Sport Sire De Grugy's star is rising: five wins from his last six starts

The heart may want Somersby to win Saturday's Clarence House Chase at Ascot as a timely tribute to Terry Biddlecombe, who died two weekends ago. But the head says Sire De Grugy.

Sir Des Champs, who won at the Cheltenham Festival last year under Davy Russell

Temperatures (and ulcers) as Henderson feels Festival fever

Trussed in a web of cables and microphones for his media open morning, the most prolific Cheltenham Festival trainer in history yesterday recognised his cue as he contemplated another three weeks of scrutiny and pressure. "I'm wired to the moon," Nicky Henderson announced cheerfully. "But you already knew that."

Long Run blundered at the last but recovered to win the King George VI Chase

Long Run lifts second King George to vindicate Waley-Cohen

Amateur rider prevails after last-fence error to pick off Captain Chris in desperate duel to line

Sam Waley-Cohen riding Long Run at Newbury in February

Long Run ready to battle for Star billing

This could prove one of those occasions when there is no point complicating matters. Long Run, beaten only by the record-breaking Kauto Star in three Boxing Day starts over the course, is much the most likely winner of the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton tomorrow. And while the retirement of Kauto Star, who won the race for a fifth time last year, suggests the time is ripe for a changing of the guard, it is surely premature to make too much of the anomaly that Long Run – in approaching only his eighth birthday – increasingly represents the old order.

Big Buck’s, unbeaten in his last 18 races, is now unable to extend the sequence

Racing: Buck's out for season in big blow to Nicholls

Big Buck's, Paul Nicholls' champion staying hurdler, and his Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Al Ferof are "unlikely" to run again this season, the trainer said last night.

Ruby Walsh riding Silviniaco Conti clear the last to win The Betfair Steeple Chase at Haydock

New star Conti is foot-perfect

Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti shared the applause at Haydock yesterday, the former as he led the parade of runners before the Betfair Chase, the latter after he picked up the baton from his now-retired Paul Nicholls stablemate by winning the Grade One three-miler. And the old superstar should have thoroughly approved both the result and its execution as the young pretender Silviniaco Conti followed in his hoofprints in consigning Long Run to second spot with a virtually flawless round of jumping.

Captain Conan made the most of the Cheltenham gloop yesterday

Captain Conan shines in the mud

The novice chase won by Captain Conan has announced a number of elite steeplechasers over the years

White chargers: Al Ferof clears the last under Ruby Walsh to beat Walkon in the Paddy Power Gold Cup

Al Ferof shows promise of youth

Nicholls' next generation suggest they could fill the gap left by Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges

Kauto Star's longevity sets the horse apart

Nicholls retires Kauto the great before star has chance to wane

For Kauto Star to be retired yesterday, just 11 days after another paragon, should prompt due circumspection in assessing his own place in the Turf pantheon. Certainly, those who glibly saluted Frankel as "the greatest ever" on the Flat will surely feel abashed in according Kauto Star equivalent status in the history of steeplechasing, even with the customary rider "since Arkle". The sport incorrigibly anoints its latest champion as the best. In at least one respect, however, Kauto Star's career can be soberly acclaimed as an enduring benchmark – and "enduring" is very much the word.

Danedream (right) and Nathaniel (left) have both been forced out of Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Nathaniel exit opens Arc way to Camelot

A contagion of ill fortune appears to be sweeping through Europe's top middle-distance horses. A day after Danedream was suddenly confined to Cologne by quarantine regulations, the leading British contender for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe yesterday joined the defending champion on the sidelines. Nathaniel is running a temperature and will not be able to run at Longchamp on Sunday.

The play's the thing: Emma Fielding and Charles Edwards in
the stage version of 'The King’s Speech'

The King's Speech play: At last, my crowning moment...

The film was truly magisterial, but finally, as The King's Speech hits the stage, it is where I always wanted it to be, says its writer, David Seidler

The play's the thing: Emma Fielding and Charles Edwards in
the stage version of 'The King’s Speech'

Now for the real crown

At last The King's Speech is where I really wanted it – on the stage says writer David Seidler

First Night: The King's Speech, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Much more than a chance to turn a royal hit film into royalties

The Queen celebrates her diamond jubliee 60 years to the day since she ascended to the throne

All the King's horses join the Queen's jubilee celebrations

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery took to London's streets yesterday, looking as if they had stepped out of a film about the Crimean War, as part of the ceremonies to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Colin Firth awarded CBE

Hollywood royalty Colin Firth was today awarded a CBE by the Prince of Wales - whose grandfather the actor brought to life on the screen.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

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In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

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Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
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10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

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While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

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Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
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Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

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