Gordon Elliott can win The Ladbroke, for the second year running, with Flaxen Flare at Ascot

Ascot: Big Buck’s looms large as stayers cross swords

While At Fishers Cross and Reve De Sivola do battle for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot today, one cannot get away from the sense that the most significant action in their staying hurdlers’ category took place in a training spin at Exeter on Thursday.

A requisitioned employee carries pieces of meat under the surveillance of a policeman at a butchery's depot in Narbonne, southern France

French police arrest 21 people over sale of laboratory horse meat to the public

Twenty-one people have been arrested after an investigation into claims that meat from horses used in laboratory experiments was sold for food.

Proper Champion: The New One, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, heads for victory in the International Hurdle

The New One is threat for Champion Hurdle

As fascinating as the emergence of fresh equine talent to watch is the blossoming of one of the human elements of the centaur partnership, and yesterday’s programme at Cheltenham presented both.

Donald McCain will have high hopes that Across The Bay can last at Aintree in The Becher Chase

Sire de Grugy’s rapid progress can sire Tingle Creek win

The absence of Sprinter Sacre from today’s Tingle Creek at Sandown, though a disappointment to those impatient for another demonstration of his talent and superiority, does at least give the best of the rest in the two-mile chase division a rare chance of glory.

Gerard Butler injected horses himself

Gerard Butler banned for five years by British Horseracing Authority

Nine horses in the trainers care tested positive for banned anabolic steroid

Tony McCoy riding Jezki, far right, clears the last to win The Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle

Jezki ready to blow away Hurricane’s dominance in Champion Hurdle

Jezki threw his hat into the ring for this season’s Champion Hurdle with a solid if unspectacular victory in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Star turn: Cue Card and jockey Joe Tizzard outstay the chasers at Haydock Park

Cue Card leaps into Gold Cup reckoning

To his already numerous proven positive qualities, Cue Card has now added the priceless one – for a chaser aiming for the greatest glory come March, anyway – of stamina.

Paul Nicholl's 12-year-old Tidal Bay can add the Betfair Chase to his winning tally

Veteran Tidal Bay can floor top chasers and have his day as punters’ best friend

He has won 15 races and amassed total prize-money of more than three-quarters of a million pounds.

Veteran Tidal Bay can floor top chasers and have his day as punters’ best friend

He has won 15 races and amassed total prize-money of more than three-quarters of a million pounds.

Taquin Du Seuil (left) en route to beating Oscar Whisky at Cheltenham yesterday

Youthful Spirit mature enough to take Power

There can come a time in a young chaser’s career when everything is in place for the first big win. For Johns Spirit, Jonjo O’Neill’s attractively weighted runner in this afternoon’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, the centrepiece of Cheltenham’s three-day Open Meeting, that time is now.

The Princess Royal and former eventing champion was speaking at the World Horse Welfare Organisation

Princess Anne urges Britons to consider eating horsemeat

Princess Royal has argued that a shift in attitudes could help improve the treatment of the animals.

Jimmy's half-brother Black Caviar was retired earlier this year after a stellar career

Half-brother of Black Caviar 'Jimmy' fighting for life after being bitten by white-tailed spider just months after selling for $5m

The horse is suffering from laminitis and vets claim the next 48 hours are crucial to his survival with his chances rated at 50:50

Meat detector that distinguishes between beef and horsemeat is unveiled

Retailers will soon be able to distinguish almost instantly between beef and horsemeat in products, thanks to a bench-top device built by British engineers.

Camelot and jockey Joseph O'Brien in the winner's enclosure after last year's Derby

Camelot retired with potential unfulfilled

The career of the last Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky, ended in anticlimax with defeats in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Champion Stakes for the previously unbeaten three-year-old in the autumn of 1970. The colt who has come closest  to emulating him in the intervening years, Camelot, winner of the 2,000 Guineas and Derby in 2012 before being beaten three-quarters of a length in a St Leger which seemed his for the taking, has today been retired days short of a possible appearance in the Champion Stakes. It comes after a largely barren post-Classic campaign which included a lacklustre run in last year’s Arc and only a minor win at the Curragh in the spring before successive defeats  behind Al Kazeem in the summer.

Green for go: Joseph O’Brien drives War Command (left) to victory in the Dewhurst Stakes on Future Champions Day

War Command makes a statement for the future

Aidan O'Brien's juvenile hope makes light of the soft ground in Dewhurst Stakes

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn