The Mug’s Game: Photo finish - but I end up a winner

My ducks, as Nicky English might have said, are drowning. The first three days have gone depressingly badly. I’ve had one or two placed horses here and there but not a single winner, not even anything that ran sufficiently well to lose by a nose or a short head. I cannot hit the woodwork, never mind put the ball over the bar.

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Ruby at his very best on Klassical Dream

Well sad little people duly emerged from their burrows to have a go from the safety of social media at Ruby Walsh, after Benie Des Dieux had fallen at the last in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

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Good week, bad week: In National Hunt racing it’s all about relationships

One of the principle reasons that National Hunt racing is more popular than the flat is that you build relationships with horses that can sustain for years and this was proved again and again this week.

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Photo picture perfect as Willie Mullins gets Gold Cup monkey off his back

Forget about it. Erase it from your memory entirely. No need to ever mention it again. The monkey is off his back forever. After all the near-misses and the talk of the glaring omission from his CV, Willie Mullins has now won the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo and Paul Townend ensured so with an authoritative display in the feature on the final day of the 2019 Festival.

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Great week for the stable, but a funny one for me

Funny sort of week. Great week for Willie and a brilliant week for Paul Townend, but it was a funny week for me.

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Willie Mullins: I never expected to win the Gold Cup

There were scenes of unbridled joy in the winner’s enclosure at Cheltenham today as Willie Mullins finally got his hands on the Gold Cup.

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First Gold Cup for Willie Mullins as Al Boum Photo storms home

Al Boum Photo has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup after the 12/1 shot stormed home after an impressive ride by Paul Townend

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Tough choice, but progressive Bellshill is the one for me

I was out of luck with my rides yesterday but it was brilliant to see Any Second Now winning the last race for Dad. I was absolutely delighted for him.

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Bellshill can deliver Gold for Mullins at Chelthenham

Bellshill can give trainer Willie Mullins a long overdue breakthrough victory in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, the feature of the final day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

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Bryony Frost: ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl’

Frodon’s propensity to battle is matched only by his jockey Bryony Frost’s ability to talk, and the two combined to make history in yesterday’s Ryanair Chase, when the winning rider became the first female jockey to taste Grade 1 success over jumps at the Festival.

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Enda McEvoy: Why I wouldn’t be partying like it’s 1999

Day three dawns and a text arrives. “I see from your Examiner column that you’re doing as badly as I am.”

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Clan Des Obeaux sets standard for Cheltenham Gold Cup

It’s hard to recall a more open Cheltenham Gold Cup than the one that will unfold before our eyes at 3.30pm this afternoon. Of the 16 set to go to post in the Magners-sponsored Cheltenham Festival highlight, only four can be dismissed with real confidence – it really is that open.

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Here's what we'll learn from Day 4 of Cheltenham

Not 26 years old yet and Joseph O’Brien already enjoys the ultimate badge of acceptance within the racing community. He is known simply as ‘Joseph.’ Of course, as the eldest son of Aidan and Anne-Marie O’Brien, he has had his advantages in the sport, certainly during his riding career, but as a trainer he is very much his own man.

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Sir Erec can justify the hype in Cheltenhams' Triumph Hurdle

THE rain-softened surface is a massive plus for Sir Erec and he is fancied to justify plenty of hype in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham today.

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Paisley Park hits the right note in Stayers' Hurdle

Paisley Park survived a last-flight blunder to justify favouritism and record a fairytale success for his connections in the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

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Front-runners can set it up nicely for Footpad in Ryanair

We drew a blank yesterday but most of the horses ran very well, writes Ruby Walsh.

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Janika set to defy top weight

Janika can carry top weight to victory in the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, the fifth race on day three of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

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Veteran Faugheen can upstage young guns

On a card that offers little cause for optimism at Cheltenham this afternoon, Faugheen is fancied to turn back the clock and land the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle.

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Progressive Paisley Park set to crown fine season

The Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle is today’s feature race and Paisley Park can crown a flawless campaign by landing the spoils for trainer Emma Lavelle and jockey Aidan Coleman.

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World-beater Altior jumps into record books

Not at his best, perhaps, but Altior is without defeat in 18 consecutive outings in the national hunt sphere and a world-record 13 times over fences.

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Even my silver linings have huge cloudy puffballs

After the conspicuous lack of success on Day One I’m twitchy.

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'A lot of dreams are shattered here and luckily, ours weren’t'

Was it a good day or a bad day at Cheltenham?

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Relief unites the punters at Cheltenham

The first victory of day two of this year’s Cheltenham Festival came early. Very early.

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5 things we learned from day two of the Cheltenham Festival

Day two of the Cheltenham Festival has come to an end. Here are five things to take away from the day.

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Man arrested for possession of knife at Cheltenham

A man has been arrested for possession of a knife at the Cheltenham Festival.

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Ups and downs, highs and lows — yesterday had it all for me

Oh, the up and downs, the highs and lows of national hunt racing. Yesterday had it all for me. It was amazing to win the first race on Klassical Dream and to watch Duc Des Genievres win the second – it was clear the horses were in great order.

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Cheltenham Festival to go ahead today despite threat of high winds

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival will go ahead as planned.

