Zawraq ridden by Pat Smullen comes home to win the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes in April ahead of Endless Drama, which finished second in the Irish Guineas at the weekend. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dermot Weld’s colt will be in virgin territory over a mile and a half at Epsom classic

Rory McIlroy looks dejected during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week.

You wonder sometimes if we’ve fully cottoned on just how rare a talent McIlroy is

Kevin Manning on Pleascach (purple checked hat) wins the 1000 Guineas from Ryan Moore on Found  at the Curragh yesterday. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Tilt against colts to follow gutsy half-length victory over her 1,000 Guineas rivals

Gleneagles ridden by Ryan Moore (Blue and Orange cap) win the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas  at The Curragh. Photograph: Pat Healey/PA Wire

Derby may be swerved with Aidan O’Brien seeing Curragh classic winner as miler

Ryan Moore onboard The Grey Gatsby comes home to win just ahead of Australia ridden by Joseph O’Brien at Leopardstown. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ryan Moore gearing up for potentially vintage Group One weekend at Curragh

Gleneagles, with Ryan Moore riding, wins The Quipco 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on May 2nd. photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty.

Another Guineas double on cards for O’Brien stable to bridge 18-year gap

James Doyle on Noble Mission comes home to win The Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last year. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Tattersalls Gold Cup has struggled in recent years to meet Group One ratings criteria

P Ryan Moore on Found wins the l Prix Marcel Boussac–Criterium Des Pouliches at Longchamp racecourse last  October in Paris, France. Found is one of five O’Brien-trained fillies left in after the five-day stage for the  Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas.   Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Jessica Harrington’s Bocca Baciata looks a frontline contender for classic victory at the Curragh

Aidan O’Brien has won eight of the last nine Gallinule renewals. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Tombelaine set to run for Weld-Smullen team in Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas

Richard Hughes on board Sole Power during the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in  March. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Meath trainer wants eight-year-old to get race under his belt ahead of Royal Ascot

Formula One is about aspiration but that’s been downplayed in order to supposedly even things out between the drivers. Photograph: Alejandro Garcia/EPA

Sport is about motor and has more in common with horse racing than anything else

Colt is prohibitive 1/3 to chalk up trainer’s 10th Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas win

Jockey Colin Keane rides the Ger Lyons-trained Azzuri in the opening maiden at Roscommon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Step up in trip can prove crucial for Qatar Racing’s filly

Trainer Ger Lynch admitted to Turf Club  officials that the stamps used for vaccination entries were not authentic

Turf Club investigation established he had falsified vaccination paperwork

Ruby Walsh and On His Own. They will line up in the €850,000 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris  on Sunday. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Mullins has second attempt at winning Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris

Zawraq and Pat Smullen. Dermot Weld had dangled the idea of next weekend’s Irish Guineas as a possible target for Sheikh Hamdan’s colt, but the owner’s spokesman has indicated Zawraq will go straight for the Derby

Dermot Weld colt Zawraq looks like being major Derby player in three weeks

Jockey Adrian Heskin onboard Foxrock: Heskin had already served a one-day ban imposed on the day of the controversial race at  Punchestown in December. Photograph: Inpho

Penalty comes over five months after riding Foxrock at Punchestown

Blinkers can helpZannda lay down a marker for Epsom at York today. Photograph: inpho

Dermot Weld owned three-year-old filly can book her place at Epsom

HRI CEO Brian Kavanagh has announced funding for four race courses under the new €100 million capital development scheme. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Horse Racing Ireland has approved grants worth €3 million in total

On His Own was bettered by Lord Windermere in the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Cheltenham Gold Cuo runner-up and entry for Paris event

 Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev inspects the stadium during the opening of the Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku. The first European Games will be held in Baku Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

Azerbaijan hosting major international sporting events despite human rights abuses

Success Days, ridden by Shane Foley, passes the finishing post to win the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Aidan O’Brien’s contender Highland Reel fails to impress in French 2,000 Guineas

JP McManus’s If Not For You tackles his longest racecourse test yet at a track over which he won a bumper. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Seventh Sign could take advantage of weight concession from Warne

Trainer Ted Walsh appeared before a referrals committee hearing last month in relation to how Foxrock appeared to be wearing both front shoes immediately after a Punchestown race yet at a stewards enquiry that day it was reported those shoes had been lost during the race. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Trainer cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to race at Punchestown

Highland Reel wins at Goodwood last year with Joseph O’Brien on board. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Victory at Longchamp could propel colt to the top of the Epsom Derby betting

Ted Walsh has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the Foxrock case. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

A Turf Club statement added that that the committee ‘was satisfied on the evidence’

Aidan O’Brien  has eight entries  in traditional Derby trial at weekend. Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

John F Kennedy will attempt to retrieve his reputation at Leopardstown on Sunday

Dermot Weld: “He got balloted out of the Fred Winter and he won nicely at Leopardstown since so could represent us well.”  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Tony Martin’s Quick Jack and Monica Dowdall-Blake’s Shu Lewis also in the running

Pat Smullen and Fascinating Rock on the way to winning the So You Think European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh, Co Kildare. Photograph: Inpho

My Painter jockey reprimanded for breach of ‘non-trier’ rules

Iveagh Gardens ridden by Niall McCullagh (right) on the way to winning the Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes at Curragh, Co Kildare. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

After disappointing result, trainer Aidan O’Brien looking ahead to Derby warm-ups at Chester and Lingfield

Trainer David Wachman  with Ryan Moore after he rode Legatissimo to win The Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Jockey returns to Curragh after brilliant weekend in Newmarket

Annie Power will seek to atone for her crashing fall at Cheltenham with victory in the Mares hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Trainer will claim ninth title and looks set for another Grade 1 victory with Annie Power

Gleneagles, seen here winning at the Curragh last season, would be Aidan O’Brien’s seventh winner of the 2,000 Guineas if he prevails at Newmarket. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Jockey questions introduction of cutaway rail for first Classic of season

Ruby Walsh on board Faugheen comes home to win the Champion Hurdle on Day Four of the Punchestown Festival. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

The Willie Mullins-trained horse is a well-oiled machine with huge potential

Faugheen: “A rather plain-looking ex-pointer, who has yet to fully capture the public imagination.” Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Willie Mullins has all but scoffed at the idea of the horse being superior to Vautour

Nichols Canyon, ridden by Ruby Walsh, leads Parlour Games over the last fence in the The World Famous Just Eat Novices Hurdle Race at Aintree Racecourse last month. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images.

Another bumper day can take Willie Mullins past €3.5M mark in prizemoney for record-breaking season

Mark Walsh and Jezki hold off Ruby Walsh and Hurricane Fly to win the  Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Former Champion hurdler outstays great rival Hurricane Fly in World Hurdle

Ruby Walsh riding Un De Sceaux to  win The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Brilliant Arkle Chase winner remains unbeaten when clearing the obstacles

Hurricane Fly, with Ruby Wlash on board, wins the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO.

Length of feature should not prove a problem for ‘The Fly’

Matthew Bowes is unseated by Waydownsouth during the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA. Matthew Bowes is unseated by Waydownsouth during the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA.

Bryan Cooper takes the wrong pick of Gigginstown Stud team as veteran rider comes to fore

Runners and riders, including eventual winner Wish Ye Didnt ridden by Nina Carberry, clear Ruby’s Double during the Kildare Hunt Club Fr Sean Breen Memorial Chase at Punchestown. Photograph: Pat Healy/PA

Champion trainer, younger brother and nephew all make it to the winners’ enclosure

Willie Mullins: “He really could be anything, the way he licks his hurdles.”  Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Unbeaten star records another impressive Grade One triumph at Punchestown

Don Poli ridden by Bryan Cooper on the way to victory in the RSA Chase at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham. Don Poli and Douvan are near un-backable odds-on shots to secure more Grade One success at Punchestown. Photograph: Inpho

Champion trainer has nine starters on first day card worth over €500,000 with Cheltenham heroes Don Poli and Douvan odds-on to sec(...)

Trainer Aidan O’Brien is targeting a seventh victory in the 2000 Guineas with a four-strong entry headed by Gleneagles. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

High Tail It had been penalised under ’non trier’ rules by Tipperary stewards

Davy Russell guides Mallowney to victory in the Handicap Steeplechase at Punchestown last year. Mallowney is joint-top rated on 162. Photograph: Inpho

Old rival Twinlight among trio of horses from all-conquering Willie Mullins team

“Focus isn’t enough anymore: instead, near zealotry appears necessary. And if you listen to enough analysis of Gaelic football in particular, talent has become an optional extra when it comes to the demands of inter-county competition.”

‘Choice brings responsibility but also freedom, with the most important one in the GAA being the option to opt out’

Trainer  Ted Walsh is awaiting the judgment of the Turf Club’s Referrals Committee. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Mr Justice Tony Hunt chairs marathon hearing featuring almost nine hours of legal argument

Trainer Jim Bolger celebrating last year’s Derby win with Trading Leather. He’s still the one to watch for winners, having just secured an 840-1 Curragh hat trick. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Novice’s 50-1 victory in Group 3 feature is further proof of Bolger’s magic touch

Chris Hayes on Sruthan wins The Power European Breeders Fund Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh in 2013. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Joseph O’Brien teams up with father for four rides at the Curragh

Trainer Ted Walsh says he will be happy to answer any questions at Turf Club. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former minister for justice Michael McDowell to represent trainer at meeting

Paul Townend on his way to winning the Boomerang Animal Bedding Handicap Hurdle on I Shot The Sheriff  at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tony Martin’s antepost favourite would be the first raiding victor in 147 years

Ruby Walsh steers Faugheen to victory in The Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at the 2014 Punchestown Festival. Photograph: Inpho

Mullins has also left Hurricane Fly, Annie Power and Arctic Fire in World Series Hurdle

Chopin trainer Ger Lyons, who is based in Co Meath. Photograph: Inpho

Leopardstown meet will see three runners carrying the Qatari colours

Top amateur jockey Colman Sweeney who was a  three-time Cheltenham Foxhunters winner, including on the dual-victor, Salsify, has retired. Photograph: Inpho

Top amateur jockey Colman Sweeney has confirmed his retirement from race riding

Goonyella won the Midlands National on his last start under Johnny Burke and the jockey should be available to renew the partnership in Saturday’s Scottish Grand National, despite a fall at Tramore over the weekend. Photograph: Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Gallant Oscar among the favourites to record first win for an Irish-trained horse since 1869

Don Poli, seen winning the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, is one of 25  entries, six of them from the Willie Mullins stable, for the Punchestown Gold Cup. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Willie Mullins’s string waiting in the wings to chase trainer’s 2013 tally of 13 victories

Robbie McNamara celebrates victory on  Silver Concorde at Cheltenham last year. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Dangers inherent in national hunt racing make jump jockeys a special breed

  Zawraq, ridden by Pat Smullen, comes home alone to win the  2,000 Guineas Trial  at Leopardstown. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Trainer’s seven-in-a row halted in Ballysax Stakes, but not by lacklustre John F Kennedy

Leighton Aspell rides Many Clouds on his way to the jockey’s second successive Aintree Grand National win. Photograph:  Clive Rose/Getty Images

Oliver Sherwood’s afterthought entry succeeds despite heavy handicap

Robbie McNamara is recuperating after spinal surgery following a fall at Wexford. Photograph: Inpho

26-year-old jockey needed spinal surgery after coming off Bursledon

 Saint Are, ridden by Dougie Costello, finished ninth in the Grand National at Aintree two years ago.   Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Legendary jockey looking for a fairytale career finale on Shutthefrontdoor at Aintree

 Ryan Moore riding Grey Mirage to win The Ladbrokes All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield earlier this month. Photo:  Harry Engels/Getty Images

Englishman will pilot John F Kennedy for Aidan O’Brien in Leopardstown’s Derby trial

Robbie McNamara sustained injuries to his back at Wexford on Friday.

Irish jockey injured at Wexford and will miss Lord Windermere ride

Robbie McNamara with trainer David Weld. The jockey was injured in a fall at Wexford on Friday when his mount Buseldon fell at the fourth last flight in a handicap hurdle. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Twenty-six-year-old undergoing tests in hospital

John F Kennedy is on track to make his first start of a potential classic campaign. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Son of Galileo confirmed as Ballysax contender by trainer Aidan O’Brien

Bookmakers have Jim Culloty’s Spring Heeled as a  general 20-1 shot for Saturday’s big race in Aintree. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Cork-based trainer has Lord Windermere and Spring Heeled in contention on Saturday

Swimming is a skill that lasts a lifetime, with all the attendant benefits that come from that. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Swimming is different. Even those who despise sport can recognise its value

Katie Walsh celebrates with her father Ted after winning the Irish Grand National on Thunder And Roses at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Hugely popular winner for trainer Sandra Hughes and jockey Walsh

Tony McCoy will make one of his final appearances in Ireland at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Champion jockey rides Cantlow, which can transform lacklustre season with victory

A crow takes flight as the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Novice Hurdle Championship field approaches at Fairyhouse yesterday. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Champion jockey produces a trademark finish in Grade One Ryanair Gold Cup

Joseph O’Brien failed to make 9.5 weight at Curragh last weekend. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former champion jockey has ride over jumps as well as two on flat this weekend

 Tony McCoy is on the favourite Cantlow in Monday’s Irish Grand National but could be upstaged by Ruby Walsh in Sunday’s main event. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Willie Mullins’s mare is favourite for Ryanair Gold Cup where McCoy rides Gilgamboa

Ruby Walsh riding Vautour clear the second last to win The JLT Novices’ Steeple Chase at Cheltenham in March. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Willie Mullins-trained novice already favourite for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup

Ryan Moore: could be set to assume a prominent role for Ballydoyle in 2015. Photograph: Inpho

Former British champion jockey to ride Aidan O’Brien’s classic entry War Envoy

Barry Geraghty won last year’s Boylesports Irish Grand National on Shutthefrontdoor. Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Up to three reserves could be included should horses pull out by Sunday deadline

 Tony McCoy has hinted he could retire immediately if he wins the Aintree Grand National. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Barry Geraghty, Davy Russell, Bryan Cooper and Mark Walsh are all unavailable

Justin Gatlin of USA celebrates after he won gold in the men’s 100 Metres final on August 7th, 2005 in Helsinki, Finland. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images.

Nike’s decision to sponsor Justin Gatlin shows that ultimately, it’s all about the bottom line

Bill Farrell’s Ramone ridden by Shane Foley (second right) on the way to winning the  Park Express Stakes at the Curragh. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Outsider at 100/1 in Park Express Stakes represents first Group victory for Bill Farrell

Aidan O’Brien receiving the champion trainer award for 2014. “The reality is that Joseph found making 9st last year very difficult and he’s heavier this year,” said O’Brien.

Jockey struggling to make the 9st weight to ride Gleneagles in the 2,000 Guineas

Trainer Dermot Weld: “He rode Hisaabaat for me at Cheltenham and I was very impressed with everything about him. . . . He’s a young guy with a big future.” Photo: Frank Miller.

Young jockey hoping to guide topweight Stuccodor to victory in the Lincolnshire

Flemenstar winning the Fortria Chase in 2013. He will make his first appearance since then in Saturday’s Webster Cup at Navan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Strong list of festival rides ensures he is likely to overhaul the injured Mark Walsh

Pat Smullen celebrates winning the Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh last year. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Last horse to claim back-to-back successes in the Curragh race was Beauford in 1945-46

Neil Mulholland will be looking for a new jockey for The Druids Nephew at Aintree due to Barry Geraghty’s recent injury.  Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

JP McManus’s Cheltenham winner has a choice of Grand Nationals for his next start

Joseph O’Brien on board Australia winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh last June. This year sees the 150th renewal of the celebrated race. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

HRI confirm €55m plan to redevelop the Curragh by 2018 remains on schedule

 Even Ireland’s eventual success can’t erase how that last day was an aberration in a Six Nations Championship of mostly rutting muscularity. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Taking the ‘physicality’ out of rugby is like taking hurleys off hurlers

Foxrock trainer Ted Walsh gave evidence in thefirst enquiry into the horses lack of shoes at Punchestown.

Racing body officials hope new enquiry on the Ted Walsh-trained horse can be dealt with on April 18th

Sole Power enjoyed a career best season in 2014 when Richard Hughes rode him to win the Kings Stand Stakes and the Nunthorpe. Photograph: Inpho

Eddie Lynam’s star sprinter targets win at fifth attempt at Dubai World Cup

Davy Russell celebrates winning the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle on Windsor Park at Cheltenham. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Jockey out for about six weeks with broken arm after losing Lord Windermere ride

Don Cossack will be entered in the three-mile Betfred Bowl at Aintree. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Gigginstown Stud team hope their star chaser has better luck than at Cheltenham

Jockey Adrian Heskin riding  Foxrock to victory in the BoyleSports Handicap Steeplechase at Leopardstown in January.   Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Trainer Ted Walsh says he will answer any questions arising from race in December

Hurricane Fly and Paul Townsend with trainer Willie Mullins at Cheltenham last week. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Return to Auteuil in June on the cards for the Grade 1 record-breaking superstar

  England cricket coach Peter Moores’s  unfortunate blurted promise “to look at the data” for reasons behind losing to Bangladesh in the World Cup has cued up much soul-searching about what the correct approach to the game should be. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Stats and figures are ultimately only as helpful or unhelpful as an individual chooses them to be

Jim Dreaper: the Co Dublin trainer’s National record over the decades includes the sole Irish trained winner of a Welsh Grand National – Notre Pere – and four in his local Fairyhouse version. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Goonyella looks to be ideal candidate for a four-mile-plus marathon on heavy ground

Trainer Willie Mullins shares a joke with jockey Luke Dempsey after   Killultagh Vic’s victory in the   Conditional Jockeys Hurdle  on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Carlow trainer is champion for fourth time but Gold Cup eludes him once again

Jockey Nico de Boinville and Coneygree led from the start to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the festival. photograph: adrian dennis

Despite record-breaking week, Mullins has to settle for second in blue riband for the fifth time

Nina Carberry is led back in after winning on board On the Fringe. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

No fairytale farewell for McCoy as Ned Buntline is fourth in the Grand Annual

AP McCoy on the way to victory with Uxizandre in the  The Ryanair Steeplechase at Cheltenham. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Champion jockey leads from the front throughout to claim Ryanair Chase on 16-1 chance

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