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: Success lurks in the pool

LOSING MONEY to those pleasant females in Cheltenham's Tote booths is somehow more tolerable than losing it to a surly boards-bookie. But there are other reasons to prefer Tote pool betting at the Festival.

Check out with-profits, too

IT HAS been a good week for shares. Most investors have see the value of portfolios grow as the FTSE-100 index of the UK's top companies rose to record levels.

Personal Finance: Roller-coaster ride to riches

Spread betting is a high-risk gamble that lets you punt on anything from the predicted value of the euro to the number of times Gordon Brown sips a drink during his Budget speech. Get it right and you could make a fortune.

Racing: Neltegrity dies moments after win

NELTEGRITY collapsed and died when walking back in front of the stands after winning at Worcester yesterday. The nine-year-old, trained by Pam Sly, beat Handy Lass by a length and a quarter to take the Tote Handicap Hurdle.

Tote and Stanley lead race for Coral

THE TOTE and Stanley Leisure, the bookmaker, are neck-and-neck in the race for the Coral betting shops chain being sold off by the leisure group Ladbroke, having tabled rival bids of around pounds 340m each.

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: Trifecta pounds 1m offer

TOTE DIRECT has announced a special incentive for punters considering a Trifecta on Saturday's Ayr Gold Cup. The organisation is to guarantee a pounds 100,000 pool for the big race, and if it is won by just one punter, the Tote will pay an extra pounds 1m tax-free.

Racing: It's tough at the Top

TOP CEES, last year's runner-up, is facing "mission impossible" under 9st 3lb in the Tote Cesarewitch next month, according to his trainer Lynda Ramsden. The eight-year-old is on a mark 8lb higher than when he chased home Turnpole in the two-and-a-quarter mile Newmarket handicap last October.

Racing: Abreeze favourite

ABREEZE IS the 14-1 favourite with William Hill and joint favourite with Sheltering Sky with the Tote for the Ayr Gold Cup Handicap, while last year's winner Pasternak is 12-1 favourite with William Hill for the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket.

Personal finance: At last: a breed of oik that knows how to behave

A product with a funny name looks set to dominate the investment market.

Racing: Charm lures punters

A HEFTY gamble developed yesterday on an unraced filly by the name of Crystal Charm from the Manton yard of Peter Chapple-Hyam. Apparently set to make her racecourse debut in the Lowther Stakes at York next week, her price for next year's 1000 Guineas has been cut to 16-1 with William Hill and Coral and to 20-1 with the Tote.

Racing: Ascot's new audience

ASCOT'S progress towards the Millennium has gathered pace with the news that the Berkshire course has wangled four more weekend days' racing for its 1999 programme. Those in charge have sacrificed midweek meetings for two new Saturdays and two new Sundays; in other words, they wish to stage the entertainment at a time when most people can go rather than when they cannot.

Racing: Tote punters get bottom draw

A FREAK dividend stunned Tote punters who correctly forecast the first three home in a 20-runner sprint at Nottingham yesterday. The Tote Trio paid just pounds 13.40 to a pounds 1 stake, even though the odds of the first three home were 9-1, 11-2 and 6-1, writes Chris Corrigan.

WORLD CUP: SPREAD BETTING

THE COMPANIES may nick a point here and there but in the first week of the competition there was one constant - no one was piling in to back England.

Football: World Cup spread betting

AS HAS been well documented the expected blitz of cautions and sending offs has not materialised. Even though tackles are flying in occasions it seems the referees have set a standard but not, as it used to be, with cards but without them. That makes a buy on the first yellow card in Scotland's game against Norway this afternoon - IG quote 24-27 minutes - a tasty proposition.
Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
Paul McCartney backs the
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone