Paul Gilligan was given a one-year suspended ban by the Turf Club in 2013. Photograph: Inpho

Athenry-based trainer won a 2014 race at Uttoxeter with Dubai Phantom who had previously run at an unrecognised “flapper” meeting (...)

Ruby Walsh riding Vroum Vroum Mag  to win  at Ascot in  January. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Mare is main contender in Willie Mullins’s attempt to retain the title

Willie Mullins celebrates winning The Ryanair Novice Steeplechase with Douvan at Punchestown. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The odds-on favourite romped home to 11-length success in Ryanair Novice Chase

Gavin Sheehan riding One Track Mind to clear the last and win the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Stayers Hurdle win marks rapid change of fortunes for trainer Warren Greatrex

Douvan ridden by Ruby Walsh wins the Racing Post Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham earlier this year. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Alpha Des Obeaux to put seal on Mouse Morris’s successful spring campaign

Barry Geraghty riding Carlingford Lough on the way to winning the Punchestown Gold Cup, beating hot favourite Cue Card, who came in fourth. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Blow By Blow gives Katie Walsh her first ever victory in a Grade One race on the flat

Jockey Barry Geraghty celebrates winning the Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup on Carlingford Lough.  Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Red-letter day for trainer John Kiely as 12-1 shot lands unexpected Punchestown win

Robbie Colgan: told the original inquiry his instructions were to jump behind the leaders, get settled and pick up as much prizemoney as possible. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Definite Earl jockey and trainer David Broad punished for ‘non trier’ case at Ballinrobe

 Paddy Brennan riding Cue Card clear of the last to win The Betfred Bowl Steeple Chase at Aintree earlier this month. Photograph :  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Colin Tizzard’s star in the form of his life and looks too strong for the home team

David Mullins riding Brain Power in action at Punchestown. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Former champion jockey bounces back after successful appeal against ban

Paddy Brennan celebrates winning The BoyleSports Champion Chase on God’s Own at Punchestown. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Galway jockey guides 9-1 shot God’s Own to shock Grade One victory over Vautour

Ruby Walsh will ride at Punchestown after fracturing his wrist 18 days ago. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Jockey returns to ride at the festival 18 days after fracturing wrist in Aintree fall

Yorkhill winning the Neptune Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. His raw ability makes him something of a standout prospect at the Mullins stable. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Willie Mullins looks set to continue his usual dominance at Punchestown

Barry Geraghty: “Vautour is a very good horse and him coming down in distance is the only hope we have.” Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Mullins has dropped his enigmatic star back to the shorter trip of two miles

Barry Geraghty had his 30-day ban for his ride on Noble Emperor at Limerick quashed on Monday evening after a lengthy appeal at the Irish Turf Club. Photo: Getty Images

The successful appeal means that the County Meath jockey can now race at Punchestown

All Black Sonny Bill Williams, who will play for New Zealand at the Rio Olympics. Photograph: Jeremy Lee/Reuters

Game that encourages speed over brute force is big plus for a sport seeking to expand

Aidan O’Brien could target a second success in this Friday’s Bets365 Classic Trial at Sandown. Photo: Inpho

The champion trainer sends half a dozen runners to the all-weather fixture

Barry Geraghty celebrating victory on Ivanovich Gorbatov a the Cheltenham Festival. He will appeal a 30-day ban tonight. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Former champion jockey scheduled to miss Punchestown festival as things stand

Pleascach, who was runner-up at Navan, winning the Taggersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh last year. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Patrick Prendergast hoping star filly can follow in glorious path of previous winners

Vautour, ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh, fell when an odds-on favourite during the  JLT Melling Chase at Aintree.  Photo:  David Davies/PA

Cue Card and Vautour also scheduled to vie for honours in festival’s centrepiece

Ger Fox on Rogue Angel after  winning the  Irish Grand National: now targeting the Scottish version. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Don Cossack, Cue Card and Vautour on course for Gold Cup at Punchestown

Trainer Aidan O’Brien: his team have hit the ground running so far this season with eight winners in Ireland already. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ballydoyle handler is second favourite to win flat trainers championship in Britain

In effect, there is no correlation between encouraging people to bet on Irish racing and the revenue Irish racing gets. It is a stark contrast with other major racing jurisdictions where racing is financed through a Tote monopoly. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Policing billion-euro sport an urgent issue for bloodstock industry’s long-term health

David Mullins celebrates after winning the Crabbie’s Grand National steeplechase on Rule The World at Aintree. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty

Tipperary trainer completes a famous double after his recent Irish national win

Harzand ridden by Pat Smullen (second right) goes on to win The P. W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown.  Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Dermot Weld’s charge furthers his reputation with win in traditional Derby trial

