Havana

Aidan O’Brien Battle lines are massed for Epsom

The perceived wisdom is that if a trainer thinks he has a cluster of Derby contenders, then he hasn’t any. Perhaps there is something in the theory; Aidan O’Brien’s three winners of the premier Classic – Galileo, High Chaparral and Camelot – were respectively accompanied to post by zero, two and one stablemates. And the scattergun years – there were eight Ballydoyle runners in 2007, for instance, and six in 2009 – have tended to yield only minor placings.

Toronado blows open betting for 2,000 Guineas

This really has been a blasted Heath over the past couple of days, but today the gale was rendered incarnate by a colt named Toronado. His runaway success in the last of its Classic trials crowned a pleasing revival in the significance of this meeting, Hot Snap and Garswood having won their own rehearsals impressively the previous day. But while both arguably owed something to the shelter they found from fierce gusts across the track, Toronado went gliding clear of what had become a tailwind – and blew apart the betting on the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Though Dawn Approach remains favourite, Toronado is no better than 4-1 to beat him back here in a fortnight.

Miguel Diaz-Canel: Castro's chosen successor is integral figure in

When the Cuban delegation arrived for the London Olympics last summer, no one paid very much attention to the mid-level government official with thick silver hair who was leading it. Miguel Diaz-Canel was not Raul Castro, after all, and most of the rest of the world had barely heard of him. So why get overly excited? Now we know why Diaz-Canel, 52, was chosen for the task and why just a few weeks earlier he accompanied Raul to the Rio plus 20 Summit on global warming in Brazil. He was being deliberately groomed as the man the Castro brothers had judged to be the best option to take over when finally they cede control to a new generation. 

The Big Six: Modern ski hotels

Hotel Zhero, Austria

This week, the temperature drops to Zhero in the Austrian Tyrol. The eagerly awaited hotel is due to open near the mountain village of Kappl on Wednesday. Expect 78 rooms and suites with a smooth, contemporary finish, four penthouses with butler service, a grill-style à la carte restaurant with executive chef Klaus Brunmayr, and a luxurious spa. Ski services will include an in-house shop for equipment hire and activities, plus a free daily shuttle to the slopes of Ischgl.

Hotel Zhero, Wiese 687, Kappl, Austria (00 43 5445 20 111 12; zherohotelgroup.com). Doubles start at €109, room only.

Winsili can propel Gosden's title charge

His many admirers would not be short of reasons to celebrate a first trainers' championship for John Gosden, who yesterday nosed his way past Aidan O'Brien at the top of the prize money table. Even beyond his skill, decency and intelligence, however, they might treasure the certainty that not one Clarehaven horse will be declared to run this autumn with Gosden's title challenge in mind.

Hannon follows traditional route to put Havana Gold's mettle to test

Newmarket regulars still struggling to adjust to its new autumn schedule must rely on the exposed horizons of the Rowley Mile to retrieve their bearings. Tomorrow they have a Group One for juvenile fillies, transferred from Ascot in contentious horse-trading between the two courses a couple of years ago, but the three-day meeting opens with a race that preserves the vulnerable traditions of the sport's headquarters in the best possible spirit.

Dead Cuban dissident's car 'was rammed off the road'

The death of a Cuban dissident killed in a car crash on Sunday is at the centre of growing controversy after family members claimed that the vehicle he was travelling in was deliberately forced off the road.

More headlines

Chavez in Cuba for radiotherapy

President Hugo Chavez has travelled to Cuba for another round of cancer treatment, saying he will be in Havana for several days.

Raul Castro greets Pop Benedict XVI in Cuba

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba in the footsteps of his more famous predecessor, gently pressing the island's long-time communist leaders to push through "legitimate" reforms their people desire.

Activists arrested in Cuba ahead of papal visit

Cuban authorities detained a prominent dissident and dozens of her colleagues, then rounded up more activists while they staged a weekly protest march through Havana just days before a visit by Pope Benedict XVI.