The packed grandstands at Leopardstown this Christmas. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Track authorities confident clash with rugby international won’t affect Dublin Racing Festival

Sizing John: former Cheltenham Gold Cup hero could return to action at Leopardstown.  Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Up To 50mms of rain forecast for Leopardstown over 10 days

David Mullins on Kemboy clears the last to win The Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Savvy champion trainer is keeping Irish Gold Cup options open with Kemboy

Paul Townend onboard Un De Sceaux comes home to win the The Devenish Steeplechase at 2018 Fairyhouse Racing Festival on April 2nd, 2018 Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Willie Mullins’ star a 1-4 favourite for grade one Clarence House Chase

Concerns are growing about how a hard boder could impact the regulation of horse racing in Ireland. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board says drug testing on studs to begin later in 2019

Trainer Willie Mullins is not concerned about a flat start to the new year that has yielded just four wins from 26 runners. Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire

Cheltenham hope Felix Desjy lands Punchestown feature for Gordon Elliott

Over the last four  years there have been 13 positive tests by riders for the Class A drug cocaine

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board confirms it is to take tougher stance

Sea the Stars wins the 2009 Irish Champion Stakes. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Sea The Stars trainer will work with Prendergast’s promising filly Skitter Scatter

The starting point penalty for any rider who fails a drugs test in Irish racing is set to be raised to five years. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Two more jockeys received bans for positive cocaine tests on Thursday

The Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy’s  eagerly-awaited return to action has been repeatedly delayed due to the going. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Entry rates affected by ground conditions in ‘very strange season’

Samcro was beaten for a third time this season at Leopardstown over Christmas, quickly fading to fifth in the Ryanair Hurdle. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Gigginstown identifies Petit Mouchoir as stable’s best Champion Hurdle hope

Tote turnover at Leopardstown’s recent four day Christmas festival fell by almost a million euro on the previous year to €1,606,297.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Veterinary border inspection post proposed for Dublin port

Davy Russell on Presenting Percy comes home to win the 2018 edition of the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran. Photograph: Inpho

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite likely to return to action over hurdles at Gowran

Ricky Doyle on Mystique Heights clears the last to win the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle at Naas Racecourse, Co Kildare on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Willie Mullins undecided about whether to race top mare Laurina before Cheltenham

Jack Kennedy and Battleoverdoyen took the Grande One Lawlor’s Novice Hurdle at Naas. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Elliott’s six-year-old takes Grade One Lawlor’s Hurdle with Tornado Flyer pulled up

Mo Salah gets a penalty against Newcastle. The FA concluded the way he threw himself down after the flimsiest touch on his arm was legitimate, thus setting a poor precedent. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Tipping Point: Sport’s aim to ensure fairness remains its greatest virtue

Patrick Mullins celebrates victory in the Ryanair Hurdle on Sharjah. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Lengthy queues on the festival’s opening day this year prompting a rethink of organisation

Sharjah jumps ahead of Samcro en-route to victory ar Leopardstown. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Elliott’s prodigy beaten again over two miles as Willie Mullins scores at Leopardstown

 Barry Geraghty riding Buveur D’Air (left) pipped  Melon by a neck to claim the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last March. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Ryanair Hurdle could identify a real championship contender come March

Davy Russell on Delta Work claimed the Drinmore Novice Steeplechase from Barry Geraghty on Le Richebourg at Fairyhouse earlier this month. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Ground conditions and trip look tailor-made for Limini in mares hurdle at Leopardstown

 Defi Bleu ridden by Davy Russell at Navan Racecourse. Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho

Horse has good chance of winning Grade Two feature on final day of Christmas festival

David Mullins riding Kemboy clears the last to win The Savills Chase at Leopardstown Racecourse. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Willie Mullins-trained horse now very much in Gold Cup frame after Leopardstown win

Apple’s Jade ridden by Jack Kennedy jumps the last before going on to win The Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle during day three of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gordon Elliott-trained mare won by a street after Faugheen fell at the second last fence

Apple’s Jade put up a career-best performance last time and looks to be still progressing despite a CV that already contains eight Grade One victories. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Leopardstown Preview: Rationale for mares’ allowance is backed up by statistical analysis

 Paul Townend   with trainer Willie Mullins at Punchestown Festival in April. Townend does the honours on Annamix today at  Limerick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

French-bred horse is already favourite for Cheltenham’s Supreme Novice Hurdle

Sean Flanagan guides Road To Respect to victory in comes home to win The Leopardstown Christmas Steeplechase last December. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Grand National runner-up Pleasant Company returns to action over hurdles

