Sport Bobbing along: Bobs Worth and Barry Geraghty take the Lexus with ease

Gold Cup champion trounces Irish challengers to become clear favourite to retain Festival crown

Betfair stumps up £6m for UK betting levy

Betfair, the biggest online betting company, will hand over a £6m lump sum to the Horserace Betting Levy Board this month.

The City Diary: Waley-Cohen proves he's more than a show pony

Slackbelly in Cheltenham

How a flutter can become a lethal addiction

Charities are reporting a big rise in calls from addicts, while bookies and casinos rake in bigger and bigger profits.

Market Report: Insurers boost top tier despite news from Japan

The top-tier index was covered in blue last night as it finally managed to bring to an end a run of six straight sessions of falls. The challenge for investors, however, was to separate the stocks that were over-sold after the tragedy in Japan from those merely experiencing a dead cat bounce.

The City Diary: So taxing. Betfair finally moves offshore

Betfair, the FTSE-250 gambling group which has found life as a public company heavy going, announced last week that it will be operating offshore – a move that would have saved the group £18.5m in tax on their gross profits last year.

Arena Leisure warns of hurdles ahead as betting levy falls

The racecourse operator Arena Leisure last night warned of a tough year ahead as it faces up to a cutback in funding generated by the tax on bookmakers.

The City Diary: Oil firm seeks lawyers – must enjoy hard work

Fancy a career at America's least favourite oil group? BP is searching for a clutch of lawyers to join it in Texas – the scene of one of the group's most infamous disasters, which killed 15 workers and injured many more in 2005.

Business Diary: The Betfair Twitter mystery solved

Betfair's mysterious Twitter page turns out to be a marketing experiment. As the Diary has reported over the past week or so, the online poker company's official Twitter page spews out a stream of bizarre messages every day, none of them related to gambling. Now Richard Bloch, its international PR manager, explains: "It took us a while to work out how Twitter worked – we realised people don't want to be bored with links to the website and bombarded with marketing, so we had to mix it up and provide information as well as something interesting." It seems to be working: Betfair has 7,000 followers so far.

Business Diary: Bespoke bride firm booming

Hats off to Joseph Weiner. When the former investment banker, a New Yorker who these days lives in London, decided to start his own business he had the courage of his convictions, despite other folk's scepticism. Some 14 years later, Hand-in-Hand is thriving, Weiner tells the latest issue of Bloomberg Business Week. For those of you unfamiliar with the company, it charges men up to $2,000 (£1,300) for a "supervised courtship" – a match-making process with young women from Eastern Europe. "Every guy wants a beautiful younger woman," says Weiner.

Business Diary: Betfair moves in mysterious ways

Has the online bookmaker Betfair shelled out for an expensive online-marketing strategy from some whacky agency? Its Twitter page is bizarre and appears to begenuine, judging by the expensive display advertising that accompanies its tweets. None of these is related to Betfair's trading activities and almost all are idiosyncratic to say the least. The latest Betfair tweet – "I look to the skies. Another eagle will be here soon" – is a prime example. What on earth is going on?

Business Diary: Child's play to see through this stunt

Retailers, eh. You really get the chance to see them at their very worst during the January sales, and Toys R Us came up with a doozy with its offer on a Thomas the Tank Engine "Cranky The Crane" set at its Newbury Park branch.

Margareta Pagano: Fairness is the only way to reform our tax

Something is deeply disturbing about a government which steam-rollers controversial changes to higher education funding through yet shows no inclination to reform regulations which allow British companies to avoid millions in tax.

The City Diary: Santa Ocado

It's that time of year when we get to enjoy a rare public appearance by Jason "Missing" Gissing, the reclusive co-founder of online grocer Ocado (whose job title of "director of people, culture and communications" hardly reflects his behaviour).

Investment Column: Capita faces outsourcing uncertainty

Betfair; Domino Printing

David Prosser: Christmas sales melt away despite the thaw

Outlook The cost of the wintry weather of the past few weeks mounts by the day – a string of companies warned they had taken a hit yesterday, while M&S added its name to the list of businesses that now feel unable to commit to making deliveries in Scotland.

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On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on Scotland's oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
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Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
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musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
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A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week