Rose of Tralee 2021 Betting Tips and Odds

Rose of Tralee 2021 Betting Tips and Odds

Quick Tips (Odds were advised on 16/08/2019):

The Rose of Tralee is a popular annual festival that takes place in the small town of Tralee situated in the south-western corner of Ireland. However, this is no small-time get together at a Village Fair, the Rose of Tralee is a televised event attracting contestants from all over the world.

To take part in the contest, with the potential to become the coveted ‘Rose of Tralee’, applicants must be female and aged between 18 and 29. They must be unmarried or never married, born in Ireland, be an Irish citizen or of Irish origin by virtue of one of their ancestors having been born in the country.

The winner is the woman deemed best to match the attributes relayed in the song: “Lovely and Fair”. She is selected on the basis of personality and suitability to serve as an ambassador for both the festival and Ireland as a country. Officially, the festival classes itself as an observation and celebration of the “aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage” of modern women.

So you can cast aside any notion the Rose of Tralee simply being another zany televised show, a hybrid between Big Brother and Miss World. It is something altogether different and is one of the best TV and novelty betting events of the year.

Rose of Tralee 2019 Latest Betting Odds (As of 27/08/2019)

ContestentRepresentingOddsBet With
Sinead FlanaganLimerick6/4Paddy Power
Emer FogartyKildare9/2Betfair
Sally-Anne LeahyKerry8/1Ladbrokes
Chloe KennedyDonegal8/1Coral
Jordan BalfryMelbourne10/1Betfair
Laura VinesDublin18/1Ladbrokes
Victoria O ConnellClare20/1Betfair
Laura KennedyLondon20/1Paddy Power
Shana PembrokeChicago20/1Betfair
Stephanie McCarthyCork20/1Ladbrokes
Molly EastmanWashington20/1Coral
Rebecca MazzaSydney25/1Coral
Marie BradyLongford25/1Paddy Power

Selection Process

Each of Ireland’s 32 counties select a ‘Rose’ and they join the international Roses, chosen locally from around the world, in the qualifying rounds which narrow the field down to 32 contestants who are selected to appear in the televised finals. In 2019, when the competition celebrates its 60th anniversary, two final nights, broadcast live on state broadcaster RTE, are scheduled for August 26th and 27th.

Consequently the Rose of Tralee has cemented itself as a favourite on the specials betting calendar, particularly in Ireland.


In previous years the Rose of Tralee festival has had its controversial, heart-warming and downright hilarious moments (notably in 2016 when a Rose rapped Lil Wayne for the talent portion of the competition). The festival has also gotten political in the past, much to the dismay of the organisers who prefer the conversation to centre around safer topics, such as Irish dancing and loving your ‘mammy and daddy’.

Last year’s winner was the Waterford Rose, 21-year-old Kirsten Mate Maher. Of Irish and Zambian heritage, Mate Maher was the first African-Irish rose to win the competition.

Rose of Tralee Betting Options

The Rose of Tralee is limited to an outright win only market by most bookmakers. This is probably due to the nature of the competition which makes limited fuss of the placed contestants.

However Men also participate in the show as ‘Rose Escorts’ who assist the Roses during their time in the festival. The escort who works hardest is named ‘Escort of the Year’ and is invited back to the festival the following year. Remarkably you can also find betting markets on who that will be. Betfair already have this market open and they make John Fanning, Joey McCarthy and Chris Kelly their 8/1 co-favourites.

Finding the Fancies

From the general public’s viewpoint the competition can be notoriously difficult to predict as casual TV viewers have a limited opportunity to assess the Roses prior to the televised final.

There are public biographies of each Rose listed on the official Rose of Tralee website and diehard fans who attend one of the limited number of pre-event outings featuring some Roses on a short publicity tour can get a better sense of who they like before the TV stages.

But the best betting sites odds compilers are duty bound to unearth as much information about the candidates as possible in order to form their own betting markets. Gradually the weight of money from informed punters leads us to a point where the betting provides a good barometer as to the destination of the prize.

Early Rose of Tralee Favourites and Betting Movers

Tralee is in County Kerry and it is the Kerry Rose, Sally-Ann Leahy, who was subject of the early gamble. She was originally 12/1, but now the Home Economics teacher and Chernobyl Children’s Fund volunteer is in to 5/1 with Betfair. She has some form in the proverbial formbook having won the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ prize at Killarney Horse Racing Festival in 2016.

However, the Kerry Rose is not the competition favourite. That distinction falls on the shoulders of Chicago Rose Shana Pembroke. Shana is a 24-year old student from Chicago, Illinois, currently pursuing a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology meaning she can work with children with language and communication impairments.

However, being a hobbyist singer and dancer who was also a professional child actor she is likely to communicate better with Rose of Tralee judges than most of her counterparts and that’s probably why she has been backed down from 22/1 into as short as 4/1 with Paddy Power.

Others the punters have latched on to are County Clare’s Rose Victoria O’Connell, who is 28-years-old and works at the Trump International Doonbeg Golf Resort. She may deserve a break and with a bad boss (I jest), a sympathetic public will be pleased to see she has been cut into 8/1 with Paddy Power from an opening 25/1 quote.

Donegal’s representative Chloe Kennedy is another that has attracted some money. Twenty-years-old from Donegal Town she is now top-priced 28/1 with Boyle Sports having opened at 40’s.

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Betting Fancies

1964 was the last time a winner came from County Kerry which some would argue augers well for the Kerry Rose’ chances, but her price has gone to the point that it represents no value and the Chicago Rose is way too short in a 32-runner field.

So there are two to consider at decent prices. The first is 22-year old Orlagh McClinton, the Rose representing County Antrim. The 40/1 has gone about her, but 14/1 with Paddy Power is still a good price judged on the positive national press she has received and interviews she has given.

Talking of good speakers - Laura Kennedy, the London Rose, is a public speaker and volunteer ambassador for Make A Wish UK. She has worked with disadvantaged children in India, but now works in a global investment bank. Brains, looks, confidence and a good heart are four strong pieces of form which lead us to think she is over-priced at 18/1 with Betway.

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