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Sams has right profile

With the rain that fell yesterday afternoon and all that is expected today, Sams Profile can reverse recent form over Battleoverdoyen when they renew rivalry in the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, the opening race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

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Battleover could have rivals waving white flag

The Gordon Elliott-trained Battleoverdoyen gets the nap to retain his unbeaten record in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

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You won’t get rich, but don’t oppose Altior and Tiger Roll

Provided it gets the go-ahead, day two of Cheltenham will see two three-time heroes go in search of a fourth Festival success and it’ll rank as a massive surprise if Altior and Tiger Roll fail to oblige.

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Espoir the surprise winner, but nothing new for McManus

For the third consecutive year, the fifth time in the last 10 runnings, and a record ninth time in total, the familiar green and gold colours of JP McManus were carried to victory in the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

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Dream start turns to nightmare for Ruby as Benie crashes out

In the latter stages of his career in the saddle he may be but the joy of riding a winner at the Cheltenham Festival commands a broader-than-ever smile from Ruby Walsh, who didn’t have to wait long to make that familiar walk back to the winner’s enclosure.

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Could have been a little worse, could have been a lot better

The day starts well. (Spoiler alert: it will not continue in this vein.)

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Dynamic duo take on big guns on biggest stage

Philip Reynolds spent the first half of his life as Albert Reynolds' young fella and thinks he might just spend the second as Presenting Percy's owner.

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Aidan Coleman: 'You have to be on the ball every day, not just Saturdays and festivals'

Aidan Coleman has carved out a solid career since moving to England from Cork over a decade ago but it wasn’t until Paisley Park won the JLT Hurdle last December that he finally joined the Grade One club. Now the 30-year-old is hoping the Stayers’ Hurdle favourite can double his tally of Cheltenham Festival successes later this week

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The curious case of Altior

He’s a winning machine on the brink of equalling a modern-day winning sequence — so why has three-time Cheltenham Festival winner Altior yet to fully capture the public imagination?

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The top three head-to-head battles to watch out for at Cheltenham

From Arkle v Mill House to Kauto Star v Denman to Native River v Might Bite, the Cheltenham Festival has produced some epic duels down the years. It’ll be no different this week and the three showdowns below certainly won’t be for the faint-hearted, says Darren Norris

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Day 1 at Cheltenham had a bit of everything

It’s fair to say day one of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival had a bit of everything. Driving rain in the hours before the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle, the traditional curtain-raiser for the biggest week of the racing year, dampened bodies but not enthusiasm.

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Widow of racehorse owner brings his ashes to Cheltenham in handbag to see horse win

The widow of a late racehorse owner ensured her husband was present to see the five-year-old horse race to victory at Cheltenham today.

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Cheltenham: Roksana takes full advantage of dramatic Benie Des Dieux exit

Beware The Bear claimed top honours in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

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Cheltenham to inspect course as stormy Wednesday threatens racing

Day two of the Cheltenham Festival could be under threat, with officials anticipating "challenging" weather conditions on Wednesday.

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Brexit Proof: The Irish festival bankers

If you’re determined to win green this week, stick with this trio, says our top tipster Tommy Lyons

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Mullins trio poised to make Ruby’s Tuesday

It won’t come as a galloping shock should Cheltenham produce results this week that are impossible to explain.

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RUBY WALSH: Klassical can give me dream start in opener

At the 11th hour we switched Klassical Dream back to the Supreme and he’ll be my first ride of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. We had contemplated going up in trip with him after his win at the Dublin Racing Festival in Leopardstown but with the ground slowing and looking at the opposition – Felix Desjy will more than likely make it a strongly-run race – we thought this would be the right race for him.

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Mullins pair lead strong Irish challenge in Ryanair

Stable companions Footpad and Un De Sceaux are among 12 horses declared for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

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Benie Des Dieux can be the punters’ pal

Hard to recall a Tuesday card at Cheltenham as difficult as today’s but Benie Des Dieux can be the punters’ pal on the opening day to the 2019 Festival by proving a class apart from her rivals in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.

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Apple’s Jade looks all set to foil D’Air’s hat-trick bid

The Unibet Champion Hurdle, the headline act on the opening day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, pits a hat-trick-seeking champion against a superstar mare as well as a mare with superstar potential

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Unless you’ve a heart of granite...

Kayley Woollacott was widowed at 31 when her husband Richard finally lost his long battle with depression last year. She was left with a young daughter, a racing stable and two options. Fight or flight. She chose the former and has dealt the sort of grief that could crush a lesser mortal in a remarkably robust and positive way. She has embraced the legacy of her husband’s death to publicise the need for dialogue on men’s mental health while at the same time raising significant funds for charities working in the field.

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Angels set to show true colours

Nicky Henderson believes the professionalism of Angels Breath can come to the fore and help him secure a fourth success in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival today.

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Buveur bids to join hurdling greats

Nicky Henderson reports Buveur D’Air to be in tip-top condition as he bids to become the sixth horse to record three successive victories in today’s Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

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Altior chases Big Buck’s record in Queen Mother

Altior will face eight rivals when he attempts to win back-to-back renewals of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham tomorrow.

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Cheltenham to bring more than £100 million to the local economy

With 900 accredited journalists, 350 chefs, 250 bookmakers and 100 helicopter flights a day, it is little wonder that the famous annual Cheltenham Festival which gets under way tomorrow can claim to be the biggest jump meeting in the world.

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Samcro to miss Cheltenham Festival, says Gordon Elliott

Samcro has been ruled out of a return to the Cheltenham Festival next week by trainer Gordon Elliott.

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Battalion lighter this year for Mullins - but festival could still prove gold-en

Willie Mullins will return to Cheltenham without many of the superstar names of recent years.

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