There were a record number of winning favourites at the festival spearheaded by Best Mate winning the middle of his three Gold Cups. It was a bloodbath, with punters walking out of the track every night pushing wheelbarrows full of cash.
The Grand National came quickly after and Barry Geraghty carried the hopes and dosh of a nation on board Monty’s Pass to kick us poor bookies when we were down.
We had been very smugly generous early in the year paying out on Arsenal winning the Premiership, but then United came and did them on the run in. We ended up with egg on our face and a big hole in our pocket paying out on both teams.
To add insult to injury Chris De Burgh’s daughter, Rosanna Davison, won Miss World. Every dog on the street was on. If Her Majesty was a bookie she’d call it annis horribilis!
We may have been pummelled by punters but it was the year of one of our best ever sponsorships – the famous Hurley saga.
Ireland is unique in having two Championships of professional standard played by amateurs every single year. We spotted a way of rewarding players that wasn’t in breach of any rules.
We simply wrote the name Paddy Power on their hurley sticks. To say it caused consternation would be a massive understatement. The sponsorship was the subject of national debate to such an extent that we pulled it after just one game because it was interfering with players’ preparation for the biggest day of their lives.
I suppose I’d better mention that England won the Rugby World Cup too. Yes, they were a blow out. Well, we are Irish so we were always going to take them on!