Racing pundit Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com and new racing radio station racingfm.com looks at Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase.
Paddy Power was founded in 1988 by the merger of the 40 shops of three Irish bookmakers: Stewart Kenny, David Power, and John Corcoran. Kenny had sold O’Reilly bookmakers to Coral in 1986 and then opened 10 shops of his own by 1988. Corcoran’s shops had traded as Patrick Corcoran.
Power was a son of Richard Power and one of several inheritors trading under the Richard Power name. The Power name was considered the strongest brand among the merged shops, while the “Paddy” name and green colouring emphasised the chain’s Irish roots at a time when the fragmented Irish industry was facing competition from British betting chains entering the market in response to changes in the Irish tax code.
Paddy Power has drawn criticism in the past for offering controversial markets such as odds on the first species to be driven to extinction by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, on an assassination of US President Obama, and on the potential extinction of the polar bear
Paddy Power’s advertising campaigns have also been criticised. They released a controversial YouTube advert depicting a middle-aged man shooting tranquiliser darts at chavs at a racecourse and featuring a tagline stating that people can “enjoy a chav-free Cheltenham”. This was inspired by a comment from a user on Paddy Power’s Facebook page stating, “Hope the chavs don’t ruin Cheltenham like they did Royal Ascot”, referring to a brawl on Ladies’ Day 2011.
During a UEFA Euro 2012 match between Denmark and Portugal, Danish forward Nickolas Bendtner celebrated his second goal by lowering his shorts and lifting his shirt to reveal a pair of Paddy Power underpants.
Bendtner was fined €100,000 by UEFA and banned for one game. He later described his actions as being regrettable and not premeditated. Paddy Power paid the fine on Bendtner’s behalf and gave away thousands of replica underwear to fans of their Facebook page.
This year the company have, in an effort to make the Brit Awards a little interesting, taken two interns, filled them full of booze, dressed them up like internationally renowned dance act Daft Punk and pushed them out of a limo onto the red carpet. The media and event organisers were so thrilled at the idea of having the elusive Daft Punk at the event that they didn’t think to check for tickets or ID.
It wasn’t until the Bookies boys dropped their trousers to reveal their Paddy Power Lucky Pants that they were finally rumbled.
They also commissioned a statue of David Moyes in the week of his sacking from Manchester United and erected it outside of Liverpool’s Anfield ground.
Seven of the last eight winners of the Paddy Power were aged six or seven, carried between 10-2 and 11-2, and were officially rated between 139 and 148, while the last eight winners were Irish or French bred.
From the 48 still entered at the time of writing, Present View, Buywise, Johns Spirit and Uxizandre are sure to be at the head of the market, while, Cedre Bleu could grab a place at a big price.
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