Mike Vince travelled over to Ireland to speak to a host of big names ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, including Willie Mullins.
Mike Vince travelled over to Ireland to speak to a host of big names ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.
He caught up with Willie Mullins to discuss the master trainer's bumper team for next week. There's an update on all the big names and his plans for travelling them over.
Sizing Europe will bid for a third win at the Festival, though connections are to make a late decision as to whether he will go for the Queen Mother Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase the following day.
His trainer Henry de Bromhead has confirmed they won't make a final decision for a few more days.
Jockey Robbie Power travels to Cheltenham full of hope he could give the Irish the best possible start to the meeting.
He has the ride on Jessica Harrington's unbeaten novice Jezki in the opening Supreme Novice Hurdle, a race in which JP McManus also owns the favourite and his chief rival My Tent or Yours.
However Power is travelling over full of hope he can add to his tally of Festival successes.
The rising star of Ireland's weighing room has spoken of what winning a race at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time would mean to him.
Bryan Cooper is stable jockey to Dessie Hughes, who will have a series of fancied runners headed by JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Our Conor.
Cooper, a former conditional champion and tipped as a future Irish champion has been recalling some early Festival Memories, and spoken of his hopes of a first Festival win in 2013.
Top amateur rider Robbie McNamara is heading to Cheltenham determined to follow in the footsteps of his brother Andrew and ride a winner at the Festival.
Paul and Philip Carberry were the last brothers to taste success at the Festival and Robbie is hoping that his rides, which include the Dermot Weld-trained Rock Critic in the opening Supreme Novices Hurdle, will give him the chance of a cherished triumph.
Jim Culloty will return to the scene of his greatest triumphs at Cheltenham next week hoping he can join the elite band who have trained and ridden winners at the Festival.
Culloty will forever be associated with Best Mate's three wins in the Gold Cup but after his retirement from riding has seen his training yard grow.
His hopes in 2013 rest on Lord Windermere in the RSA Chase, with Davy Russell set to ride and Culloty believes he represents best chance of joining an elite band.
The 15-year-old A New Story will become one of the oldest horses ever to run at the Cheltenham Festival when he lines up in the Glenfarclas Chase over the Cross Country fences on the opening day of the meeting.
He's only five years younger than Adrian Heskin, the man set to ride him.
A New Story won the race in 2010 and has been third twice and fourth once. His trainer Michael Hourigan says the stable stalwart is still happy and healthy
Finally, to weigh up the strength of the Irish Challenge for 2013 we sought the expert view of the Senior Irish Jumps Handicapper, Noel O'Brien.