Sport Timmy Murphy

Tinie Tempah was one of the celebrity names at Newbury yesterday, jockeys' temper one of the talking points. An incident in which Timmy Murphy was injured after coming to blows with fellow-rider Dominic Elsworth on Friday is to be investigated by the British Horseracing Horseracing Authority, with a hearing scheduled for Thursday. The men could face charges of bringing the sport into disrepute.

Coome Hill silences Monk

In an era dominated by big money and political bickering, it was refreshing to be able to return to steeplechasing's roots here yesterday as Coome Hill, a former point-to-pointer owned and trained by Walter Dennis, a 56-year-old farmer, and his family in deepest Cornwall, romped home in the pounds 70,000 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup Handicap Chase.

Racing: Richards strengthens his Cup hand

Penniless punters trying to find their bus fare home from the track could do a lot worse at present than to try to tap Gordon Richards for a tenner. The new jumps season could hardly have started any better for the man from Greystoke, with 23 winners from 47 runners for a strike-rate which nudges 50 per cent, and yesterday he had a double cause for celebration as the victory of Unguided Missile at Haydock and the defeat of Suny Bay at Kempton both tightened his grip on the Hennessy Gold Cup, to be run at Newbury on Saturday week.

Racing: McCoy two short of the fastest 100

Tony McCoy now needs just two more winners to beat Peter Scudamore's record of the fastest-ever century of National Hunt winners. The champion jockey reached the 98-winner mark for the season with a victory on Quini Eagle in Kempton's last race yesterday.

Fine Suny prospects

Hopes are high that normal service can be resumed for racing today despite the first cold snap of the winter. Each of the three tracks scheduled to race missed the worst of the weather which wiped out yesterday's Wetherby card.

Challenger for Hennessy

The Murphy's Gold Cup and Hennessy Gold Cup double could be on the cards for Challenger Du Luc, who heads the betting for Saturday's race along with Big Matt.

Clifton foxes Kutta gamble

Clifton Fox, winner of the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket five weeks ago, landed his second big end-of-season prize when he thwarted the ante-post gamble on Kutta in the November Handicap at Doncaster yesterday. The four-year-old came from off the pace to tackle the favourite, who had gone for home two furlongs out, but was dying with every stride as the post loomed, inside the final furlong and, despite hanging left in the tacky ground, landed the spoils by a neck.

EYE TEST

1960s: Brought up the son of a doctor in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan.

BEVERAGE REPORT: THIS ROUND'S NOT ON ME

This is a message from your bank manager - if you're a fan of very old spirits, and you find yourself in the vicinity of Dukes Hotel, be careful. Dukes, London's most discreet five-star hotel, has a rather sumptuous list of ancient Cognac, Armagnac, single-malt and vintage port. And it also sells them at stupifyingly sumptuous prices.

Damaging blow for a transatlantic partnership

COMMENRT

Cognac move proves expensive for Remy

Remy Cointreau saw its earnings collapse in the year to March as it broke ranks with other cognac producers to raise prices. Volume falls as a result of the pricing move slashed profits by more than 50 per cent in the period.

All the President's memories

Francois Mitterrand is buried in Jarnac, now a shrine. But

Alfredsson finds luck on her side

Sweden's Helen Alfredsson took advantage of a bizarre piece of luck to beat her compatriot Lotta Neumann and Britain's Trish Johnson in a play-off at Refrath, Cologne yesterday and win her third Hennessy Cup in six years.

Punters pay homage to the Master

Racing

Master waits in Ireland

Master Oats and Monsieur Le Cure will remain in Ireland this week in the hope that Leopardstown will be able to stage the Hennessy Gold Cup, abandoned yesterday due to frost, on Sunday.

Cognac sales headache for Remy Cointreau

NIGEL COPE
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