Chris McGrath

Chris McGrath is Racing Correspondent for The Independent.

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Animal Kingdom can thrive outside natural habitat

Three of the meeting's seven Group One races will be over inside 80 minutes today – and in an aggregate time quicker than will be set by its final winner on Saturday afternoon, trundling two and three-quarter miles in the Queen Alexandra Stakes. That race is too cherished an heirloom for anyone to suggest that Royal Ascot ends with a whimper, but it unmistakably opens with a bang.

Sir Henry Cecil's Royal Ascot entries will run as planned

Royal Ascot 2013: Spirit of Sir Henry Cecil alive in global carnival

Royal meeting opens with international fanfare after scandals and bereavement

War Singer will be suited by the trip in York’s amateur handicap

Injury may spell Magician’s absence from Ascot

After his big rival was seemingly conjured from nowhere, Magician was this evening threatening a disappearing act from the big showdown between Classic winners on the first day of Royal Ascot.

Jockey James Doyle, left, and trainer Lady Cecil, right, with Frankel’s half-brother Morpheus after winning the ABG Law Classic Maiden Stakes at Nottingham yesterday, two days after the death of Sir Henry Cecil

Morpheus soothes grief of Sir Henry Cecil's yard with win at Nottingham

Just as his final fight was sustained by Frankel, so the malign destiny that finally claimed Sir Henry Cecil on Tuesday also seems to have reserved a degree of solace for those he has left behind. As though shamed by its own cruelty, it granted Cecil's grieving widow and employees two winners within barely 10 minutes – and the first of them, as a half-brother to Frankel, could not have been more fitting.

Jockeys at Great Yarmouth yesterday hold a minute’s silence in memory of Sir Henry Ceci

Sir Henry Cecil's yard chases memorial win

Five Warren Place horses run on Thursday, with Frankel's half-brother Morpheus in a maiden at Nottingham

Cecil’s jockey Tom Queally wears a black armband yesterday

Turf united in grief and affection after the death of legendary Newmarket trainer Sir Henry Cecil

Minute's silence held at meetings after10-times champion trainer loses long battle with cancer

Sir Henry Cecil with Frankel at Newmarket racecourse on September 29, 2012

Frankel became an incarnation of the spirit of Sir Henry Cecil

The legendary trainer passed away after a battle against cancer

The Irish trainer Dermot Weld wants rain for his Ascot hopes

Animal double act set to raise curtain at Ascot

Get ready for the fast show. Three of the seven Group One races scheduled at Royal Ascot will be run within the first 80 minutes of the meeting – and the fortunes of bookmakers and punters next week may well be irrevocably determined within that same, breathless span.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb is one of the favourites for today’s Belmont Stakes in New York

Sun Central has the pedigree to shine over longer trip

Between Epsom last weekend, and Royal Ascot on Tuesday week, an inevitable suspension of quality today produces one of the quieter Saturdays in the calendar.

Arshavin celebrates the third of his four against Liverpool in 2009

The Last Word: Is the wasting of Andrei Arshavin’s talent at Arsenal his fault – or Arsène Wenger’s?

It is impossible to believe no other manager could have played him better

Day In a Page

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Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
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Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
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Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
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Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
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Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor