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.

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

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.

Ascot: Big Buck’s looms large as stayers cross swords

While At Fishers Cross and Reve De Sivola do battle for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot today, one cannot get away from the sense that the most significant action in their staying hurdlers’ category took place in a training spin at Exeter on Thursday.

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Cue Card leaps into Gold Cup reckoning

To his already numerous proven positive qualities, Cue Card has now added the priceless one – for a chaser aiming for the greatest glory come March, anyway – of stamina.

Youthful Spirit mature enough to take Power

There can come a time in a young chaser’s career when everything is in place for the first big win. For Johns Spirit, Jonjo O’Neill’s attractively weighted runner in this afternoon’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, the centrepiece of Cheltenham’s three-day Open Meeting, that time is now.