News Mike Ashley has mellowed in recent years, so his stake in Debenhams surprised the City

The Sports Direct tycoon is well known for keeping rivals guessing. Simon Neville attempts to unravel his stakebuilding plan for Debenhams

Racing: Savill steps into Lord Wakeham's shoes as member of Tote Board

PETER SAVILL was yesterday appointed by Home Secretary Jack Straw to serve as the British Horseracing Board's nominee on the Horserace Totalisator Board.

Racing: First show

MUSKHILL is a top-priced 5-2 with Ladbrokes for the 1.45 at Chepstow - the Tote offer a more cautious 7-4 - while Iranos is 11-1 with the Tote - William Hill and Ladbrokes offer 8-1.

Racing: Punters escape betting ring blues with the redcoats

Grumpy track bookmakers are driving racegoers into the arms of cheerful, red-jacketed staff at the Tote's betting booths, Peter Jones, the chairman of the Tote, said last night.

Racing: Big jackpot at Ascot

A Tote Jackpot pool of over pounds 335,000 was only partially won at Ascot yesterday, leaving a carryover of pounds 238,492.58 brought forward to today's Ascot card.

SPORTS BETTING ; Lithuania the value bet at tempting 2-1

England are an unbackable 1-9 to beat Moldova in their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night. But, sifting through the host of other long- odds shots in the other qualifiers, a bit of value can still be found.

Bodycote puts its cash to work

Bodycote, the acquisitive metal treatment specialists, has made impressive use of the pounds 117m it raised in last November's rights issue. Turnover in the first half was 63 per cent up on last year at pounds 100m, and profit before tax grew by 82 per cent to pounds 23m. It could have been even better, but for exchange rates which reduced profits by almost pounds 2m.

The losers who picked six winners

Ian Davies on the lessons that punters can learn from the Warwick Jackpot row

New head for Tote held up for polls

The choice of a successor to Lord Wyatt of Weeford as chairman of the Tote has been delayed until after the general election following a clash between Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, and Jack Straw, it emerged last night.

Racing: Wyatt's legacy is Fourtuner

A new "superbet", the Fourtuner, will be Lord Wyatt's parting contribution to racing when he retires as chairman of the Tote next month after 21 years. The bet, based on predicting the dual forecast in four designated races, is being devised by the company for launch towards the end of the year, writes John Cobb.

SPORTS BETTING: England draw the wrong conclusions

England's spineless capitulation to New Zealand's A team less than a week before the start of the second Test has not had the clear- cut effect on the betting that some punters might have expected. Opinions about the likely outcome in Wellington vary sufficiently to produce an under-round book when just two layers - Hills and the Tote - are considered, and hunting around the independents might increase the odds in the backers' favour still further.

Betting on the Net

Live betting shows from bookmakers and the Tote on the same screen are to be available on the Internet, it was announced yesterday.

Howard refuses to let go of Tote

Greg Wood on why a key asset stays outside the control of racing's rulers

Euro 96 nets pounds 80m as punters spread wings

Work was the last thing on most people's minds at 7.30 last night but in the betting business it was far and away the busiest evening yet in a frenetic summer of sport.

Spreads stick together

The thunder of the spread betting firms coming over the horizon grew louder yesterday when the four tribes gathered to launch a united front. William Hill Index, City Index, IG Index and Sporting Index will now be governed by the Sports Spread Betting Association.

SPORTS BETTING: Nocturnal lure of the spread firms

The first five days of cricket's World Cup have seen matches between serious sides and no-hopers (with England apparently cast in the latter role by their loss to New Zealand).
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable