Noel O’Callaghan gallops to success with Alexander

Media-shy hotelier was screaming his lungs out on Wednesday

Anthem Alexander ridden by Pat Smullen on the way to victory in the Queen Mary Stakes on Wednesday. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Anthem Alexander ridden by Pat Smullen on the way to victory in the Queen Mary Stakes on Wednesday. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 01:06

If Michael O’Leary is one of the loudest people in Irish business, then his uncle, the media-shy hotelier Noel O’Callaghan, is one of the quietest. He was screaming his lungs out on Wednesday, however, when his filly Anthem Alexander won the prestigious Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

So excited was O’Callaghan, who owns six hotels in Ireland, the US and Gibraltar, that he gave a post-race television interview, albeit to Racing UK, which was unlikely to ask anything nosy about his businesses. “You were really giving it some wellie there . . . you’ve got a good cheer on you,” said the interviewer to a still red-faced O’Callaghan, all dapper in his top hat.

The horse must be named after his hotel, the Alexander. Come to think of it, almost all his horses are: Three D Alexander, Private Alexander, Alexander Youth, Remember Alexander. Perhaps the name has a deeper resonance.

The name of another of O’Callaghan’s horses will be appropriate once the good weather ends: Face Reality.

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