Dedicated Irish channel

RACING TV (RTV) will again produce a fully-dedicated Irish channel on December 26th, ensuring that every race at Limerick, Leopardstown and Down Royal is shown live and in their entirety.

The Irish-only output will be on FreeSports channel - available in Britain and Ireland - Sky HD (422) and Virgin TV (553). The Irish channel will also be on RTV Extra. Running from 11.30am to 4pm, and for one day only, the service will be presented by Gary O’Brien.

PTP insurance progress

TWO hunting associations plan to launch a National Hunt Steeplechase Point to Point and Field Sports Insurance Programme in January, which may help solve the insurance crisis threatening the point-to-point sector. More information is carried on page 98. Meanwhile, three January point-to-points have been cancelled. The fixtures at Tinahely (Wicklow) on January 9th, Ballycrystal (Wexford) on January 16th, and at Cragmore (Limerick) on January 23rd, have all been cancelled. A new date has been added at Turtulla (Tipperary) on January 16th.

Breeders of the Month

THE exploits of star French hurdler Galop Marin has landed the latest Connolly’s Red Mills The Irish Field Breeder of the Month award for Mark Molloy and Mark Fleming.

The nine-year-old gelding by Black Sam Bellamy won the Grade 1 Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil for a fourth time last month.

Garrett Freyne passes away peacefully

RACEHORSE owner and breeder Garrett Freyne passed away peacefully on Sunday after a short illness.

From Clondalkin in Dublin, he was a veterinary surgeon. A full tribute will appear in our next edition.

ITBA seeks suggestions

THE Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association is seeking suggestions for its 2022 Educational Programme.

Breeders are invited to suggest subjects and topics by either emailing Kerry Ryan at or calling 045-877543.

Appreciate It to stay

hurdling this season

APPRECIATE It is the clear second favourite for the Champion Hurdle behind Honeysuckle, following news from trainer Willie Mullins that last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner will stay over the smaller obstacles this season. Mullins told “Appreciate It will be out of training for a couple of weeks and because it would mean a late start to his chasing career in terms of this season, we’ve decided on a hurdling campaign when he is ready to return.”

Struthers standing down

PAUL Struthers is to stand down as chief executive of Britain’s Professional Jockeys Association after nearly 10 years in the role. The announcement comes in the wake of criticism of the PJA leadership following the Bryony Frost/Robbie Dunne disciplinary hearing. Dale Gibson, who retired from race riding in 2009 prior to joining the PJA initially as industry liaison officer before becoming executive director (racing) in 2015, has been appointed interim chief executive.