LONDON, England -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Cheltenham Gold Cup sponsors Betfred have put their hands in their pockets once again for charity. The leading independent bookmakers were feeling in a generous mood today as they gave talkSPORT radio hosts Alan Brazil and Ronnie Irani a free £500 charity bet on Sir Des Champs to win this year's Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. And if the bet comes in the winnings will be donated to the Sir Bobby Robson foundation, the acclaimed cancer research charity set up in honour of the former England manager.
Former Scotland international footballer Brazil and former England international cricketer Irani were both on hand to open a new branch of Betfred in London at the unveiling of their Fenchurch Street store. The duo went down a storm with happy punters in the capital as festivities got underway in the build-up to next week's Cheltenham Festival, which runs 12-15 March.
"I think it's the most open Gold Cup I've seen for a long, long time," said Glaswegian Brazil, who played for a string of clubs including Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Ipswich Town. "Jockey Tony McCoy pointed out to me that he really like this horse Sir Des Champs. "We're trying to raise a £1million for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation - and I think it's a good bet going with Sir Des Champs.
"It's a fabulous charity and hopefully we can raise a few more wee quid for it. "Bobby was the reason I got into racing. We were close to Newmarket when I was playing for Ipswich and Bobby was the manager. "We all used to enjoy the racing and I've enjoyed it ever since."
Hot food and drinks were laid on for pleased punters, who also had the chance to win a free £50 bet as they spoke to Brazil and Irani about all manner of sporting action, including the forthcoming Manchester United versus Real Madrid fixture, as well as England's cricketers chance in this summer's Ashes and whether anyone can stop Manchester United winning the Premier League crown.
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