Tony McCoy celebrates winning the Gold Cup onboard Carlingford Lough  at Leopardstown in 2015. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The five-time Grade One winner collapsed and died after the Paddy Power Chase

Donal McInerney and connections after winning The Paddy Power Steeplechase on Auvergnat . Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Simply Ned beats Footpad in remarkable comeback to win ‘Sugar Paddy’ Chase

Footpad: will return to action at Leopardstown following a fall at Naas last time out. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Triplicate aims to reach top-flight status in Future Champions Novice Hurdle

Even a Classic-winning trainer on the flat like Adrian Keatley can qualify for minnow status with his hope, Drumconnor Lad. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Black Scorpion and Snugsborough Benny among contenders for lucrative handicap

 Trainer Gordon Elliott has 22 horses competing this week. Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Trainer sending Burren Life to Limerick in hope of winning €50,000 Tim Duggan Handicap Chase

Racegoers at  Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival yesterday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Mark Walsh rides Le Richebourg to success for McManus and Joseph O’Brien

Winning trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Mark Walsh with Le Richebourg after winning the Racing Post Novice Steeplechase on day one of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tom and David Mullins spring 14-1 surprise with Rocky Blue at Leopardstown

 The Shamrock Rovers Ireland XI  that faced then world champions Brazil in a friendly international at Lansdowne Road in 1973. Brazil won 4-3. Photograph: Connolly Collection/Sportsfile

Tipping point: Brexit crisis could represent a chance for some positive Irish sporting unity

Connections of Ellie Mac celebrate victory in the  Horse & Jockey Hotel Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown last Christmas.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Niccolai Schuster Racing Club founded in honour of student who lost his life in Berkeley tragedy

Jack Kennedy on Mengli Khan at Cheltenham. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Coeur Sublime could be the best of Gordon Elliott team in the Juvenile Hurdle

Paul Townend on Getabird at Punchestown. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Top jockey Robbie Power swerves Leopardstown for start of Limerick action

Ruby Walsh: has three rides at Limerick for Willie Mullins including Getabird, the hot favourite for the venue’s first ever Grade One race. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Up to 60,000 people expected to attend Leopardstown over four days

Davy Russell onboard Presenting Percy celebrates winning the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Inpho

Philip Reynolds indicates Leopardstown more likely than Kempton for Gold Cup Favourite

Willie Mullins: “The ground is paramount and I want to have soft or heavy in the ground for her first run of the season.”  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leopardstown's Ryanair Hurdle or Kempton’s Christmas Hurdle among options for return

The jockeys’ championship leader Paul Townend. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Paul Townend to ride the Willie Mullins-trained Face The Facts in the opening maiden hurdle at the meeting

Johnny Sexton during the Leinster captain’s run, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Friday. Photograph: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Tipping Point: Johnny Sexton’s ‘Off The Ball’ deal shows the growing role of self-promotion

 Gordon Elliott’s latest young star Envoi Allen. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Davy Russell closes gap in jockeys’ championship aboard Cap York

Stewards decided not to hold enquiry into Ilikedwayurthinkin run at Fairyhouse

Brian Kavanagh: “We want the Government to take assurance from the industry that the type of diagnostic and research work done there will be done to the highest international standards.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

HRI boss says facilities at centre are ‘not up to scratch’

Envoi Allen with  Gordon Elliott at the trainer’s  yard in Longwood, Co Meath. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Cheveley Park Stud look to continue reaping dividends from jumps investment

Road To Respect, seen here winning the JNwine.com Champion Chase  at Down Royal at the start of November, is looking for a repeat win in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho

Gigginstown Stud pursuing five in a row in Savills Chase

Paul Townend on Laurina on their way to winning the Trull House Stud Mares Novices at Cheltenham back  in March. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

Champion trainer confirms Footpad will return to action in Leopardstown Grade One

Samcro (left) is well beaten by Buveur D’Air  in the  Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. Photograph:   Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Mares Hurdle remains the main target for Apple’s Jade

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh. Mr Kavanagh has said there are no border inspection points for equines at any of the Irish seaports. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The only border inspection posts for horses are at Dublin and Shannon airports

A view of Sky Sports covering the GAA. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Less and less sport is shown free-to-air nowadays. This needs to be changed

Ruby Walsh after victory on Min in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Steeplechase (Grade 1) at Leopardstown. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Jockey wins on all three Punchestown rides in defiant reaction to injuries and criticism

