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

Sizing John streaks clear of Djakadam at Punchestown. Photograph: PA

‘Horse of the Year’ sees off Djakadam to claim Durkan Chase in impressive style

Highland Reel secured a seventh Group One victory in his final race. Photograph: Vince Caliguiri/Getty

Five-year-old caps off a stunning career with a seventh Group One victory at Sha Tin

Ruby Walsh guiding Und De Sceaux to victory in the Ryanair Chase during the   Cheltenham Festival last March. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Punchestown hoping rain rather than snow will facilitate John Durkan Chase meeting

Sizing John ridden by Robbie Power en route to winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup last March. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

O’Brien and Mullins fly the Irish flag in Hong Kong’s International races at Sha Tin

 Robbie Power riding Sizing John (R) pips Djakadam (L) to claim the Punchestown Gold Cup last  April. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Willie Mullins says Sandown’s Tingle Creek remains Douvan’s most likely target

Chairman of HRI, Joe Keeling,  with Kate Harrington, Jessica Harrington, jockey Robbie Power and Emma Galway accepting horse of the year award for Sizing John who won the Horse of the Year Award the annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards   at Leopardstown Racecourse on Tuesday.  Photograph: Chris Bellew / Fennells

Outgoing chairman Joe Keeling says some cabinet members need to adopt ‘some bravery’

Apple’s Jade ridden by Jack Kennedy (left)  on the way to winning the Bar One Racing Hatton`s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.   Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Douvan on course to return to action in Tingle Creek

 Ryan Moore on Highland Reel. The Aidan O’Brien-trained horse will attempt to repeat his 2015 victory in the mile and a half Vase in Hong Kong.  Photograph: Getty Images

Willie Mullins’s Max Dynamite also takes his chance in Vase

Apple’s Jade ridden by Jack Kennedy on the way to winning the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Despite Fairyhouse win, owner says mares should get no weight allowance at top level

Mengli Khan ridden by Jack Kennedy (left) races clear of the last on the way to winning the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle during day two of the Fairyhouse Winter Festival. Photograph: PA

Top handler and owner strike at Fairyhouse Winter Festival to make it a unique occasion

Apple’s Jade:   Navan run last month could  give her  a crucial edge in  Sunday’s Hatton’s Grace Hurdle. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Apple’s Jade attempts to be first in a dozen years to retain Hatton’s Grace Hurdle

The Turf Club regulates Irish racing on a 32-county basis, but it appears unclear how precisely the vetting process will work in relation to trainers in the North

All employers have to be checked by vetting bureau if they employ people under age of 18

“Jockeys have to know and understand they are professional athletes who have a liability not only to themselves but to their colleagues,” said jockeys’ association spokesman Andrew Coonan. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Turf Club set to recommend four-year bans on jockeys who transgress in future

Ger Fox celebrates winning the Boylesports Irish Grand National on Rogue Angel at Fairyhouse in 2016. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ger Fox, Roger Quinlan and Danny Benson suspended by Turf Club Referrals Committee

Gigginstown team deny any ‘falling out’ with champion amateur Jamie Codd

Edward O’Grady: his late wife, Maria, passed away  after sustaining fatal injuries in a hunting accident on Saturday.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Barry John Foley hopes for pre-appeal boost at Punchestown with Golden Firepower

Apple’s Jade (left) ridden by Bryan Cooper leads home Vroum Vroum Mag ridden by Ruby Walsh in last year’s Bar One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

No British raiders bound for Fairyhouse despite three Grade Ones on prestigious card

Samcro ridden by Jack Kennedy jumps the last to win The ‘Monksfield’ Novice Hurdle at Navan. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Star Novice described as ‘gentle giant’ by his first trainer, Colin Bowe

 Like  Trapattoni, Martin O’Neill has come under fire for being some football Neanderthal. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

World-class ambition is fine. But the expectations towards Irish football are delusional

Samcro, ridden by Jack Kennedy, jumps the last to win the Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan Racecourse. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Michael O’Leary’s giant chestnut got a perfect score for style in effortless demolition job

Luke Comer has been ordered by the Turf Club to pay almost €50,000 in fines. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Racing’s regulatory body published a list of sanctions in relation to long running issues

Acapella Bourgeois has his first start for Willie Mullins in the Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday.  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Gordon Elliott’s Outlander bids for Grade One Glory in Haydock’s Betfair Chase

  Idaho will run in the Japan Cup on Sunday morning.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

No foreign runner has won Japan Cup since Alkaased scored in 2005

Trainer Mick Winters: “I welcome it in a lot of ways because it might open up the thing.” Photograph: Inpho

Trainer is appealing after being fined €6,000 for the running of Churchtown Glen in Cork

The Anti-Doping Task Force  was originally set up after a series of steroids controversies

Task force has been reconvened to break deadlock on how to implement drug-testing procedures

Sizing John ridden by Robbie Power on their way to victory in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Jessica Harrington is hopeful her Gold Cup hero can successfully return to action

Gordon Elliot with Jack Kennedy and Potters Point in the winner’s enclosure at Fairyhouse in April. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The trainer successfully appealed a non-trier penalty imposed on him and Jack Kennedy

Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy have won their appeals against ‘non-trier’ penalties imposed from a Down Royal meeting earlier this month. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Trainer and jockey given penalties after Suitor finished third in Down Royal hurdle

Faugheen is set to return to action after a 22-month layoff at Punchestown. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Willie Mullins’ star set set for first appearance in 22 months in Morgiana Hurdle

Apple’s Jade won the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan on her return to the track after almost 200 days. File Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Gordon Elliott scores a four-timer including Clarcam who could be set for retirement

Bryan Cooper on board Apple’s Jade at Punchestown Racecourse. Apple’s Jade is the star turn among 16 weekend runners for Michael O’Leary’s Giginstown Stud team through both Navan and Saturday’s action at Naas. Photograph: Inpho

Davy Russell confident he will be cleared to ride at weekend after getting X-ray results

Pat Smullen onboard Eziyra wins the 2016 European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at the Galway Festival. Photograph: Inpho

Maarek has 76th career start at Doncaster as cross-channel turf campaign closes

Trainer Joseph O’Brien holds the Melbourne Cup trophy  after his horse Rekindling won race seven  at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Ireland's Melbourne Cup pioneer acclaims Joseph O’Brien’s ‘wonderful achievement’

 Trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Corey Brown pose for photographs after winning the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Photograph: PA

The son of the world’s most successful trainer has been paying attention in class

 Ten Ten  winning  at Down Royal. The Jack Kennedy-ridden Suitor finished third  in the maiden hurdle. Photograph: Presseye/Inpho

Elliot says unbeaten Samcro will wait for Royal Bond hurdle at Fairyhouse

Horse Racing Ireland chief Brian Kavanagh didn’t rule out a new system being in place by Christmas. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Brian Kavanagh says new task force chairman will not be connected to industry

Colin Keane at Naas celebrating his 100th winner of the year on board Warnaq. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

New champion rides double on final day of the flat season

 Max Dynamite  rolling  in  sand  at Werribee racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. Photograph:   Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Joseph O’Brien tries to lift the ‘race that stops a nation’ on the first time of asking

Over the years Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien  has thrown 14 horses without success at the $6 million climax to US racing’s shop-window event. Photograph: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Breeders Cup the highlight as Highland Reel in good position to defend turf title at Del Mar

Robbie Power and Our Duke  in action. An impressive win would see him pressure his stable companion Sizing John at the top of the Gold Cup betting. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill

Michael O’Leary chasing five-in-a-row in steeplechase feature with four of eight runners

Mendelssohn, second from right,  ridden by jockey Ryan Moore on the way to winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf  at Del Mar Race Track in  California. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

Irish trainer increases his record haul of Group One wins to 27 at Del Mar

Ryan Moore riding Rhododendron (centre)  at Newmarket  in October. The horse’s  odds for the Filly & Mare at Del Mar have eased after  drawing 14 of 14. Photograph: Getty Images

Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud aiming for five in a row in Grade One at Down Royal

Giant’s Causeway’s narrow loss to Tiznow at Churchill Downs in 2000 is the closest Aidan O’Brien has come to winning the Breeders Cup Classic. Photograph: Jeff Haynes/Getty Images.

O'Brien-trained Caravaggio and Highland Reel will both stand at Coolmore next year

 Joel Rosario on  Mind Your Biscuits   after winning the Dubai Golden Shaheen   this year. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty

Kentucky Derby winning jockey has won five Breeders’ Cup races and Dubai World Cup

 Aidan O’Brien celebrates as Saxon Warrior wins at Doncaster to secure the trainer a record 26 Group One winners in a single year. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Rather enigmatic sporting figure has really delivered and is likely to keep doing so

Aidan O’Brien secured his 26th Group One winner of the season at Doncaster on Saturday. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Sunday’s Saint-Cloud card scrapped due to protest against French racing budget cuts

Saxon Warrior (R) holds off Roaring Lion to give Aidan O’Brien a 26th Group One of the season. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Two-year-old battles back to take Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster under Ryan Moore

Pádraig Beggy riding Wings Of Eagles to win The Investec Derby from Cliffs Of Moher on  Derby Day at Epsom. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Derby winner Pádraig Beggy can land Eyrefield Stakes on Flag Of Honour

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