MY name is Peter McGrane. I’m 12 years old and live in Drogheda.
After racing in Gowran Park on Red Mills Day with my dad I spotted a flyer on our car windscreen. It was advertising a Cheltenham magazine produced by The Irish Field. I grabbed the flyer and put it in my pocket.
Once I reached home I asked my mum to order a copy of the magazine online for me. When you ordered a copy your name was entered in a competition to win a day trip to Cheltenham.
Three weeks before the Festival my mum read aloud an email she had received from The Irish Field. Very quickly I realised what this was about and jumped up and down with elation.
I couldn’t believe we had won the competition and that I was going to the Cheltenham Festival!
A few days later our tickets arrived in the post from Sky Bet.
At 6am on Tuesday morning, March 14th, I sprung out of bed and got ready for my exciting day. We flew from Dublin to Birmingham where travel agent Eimer Hannon had a car waiting to bring us to the racecourse.
At 11am on Tuesday morning I was heading through the gates at Cheltenham and bursting with excitement.
Before racing started I was lucky enough to meet Aidan Coleman walking the track. Outside the weighroom I got to meet Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell too.
The roar for the start of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was incredible and was matched by an amazing performance by Marine Nationale. El Fabiolo looked sensational in the Arkle and then Corach Rambler stayed up the hill best of all for the second year running to win the Ultima.
I am very proud to say that I was at the Cheltenham Festival to see what many people say was the greatest Champion Hurdle winner of all time. Constitution Hill was just a different class. Then Honeysuckle got the fabulous send-off that she deserved by battling strongly to win the Mares’ Hurdle.
Jazzy Matty completed a double for jockey Michael O’Sullivan by narrowly defeating Byker in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, and finally Gaillard Du Mesnil got himself in front after the last fence in a thrilling National Hunt Chase.
Before we left I was lucky enough to bump into Mark Boylan of The Irish Field and was able to thank him in person for a day I’ll never forget.