Sport Knock out: Knockara Beau (right) reels in Big Buck’s at the final obstacle of the Cleeve Hurdle to beat the marathon specialist on his return from injury

Favourite beaten after 420 days out with injury as 66-1 shot claims galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdles at Cheltenham

David Flatman: No substitute for a coach with courage of his convictions

From the Front Row: The coach must always retain the right to read the game as he sees it
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.

5,000 badgers on Government's slaughter list

More than 5,000 badgers will be slaughtered in the West Country after the Government approved licences for culls to commence in June this year.

Bovine TB has risen dramatically over the past few decades and badgers have been implicated in the rapid spread of the disease, with about half of new cattle infections linked to badgers, leading to calls from farmers for mass culling

Badger culls given go-ahead in Gloucestershire and Somerset

Controversial badger culling to tackle tuberculosis in cattle is set to go ahead this summer, after two pilot schemes were given the green light today.

'I was acting like a madman': Television adventurer Ben Fogle hospitalised after 'psychotic episode' LSD drinks spike scare

Fogle said during 'episode' he began doing a sketch from Monty Python

Christian Wade scores a try for Wasps from Billy Vunipola’s pass

Wasps' Christian Wade and Billy Vunipola too fast for Gloucester

Wasps 33 Gloucester 29

Judge rules police were wrong to stop protesters from demonstrating

A group of campaigners struck a blow for the right to protest when a judge ruled that police were wrong to stop them from attending a rally.

Matt Kvesic

Matt Kvesic to join Gloucester at the end of the season

Promising flanker will leave Worcester Warriors

Last year’s National third Seabass made a pleasing return yesterday

Seabass deepens Ted Walsh's Aintree hand

Some garrulous men notoriously have very little to say but Ted Walsh will always command respect in word and deed alike. Having seldom had more than a couple of dozen horses in his care, he has won a remarkable variety of big races – and reiterated that he will again have to be taken very seriously in the John Smith's Grand National.

Tony McCoy gave up his other mounts after Darlan’s fall

Rock On win marred by Darlan fatality

Noel Fehily gave the winner a grateful pat down the shoulder, but his sombre expression already disclosed some sense of the disaster that would gouge all joy from their success. Moments earlier, he had sent Rock On Ruby over the last flight with Tony McCoy and Darlan breathing down their necks. Now one of the sport's rising stars lay dead on the turf, his dignity being hastily preserved from horrified spectators by the erection of screens. McCoy was unharmed in the fall, but even this iron man was too upset to ride again yesterday. A race that had introduced incongruous lustre to a Monday at Doncaster instead renewed the bleakest challenge faced by those who tend and cherish any horse bred and raised for competition.

Billy whizz: Billy Twelvetrees crosses the line for the second of England’s four tries to cap an impressive debut

The Calvin Report: England's new formula adds up to an impressive result

By espousing the datasheet and performance analysis that powered Britain's Olympic sports to greatness, coach Stuart Lancaster can introduce debutants like Billy Twelvetrees with confidence

'Don’t do it': Murdered Pimlico teenager Hani Abou El Kheir pleaded for his life as he was brutally stabbed by a gang armed with swords

A teenager who pleaded for his life as a gang armed with knives and swords chased and fatally stabbed him in the street was named yesterday as Hani Hicham Abou El-Kheir.

It's business as usual - sort of - in the snowiest town in Britain

The Gloucestershire council workers are working very hard to keep things going

Judge forced to revoke jail term after sentencing teenager for wrong crime

A judge was forced into an embarrassing retreat after he sentenced a teenager for the wrong crime, it emerged today.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor