safe and sound is the first thing. If she finishes in the first four it is dreamland. After that, my heart wouldn’t be able to take it,” says Pado.
Either way, he says there will be no point in trying to touch base with him during Cheltenham.
“I will either be non-contactable due to disappointment or I will be non-contactable because I will be hanging out of the chandeliers in the parade ring at Cheltenham,” he says.
Hear the full interview with Pado Flynn on the Across the Four Lakes Podcast.