Altano the value alternative in Gold Cup

She may own the stage, but thoroughbreds are too addicted to improvisation to permit even the monarch to write the scripts. So while the royal colours are carried on Ladies' Day by the Gold Cup favourite, Estimate, those punters driven by profit – rather than patriotism – should perhaps pledge allegiance to one of the foreign invaders instead.

Quins block Redpath's route to play-offs

Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath has challenged his side to keep their push for a play-off place on track by ending their poor run against Premiership leaders Harlequins at Kingsholm today.

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O'Brien settles on Derby quartet

Yesterday was a time for some i-dotting and t-crossing, and a little head-scratching, in mission control at Ballydoyle. In the morning, Aidan O'Brien's squad for the Derby was finalised; a quartet – Seville, Recital, Treasure Beach and Memphis Tennessee – is set to challenge for the £1.25m Investec-sponsored purse at Epsom on Saturday, with another who might have done so, Roderic O'Connor, heading for the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly the following day.

Beatrice and Marvel follow trend in Classic fashion on the Downs

Nobody should need a particular pretext to come here, even on an afternoon like yesterday, when a cold wind hauled heavy cloud up from the Channel and the famous downland panorama seemed to sag miserably beyond the track. But the equivalent fixture last year had made attendance imperative for anyone hoping to go to Epsom, now barely a fortnight away, with all bases covered.

Cecil battles butterflies but fluent Frankel flies in his final

Facing a press conference later in the morning, Henry Cecil played down Frankel's work yesterday as "his final quiet piece" before the first Classic of the season on Saturday. Those who witnessed the young champion's latest detonation, however, would testify that "quiet" was just about the last word to describe the way Frankel once again scalded his lead horse, exploding several lengths clear. His trainer did admit that he has been delighted with Frankel's progress, since resurfacing at Newbury 11 days ago. "I'd be very surprised if he's not a better horse now than he was then," he said. "But we've still four days to go, haven't we?"