Irishman hot favourite to be drunkest person at Cheltenham
MARTIN O’Hanlon, a 38 year-old from Kerry, is the bookies’ choice for champion drinker at the Cheltenham Festival.
The four-day sauce-necking event, which takes place next to some horses at Cheltenham racecourse, attracts top professional drinkers from around the world.
This year’s 5-6 favourite is garrulous Irishman O’ Hanlon, who will be coming over on the ferry with four grand in his top pocket and a ‘virtually unlimited’ capacity for rum and coke.
O’Hanlon’s trainer, Stephen Malley, said: “Martin romped home last weekend at Kelso, consuming 194 units of alcohol over a 48-hour stretch. That includes 98 units before he had his first piss.
“He’s a great competitor and a fantastic personality. The crowd loves it when he doesn’t seem that pissed but then tries to leave the bar via an imaginary door.”
Earlier this season O’ Hanlon, who stands 13 hands high when upright, sustained a serious injury to his drinking arm when he repeatedly punched a road sign following a mid-week session at Doncaster.
Malley said: “Luckily he was still able to grab people round the neck and force them to sing ‘Wild Colonial Boy’.”
Drinkers’ rights groups have called for the event to be banned after last year’s favourite, the popular Scot Davey McBride, stumbled into a roadside ditch and had to be shot.
But a spokesman for the organisers said: “The drinkers love it. You can see the enjoyment in their eyes and to stop them doing it would be going against nature.
“Unfortunately, when they fall over they’re often too drunk to tell us if they’re okay and so we have to put them down.”