In Ireland it is as important to win the all Ireland Football Final as it is to have an Irish-Trained Winner at the Cheltenham Festival. There is more interest aroused during the Cheltenham racing festival than at any race meeting in Ireland during the year.
For Irish racegoers, the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival is a mecca - an event which is almost religious in significance, as Ireland prides itself on their horse racing trainers, jockeys, and of course horses.
An estimated 10,000 racegoers make the trip from the Emerald Isle for the four-day meeting and there has always been a huge incentive to get one over on the old enemy on their own soil and have a Cheltenham Irish winner.
The desire for Cheltenham Irish-Trained winners stems back to the days when Vincent O'Brien ruled at Cheltenham, where he notched up no fewer than 10 Gloucestershire Hurdles, along with four Gold Cups, three Champion Hurdles and five other races.
That feat is recognised by the powers that be as the County Hurdle of old is now known as the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle which is a fitting recognition for services rendered.
Legendary racehorse Arkle really started the ball rolling with his defeat of English star Mill House in the 1964 Gold Cup, the Festival's feature race.
Mare Dawn Run produced another Irish fairytale by becoming the only horse to complete the Champion Hurdle-Gold Cup double, winning the second leg in 1986.
And more recently, Istabraq beat all England - and France - had to offer with three consecutive Champion Hurdle victories.
The whole season, from early winter, builds up to Cheltenham and a winner there is the ultimate for all concerned and many of those first past the post are ridden by English-based jockeys who hail from across the Irish Sea.
Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Mick Fitzgerald, Norman Williamson, Jim Culloty and of course Ruby Walsh are all Irish.
About a sixth of the 350-plus runners at the Festival can normally be expected to have travelled over and represent Ireland.
Every year, bookmakers offer odds on the number of Cheltenham Irish-trained winners, with between four and six the most popular. In recent years now that the festival is four days the Irish are getting closer to double figures.
Each of these winners is greeted by a triumphant roar and wild celebrations around the winners' enclosure.
Following on from last year, we are delighted to announce that we are featuring horse racing tips from Channel Four Racing presenter, Tom Lee.
Tom appears on Channel 4's Morning Line & covers live Racing in the afternoon as well fronting RTE's Racing coverage in Ireland, his Cheltenham Festival Tips and previews of each day's Racing will be available during the Festival and supported with opinions and views from our Racing writers.View Tom's Racing Tips
We now have the latest bookmakers betting odds for the main Cheltenham Festival Races.
These odds are updated regularily to ensure that you in touch with all the market moves in the build up to the festival.