Yorkhill: drifted significantly on the Betfair exchange in the minutes before he ran at Leopardstown earlier this month. He finished sixth to Min in a Grade Two chase. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Aidan O’Brien’s Clear Skies expected to step up to Group company in style at Lingfield

Patrick Mullins on Carefully Selected. Willie Mullins’s horse  could be a popular selection to get the better of Gordon Elliott’s Invincible Cave. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Bellshill makes return to action in Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse

Denis Egan says a review could be required after 29% rise in breaches

Willie Mullins: the report shows big trainers like Mullins are getting bigger but middle-ranking colleagues are being forced  out of business. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

IHRB report for 2017 shows 10.5 per cent drop in numbers holding National Hunt licenses

Overall tests rise to over 4,000 of which five were positive

Barry Geraghty guiding Apple’s Shakira to victory in the JCB Triumph Trial at Cheltenham in December. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

‘Every Chance’ Yanworth will line up in Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham next month

Warren Gatland: some of the stuff thrown at him in Irish rugby circles  over the years only proves how much more sinned against than sinner he has been. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Lions and Wales coach has gone on to prove himself as one of the very best in the game

Diamond Cauchois leads 1-2 for trainer in featured Grade Two Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle

Our Duke and Robbie Power (left) win the Grade Two  Red Mills Steeplechase from Presenting Percy  at Gowran Park. Photograph: PA Wire

Noel Fehily to partner Gowran winner Our Duke in the ‘Blue Riband’ at Cheltenham

Our Duke:  an authoritative defeat of the leading novice Presenting Percy will see current 16-1 odds for steeplechasing’s ‘Blue Riband’ tumble significantly. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Coney Island’s Ascot clash with Top Notch, Waiting Patiently and Cue Card an ideal test

 Davy Russell: the Cork jockey has 10 booked chances this weekend to improve on his impressive haul of 97 winners  this season. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Thyestes winner Monbeg Notorious aims for Grade Two success at Navan

Trainer Willie Mullins and Douvan. Photograph: PA Wire

Vroum Vroum Mag also in line for pre-Cheltenham comeback appearance at Navan

Grand National winner Rule The World during a homecoming event in Mullingar in 2016. Photograph: PA Wire

Irish-trained winner at 7-4 as weights for world’s most famous race released

Douvan with his trainer Willie Mullins: “I’m very happy with his progress.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Willie Mullins-trained horse hasn’t run since suffering pelvic injury at last year’s festival

Robert Power clears the last on Our Duke before going on to win the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April 2017. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jessica Harrington to enter star novice in Saturday’s Red Mills Chase

Georgia take on USA last November at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

Italy continue to feel cosy club’s embrace while Europe’s sixth best team is isolated

Davy Russell: has recorded 95 winners this term and is 30 clear of Paul Townend in the jockeys’ championship.  Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Hardline’s success in the Listed Novice Hurdle the first leg of a Gordon Elliott hat-trick

 Horse Racing Ireland chief Brian Kavanagh:  “I don’t think there will be a dip in audience or viewers.” Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Brian Kavanagh plays down concerns over Racing UK’s Irish racing rights deal

Barry Geraghty on Bleu et Rouge (right). The JP McManus-owned star will run in the lucrative Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

David Mullins on board as Benie Des Dieux returns to action in Naas feature

Brian Kavanagh says 95% of Irish races will be live in full-screen on Racing UK

Jack Kennedy on board Monbeg Notorious comes home to win the the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase at Gowran. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Gordon Elliott runner receives a 13lb hike for impressive Thyestes Chase success

Willie Mullins pictured at the  Dublin Racing Festival at  Leopardstown on Saturday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘We’re as surprised as anyone. If the authorities think there needs to be an investigation that’s no problem’

Leopardstown Racecourse. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Melon and Yorkhill both drifted in lay betting ahead of races on Saturday

Jack Kennedy and Samcro clear the last to win the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Joseph O’Brien reveals there was no plan for returning Edwulf before fairytale win

Davy Russell on board Apple’s Jade (left) and Robbie Power on board Supasundae at Leopardstown over Christmas. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Why is nobody mentioning the competition authority . . . before our industry pictures are gone down the Swanee?’

