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Raising the bar for the humble 'local'

The winner Oscar Whisky rises with Wonderful Charm at the last in the novice chase at Cheltenham yesterday

International Hurdle: The New One mature enough to turn tables on hurdling’s old guard

The New One, part of a new wave of top-class young hurdlers threatening to swamp the reigning champion, Hurricane Fly, at the Cheltenham Festival next March, will have his credentials properly examined by a high-class yardstick, Zarkandar, in today’s International Hurdle.

Deals of the week - European city breaks, Christmas in the Cotswolds, New Year in New York

Under £200... European city breaks by train

Cresta has a range of deals on January city breaks to Europe. Examples include Paris, where three nights at the Hotel Jardins de Montmartre from 13 January is £175pp; or Bruges, where the Ibis Brugge Centrum from 17 January is £169pp. Both include breakfast and Eurostar. crestaholidays.co.uk

Squeal deal: foodie escapism is the theme of new BBC1 show ‘Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen’

Nigel and Adam's Farm Kitchen: TV review - A townie and a son of the soil grow into a winning double-act down on the farm

The BBC has recently started parking their tanks on Channel 4's front lawn – or rather on Channel 4's building lot and raised vegetable bed. First, The House That 100K Built took aim at Grand Designs, with its more affordable version of Kevin McCloud's construction-site TV classic.

Rocky road: the resort of Banff

Deals of the week

Under £200... Cheap seats to Europe

Eurostar's usual lowest fare of £69 return to Paris, Lille, Brussels or Disneyland Paris falls to £54 for the first few weeks of 2014, for travel in a group of two, three or four. Sales open tomorrow and run until 2 December. Prices are for travel between 6 January and 12 February. eurostar.com

Farewell Twitter. Hello sanity and crossbows

I think it was Ash Atalla, producer of The Office, who said that there was no quicker way to a nervous breakdown than to have a comedy show on television in the age of Twitter. The first show of the new series of Fool Britannia went out last night and the one thing I didn't do was follow the live commentary online. That way only madness lies.

My next book: a dog in a bag, and me. Can’t fail

Slowly, and almost indiscernibly, the taboos of my youth are being shed. The other day I caught myself thinking about attaching some sort of strap to my reading glasses.

Deals of the week - Isle of Wight, West Sussex, Malaysia

Less than £200... Take off for the Isle of Wight over the coming months. WightLink is offering a selection of deals that include a two-night break on 4 October for £118pp, with ferry and accommodation at Gotten Manor, where guests are treated to a hearty farmhouse breakfast. Wightlink.co.uk

The Most Rev Justin Welby declined the invitation from the animal charity as he has

Archbishop of Canterbury turns down RSPCA patronage role

The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby turns down RSPCA role

The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA.

Boat Race passes without incident after Royal Marine Commandos patrol Thames route and police monitor Twitter in attempt to stop 'copycat' protests

Organisers were anxious to avoid a repeat of last year when the race was disrupted by a protester

A bedroom at Thirty Two

B&B and Beyond: Thirty Two, Cheltenham

This stylish residence is the perfect base for a day at the races or a ramble in the Cotswolds, says James Litston

Jonjo O’Neill has had at least one winner at the last seven Festivals

Taquin Du Seuil takes the puzzle out of Festival for Jonjo O'Neill

The glamour of a "plot" horse has so rubbed off on the Cheltenham Festival handicaps that trainers nowadays need all the artistry of old merely to guarantee a run. Of no fewer than 195 entries for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle, for instance, even some rated within 5lb of the weights ceiling are not yet certain to make the final cut of 24 runners.

Donald McCain: Musselburgh has met the trainer’s request for a race to suit Overturn

Musselburgh trials lure star turn

Musselburgh trials day does not quite have the same ring to it as Cheltenham trials day, but racing is nevertheless most grateful to the enterprise shown at the Scottish racecourse and those at other venues responsible for keeping the jumping show properly on the road over the next few days.

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England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
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Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
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The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
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Novak Djokovic has been attending the Buddhapadipa Temple for quiet contemplation for several years
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Kissing
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Lewis Hamilton takes pole on front of his home fans
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British singer 'Lonelady' performing in Bourges (Getty)
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Day In a Page

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'