Irish racing has never had it so good. It's not an exaggeration to suggest this when you consider the success enjoyed over the past year at the major National Hunt and Flat Festivals. Aidan O'Brien, Mick Kinane, Declan McDonogh, Ruby Walsh, Tony McCoy and Kieren Fallon continue to excel in their chosen codes, and while the latter has had a difficult year following the race-fixing allegations levelled against him, this 'Yearbook', edited by Mark Costello, is a positive reflection on a glorious 12 months.
With contributions from many respected figures in the racing media, the thoughts of those who hit the headlines in 2006 are outlined. Mouse Morris, who trained War Of Attrition to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, talks about his unshakeable belief that his charge would claim the blue riband. The Co Tipperary handler also outlines the many stresses involved in setting up his training facility and the impact that this had on his marriage.
Tony McCoy expresses his admiration for 'driven' people like Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher and Martin Pipe, while in equal terms expressing the frustration and boredom that is felt when injured and watching on from the sidelines.
Niall 'Slippers' Madden recalls the day when he went past McCoy and Ruby Walsh to win the Aintree Grand National on Nunbersixvalverde. An unreal experience for a jockey, who only just turned professional!
Other notable interviews with Irish champion flat jockey Declan McDonogh charts his rise to the top, while Phillip Carberry, who rode Point Barrow to victory in the Irish Grand National, talks about his passion for helicopters. The syndicate that own reigning Champion Hurdler Brave Inca tell their story of how they acquired the horse and the joy it has bought them. Looking to the future, there is a progress report on the new all-weather complex at Dundalk, while the work that goes in to staging a Point-to-Point fixture highlights the many hours of hard work and dedication by volunteers.
The 'Yearbook' is also a valuable reference guide with an abundance of stats pertaining to past winners of the main domestic races, breeding and stallion fees. Combined with a number of glossy photographs, there is plenty here to interest the racing enthusiast.