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 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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