Horse Racing Ireland launched the new National Hunt Season yesterday with a media day at Willie Mullins’ powerful yard near Bagenalstown in County Carlow.

Last week we heard of changes to the programme and the admission prices at Punchestown, the Christmas Festival and the Dublin Festival of Racing at Leopardstown continue to go from strength to strength, as does the Boylesports Grand National Festival at Fairyhouse and the magic of the Galway Races.

We have always been a people given more towards jump racing and while success on a global stage has come through the flat racing, it is Cheltenham rather than Epsom that quickens the pulse and gives everyone a thrill come March.

Mullins was talking about the crossover between the two codes with his Vauban favourite to win the Melbourne Cup in Australia next week but he was also happy to give his positive views on changes to the Aintree Grand National, sponsored by Northern Ireland company Randox, and plenty more.

One of the highlights of the launch events for racing seasons is always the moments captured by Inpho photographer Morgan Treacy who seems to have a particular affinity for these majestic animals in the places they prepare away from the spotlight of the big occasion.

Above and Below are just some of the examples of what he captured amid the Willie Mullins cohort.