Sunday’s racing at Tramore has been cancelled due to heavy rain. Photograph: Inpho

Waterford track falls victim to the weather with Tuesday’s Tipperary meet also off

Many Clouds ridden by Leighton Aspell on his way to winning the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree last year. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Same players but different finishing order may be outcome in ‘classiest renewal’ to date

Trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dermot Weld’s charge poised for big effort in PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes

 Willie Mullins is bidding to snatch the UK trainers’ title from Paul Nicholls and hopes Douvan will help him do it today. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Brilliant novice expected to start at odds as low as 1-6

Vautour ridden by Ruby Walsh before falling during the 3.25 JLT Melling Chase. Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Walsh suffered a hairline fracture to his wrist in a fall from Vautour on Friday afternoon

Captain Joy ridden by Pat Smullen (left) wins the Ladbrokes All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes  at Lingfield. Photograph: Paul Harding/PA

In-form champion jockey the one to follow on Student Raceday at Leopardstown

Trainer Tony Martin and jockey Barry Geraghty will both appeal bans and fines handed out last weekend. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

A €3,000 fine and 60 day suspension handed out under ‘non-trier’ rules at Limerick

Jockey Davy Russell will ride Morning Assembly in the English Grand National. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The JP McManus-owned horse may not even run in the big race at Aintree on Saturday

Barry Geraghty: in his first season as number one jockey to JP McManus.  Photograph: PA

Meath jockey could be absent for lengthy spell due to ‘non-trier’ ban at Limerick

Barry Geraghty has confirmed he is to appeal his 30-day ban. Photograph: PA

Jockey could miss Punchestown after receiving ‘non-trier’ ban at Limerick

British boxer Nick Blackwell who has been in an induced coma since his defeat to Chris Eubank Jr. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Boxer Nick Blackwell’s plight has re-opened debate about brain damage in sport

Trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Breeders’ Cup heroine can only come in third behind Nightime’s daughter

Trainer Aidan O’Brien to make late decision on participation of Found

Attention focussed on debut performance of US Army Ranger

Davy Russell, who partners Road To Riches at Navan.  x

Cheltenham exertions may hamper Road to Riches and Smashing

Ruby Walsh, Willie Mullins and owner Susannah Ricci (second right) celebrate with their trophies after winning the Ryanair Chase with Vautour at Cheltenham. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Ireland’s top trainer keen to add the British trainers’ championship to his proud record

Richard Johnson: will be hoping to guide Top Gamble to success at Fairyhouse.

Britain’s champion jockey-elect planning a Fairyhouse raid in Normans Grove Chase

Rogue Angel ridden by Ger Fox (left) on the way to winning the Boylesports Irish Grand National Chase ahead of Bless the Wings ridden by Ruby Walsh (centre) during day two of the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse Racecourse. Photo: PA Wire

Ger Fox rode the Gigginstown House Stud horse to the win at Fairyhouse

Barry Geraghty on Slowmotion on the way to winning the REA Grimes Property Consultants Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The local jockey came home as the winner on Sutton Place and Slowmotion

The chubby adolescent has been long replaced by work-out Rory, complete with ‘selfies’ highlighting his weight-crunching regime. Photograph: Erich Schlegel

Obsession with doing weights overlooks the fact that golf is a mental game

Jockey Jack Kennedy on Squouateur before the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle during Gold Cup Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Photograph: PA

Teenage Kerry jockey’s claim could prove significant on historic day at Fairyhouse

Kylemore Lough ridden by Barry Geraghty  jump the last to win the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Steeplechase  at Fairyhouse. Photograph:  PA Wire

Trainers Kerry Lee and Gavin Cromwell secure Easter Sunday Group One wins

 Peter Roe, manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, with last year’s  Boylesports Irish Grand National winner, Thunder and Roses. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Locally trained Venitien De Mai leads the big race betting, followed by siblings Mala Beach and Bonny Kate

Jessber’s Dream, winning a Mares Novices Hurdle under Noel Fehily, leads the cross-channel invasion at Fairyhouse on Sunday. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Role-reversal on the cards after Ireland’s record-equalling Cheltenham tally

Aidan O’Brien has booked Ryan Moore for Highland Reel in Meydan on Saturday. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

World Cup fixture is racing’s richest day, with eight races worth $30 million

 Nigel Pearson celebrates with striker Jamie Vardy after Leicester retained their Premier League status last year. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images

Leicester City’s title charge is miracle but man who laid foundations can’t even get job

Willie Mullins is in line to land the British trainers’ championship this season. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters

A hugely successful Cheltenham could see the Irish trainer end a 62-year run

Horses from Coolmore Stud on a post-race gallop at the Curragh on Sunday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire. Horses from Coolmore Stud on a post race gallop at Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 20, 2016. See PA story RACING Curragh. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Sruthan earns local trainer a second victory in €100,000 handicap highlight

 Colm O’Donoghue has announced that he will ride for Jessica Harrington in the upcoming Flat season. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Classic-winning flat jockey will share role along with Ballydoyle commitments

Aidan O’Brien: Air Force Blue and Minding are among a large team of O’Brien stars due to gallop at the track after racing at the Curragh. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Trainer brings maiden winner back to a mile to try to exploit a handicap mark of 97

Bryan Cooper and company celebrate   Don Cossack’s Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Gordon Elliott-trained star delivers in superb style for Gigginstown and Michael O’Leary

Jockey Bryan Cooper  and owners Eddie and Michael O’Leary celebrate Don Cosssack’s Cheltenham Gold Cup win with the Gigginstown team. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters/Livepic

Jockey Bryan Cooper and trainer Gordon Elliott claim first title with favourite

Kieren Fallon will compete at the Curragh this Sunday. Photo: Inpho

The 50-year-old six times former British champion jockey will be in action on Sunday

Former British Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton on Minella Theatre yesterday. Photograph: Eddie Keogh

Racing authorities’ unbridled enthusiam for publicity stunt a real puzzler

 Bryan Cooper guides Don Poli, left, over the last to win The Lexus Steeplechase at Leopardstown in  December. Cooper has sided with Don Cossack today.  Photo: by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Davy Russell’s relaxed horsemanship may go long way towards ending Willie Mullins wait

Paddy Brennan and Cue Card winning The King George VI Chase. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Paddy Brennan ready to give his all on board the horse that ‘saved his career’

Tom Scudamore hugs  Thistlecrack after the win in the Ryanair World Hurdle at Cheltenham on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Tom Scudamore admits to waiting his whole life to find a horse with such talent

Limini and Ruby Walsh after victory in the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices Hurdle Race. Photograph: Andrew Boyers

Long-time World Hurdle favourite Thistlecrack the sole winner for home team

Alpha Des Obeaux ridden by Bryan Cooper comes home to win at Gowran Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tipperary-based trainer aims to win World Hurdle 26 years after riding Trapper John to victory

  Colin Tizzard with  Thistlecrack at Spurles Farm  in Sherborne, England. The trainer has a proven record of festival success. Photograph:  Harry Trump/Getty Images

Trainer Colin Tizzard’s charge is the season’s outstanding staying hurdler

 Vautour: controversially chosen to run in the Ryanair Chase instead of the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.  Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Cheltenham: The trip and ground is an ideal fit for Dan Skelton’s attractively-priced charge

Colms Dream, ridden by Donagh Meyler, on the way to winning the Tri Equestrian Handicap Steeplechase at Leopardstown last month. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Karl Thornton’s star performer should make a winning return at Down Royal

Sprinter Sacre, with Nico de Boinville on board, clear the last to win the Queen Mother Chase. Photograph: Getty.

Improving ground conditions comes into play and leaves Yanworth short in Neptune

Sprinter Sacre ridden by jockey Nico de Boinville on the way to winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase during Ladies Day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Two years of injury and heart-problems put to bed in famous day two Cheltenham win

Un Des Sceaux’s support team: Colm O’Connell, Eamon O’Connell, Carol O’Connell, Tony Twomey, Kay O’Connell, Paul O’Connell, Colm O’Keeffe with children, Luke and Katelyn O’Connell. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Horse and his all-or-nothing owner Eddie O’Connell ‘a perfect fit’

No More Heroes, who has looked imperious in three starts in Ireland,  will be carrying the hopes of many Irish punters in the RSA Chase. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Josies Orders capable of delivering in Cross Country Chase for top owner JP McManus

Ruby Walsh and Un De Sceaux lead all the way to win The Sodexo Clarence House Steeple Chase at Ascot in January. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst

Rivals – including Sprinter Sacre – looks to have their best days behind them

Ms Jacqueline O’Brien, pictured  with her husband Dr Vincent O’Brien and President  Mary Robinson. Photograph: Alan Betso/The Irish Times

Widow of legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien passes away in Dublin

Ruby Walsh rides Douvan to victory in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge at Cheltenham. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Willie Mullins ponders next step for possibly the best horse he’s trained

Annie Power clears a hurdle on the way to winning the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Willie Mullins floats possibility of Champion Hurdle winner attempting to emulate Dawn run

Identity Thief ridden by Bryan Cooper winning The StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle race at Newcastle in November. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Henry de Bromhead’s horse is on up with extent of his potential still unknown

If anything Douvan has been even more impressive in three starts over fences than he was over the smaller obstacles. Had his trainer confined himself to scattering ‘best ever’ superlatives just the once it might have been dismissed as emotion talking. He hasn’t, and the sky remains the limit for this horse.

Not even hotly anticipated Champion Hurdle can eclipse gelding’s appearance on day one

 Henry de Bromhead “I hope there’s more to come from him (Identity Thief). He looks a type of horse that should improve again, even though he’s already come a long way this season.”

Waterford trainer has five runners going to post on the opening day of the festival

Under the microscope: Jockey Bryan Cooper can expect his every move with the Michael O’Leary-owned Gigginstown Stud team at Cheltenham to be closely monitored. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Gigginstown Stud’s number one jockey is spoiled for choice when it comes to talented rides, but make a mistake and the racing pub(...)

Going back for another crack: Sonny Carey riding Annie Power on the gallops at Cheltenham. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Annie Power’s slip up saved them last year but now they face a new accumulator threat

Jockey Andrew McNamara and Newmill in2006: he is aiming for a first success as a trainer with Val de Ferbet

Val de Ferbet looks capable of defeating former stable companion Tennis Cap

How the Irish Times reported Arkle’s third successive Gold Cup win in 1966.

Tom Dreaper’s famous charge completed a three-in-a-row of Gold Cup successes

Tony Mullins, Paddy Mullins, George Mullins and Willie Mullins. Photo: Inpho

The foundations for the continuance of a racing dynasty are as strong as ever

Pat Smullen: “The atmosphere at Cheltenham is unbelievable, very special, and  is something the flat lacks a bit. ” Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Irish champion flat jockey will partner First Figaro in Weatherbys Champion Bumper

Bryan Cooper after winning the Lexus Chase aboard Don Poli in December: “It’s so hard to choose between them, so I need to take my time and make sure I make the right decision.

Gigginstown’s retained rider 7/1 to be top jockey at Cheltenham

Punchestown prize pot to top €2.6m as €100,000 boost announced

Paddy Power’s new advertisement features a spoof complaints department, another promotion with a ‘just-kidding’ tone. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Unlike in Australia, firms here are not legally obliged to take bets from successful punters

Jamie Flynn on Goonyella. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

In his first start over fences he came up six lengths short but the signs are encouraging

David Mullins has his eyes set on a first festival success after continuing his strong campaign at Naas. Photo: Getty Images

The young jockey was on board Sub Lieutenant for his 36th win of the season

Ruby Walsh and Vautour en route to a spectacular win in The JLT Novices’ Steeple Chase at Cheltenham last year. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Cooper hoping to narrow gap at top of jockeys table this weekend

Trainer Gordon Elliot with jockey Simon McGonagle on Don Cossack at Cullentra House, Longwood, Co. Meath. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Willie Mullins team seen as the biggest threat to Don Cossack’s Gold Cup hopes

Trainer Willie Mullins with Annie Power on a stable visit to Closutton ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The trainer, who is hoping to do better than last year, is bringing 60 horses the festival

Willie Mullins: “Looking two generations down the line, I think the sport is getting smaller and I believe we need to internationalise jumping more. If we don’t, jump racing could disappear.”

Champion trainer worried about the future of jump racing

Johnny Sexton would rather not be the public face of concussion, especially, as he pointed out, since when he’s been forced out of action it has been mostly due to other stuff. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

Many parents must look at the modern game and shudder

Vautour, right, with Ruby Walsh up, and Ballycasey, with David Mullins aboard, go past the main stand. Photograph: Matt Browne

Henry De Bromhead looking ahead to Aintree with novice Alisier D’Irlande

Trainer Aiden O’Brien. It is 20 years since Urubande became Aidan O’Brien’s first Cheltenham festival winner. Photograph: INPHO

Aspen Colorado is as low as 10-1 for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham

Bryan Cooper on No More Heroes at Fairyhouse in November. The horse will get a run at Leopardstown tomorrow. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Elliott will gave Don Cossack and No More Heroes a spin before going to festival

Racehorse trainer Adrian McGuinness. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dublin trainer was fined €2,500 for possession of animal remedies without authorisation

Bryan Cooper on Don Cossack: one of Gigginstown Stud’s big contenders for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Road To Riches and Valseur Lido could be diverted from Gold Cup to the Ryanair

Accident waiting to happen? Victoria Pendleton (in red cap), riding Pacha Du Polder, is unseated during the Foxhunters’ Steeplechase at Fakenham on February 19th. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Tipping Point: Cheltenham Festival should not need celebrity gimmicks to market itself

Anna Van den Troost on Nil Kamla, left, on her way to winning the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship at the White Turf races in St Moritz. Photograph: Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP

Trainer hoping for dry spell ahead of Don’s Gold Cup bid

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