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Outlook Over to a business that works, in the form of Betfair. It looks like a winner. The gambling company jumped to the head of the field by trouncing the City's profit forecasts and handed out sugar lumps to the shareholders in its stable with a chunky dividend hike. The shares duly raced even further ahead of a 950p indicative offer that was withdrawn in May by a major shareholder in cahoots with private equity.

Compass serves up 16% profit surge

COMPASS, the contract catering group, continued its impressive run yesterday with a 16 per cent increase in full-year profits to pounds 159m and bullish predictions that it is well placed to withstand a downturn.

Losses force Queen's trainer to quit

HORSE RACING may call itself the sport of kings, but it seems that even the support of the monarch is no longer a guarantee of success. Lord Huntingdon, who has prepared horses for the Queen for the past 21 years, announced yesterday that he is to give up training at the end of the season, because he cannot make it pay.

Racing: Jackpot builds up

A JACKPOT pool of pounds 500,000 is in prospect at Kempton today after punters found Saturday's results at Newbury too difficult.

Racing: Andreyev ready for a speedy return

Simon Holt of Channel 4 Racing analyses today's Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup

Racing: Sainte Marine looks the each-way saver

THERE IS no shortage of quantity at the better end of sprinting at present, with 17 horses lining up for today's Nunthorpe Stakes at York just a few weeks after the same number contested the July Cup at Newmarket. The matter of their quality, however, is still under debate, and there could be no better place to settle the argument than at the Knavesmire.

Racing: Ground-breaking win for Frontier

Simon Holt of Channel 4 Racing analyses today's Northumberland Plate

Racing: Treble lifts Stoute's Knight-life

QUITE a lot has happened to Walter Swinburn since his last Royal Ascot in 1995. After a fall at Sha Tin in early 1996, he did not so much flirt with death as cancel the wedding when the invitations were already in the post. Twelve months ago, he was in the middle of a "sabbatical" to overcome weight problems which many assumed to be permanent.

Racing: Old tries a third time

OLD ROUVEL, who has finished third and second in the last two runnings of the Queen Alexandra Stakes, is to have another tilt at Friday's Royal Ascot contest.

Friar Tuck steals Trophy

FRIAR TUCK made merry men of the bookmakers at York yesterday by running out the 33-1 winner of the day's feature race, the pounds 50,000 William Hill Trophy Handicap. The three-year-old gelding, ridden by Jason Weaver, was always close to the pace and hit the front a furlong out to run out a ready length and a half winner from the strong-finishing Marton Moss with another 33-1 shot, Prix Star, third.

Blood, sweat and yearlings

Ascot is the industry's ultimate shop window with competition as fierce off the track as on it; Sue Montgomery talks to the manager of a stud for whom a crucial week beckons

Elsworth eyes a golden double

Sue Montgomery says Persian Punch can land a popular blow at the Ascot meeting

Head cases

Never mind betting on the horses, Ascot's serious money is blown beforehand - and mainly on hats. Jenny Knight looks forward to next Thursday's Ladies' Day. Photographs by Martin Salter

Racing: Royal fear for Fallon

KIEREN FALLON will sit out this weekend's racing amid doubts that the champion jockey will be fit in time for Royal Ascot.

Racing: Injured Fallon may miss Ascot

KIEREN FALLON gave up three rides at Newbury yesterday after hurting his right knee on the gallops, an injury which could threaten his participation at Royal Ascot, which begins on Tuesday.

Racing: Savill in swipe at bookies

THE WEEK between the Derby and Royal Ascot is not generally among the more interesting of the racing year, but for followers of turf politics at least, these last few days have been ones to remember. In a refreshing, rough-house fashion which owes more to the days of Lloyd George than those of Labour's spin doctors, Peter Savill has engaged his detractors among the big bookies in bitter verbal warfare, and there is little sign that the skirmishing is about to stop.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links