Paddy Power

Royal baby watch: Buggies, birth signs and bookies - the latest regal

After what feels like a lifetime of nail-biting anticipation – is it a he or isn’t it a he? Gemini or Cancer? Bugaboo or Maclaren? – the nation could soon let out a collective sigh of relief with reports suggesting that the royal baby might be here sooner than expected, with a recent helicopter dash back to Buckinghamshire from North Wales fuelling rumours that the real due date is actually earlier than speculators had imagined.

Cheltenham Festival 2013: Mullins and Hurricane Fly bring warmth to

So long as they have Willie Mullins, they need never weaken. The track set aside for later in the week was hidden under funereal frost sheets, and the air howled with the final, bitter imprecations of winter. But the punters – above all, the Irish – left here last night aglow with the vindication of their faith. However slow the buds of springtime, they know exactly where to find the most reliable bloom in all Nature: a stable in Co Carlow.

Avenue leads to relative riches

With jump racing's richest week looming and the most powerful stables in Britain and Ireland poised to do battle for more than £6 million in purses, there was a timely reminder yesterday that success is relative.

Fingal Bay set for explosive start to Cheltenham Open

Though exploits of Kauto Star are unlikely to be matched any time soon, at least it seems his absence from the scene may be cheerfully borne. As the jumpers have gathered momentum there have already been tantalising glimpses of the future from emerging talent such as Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti, Kauto Stone, For Non Stop and Flemenstar. And more frissons are likely during the three-day meeting at Cheltenham that starts today.

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Sir Des Champs must trip heavy fantastic

Though serving its traditional role as both the final fling of the jumps season and a test of the new order established at Cheltenham last month, the Punchestown Festival must this week absorb one or two challenging incongruities.

Grand National photo-finish marred by deaths

Thousands of racecourse spectators and millions of TV viewers watched the closest Grand National in history today, but the event was marred by tragedy as big favourite Synchronised died after a fall.