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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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Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
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Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
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The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil