Chris McGrath

Chris McGrath is Racing Correspondent for The Independent.

An opportunity went for a Burton when Vale rejected Hasselbaink

Any other type of port, left undisturbed in the dark for the past 40 years, would represent the most extravagant of Christmas presents. If its present owner is not careful, however, Port Vale Football Club may end up fetching only a bin-end price. For he has been making it sound as though there could be some pretty ghastly hangover issues.

Napravnik 'Girls' tipped for Shergar Cup success

Having been devised to dismantle barriers between nations, the Shergar Cup could now make a significant breakthrough in the one dividing the sexes. Admittedly the first team of female riders to contest the competition, a year ago, together finished last of four. After the draw for mounts was completed however, Ladbrokes gave Rosie Napravnik, Cathy Gannon and Lisa Allpress every chance of proving first among equals at Ascot on Saturday.

Trainers avoid charges in Sungate steroid case

Another chapter in the Turf's spring of scandal was closed by the British Horseracing Authority, which announced that no charges would be brought against trainers over the use of Sungate.

Glorious Goodwood: Brown Panther triumph leaves Michael Owen in the

Pre-season never used to be such a sweat. But then football seldom proved this exciting, even on the great days. And if Brown Panther's success here yesterday represented a valid sample of retirement, Michael Owen is hardly going to yearn long for those rainy Tuesdays in Stoke.

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Anjaal primed to go the extra furlong

Neither trainer nor jockey has been in his service as long as others who could testify gratefully to the fidelity of their patron, but both left the sunshine and flowers of the July Course with optimism that Anjaal could yet seal their growing roles at the centre of Sheikh Hamdan's racing empire.

Sir John Hawkins can turn up heat at July Festival

For anyone who has wondered quite how the British Turf continues to seduce investment from the Gulf, perhaps a day at the July Festival at Newmarket might prove every bit as instructive as one spent among the pomp and pageantry of Ascot or Epsom. At a time of year when their homelands seem most arid, the sheikhs find themselves driven through avenues of trees between green paddocks to a racecourse full of shade and flowers. And if the quality of the sport is mixed, with plenty of maidens and handicaps as ballast to the elite contests, then there will be a corresponding air of relaxation over the next three afternoons – not least granted the benign weather forecast.