Cheltenham Festival: Paddy’s new poll confirms Irish fans care more about England rivalry than the English

Paddy's poll looked into the rivalry ahead of a huge Cheltenham Festival week.

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There’s always plenty of talk about Ireland v England ahead of the Cheltenham Festival but who cares more about the rivalry, the Irish or the English?

Well, you can stop worrying, because here at Paddy Power, we’ve found the answer.

A new poll has revealed the Irish really DO care more about beating England than the English do about beating us.

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The result of Saturday’s Six Nation’s clash at Twickenham was testament to that when England lost by a record margin of 17 points to Ireland at home.

Irish trainers and British trainers are set to go head-to-head yet again at Cheltenham this year for the prestigious Prestbury Cup, a trophy given to the country with the most winners, and Ireland are overwhelming favourites to retain the cup they won so dominantly, 23 wins to 5, in 2021.

In fact trainer Willie Mullins is just over evens to have more winners than the whole British cohort combined!

According to the poll, 51% of Irish racing fans consider England to be their greatest rivalry in rugby

Paddy Power carried out the survey of 1000 horse racing fans split equally across the UK and Ireland, specifically for the Cheltenham Festival. All were asked about their favourite sporting rivalries.

According to the poll, 51% of Irish racing fans consider England to be their greatest rivalry in rugby, with New Zealand coming miles back in 2nd place with 22% of the vote. And a whopping 72% consider England to be their greatest rival in football.

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But, the animosity isn’t reflected across the sea. In fact, when asked who they considered their greatest rival in rugby, Ireland actually came BOTTOM of the pile as far as the Brits were concerned!

23% of English fans consider New Zealand to be their biggest rival in rugby, 20% said Wales, with Scotland in third with 14% of the vote and France and Australia tied on 13%.

Only 8% of English fans consider Ireland to be their biggest rival in rugby, just behind South Africa (9%).

Liverpool vs Manchester United was the No.1 rivalry Irish and English sports fan were in harmony on

But surely it was closer in football? Not quite. Despite an overwhelming majority in Ireland wanting to bash the baked bean lovers into the back of beyond just 7% of English fans consider Ireland their big rival. Germany came top with 52% of the vote, with Brazil (13%) and France (12%) coming in second and third.

Respondents on both sides of the pond were also asked what their overall favourite rivalry is, and this also showed there was more enthusiasm for Ireland v England on the Irish side.

Over a third (36%) of Irish fans picked an answer that involved Ireland vs England in some way (21% said Ireland v England in rugby, 9% in football and 6% in horse racing), while only 25% of English fans picked similarly (8% Ireland v England rugby, 8% football, 9% racing).

But they did agree on one thing – Liverpool vs Manchester United was the No.1 rivalry Irish and English sports fan were in harmony on.

All that’s left to do now is enjoy Cheltenham Festival and watch the Irish dominate once again.

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