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

Racing: Fame accorded the finishing touch: Greg Wood reports on Cheltenham's homage to the greats of National Hunt racing

WHEN AN American football player is elected to the Hall of Fame, the induction ceremony involves tears, prime-time TV and more cheerleaders than you could shake a pom-pom at. Thus it is perhaps a cause for relief to find that the Cheltenham Hall of Fame, which opened last week, would struggle to accommodate a jazz combo, much less a marching band.

Racing: Hurdlers forced to take sand seriously

THE PANTOMIME season for hurdle racing on sand came to an early end yesterday when new- style obstacles were jumped for the first time at Lingfield Park, writes Chris Corrigan.

Racing: Ruptured artery killed Gait

A POST-MORTEM carried out on Royal Gait at the Irish Equine Centre in Kildare has established that the nine-year-old suffered a massive internal haemorrhage shortly before he collapsed and died at the end of a race at Leopardstown on Wednesday.

Racing Notebook: A weekly list of horses to follow

COLOSSUS: finished on the heels of the placed horses in the 24-runner sprint won by Heather Bank at Newmarket on Saturday. Has dropped down the handicap ratings recently and is now very capable of an imminent return to winning form. (C Brittain)

Racing: Pitman loses Wonder

JENNY PITMAN has lost more of her yard's talent to other yards. Wonder Man, a top hurdler and chasing prospect, is one of four horses to have been switched to David Nicholson's stable.

Racing: Festival's new prize

A NEW two-and-a-half mile handicap hurdle is being added to the Cheltenham Festival in March next year. Called the Coral Cup, the race will have prize money of more than pounds 40,000, making it the most valuable handicap hurdle at the meeting.
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

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Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick