Prince Of Scars will be in action in Sunday’s Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The favourite for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham will show his credentials

Talks about drawing up protocols for new out of competition testing have yet to take place between the ITBA and the Turf Club. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Horse Racing Ireland has approved funding of over €1.8m for anti-doping measures

Evidence suggests he could be more a speed horse than a stayer says handicapper Noel O’Brien

 Jockey Ruby Walsh falls from Valseur Lido after the final fence blunder whilst in the lead in Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Phootograph: Ramsey Cardy/sportsfile

John Kiely-trained star capitalises after Valseur Lido’s final fence blunder

England captain Dylan Hartley in action against Scotland in Murrayfield. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Rugby’s old cultural assumptions are fading fast in reality of professional sport

Mark Walsh celebrates after winning the Irish Gold Cup on Carlingford Lough. Photograph: Sportsfile

Valseur Lido falls dramatically at the last to deny Willie Mullins Grade One clean-sweep

Barry Geraghty: has chosen to ride Gilgamboa in the Irish Gold Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Enda Bolger-trained champion has impressive record in Irish Gold Cup

Road to Riches and Bryan Cooper: “There’s nothing we can do about the price and all we can do is get him there in good shape, which we think he is,” said  trainer Noel Meade. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Gigginstown team to further strengthen their hand for Cheltenham blue riband

Road To Riches, ridden by Bryan Cooper, clears the last fence on his way to victory at Clonmel in November in what was his sole start to date so far this term. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Noel Meade’s star odds-on to secure big prize at Leopardstown for Michael O’Leary’s team

First Lieutenant with Barry Geraghty on board:  Mouse Morris charge may shed his ‘nearly’ horse reputation in Saturday’s Gold Cup. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Still game, 11-year-old has what it takes to be up with the best in Leopardstown

Ivanovich Gorbatov  faces danger from three top-class fillies in Saturday’s Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Trio of fillies may present a challenge to odds-on shot at Leopardstown on Saturday

Eddie O’Leary: Updates on race plans for Gigginstown Stud runners. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Saturday’s Leopardstown feature could be a timely reminder of 2013-2014 success for Gigginstown Stud

Felix Yonger ridden by Ruby Walsh clears the last on the way to winning the BoyleSports Tied Cottage Steeplechase  at Punchestown. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Sunday hat-trick follows on from trainer’s unexpected Doncaster blank

Trainer Phillip Fenton:  was disqualified by the Turf Club for three years in 2014 over possession of banned animal substances. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Anti-Doping Task Force report expected to be released by Horse Racing Ireland on Monday

Ruby Walsh may have to choose between Vautour and Djakadam in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Gold Cup favourite runs in BetBright Trial Chase at Cheltenham

Henry De Bromhead: keeping Identity Thief fresh for a tilt at Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Punters reluctant to take on champion trainer’s 11 Cheltenham Festival favourites

Queen Mother Champion Chase hopeful Sizing Granite has moved from Harry De Bromhead’s yard  to Colm Murphy’s Wexford stable. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Potts-owned pair Sizing Granite and Mick Thonic move to trainer’s Wexford yard

National Hunt ownership is failing to keep up with gains made in flat racing, despite increased prize money and minimum race values, an issue Horse Racing Ireland will be making a priority of addressing throughout 2016. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

HRI voices concern as National Hunt horse ownership goes into a decline

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho at the  Brighton-Middlesbrough match last December. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

José Mourinho is example of how far narcissism packaged as magnetism can get you

Horse owner Rich Ricci and trainer Willie Mullins. The colossal investment made by rich owners means the best National Hunt horses will line up at Cheltenham under a fervently embraced “Team Ireland” banner. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Question of lack of competition comes in as best horses confined to certain owners

Faugheen and owner Rich Ricci are all smiles in the winner’s enclosure following their Irish Champion Hurdle win at Leopardstown. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Douvan also impresses as Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh seal big-race double

Ruby Walsh and Faugheen in action during the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Career-best performance rated superior to previous unbeaten runs by Hurricane Fly

Nichols Canyon clears the last ahead of Faugheen and goes on to win  the Morgiana Hurdle in November, Faugheen’s only loss in 12 races. The pair clash in Sunday’s Champion Hurdle. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Douvan faces Grade One formality at Leopardstown en route to Cheltenham’s Arkle

Ruby Walsh celebrates winning on Un De Sceaux at Cheltenham last year. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Turf Club welcomes amendments made by Simon Coveney to Horse Racing Ireland Bill

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh celebrate Faugheen’s Champion Hurdle success at the Cheltenham Festival last March.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Two more of Willie Mullins’ top trio Nichols Canyon and Artic Fire also in the frame

Air Force Blue ridden by Ryan Moore wins The Dubai Dewhurst Stakes during day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket. Photograph: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

Triple-Group 1 winner one of three Aidan O’Brien horses in top-ten juvenile rankings

Paul Carberry will miss the Cheltenham Festival after fracturing his leg. Photograph: Inpho

Willie Mullins’ star an odds on favourite to secure a third consecutive win over fences

Ruby Walsh aboard Faugheen after winning the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last March. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty.

Nichols Canyon and Arctic Fire only real competition for Irish Champion Hurdle

Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United manager’s problems have been blown out of proportion by media

Robert Power celebrates with with trainer Charles O’Brien and his daughter Natalie after winning the The Hurdle on Henry Higgins  at Leopardstown. Photograph: Pat Healy/PA

Trainer now weighing up a sentimental victory in County Hurdle over Coral bonus

Down but not out . . . Killultagh Vic rises again to win by three-quarters of a length in the Novice Steeplechase at Leopardstown on Sunday. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ruby Walsh sticks like glue as Killultagh Vic stumbles on landing over the last

 Naas racecourse faces an 8am inspection today following overnight frost. Photograph: Caroline Norris

Pont Alexandre set to continue spectacular return to form

Jack Kennedy, seen winning the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle on Copy That, improves the chances of Desoto County on Sunday with his 5lb claim. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Big race success with Desoto County would be high profile boost for 16-year-old jockey

  Kalkir returns to action at Leopardstown on Sunday after a ten months absence. Photo:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Willie Mullins’ charge a 7-1 shot for prestigious €100,000 contest at Leopardstown

Bryan Cooper on Don Poli outjumps Adrian Hesking on Foxrock en route to victory in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ladbrokes Kinloch Brae Chase could serve as a confidence boost after fall in King George

Jockey Andrew Lynch with Flemenstar  after the victory in the Paddy Power Steeplechase during the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tony Curran’s star could face another potential clash with Un De Sceaux

Champion jockey Ruby Walsh has called for the Irish jockeys charities to merge. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Ruby Walsh in favour of amalgamation after substantial contribution from Moyglare Stud owner

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt: “What the hell do you people want?” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

What Sebastian Coe, Joe Schmidt, Aidan O’Brien et al should be saying this year

Turf Club to submit budget to HRI; Nearly Nama’d wins first big handicap of 2016

Ruby Walsh guides Min to victory in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown. The star novice could now go straight to Cheltenham. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Officials confident of finding a long-term backer for the prestigious chase in 2017

Mozoltov can make up for lost time at Fairyhouse on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Leading jockeys could end up dashing to Fairyhouse if Tramore fails inspection

Union Dues is in line to make his chasing debut at Punchestown on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

Union Dues is in line to make jumping debut in the Beginners Chase at Punchestown

Willie Mullins: plans a rare raid at Taunton today where Ruby Walsh will pilot Myska  in a mares novice hurdle

Ruby Walsh to partner Willie Mullins-trained Myska at Taunton today

 No More Heroes, ridden by Bryan Cooper, clears the last on the way to winning the Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Ryanair Hurdle runner-up Identity Thief catapulted firmly into Champion Hurdle picture

 Trainer Gordon Elliott has not enjoyed happiest Christmas on the track. Photograph: Barry Cronin/PA Wire.

Gigginstown Stud horse already has top-flight verdict over rival Monksland

Willie Mullins: “We probably underestimated [Nichols Canyon] a bit the last day. The ground won’t be an issue for him and he’s in good form.” Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Nichols Canyon is the only horse ever to beat the reigning Champion Hurdler

Bryan Cooper is forced to work hard on Don Poli as the Gigginstown Stud horse holds off Adrian Heskin on Foxrock to win the Lexus Steeplechase. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cheltenham Gold Cup picture muddied further as Mullins admits horse is ‘lazy’

Jockey Andrew Lynch onboard Flemenstar wins The Paddy Power Steeplechase ahead of jockey Brian Harding onboard Simply Ned. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Andrew Lynch’s mount takes advantage after Un De Sceaux crashes out

Barry Geraghty on Minella Foru celebrates winning The Paddy Power Steeplechase. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Minella Foru maintained Curragh trainer’s 100 per cent record in Paddy Power Chase

Don Poli, with Bryan Cooper on board, on the way to victory in the RSA Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Gold Cup contender has the potential to live up to billing in €150,000 chase

Ruby Walsh faces real test in getting Arctic Fire to last three-mile distance. Photograph:  Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Ruby Walsh’s mount has quality but distance and soft ground may count against him

Jockey David Mullins will hope he can give trainer Willie Mullins a lift in Limerick. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Teenage jockey has high hopes on Bamako if rains holds off

Friends James Smith, Greg Kelly, Owen Coyle, Andrew Smitchell, James Kelly, Issac Coyle and Eamon Laverty, all from Stewartstown, Co Tyrone, at the Leopardstown Christmas festival. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bumper 17,431 crowd enjoys day two of Christmas festival meeting

 Tony McCoy riding Gilgamboa at Leopardstown racecourse last year. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Limerick’s St Stephens Day card transferred to Sunday - should it pass inspection

Douvan, with Patrick Mullins up, on their way to winning the Racing Post Novice Steeplechase. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportfsfile

Willie Mullins’ five-year-old never looked like failing in Racing Post Novice Chase

Coney Island, with Mark Walsh up, on their way to winning the Clayton Hotel Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown Christmas Racing FestivalPhotograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Limerick will have to pass a Sunday morning inspection

Gavin Cromwell (right), trainer and farrier: “I can’t see myself giving up the shoeing. I’ll never be rich but there’s a living at it.”

Unlike his infamous namesake, Navan- based trainer Gavin Cromwell is a positive force

Douvan (left) and Vautour in Willie Mullins’s yard in Closesutton, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Willie Mullins’s horse the headline act in race that gathers best two-mile novice talent

Nina Carberry  wins on Free Expression at Fairyhouse in 2014. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

JP McManus-owned horse renews rivalry with Outlander after Punchestown clash

Don Cossack: A 9/4 favourite to become just the sixth Irish-trained winner of Kempton’s King George VI Chase. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Don Cossack primed for King George VI glory at Kempton as yard eyes festive success

Consistent: Don Cossack and jockey Bryan Cooper clear a fence on the way to winning this year’s Ladbrokes Ireland Kinloch Brae Steeplechase in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Kempton preview: Faugheen expected to return to winning ways in Christmas Hurdle

Trainer Philip Fenton has previously been ‘warned off’ for possession of unlicensed animal remedies including a steroid. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The long-awaited industry-wide Task Force was announced at the end of 2014

Davy Russell riding Sir Des Champ who, along with Don Poli, looks set to fly the Mullins flag in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Sir Des Champs and Don Poli to fly the flag for top trainer in day three festival highlight

Jim Bolger: will continue to be one of Godolphin’s three trainers in Ireland.  Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed to continue to have horses with three trainers here

 Bryan Cooper is Kempton-bound with King George favourite  Don Cossack, but hopes to open his festive season account at Clomel today.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Bryan Cooper hoping to kickstart successful holiday campaign with French import Bello Conti

Douvan will be up against some of the cream of Ireland’s novice talent at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase a highlight of the St Stephen’s Day action

Conor McGregor flattens Jose Aldo. Even bloodlust won’t prevent MMA’s profile from fading once the strutting bantam-cock chooses to jack it in or it gets chosen for him. Photograph: John Locher/AP

Mixed martial arts might be on-trend right now but nothing dates faster than trendy

Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Burke with his National Hunt award. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Rising star hoping to repeat success he enjoyed on St Stephen’s Day last year

 Vautour  has been entered for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Stephen’s Day during what promises to be a hectic festive season for trainer Willie Mullins’s powerful team. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inph

Champion trainer wants to ‘clear the decks’ before hectic festive campaign begins

Gold Cup winner Coneygree could be lured to Leopardstown for the Lexus Chase on St Stephen’s Day. Photograph: Inpho

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner could cross the Irish sea instead of lining up in King George

Eddie O’Leary: “Kempton is Don Cossack’s first preference but we are going to keep our options open.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Highest-rated steeplechaser could be bound for a clash with Vautour

JP McManus:  His horse Shantou Ed has had a 30-day suspension lifted. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Special Tiara’s connections will not appeal Tingle Creek result

Ruby Walsh and Felix Yonger won the rescheduled Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase at Navan. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jockey Ruby Walsh also scores on Black Hercules

Frankie Dettori riding Golden Horn celebrates winning The Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Frankie Dettori survived a stewards enquiry to win race for sixth time ahead of Free Eagle

The GAA as an organisation is only slowly getting to grips with the reality that it is the players ultimately who have real power in their hands. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

County boards can now no longer presume to tell elite playes what they must do

 Willie Mullins: “I’m delighted these races are on. The sort of horses running in them have only a certain number of races they can contest so it’s important they’re run.” Photo:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Navan card to feature lucrative Grade Three mares chase switched from Cork

Trainer Willie Mullins after winning the race Navan Novice Hurdle with Bellshill. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Delighted Willie Mullins lands Grade Two novice hurdle with highly rated Bellshill

Moyglare Stud reports that Free Eagle has settled in well in Hong Kong and is primed for Sunday’s Sha Tin feature. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Alarm clocks set for tomorrow morning’s International Carnival action from Hong Kong

Bryan Cooper: Heading to Tramore for only one ride now Monbeg Rose is on the reserve list. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

French champion jockey Jacques Ricou to make Irish debut at Meath track tomorrow

Pat Smullen aboard Free Eagle wins the Prince of Wales Stakes during Royal Ascot this summer. Photograph: Getty Images

Champion jockey also in line for ride at meeting on Michael Stoute’s Cannock Chase

Patrick Mullins guiding Bellshill  to victory in the  The Champion INH Flat Race at Punchestown in April. Photo:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Punchestown Champion Bumper winner to line up in Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle

Don Cossack and Faugheen share the honours at racing’s annual awards

HRI chief Joe Keeling makes a presentation to Tony McCoy. Photo: Inpho

Joe Keeling predicted ‘the beginning of the end of the recession’ for the sport

Are we so inured to doping that even O’Sullivan’s disillusionment with a sport she adorned for two decades is insufficient to shake us out of our stupor? Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sonia O’Sullivan’s view on her sport have been met with depressingly muted reaction

Sire De Grugy ridden by Jamie Moore causes Special Tiara ridden by Noel Fehily to snatch up over the last fence before going on to win The Betfair Tingle Creek Steeple Chase at Sandown Park. Photograph: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Horse was bumped at last by winner Sire De Grugy in prestigious Grade One race

Djakadam ridden by Ruby Walsh jumps the last to win The John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Steeplechase during the John Durkan Memorial Chase Day at Punchestown. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Pont Alexandre returns from almost 1,000 days on the sidelines due to injury to win

Jockey Ruby Walsh on Hurricane Fly celebrates in the parade ring after the race. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ruby Walsh edged The Fly to fourth consecutive win, equalling Istabraq’s record

Ruby Walsh guiding Djakadam to victory in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase at Gowran Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Willie Mullins’s charge out to break his Grade One duck at Punchestown

Velvet Maker to prevail in Grade 3 tussle at Navan

Gilgamboa: but Barry Geraghty not Tony McCoy will be on board this Sunday. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Djakadam and Valseur will represent Willie Mullins

Trainer Gordon Elliott with Don Cossack at his Cullentra House yard in Longwood, Co Meath. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Meath trainer has become a very worthy rival of undisputed king Willie Mullins

Davy Russell onboard Valseur Lido, who is a possible for the Becher Chase. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up odds-on to secure maiden Grade One win

Gigginstown Stud’s Identity Thief ridden by Bryan Cooper jumps the last in winning at Newcastle. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Gigginstown Stud star could feature in Ryanair Hurdle after Newcastle win

Bryan Cooper rides No More Heroes to victory in the  Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Steeplechase at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Praise at Winter Festival for €8,500 Rashaan who had impressive win in Juvenile Hurdle

Trainer Pat Fahy:  he initially reported he would consider an appeal after consulting with Frank Berry, racing manager to Shantou Ed’s owner JP McManus, and a day later did not rule it out

Runner Shantou Ed suspended for 30 days for breaching ‘non-trier’ rules at Fairyhouse

Alvisio Ville: faces a tough task on his first start over fences in the 11.40 opener at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

A lot expected from jumping newcomer Timiyan which is trained by Dermot Weld

Bryan Cooper on Identity Thief: the jockey has skipped Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup for a trip to Newcastle. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Presseye/Inpho

Most of Waterford trainer Henry De Bromhead’s top-flight tally have come over fences

Tony McCoy rides Jezki (right) to win the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle as Ruby Walsh on Arctic Fire falls earlier this year in Liverpool. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Michael O’Leary chases fourth Drinmore success with half of runners in Sunday field

Nicholls Canyon and Ruby Walsh won the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle last year at Fairyhouse: Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Grade One Novice Hurdle failed to meet top-flight racing parameters in 2014

An artist’s impression of the permanent marquee-style pavilion planned for Leopardstown Racecourse

New betting and entertainment areas to be part of work done over 2016 and 2017

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