Hurricane Fly, ridden by Ruby Walsh, winning the Irish Champion Hurdle on Sunday

Hurricane Fly defies all the doubts to clock up No 19

Hurricane Fly confirmed he will not give up his crown at Cheltenham in March without a fight after clinching a fourth successive BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle and his 19th Grade One win in thrilling style at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Knock out: Knockara Beau (right) reels in Big Buck’s at the final obstacle of the Cleeve Hurdle to beat the marathon specialist on his return from injury

Big Buck’s brings World Hurdle in range despite running out of puff

Favourite beaten after 420 days out with injury as 66-1 shot claims galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdles at Cheltenham

Big Buck's wins in 2012 at Cheltenham, where he returns on Saturday after missing last year

Reve De Sivola to deny Buck’s a dream return

Big Buck’s is back. More than a year after effortlessly extending his unbeaten sequence to 18, the four-time World Hurdle winner returns to Cheltenham for the Cleeve Hurdle on trials day to great fanfare and the delight of everyone connected with the sport.

Richard Hannon's unbeaten juvenile Toormore has been crowned champion two-year-old in the European Thoroughbred Rankings

Toormore faces big challenge as champion

Toormore followed in the shadows of Frankel and Dawn Approach when he was ranked the unbeaten champion two-year-old of Europe, but an uncrowned king did not take long to challenge the fragility of his claims to follow in their Classic footsteps.

Sheikh Mohammed, pictured, said that disgraced former trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni would never work with his horses again

Godolphin doping scandal 'shocked' Sheikh Mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has broken his silence on the Godolphin doping scandal and said that "the truth" would emerge from an ongoing inquiry.

The Big Six: Riding retreats

From South Africa to Argentina, England to Dubai, Australia to the US

FreeNelly: Police are trying to track down the owner of a horse discovered early Friday morning

FreeNelly: Police search for owner of horse found on the loose in Hertfordshire

Police have taken to Twitter in order to search for the owner after the horse was discovered and captured in the early hours of this morning

Three-time champion over jumps Terry Biddlecombe dies at 72

Terry Biddlecombe, the three-times champion jump jockey who in later life was associated with the triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate, died on Sunday, aged 72.

Sprinter Sacre pleased connections yesterday after his Kempton scare

Injury rules Sir Des Champs out for the season

Last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a tendon injury.

Nida Ul-Naseer missing: Concerns grow for 18-year-old girl who vanished after taking bins out at her Newport home

A major police search is now underway in south Wales

Irish trainer Willie Mullins must choose between several Festival targets for Annie Power, pictured

Willie Mullins aims to find Annie Power’s real strengths

Annie Power, unbeaten in eight starts, goes on trial at Cheltenham on Wednesday in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle, but nobody seems really sure which Festival race she is on trial for.

Central Park's iconic horse-drawn carriages may soon disappear from the tourist trail under a new plan

New York mayor vows to put city's horses out to pasture

Bill de Blasio has called the long-running tourist practice of horse-drawn carriages in Central Park ‘inhumane’

Brumbies are descendants of horses released into the wild and symbolise the romance of the outback for many Australians

To cull or not? ‘Brumby’ wild horses divide Australians

For many Australians, the brumby – or wild horse – symbolises the romance and adventure of the outback.

Silviniaco Conti turns tables on Cue Card to restore Nicholls’ King George crown

Another day, another race. Silviniaco Conti, only third behind Cue Card when the pair met in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, took glorious revenge yesterday in the second of the domestic season’s four top-level staying chases, the King George VI Chase at Kempton. And the seven-year-old’s three-and-a-half-length defeat of his rival has sent him to the head of the market for the third, and most important, the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform