Sir Alex Ferguson and AP McCoy at Cheltenham BSI

Pallister: If You Went To Cheltenham Sir Alex Ferguson Would Drop You

There were no exceptions at Man United during the Sir Alex Ferguson era – not even when it came to the Cheltenham Festival.

Ahead of the prestigious Cheltenham Festival next week, here at BoyleSports we caught up with Manchester United legend Gary Pallister, who cast some light on what it was like to be a Man United player during Cheltenham week.

Sir Alex Fergurson would DROP you if he found out you went to the racing

My favourite memories of Fergie and horse racing is that if he found out you’ve been to Cheltenham Festival, he’d drop you!

“He wasn’t into Cheltenham racing then. He didn’t play golf and he didn’t like horse racing. Now he loves his golf and his horse racing and owns horses.

“Back in the day, he wasn’t OK with the lads going off for a day at the races, but that’s all changed and he’s obviously been involved for quite a while now with his good friends from Manchester and had some good success there.”

Sir Alex wouldn’t allow us to go to Cheltenham

God no! Sir Alex wouldn’t allow us to go to Cheltenham. That’s right in the middle of the season when it’s getting to the tickly bit.

“Cheltenham Festival week no chance. There was every chance we’d be playing in the middle of the week anyway so that was never on the agenda.

“The ones we used to go to were at the end of the season at Chester when the season was done. It was always a good day out for the lads if we’d won something that season.”

You can keep up to date with all the latest Cheltenham Festival betting news and updates with our dedicated Cheltenham blog coverage.

Bryan Robson was the biggest racing nut of all my teammates and Paul Ince also loved a punt

Robbo was the biggest racing nut. I always remember we had the players pool at United back in the early days.

“He was the man because he knew a few of the jockeys and as I say he was England and United captain so he was going to get invited everywhere.

“Robbo, Incey was another one who liked a punt on the horses. I think they were the two main protagonists and they were always having a decent flutter on whatever the tipster got.”

Loves Cheltenham and looking forward to getting tips of Sir Alex

“I wasn’t massively into horse racing or Cheltenham Festival when I was a player. We used to go now and again. We used to go Chester races, York races and things like that. Every now and then we’d get a day out. I enjoyed it but wasn’t big into the horses and the betting back then.

“Since I’ve retired I’m a bit more into the racing, especially Cheltenham. I got taken down there about five or six years ago and was blown away by the atmosphere and I’ve been every year since because it’s such a special day to be able to witness some top class horse racing.

“The banter that’s around the stadium, the social gatherings, meeting friends and old players that I played against.”

It’s just really good fun and I’m looking forward to getting some tips of Fergie!

Sir Alex tipped me Tiger Roll at 10/1 at Cheltenham and he romped home

“I remember a few years back when there was an unknown horse called Tiger Roll and I was on the phone with Bryan Robson on the day and he said: ‘I’ll put you onto the gaffer he’s got more than I have.”

“He said he’d give me a few tips and his nap of the day was Tiger Roll. I think that was the cross country race at the time and he was around 10/1.

He said it was his NAP at the time so I put a few quid and it romped home at 10/1!

He hasn’t given me another tip since then but that was a good price so it made sure I was up on the day.”

Click Below For All Our Cheltenham Betting Odds

Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Odds (2)

*Prices subject to fluctuation

Remember, always gamble responsibly. Here’s our Safer Gambling Guide.