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Mug's Game: Okay, so I was steeped but a win is a win — isn’t it?

Mug's Game: Okay, so I was steeped but a win is a win — isn’t it?

Remember Thursday’s jeremiad about the frequency with which I was twanging the woodwork, only for the ball to keep bouncing back out? Well…

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Lily Allen and Kirsty Gallacher enjoy day out at the Cheltenham Festival

Lily Allen and Kirsty Gallacher enjoy day out at the Cheltenham Festival

A number of famous faces turned out to watch the horseracing.

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'This is the icing on the cake': Willie Mullins celebrates Cheltenham Gold Cup double

'This is the icing on the cake': Willie Mullins celebrates Cheltenham Gold Cup double

Willie Mullins waited a long time to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup but, having finally got his hands on the prize he craved most last year, he was again the toast of Prestbury Park today after 100-30 favourite Al Boum Photo provided another picture-perfect moment.

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Friday four-timer powers Willie Mullins to leading trainer crown; Paul Townend takes top jockey

Friday four-timer powers Willie Mullins to leading trainer crown; Paul Townend takes top jockey

Paul Townend took the top rider title for the first time after Al Boum Photo’s successful defence of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup gave him a fifth winner of the week.

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'This is our Gold Cup': O’Sullivan family 'over the moon' to take Foxhunter shock

'This is our Gold Cup': O’Sullivan family 'over the moon' to take Foxhunter shock

The winner is trained in Lombardstown, Co. Cork, by Eugene O’Sullivan, who sent out Lovely Citizen to take this prized hunter chase in 1991, and was ridden by his daughter, Maxine.

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Al Boum Photo joins Best Mate in Gold Cup record books for dominant Mullins and Townend

Al Boum Photo joins Best Mate in Gold Cup record books for dominant Mullins and Townend

Immortality doesn’t come easily and, ultimately, Paul Townend’s mount had his head in front where it matters, writes Darren Norris.

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Teak-tough Monkfish gets up in Albert Bartlett thriller

Teak-tough Monkfish gets up in Albert Bartlett thriller

After a sluggish start to the Festival, Willie Mullins’ team found stride late on Wednesday, upped the pace with a double on Thursday, and when Monkfish edged out compatriots Latest Exhibition and Fury Road in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, it was a third on the day and a sixth in total for the Closutton maestro.

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'It’s not the nicest way to win a race': Burning Victory takes advantage of Goshen's final flight woes

'It’s not the nicest way to win a race': Burning Victory takes advantage of Goshen's final flight woes

The Willie Mullins-trained Burning Victory ran out a fortuitous winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the opening race of the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, after 5-2 favourite Goshen dramatically unseated rider Jamie Moore when miles clear at the final flight.

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Tommy Lyons: Santini can strike in Cup

Tommy Lyons: Santini can strike in Cup

Santini can give trainer Nicky Henderson a third win in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, having won the race with Long Run in 2013 and Bobs Worth two years later, writes Tommy Lyons.

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Pat Keane: Frustrating Percy a hopeful choice to land the spoils

Pat Keane: Frustrating Percy a hopeful choice to land the spoils

Presenting Percy, one of the most frustrating horses in training, is a hopeful choice to finally put it all together and land a wide open Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup this afternoon, writes Pat Keane

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Ruby Walsh: Photo looking a picture for Gold Cup

Ruby Walsh: Photo looking a picture for Gold Cup

Well, it has finally come: Gold Cup day. The biggest day of the season. Well, I always felt it was. This year’s race, with a small field, looks to be quite open, writes Ruby Walsh

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Three things we will learn today: Junior bids to join senior in Gold Cup folklore

Three things we will learn today: Junior bids to join senior in Gold Cup folklore

Colm Greaves looks at what we’ll learn on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.

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Cheltenham: Lostintranslation can spring Gold Cup surprise

Cheltenham: Lostintranslation can spring Gold Cup surprise

Lostintranslation will obviously need a career-best display to prevail today but he’s had a wind op since his Kempton flop.

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Mug’s Game: Once more this week (like Liverpool) I hit the woodwork

Mug’s Game: Once more this week (like Liverpool) I hit the woodwork

Willie Mullins finished Wednesday on a high note, likening Ferny Hollow’s win in the bumper to scoring a goal just before half-time. I take heart from this. The second half is about to begin and I’m still in the game.

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Cheltenham: Faugheen surrenders unbeated record to Samcro on day two

Cheltenham: Faugheen surrenders unbeated record to Samcro on day two

The was a sense of foreboding around Cheltenham ahead of the opening race on day three of the Festival, those present waiting on news as to whether there would by a day four, writes Darren Norris

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'50-1 was a massive price': Oscar-winning performance in Stayers’ Hurdle

'50-1 was a massive price': Oscar-winning performance in Stayers’ Hurdle

Lisnagar Oscar caused a 50-1 upset as reigning champion Paisley Park disappointed in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

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Min gets the least he deserves with long-awaited Cheltenham win

Min gets the least he deserves with long-awaited Cheltenham win

He had to wait four years but Min finally got the Cheltenham Festival he so richly deserved when getting the better of Saint Calvados and A Plus Tard in the Ryanair Chase.

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From the doldrums to the winner's circle: Samcro beats Melon and Faugheen in thriller

From the doldrums to the winner's circle: Samcro beats Melon and Faugheen in thriller

The much-maligned Samcro got the better of Melon in a thrilling finish to the Marsh Novices' Chase, the opening race of the third day of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

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Ruby Walsh: Stiff track will suit Colreevy

Ruby Walsh: Stiff track will suit Colreevy

We are at the halfway stage and I am starting to feel that riding may have been the easiest way to survive the Cheltenham Festival, writes Ruby Walsh.

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Min can make it fourth time lucky at Cheltenham

Min can make it fourth time lucky at Cheltenham

HAVING found Altior an immovable object in three previous trips to Cheltenham, Min can make it fourth time lucky by winning the Ryanair Chase today.

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Tommy Lyons: Bumper is again kind to Willie Mullins

Tommy Lyons: Bumper is again kind to Willie Mullins

As so often in the past, the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper was kind to Willie Mullins, and this one was as welcome as any of the previous nine, writes Tommy Lyons

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Tommy Lyons: Dolcita can deliver with stiff finish in her favour

Tommy Lyons: Dolcita can deliver with stiff finish in her favour

Henry De Bromhead’s horses have been running superbly all week and his Festival can get even better as A Plus Tard will be very hard to beat in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, writes Tommy Lyons

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Three things we will learn at Cheltenham today: Get the tissues out for another Tearful Thursday

Three things we will learn at Cheltenham today: Get the tissues out for another Tearful Thursday

Twenty-twenty vision will be needed today if you are to see in advance the winner of the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle, the second race on the card, writes Colm Greaves

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Mug's Game: A perfect line about Envoi Allen from a rising star of RTE’s racing coverage

Mug's Game: A perfect line about Envoi Allen from a rising star of RTE’s racing coverage

Here’s what Jane Mangan, a rising star of RTE’s racing coverage, said about Envoi Allen at a recent media gig. “He’s what it would be if I described my perfect horse to a sculptor or a dream maker.”

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Cheltenham: All that was green and gold glitters for JP McManus on day two

Cheltenham: All that was green and gold glitters for JP McManus on day two

All that glitters is not gold, a talented writer called William Shakespeare (you may have heard of him) once wrote. He was right.

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Tiger Roll grounded by heavy track as Easysland produces another Cheltenham shock

Tiger Roll grounded by heavy track as Easysland produces another Cheltenham shock

“He’s still on course for the National, definitely.”

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Champion Chase goes to Paul Nicholls' Politologue as Defi Du Seuil off-target

Champion Chase goes to Paul Nicholls' Politologue as Defi Du Seuil off-target

Altior was withdrawn on Tuesday and Chacun Pour Soi taken out this morning, leaving what bookmakers and punters believed to be a penalty kick for Defi Du Seuil.

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Champ lives up to his name with storming comeback

Champ lives up to his name with storming comeback

“I thought I had no chance jumping the last, but three strides later I was starting to smell the money.”

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Envoi Allen thrills punters as he continues unbeaten run at Cheltenham

Envoi Allen thrills punters as he continues unbeaten run at Cheltenham

He has now won three Grade 1s over hurdles, twice at the Cheltenham Festival, and if he is beatable, none of his rivals thus far have managed to find a chink in his armour.

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Organisers to continue with Cheltenham Festival as planned on government advice

Organisers to continue with Cheltenham Festival as planned on government advice

Tonight’s Premier League game between Manchester City and Arsenal may have been postponed due to coronavirus fears but the message from Cheltenham this morning is the remainder of the festival will go ahead as planned.

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Abscess rules Chacun Pour Soi out of Queen Mother Champion Chase

Abscess rules Chacun Pour Soi out of Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the highlight of day two of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, looks at the mercy of Defi Du Seuil after Chacun Pour Soi was declared a non-runner this morning.

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Cheltenham: Envoi Allen’s class can shine through in Ballymore

Cheltenham: Envoi Allen’s class can shine through in Ballymore

Envoi Allen has always been held in the highest regard, and nothing he has done on the track has done anything to diminish the esteem in which he is held.

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Pat Keane: Dominant Defi Du Seuil set to deliver definitive answer for punters

Pat Keane: Dominant Defi Du Seuil set to deliver definitive answer for punters

If punters are ever going to put on their betting boots at Cheltenham this week, then it will be today, on a programme that may well tempt one to come out to play three times!

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Cheltenham: Course specialist Defi Du Seuil can foil Chacun Pour Soi

Cheltenham: Course specialist Defi Du Seuil can foil Chacun Pour Soi

Altior may be absent, but the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the feature race on day two, still promises to be a cracker: Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi will renew their rivalry.

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Cheltenham: The McManus Yankee: Keeping an eagle eye on JP’s string

Cheltenham: The McManus Yankee: Keeping an eagle eye on JP’s string

JP McManus probably has upwards of 400 horses in training at any one time.

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Ruby Walsh: Elliott holds the Allen key to a Ballymore banker

Ruby Walsh: Elliott holds the Allen key to a Ballymore banker

I must say I got the most enjoyment out of watching Barry Geraghty winning on Epatante yesterday, seeing his reaction and seeing just how much he enjoyed winning the Champion Hurdle.

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Cheltenham: At least one corner of Kilkenny was happy today

Cheltenham: At least one corner of Kilkenny was happy today

Right, you know how it goes. Same deal every year. Fifty euro to punt each day - but no exceeding that sum (remember, people, only bet what you can comfortably afford to lose!) and no chasing of losses. This is supposed to be an exercise in fun, not an exercise in bringing on potential cardiac arrest.

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Put the Kettle On, Honeysuckle, Ravenhill and JP McManus' Epatante take honours at Cheltenham

Put the Kettle On, Honeysuckle, Ravenhill and JP McManus' Epatante take honours at Cheltenham

In victory, Put the Kettle On became the first mare to win the Arkle in 40 years, a notable achievement on the part of the 16-1 outsider.

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Cheltenham 2020: Day 1 Diary - Big crowd despite coronavirus uncertainty

Cheltenham 2020: Day 1 Diary - Big crowd despite coronavirus uncertainty

A crowd of more than 60,000 attended day one of the Cheltenham Festival, after officials at the track backed measures in place on course to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

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Blackmore delivers on Honeysuckle as Mullins rues 'miscommunication'

Blackmore delivers on Honeysuckle as Mullins rues 'miscommunication'

“This means so much, this mare is so special.”

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Epatante delivers another Champion Hurdle for record winners

Epatante delivers another Champion Hurdle for record winners

She also became a 60th Festival winner for JP McManus, who celebrates his 69th birthday today.

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'I was having some craic': Joy for Cork's Coleman as Put The Kettle On gets Ireland off the mark

'I was having some craic': Joy for Cork's Coleman as Put The Kettle On gets Ireland off the mark

In doing so, she became the first mare to win the Arkle for 40 years.

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'Everything that could go wrong did go wrong': But Shishkin still rules Supreme

'Everything that could go wrong did go wrong': But Shishkin still rules Supreme

The Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin outstayed the Gordon Elliott-trained Abacadabras up the famous hill to win a dramatic running of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at odds of 6-1.

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Pat Keane: Rachael Blackmore can have Irish eyes smiling with Notebook

Pat Keane: Rachael Blackmore can have Irish eyes smiling with Notebook

RACHAEL Blackmore, arguably the greatest lady rider of all time, can have Irish eyes smiling by guiding the imposing Notebook to victory in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham today.

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Altior still in the running for Cheltenham Champion Chase

Altior still in the running for Cheltenham Champion Chase

Altior remains in the running to defend his crown in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

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Pick 3: The Cheltenham Festival crackers to look forward to

Pick 3: The Cheltenham Festival crackers to look forward to

Daragh Ó Conchúir picks out three big races at Cheltenham which are set to thrill punters.

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Hotpots: Bumper favourite looks a star in the making

Hotpots: Bumper favourite looks a star in the making

History has proven the Festival to be a ruthless environment where only the toughest, most talented survive. This week will be no different. Some hotpots will enhance already lofty reputations while, for others, the bubble will burst. As ever, the challenge is what to trust and what to oppose, writes Darren Norris makes his picks.

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My Cheltenham: Get as much money as possible into the satchel

My Cheltenham: Get as much money as possible into the satchel

"Obviously the festival has grown a lot but has never lost its character although I wouldn’t be in favour of a fifth day."

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Cheltenham 2020: It’s not just about Willie v Gordon — though it often feels like it is

Cheltenham 2020: It’s not just about Willie v Gordon — though it often feels like it is

Let's think back for a moment. Monday April 25, 2017. The day before the Punchestown Festival in the season Willie Mullins had his unceremonious parting with owners Gigginstown House Stud, losing 60 horses in a heartbeat. As we looked forward to the National Hunt finale, Gordon Elliott held a significant advantage in the trainers’ championship, which he was bidding to win for the first time.

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Colm Murphy promoting Relegate’s chances as he makes Cheltenham return

Colm Murphy promoting Relegate’s chances as he makes Cheltenham return

Having gone poacher turned gamekeeper for a while, Colm Murphy is back training - and eyeing Thursday's Pertemps, writes Colm Greaves.

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Ruby Walsh: Dealing with good fortune is easy, coping with bad luck a bigger test

Ruby Walsh: Dealing with good fortune is easy, coping with bad luck a bigger test

When Paul Townend and Rachael Blackmore left the tarmac on the Dublin to Birmingham flight last night, both did so feeling very differently to how they felt taking off on the corresponding flight 12 months earlier.

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Cheltenham 2020: The roar will be primal

Cheltenham 2020: The roar will be primal

It’s frightening to think the illegal presence of some animal in a market in the province of Hubei, in a city most of us had never previously heard of and few will ever visit could have such a profound and deadly impact on the world.

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Six battles not to be missed at Cheltenham

Six battles not to be missed at Cheltenham

The Festival has a long and storied history of producing compelling duels and, with the 2020 renewal rich in promise, Darren Norris picks six battles not to miss.

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Pentland Hills can be high flyer in Champion Hurdle

Pentland Hills can be high flyer in Champion Hurdle

Pentland Hills can put himself back in the limelight by winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

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Davy Russell eyes further riches at his mecca

Davy Russell eyes further riches at his mecca

If a poll was taken on the best riders at Cheltenham over the past couple of decades, Davy Russell would surely be somewhere near the top of the list.

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Pat Keane's 10 to watch: Interesting that Davy Russell sticks with Presenting Percy

Pat Keane's 10 to watch: Interesting that Davy Russell sticks with Presenting Percy

Pat Kelly’s charge is enigmatic but, just like his media-shy trainer, utterly fascinating, writes Pat Keane.

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