Cheltenham Festival: First Lieutenant can assume command

The Festival has lost none of its intensity since expanding to a fourth day in 2005, but those who counselled that "less is more" may yet feel they had a point when they contemplate today's card. Elevated to the Thursday centrepiece, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle has hitherto borrowed lustre first from Inglis Drever, who won three times in four years, and then from Big Buck's, whose record-breaking spree of 18 wins has incorporated the last four runnings.

Scott ready to let Rendezvous fulfil appointment with best

At the time, it seemed tempting to doubt the form. After all, the runners had splashed over a course that might sooner have staged a regatta than a Grade One bumper. As things have turned out, however, the last two horses still afloat in the straight at Punchestown in April have amply confirmed their calibre since switching to hurdles. This weekend, both seek a place towards the top of different novice divisions either side of the Irish Sea. Champagne Fever, the winner, steps up to two and a half miles at Naas on Sunday; while Melodic Rendezvous contests a Grade One over two miles at Sandown on Saturday.

Pont bridges the class gap at first go

There are action replays and action replays and yesterday's at Navan will be watched more in one Irish household than another. Twelve months ago in the Grade One novices' hurdle, the Willie Mullins-trained Boston Bob turned over the odds-on Mount Benbulben, saddled by Gordon Elliott. In yesterday's edition of the two-and-a-half-miler, only the names of the horses changed, with Pont Alexandre the winner and Don Cossack, at 8-15, the loser.

Grand Crus may finish up Plastered

Anticipation of this meeting is largely rooted in hindsight. Year after year it proves a major crossroads, especially in the career of a young horse, on the road back to the Festival.

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'Tired' Greene just misses out on medal

Two days on from Super Saturday and the Great British golden hat-trick, the Midas touch has disappeared – temporarily, at least – from the host nation's runners, jumpers and throwers. On Sunday evening, try as she did, Christine Ohuruogu could not quite close the gap on Sanya Richards-Ross to cling on to her 400m crown. At least the local girl finished with a silver medal lining, though.