Vautour may be favourite for next month’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup but he could have to produce a performance to rank with some of steeplechasing’s(...)

 Rich Ricci after sending out Faugheen to win the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown Racecourse, Co Dublin. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Rich Ricci, the gloriously-named former investment banker now prominent in the Irish racing scene, was formally unveiled last week as the new executiv(...)

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

Those making Willie Mullins an odds-on favourite to be champion trainer in Britain this season are pinning their confidence on him dominating Chelten(...)

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

Cheltenham’s significance is so overarching that the festival clock never really stops ticking. And with only six weeks to National Hunt racing’s grea(...)

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

Faugheen was acclaimed “a great champion”, and officially rated superior to his former stable companion Hurricane Fly, after a display for the a(...)

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

If Min doesn’t follow in the illustrious hoofprints of Douvan and Vautour by winning Saturday’s Grade 2 highlight at Punchestown those who believe th(...)

Champagne Fever is still recovering from injury and may not have time for a prep run ahead of this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Getty

Willie Mullins admits he may face a race against time to give Champagne Fever a prep run ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. The talented grey is on th(...)

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

Romance briefly but gloriously won out on day two of the Christmas festival at Leopardstown when the old hero Flemenstar managed to turn back the clo(...)

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

There’s an irony in Ireland’s joint-Horses of the Year for 2015, Don Cossack and Faugheen, being on Christmas duty at Kempton which will probably was(...)

Trainer Willie Mullins enjoyed a treble at Punchestown as Min claimed an impressive win on his Irish racecourse debut. Photograph: Inpho

Min, already favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in March without even winning a race, strengthened his position at the head of the betting afte(...)