Edwulf, ridden by Derek O’Connor, wins the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown ahead of Jack Kennedy on Outlander. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Willie Mullins crowned leading trainer at new festival with seven winners

Photograph: Russell Pritchard/Inpho/Presseye

Ryanair boss believes At The Races would fold if coverage of Irish racing moves to new host

Robbie Power on Supasundae wins the Irish Champion Hurdle ahead of Paul Townend on Faugheen. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jessica Harrington’s Supasundae beat the favourite to take the Irish Champion Hurdle

A rebranding of the Racing UK product is anticipated to reflect the addition of Irish racing. Photograph: Russell Pritchard/Inpho

Racecourses expected to approve deal to leave At The Races channel next week

Ruby Walsh on Faugheen: If the old Faugheen shows up at Leopardstown this weekend, it will be a gift from the punting gods.  Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Faugheen returns to action after Christmas blip, and Samcro will try to justify the hype

Capri (left) wins the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby from Cracksman (right) and Wings Of Eagles (centre). Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

This year’s race takes place on June 30th with the winner getting prize of €850,000

 Joseph O’Brien: the Melbourne Cup-winning trainer is aiming  for an early midweek boost from West Coast Time at Down Royal on Wednesday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Trainer has 18 entries for Dublin Racing Festival as Rekindling nominated to Australian Cup

Officials are keeping their fingers crossed that Faugheen stays on course to be the headline act of the Dub;in Racing Festival. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Melon challenging Faugheen for favouritism in Irish Champion Hurdle

Monalee: expected to line up  in Sunday’s Grade One €100,000 Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Saturday winner Poormans Hill makes quick return to action at Punchestown

Road to Respect: “He’s in the mix but it will be ground dependant . . . If it’s too soft he’ll go straight to Cheltenham,” said Eddie O’Leary. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud odds-on to be top owner at Dublin Racing Festival

“I know people look through the white rails at the racetrack and see a sport. But to make that happen is agriculture,” said trainer Ger Lyons. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

HRI now desperately seeking a derogation from implications of industrial relations law

Willie Mullins:  is 1-3 with Powers to claim  the new Dublin Racing Festival’s trainer title. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

Willie Mullins warms up for ‘Dublin Racing Festival’ with hat-trick

Jury Duty leads a pair of Gordon Elliott runners in the Grade Three Woodlands Novice Chase at Naas on Sunday.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Attendance levels at first festival ‘a secondary issue’ for CEO Brian Kavanagh

Willie Mullins:  saddled a 1-2-3 in a Beginners Chase at Navan last Saturday and he could supply a similar result in the Fairyhouse opener. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ex Patriot And Rachael Blackmore Fly Irish Flag At Cheltenham

 Ryan Moore riding US Navy Flag to victory in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket . Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

US Navy Flag and Clemmie top juvenile rankings

John Oxx: “We were always agriculture. We have to be agriculture. Looking after horses is an agricultural activity. It’s looking after animals.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Legendary trainer describes regulations as ‘not practical’ and ‘not fair’

Great Field: the Willie Mullins-trained Grade One winner remains as short as 7-1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Defi Du Seuil on track for Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown

Alpha Des Obeaux:  ran sixth to Road To Respect in the Christmas Chase on his previous start and secured a valuable success in November at Clonmel when beating A Toi Phil. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Samcro on course for Saturday week’s Lacy & Partners Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown

Noel Meade:  has  predicted some trainers will be “wiped out” after a recent Labour Court rejection of a Ballydoyle Racing’s appeal against Workplace Relations Commission compliance notices. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

HRI to meet with Government officials and seek a derogation from rules for stable staff

Paul Townend: he will hope for better fortune than his only previous ride on Un De Sceaux. Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Gordon Elliott could pass €3 million prizemoney mark for season this weekend

Ger Lyons: “You can have all the regulations you like but it Ballydoyle can’t handle it, we’re all finished.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Top trainer Ger Lyons concerned new rules will make staff crisis even worse

Trainers Noel Meade, Gavin Cromwell and Jessica Harrington at the promotion event for the Dublin Racing Festival. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Samcro set to bypass Champion Hurdle and stick to novice route

Sub Lieutenant will try to go one better than his runner-up spot to Sizing John last year in the Grade Three Horse & Jockey Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles. Photograph: Inpho/Presseye

Sizing John and Don Cossack claimed Grade Three Horse & Jockey Kinloch Brae Chase

Willie Mullins: trails Gordon Elliott by over half a million euro in the trainers’ championship. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Un De Sceaux hot favourite to make Ascot history in Clarence House Chase

Faugheen being put through his paces at Willie Mullins’s yard in Closutton, Co Carlow in preparation for a possible appearance at Leopardstown. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

New lucrative €1.5 million weekend is first major festival action of 2018

Davy Russell rode Doctor Phoenix to glory in €100,000 Bar One Dan Moore Handicap Chase. Photograph: iStock

Doctor Phoenix and Mitchouka bring Elliott to the verge of €3m in prize money for season

Trainer Noel Meade: “There’s a lot of talk about whether or not we’re in agriculture or not, and to be honest I think we need an identity of our own.” Photograph: Sheridan/Inpho

Trainer says yards will be ‘wiped out’ if compromise is not found over work hours

Denis Egan: “You don’t turn around 238 years of history at the press of a button. But the major stuff is organised and it has been very smooth.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Racing’s anti-doping task force expected to meet before end of month

A file photograph  of the gallops at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Coolmore decline to comment ahead of Labour Court ruling being made public

Trainer Aidan O’Brien during early morning exercises for two-year-old colts at Ballydoyle

Yard of top trainer Aidan O’Brien claimed grooms and riders were engaged in agricultural activities

Jockey arrangements may have been occupying trainers ahead of Punchestown and Fairyhouse

Lisa O’Neill and Samcro at Fairyhouse last April. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Apple’s Jade to be declared for Cheltenham Stayers’ but Mares Hurdle remains target

Monalee could return to action in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown an option for RSA Favourite, says De Bromhead

 Barry Geraghty guiding  Coney Island to victory in  The Sodexo Graduation Steeple Chase at Ascot in December. Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

McManus star also has big Leopardstown prize as a pre-festival option

Faugheen was pulled up by Paul Townend after failing to fire during the Ryanair Hurdle at the Christimas Festival in Leopardstown. Photograph: PA/Wire

Trainer says enigmatic Yorkhill’s next start will be at a “shorter trip over fences”

Paul Townend on Killultagh Vic. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Willie Mullins aiming to bring 2017 to a successful close on New Year’s Eve

Mark Walsh and  Shattered Love after their Leopardstown win in the  Neville Hotels Novice Chase. Photograph: Bryan Keane/©INPHO

Michael O’Leary mare takes advantage of Monalee fall six out at Leopardstown

Mick Jazz and Davy Russell (left) en route to winning  the Ryanair Hurdle at  Leopardstown after favourite Faugheen pulled up. Photograph: PA Wire

Mick Jazz takes advantage and strikes for victory after 2-11 favourite being pulled up

Monalee: will be the focus of attention in the Grade One Neville Hotel Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho  

De Bromhead star regarded by some observers as a potential Gold Cup horse

Exceptionally testing conditions are expected on Friday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

All Fabulous Saga does is stay – but that is likely to be the primary requirement

Faugheen ridden by Paul Townend clears the last fence on his way to victory in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Let’s Dance bids to defend her Grade Three crown on final festival day at Leopardstown

Sean Flanagan celebrates victory on board Road to Respect in the   Leopardstown Christmas Steeplechase. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Meade Star the highlight of 4.334-1 Leopardstown four-timer for Ryanair boss

Trainer Gordon Elliott, jockey Davy Russell and owner Michael O’Leary celebrate with Apple’s Jade following the Christmas Hurdle victory at Leopardstown. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Official insists obstacle was ‘fit to jump’ after eight-time Grade One winner is put down

Willie Mullins’s two-year-old Epicuris makes his debut in Limerick. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Mullins also targets success in Grade Three feature with Meri Devie who gets allowances

Jack Kennedy on Apple’s Jade en route to victory in the  Hatton`s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

O’Leary’s star faces first start over three miles in Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown

Sizing John will bid to complete a memorable year by claiming the €150,000 Christmas Chase at Leopardstown. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Weight allowance may prove the difference on Apple’s Jade on first start at three miles

Sharjah, ridden by jockey Patrick Mullins, and Real Steel, ridden by Paul Townend, both fall at the last during day two of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse. Photograph: PA Wire

Jack Kennedy unseated while Sharjah and Real Steel fall at Future Champions hurdle

 Thursday’s Leopardstown card is subject to a 7am inspection  due to forecast frost and fog. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Welsh National at Chepstow to be run on January 6th after card abandoned

Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider to win Ireland’s conditional jockeys title at Punchestown Festival last April. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Pioneering jockey teams up with Call The Taxie in the feature renewal on Wednesday

Oscar Knight (foreground) was edged out by Noble Endeavor in last year’s running of the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Jockey opts to partner with McManus’s Squouateur for biggest race at Leopardstown

Conor O’Dwyer won a memorable Paddy Power Chase on Keepatem 13 years ago and now saddles Go Darci Go for the Limerick feature. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ray Hackett’s Crackerdancer can beat the assembled big guns at At Limerick

There were emotional scenes in the winner’s enclosure after the rank outsider, Ellie Mac, owned by the Niccolai Schuster Racing Club got the Christmas action off to a shock start in the opening maiden hurdle. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Members of winning club are family and friends of the late Nick Schuster, killed in Berkeley tragedy

Paul Townend guides Footpad to a convincing victory in the  Racing Post Novice Chase  as Death Duty, with Davy Russell on board, falls  at the last at Leopardstown. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Espoir D’allen confirms he is Ireland’s top juvenile hurdler

 Pádraig Beggy riding Wings Of Eagles  wins the Derby at Epsom in June. Photograph:   Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

It was no surprise perhaps that Aidan O’Brien won a sixth Derby. The horse and jockey certainly were

Davy Russell on Avenir d’Une Vie. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

The refreshingly forthright jockey is not shy about his desire for a third title

Horse Racing Ireland insists Ireland currently has one of the lowest rates of betting tax in the world. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Record prize money of €63.3m is in place for racing in 2018, up by €2.2m on 2017

“There might be a little rain before Christmas but I would guess we’ll start on yielding going which would be ideal,” said Pat Keogh, Leopardstown’s chief executive. Photograph: Inpho

Irish trio tackle big ascot handicap

Michael O’Leary with his brother Eddie at Cheltenham earlier this year. His horse, Disko, faces Sizing John and Yorkhill in the €150,000 Leopardstown Christmas Chase. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ryanair boss eyes €150,000 Christmas Chase for fourth year in a row

Sizing John   on the way to victory with Robbie Power in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. Jessica Harrington’s star will line up in the  Leopardstown Christmas Chase next week. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Likely clash with Yorkhill shaping up as the Day Three festival highlight

Trainer Joseph O’Brien holds the trophy aloft after  Rekindling won  the Melbourne Cup  at Flemington in November. Photograph:  Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Joseph O’Brien says his runner likely to line up in €150,000 Christmas Chase

Senior National Hunt handicapper Noel O’Brien has sadly passed away. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

The senior National Hunt handicapper had fought a lengthy battle against illness

Paul Townend guides Faugheen over the last en route to an impressive victory in the  Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Leopardstown last month.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former champion jockey believes Yorkhill will stay three miles on day three of Leopardstown

Gordon Elliott: could have up to 100 runners in action over the festive period. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Oisín Orr appeals 14-day dangerous riding ban incurred at Dundalk

It’s also reassuring that every twitch of Roy Keane’s beard will keep being parsed for meaning in 2018. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

It may be the season to be jolly but there’s a still a hell of a hangover lurking

 Douvan won’t run this season, his trainer Willie Mullins announced on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Willie Mullins explainst that the horse has been ‘intermittently lame’

Jockey Davy Russell with Diamond Cauchois in the parade ring after winning the Tara Handicap Hurdle at Navan. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Trainer says he could have 100 runners in action over the hectic festive period

Ruby Walsh on board Melon. Can  Faugheen’s young stable companion be  a potential gate-crasher for the Champion Hurdle? Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho

Giant Spring to have a first start for Willie Mullins at Fairyhouse

 Trainer Colin Tizzard  on plans for Cue Card:  “We will go to the Ascot Chase, then either the Ryanair or Gold Cup and then on to Aintree. Then I will have him as my hunter.”  Photograph:  Harry Trump/Getty Images

Colin Tizzard says Cue Card to have three more runs before being retired

  Jessica Harrington and groom Ashley Hussey with Sizing John at her stables in Co Kildare. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The Irish Times / Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year continues to raise the bar

Apple’s Jade holds entries in the two-mile Ryanair Hurdle and the three-mile Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival. Photograph: Inpho

Run in three-mile Christmas hurdle to pave way for Cheltenham chance, says O’Leary

Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan:  the problem is with recreational drugs. Photograph: Inpho

Positive response to prospect of longer suspensions for jockeys testing positive for drugs

The Anti-Doping Task Force was originally set up as a response to a number of steroids controversies including that of former top trainer Philip Fenton who was disqualified from racing for three years in 2014. Photograph:  Dylan Vaughan

CRH chairman Nicky Hartery may be approached to succeed Joe Keeling as HRI chairman

Yorkhill is quoted by many bookmakers for every championship event at Cheltenham from the Champion Hurdle to the Gold Cup. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Willie Mullins also pointing Faugheen towards Leopardstown Christmas Festival

Peter O’Mahony: Like Simon Zebo, he  has a duty to himself and his family to make the most of a short career at elite level. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

In the era of professional rugby, players realistically have to go and follow the money

Un de Sceaux: made a successful return to action in the  Kerry Group Hilly Chase at Mallow.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Final two races abandoned at Cork due to deteriorating ground

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