Paul Townend landed a 275-1 four-timer at Cork on Sunday. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Townend has a two-winner lead over Rachael Blackmore in jockeys championship

Nico de Boinville on Altior (left) comes from behind to beat Paul Townsend on Min in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Absence of Gold Cup favourite could leave Durkan Chase door open to Min

 Alpha Centauri with trainer Jessica Harrington at the Curragh Racecourse. Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho

Rachael Blackmore wins National Hunt Achievement Award at HRI awards

Davy Russell and Presenting Percy en-route to victory in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in 2018. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Pat Kelly-trained seven-year-old is a 5-1 antepost favourite for Cheltenham win in 2019

Samcro at the Leopardstown Christmas festival launch in   Gordon Elliott’s yard in  Longwood, Co Meath, on Monday.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

County Meath trainer: 'If you don’t want to be champion you shouldn’t be doing it'

Donnacha O’Brien on Latrobe (centre) wins the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh in June. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Irish Derby 1-2, Latrobe And Rostropovich, at Sha Tin for Hong Kong Vase

Greyhounds in action at Shelbourne Park. The bet’s the thing, which is why dogs in Kilkenny can be a market in Kolkata. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Excesses of under-regulated gambling industry a ticking time-bomb for society

 Michael O’Leary: “Your fear is that apart from the big days, Irish racing will be subservient to analysis of Fontwell, Fakenham and all that stuff”

Racing UK to take over broadcasting of Irish racing next year, and has released coverage details under a rebranded ‘Racing TV’ lab(...)

Apple’s Jade and Jack Kennedy celebrate winning the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle for the third time in a row at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival. Photograph: PA

Victory is a timely boost for trainer Gordon Elliott after Samcro’s defeat at Newcastle

Samcro: will be reunited with Jack Kennedy  in the highly-competitive Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Star mare Apple’s Jade in pursuit of Hatton’s Grace Hurdle hat-trick

Footpad, with Ruby Walsh on board,  lost his unbeaten record with a shock defeat at Naas earlier this month. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Mullins plans a step up to three miles for the former Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen

Laurina ridden by Paul Townend at Willie Mullins’ base  in Closutton, Co Carlow. Could be primed to face Apple’s Jade on Sunday.   Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Fairyhouse ground ‘a big factor’ in Mullins’ plans for Laurina and Benie Des Dieux

 Roger Loughran rides Total Recall to victory at Navan Races, Proudstown, Co. Meath in 2016. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cheltenham Gold Cup holder Native River likely to skip Leopardstown for King George

Samcro looks set to take on Buveur D’Air at Newcastle. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Eddie O’Leary: forcasted rain means prodigy set for Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle

 Construction work at the Curragh racecourse near Newbridge, Co Kildare. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

Completion date for biggest Irish racecourse redevelopment has been pushed back

Capri during a workout at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle Stables, Cashel, Co Tipperary. Ryan Moore will break from stall 12 of the 14 runners on Capri in Toyko. Photograph: Inpho

Gordon Elliott has 12 starters in Troytown drive for five in a row at Navan

Gordon Elliott: has had a Troytown stranglehold in recent years winning with Balbriggan, Riverside City, Empire Of Dirt and last year with Mala Beach. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Willie Mullins’s Pairofbrowneyes tops the ante-post betting lists for the Navan feature

Donnacha O’Brien on Latrobe wins The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Phtograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Irish Derby hero primed for last major international Group One feature of the year

  Dean Gallagher on Capri. Aidan O’Brien is hoping to conquer Japan with Capri on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Win in 38th running of event will deliver trainer Group One glory in a tenth country

A general view as runners leave the stalls at Leopardstown Racecourse. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott has kept open the prospect of a tilt at Saturday’s Betfair Chase

Apple’s Jade made a winning return to action at Navan. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Gordon Elliott’s star mare romps to victory but Identity Thief loses life in same race

Delta Work ridden by Davy Russell (left) beats Niven ridden by Jamie Moore to win the Porter & Co Beginners Chase at Down Royal last week. Photograph:   PA Wire

Doctor Phoenix could get conditions to suit in Fortria Chase at Navan

Footpad:  had a perfect five-from-five novice campaign last season that included victory in the Arkle at Cheltenham.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Elliott’s popular mare Apple’s Jade bids to repeat Lismullen Hurdle victory at Navan

The Cliffsofmoher, left, pulls up lame during the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. Photograph: Andy Brownbill/AP

Trainer hoping for a better experience on Saturday with Latrobe at Flemington Park

  Ruby Walsh celebrates on Footpad after winning the   Arkle  Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in March. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

English trainer Whittington planning an Irish raid with Saint Calvados

Rachael Blackmore: “I’m absolutely delighted with the way it’s gone. I never thought I’d get to 50 winners in a season.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Top rider just 7-1 to become first woman to be crowned Irish champion jockey

Aidan O’Brien:  may send both the Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Could It Be Love and Most Gifted to the Listed Wentworth Stakes.  Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

O’Brien’s 1,000 Guineas runner-up Could It Be Love could feature in Listed Wentworth Stakes

Jockey Chris Timmons has received a four-year ban for a positive cocaine test at Ballinrobe in May. Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Meath jockey regrets his action and can appeal the ban after 12 months

Trainer Tony Mullins has been fined £1,000 by British Horseracing Authority. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Panel imposed fine relating to running of Glencairn View back in April

Ryan Moore on Yucatan. The  colt has been the ante-post Melbourne Cup favourite since a spectacular Australian debut in a Caulfield Grade Two last month. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Yucatan set to lead Irishman’s three-pronged assault on ‘race that stops a nation’

Willie Mullins confirmed that Douvan is likely to miss the National Hunt season with a leg injury. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

Willie Mullins confirms star chaser has suffered injury to same leg as last season

Jockey  Joel Rosario celebrates after riding Accelerate to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs  in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph: Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Accelerate takes Classic while Enable secures historic win by beating Magical in the Turf

Ryan Moore riding Mendelssohn wins the UAE Derby  in Dubai, UAE. He will be O’Brien’s 18th Breeders Cup Classic starter.

Enable bids to become first Arc winner to double up in Breeders Cup Turf

Joel Rosario rides Jaywalk to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies  at Churchill Downs. Photograph:  Darron Cummings/AP Photo

First day not one to remember for Aidan O’Brien and European raiders

Rachael Blackmore  on Bedrock jumps the last to beat Jack Kennedy on board  Samcro in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Presseye/Inpho

Mullins has 10 starters in handicap feature on final day of the flat

Frankie Dettori: “Records are there to be broken,” says the jockey of Enable’s chances of Breeders Cup Turf glory. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Dual Arc winner odds on to create some history at Churchill Downs

Willie Mullins with Faugheen at the launch of the  Winter Jumps Season at the champion trainer’s yard at  Closutton, Co Carlow.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Champion trainer makes fastest ever start to a national hunt season with 107 winners already

Road To Respect, ridden by Bryan Cooper, winning  at the  Cheltenham festival last March. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Eight of 14 horses left in Saturday’s €140,000 feature at Down Royal are owned by Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary

Mendelssohn with Ryan Moore winning   last year in Del Mar, California.  Photograph:  Horsephotos/Getty Images

Aidan O’Brien’s 13 entries include Mendelssohn in Saturday night’s climax to the event, the $6m Classic on dirt

 Samcro, with Jack Kennedy, winning at   Leopardstown in February. He will return to action at Down Royal on Friday. Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Dettori set to team up with Weld’s Eziyra in Saturday night’s Breeders Cup Filly & Mare race

Roaring Lion: Europe’s outstanding three-year-old colt of 2018 is the latest to take a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Louisville, Kentucky.  Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Tipping Point: America’s lucrative race on dirt has defeated many a Euro turf runner

Jack Kennedy and Samcro after victory in the 2018 Ballymore at Cheltenham. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Eddie O’Leary says plans are ground dependent as uncertainty over future of track continues

A unique four-in-a-row in Australia’s all-aged championship event would extend Winx’s winning streak to 29 races and cement her place in Australian sporting folklore. Photograph: Vince Caligiuri/Getty  *

Magna Grecia favourite to give Irish trainer ninth win in Doncaster Futurity

A view of racing at Down Royal from May 2017. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Inpho/Presseye/

Meeting on Wednesday worked through detail of transition of management at track

Ryan Moore will saddle Rostropovich in the  Cox Plate in Melbourne on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

Aidan O’Brien’s Colt is a 16-1 shot in most ante-post lists for his first run in Australia

Frankie Dettori riding Too Darn Hot celebrates early as they win The Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Dewhurst winner already dominates next year’s classic picture

A general view as racing draws to a close during the Down Royal Festival in 2016. Photo: Kevin Scott/Inpho

Dublin based Merrion Property Group say they are committed to maintaining course

Fernando Alonso: will end his Formula One career at the end of this season. Photograph: Srdjan Suki/EPA

If even drivers think F1 is an engineering bore how tough a sell can it be to the rest of us?

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