Sport ‘Mike loves his birds,’ I used to joke but nobody was laughing by the end of the tour

Before The Hangover I and II, before Spike Lee weaved his magic off Broadway in New York and before Mike Tyson was a nice guy, it was my onerous duty to take the big lad up on stage to perform for his fans.

Bookies pocket £2m from Abbey missing Derby

It will have given his backers little comfort yesterday to hear Aidan O'Brien once again reiterate his opinion that St Nicholas Abbey can "walk on water". In fact, after learning that the long-time favourite will miss the Investec Derby on Saturday, some of them will have been disposed to do something similar themselves, only with stones in their pockets.

Vermeer redraws Derby picture

This is just getting silly. It is one thing for punters to get cold feet about St Nicholas Abbey, but the prices suddenly being quoted about his stablemate Jan Vermeer imply that a nervous tremor in the Investec Derby betting has quickly developed into an outright fit of hysteria. Jan Vermeer is now as short as 13-8 favourite, while the odds available against St Nicholas Abbey suggest that his backers should be relieved even to get a run for their money on Saturday.

Beauty deflates Ballydoyle's Derby build-up

Although the two Classics at Epsom this weekend, the Derby and the Oaks, are rightly at the forefront of anticipation, there are so many other facets to the sport, not least the quest to find a successor to the peerless Yeats. The exploits of the great horse, who completed an unprecedented Ascot Gold Cup four-timer last June, revitalised interest in the staying division, but his retirement at the end of the season left an imposing set of horseshoes to fill.

Cape To Rio set for further step on journey to Ascot

Had the innovative agenda of Racing For Change animated the debate over its switch from Wednesday to Saturday in 1995, perhaps the Investec Derby would now have found its optimal niche at an evening meeting instead. As things stand, tonight's Blue Square card at Sandown remains the best of the year for thirsty Londoners on a summer night.

Kalypso King auditions for Derby crown

Richard Hannon's grey leads a number of Epsom Classic triallists seeking to impress at Goodwood today

Efforts to extradite sex offender blocked

Moves to extradite a sex offender who raped a 15-year-old girl have so far proved unsuccessful, police said today.

Survivors of forced marriage go on UK tour

Victims will travel country urging children at risk to tell the authorities of their fears

Front-running Gloria excels to claim world's richest race

Never in the field of equine conflict has so much hinged on so little. With the distribution of $10 million at stake three noses passed the post in almost perfect unison here last night – and it was barely by their nostrils that the camera favoured Gloria De Campeao over Lizard's Desire and Allybar.

Racing's rulers need to start again, says Chandler

Victor Chandler doesn't have much time for racing's administrators. "You know, four horseracing enthusiasts drunk in a pub could come up with better ideas than they have." He still loves the sport, and will be at Cheltenham to see his Champion Hurdle chance Zaynar run.

Second coming of the Savage

Robbie Savage is a new man with a new plan. Derby’s tempestuous midfielder tells Phil Shaw that he is indebted to Nigel Clough for rescuing his career, and why the goal is to become a TV pundit rather than Wales coach

Newcastle humbled by Commons touch

Derby County 3 Newcastle United 0

Clough at loss as Derby hit rock bottom

Nigel Clough has admitted that Derby's 4-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe represented a low point for his team and underlined the need to bring in new players. The visitors took a two-goal first-half lead thanks to strikes from Gary Hooper and Garry Thompson, but Kris Commons' deflected effort gave the Rams hope of a second-half comeback. Thompson then curled in from the edge of the area and Jonathan Forte bundled home a loose ball to extend Scunthorpe's lead.

Thompson calls tune as Clough anniversary wilts

Derby County 1 Scunthorpe United 4

Police officer racially abused taxi driver, court told

A senior police officer racially abused a taxi driver, calling him "a lying Paki bastard" after a row over a fare, a court heard today.

Davies still desperate for transfer of power

One year on, and there are echoes of Clough as Forest eye promotion but role of Pleat means it is not all sweetness and light at the City Ground
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links