New Articles Waving and drowning: Nigel Farage’s local council success will not carry through to the next general election

Despite Nigel Farage's prediction that the UK Independence party will cause an “earthquake” in British politics at the European Parliament elections, Britons give Ukip as much chance of winning as finding life on Mars.

Strong Suit has not raced at six furlongs since his juvenile days

Strong Suit's stable takes £11,000 punt on July Cup and the weather

Even before her scare at Ascot, Black Caviar's trainer had taken one look at the undulations of the July Course and abandoned any notion of sticking around for the Darley July Cup. Moonlight Cloud, who so nearly ruined the Australian champion's perfect record, is also safely out of the way, back in France. There is a tempting Group One opportunity, then, at Newmarket on Saturday – and two new hats were duly thrown into the ring yesterday.

Epsom hero Camelot headlines Ireland's innovative evening Derby

Camelot's Classic sweep faces being bogged down

Today's Irish Derby will be no easy addition to Ballydoyle star's CV in heavy Curragh going

Coquet, one of two Oaks possibles for Hughie Morrison (pictured), runs at Goodwood today

Morrison follows his Star on parallel path to Oaks success

In his youth, Hughie Morrison saw his father breed two Oaks winners from the same mare, so he could hardly be astounded if two candidates for the same Classic happened to emerge from one stable.

Tony Hamilton steered Mickdaam to victory at Chester yesterday

Gutsy Mickdaam gives Fahey Derby prospects

An odds-on favourite already bestrides the Epsom betting, and the flat-out success of Mickdaam in the trial staged across the mire here yesterday did nothing to alter that.

O'Brien's lesser lights stride into frame for Epsom Classics

The established Ballydoyle stars are scheduled to glitter at Newmarket at the weekend, with Camelot and Maybe, last year's top-rated juvenile colt and filly, short-priced favourites for the 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas respectively. But there have been echoes of light from some of their less-exposed Aidan O'Brien stablemates, notably the filly Kissed at Navan yesterday and the colt Imperial Monarch at Sandown on Saturday.

Willie Mullins won both Grade Ones yesterday at rain-hit festival

Derby deal delights as Mullins masters muddy Punchestown

The barometer may be set fair for its most venerable prize, given a spectacular vote of confidence from the sponsors of the Derby yesterday, but otherwise the Turf seemed to lie in a soggy, midwinter time-warp. The steeplechases scheduled at Punchestown were abandoned, and the remaining hurdle and bumper races run in conditions bordering on the farcical. An inspection will be required this morning to pass the course for a card that features the outstanding mare, Quevega.

Bookies lose out in Galloway rout

George Galloway's unlikely victory in Bradford West has sparked the biggest ever bookies' by-election payout in history, a leading firm said today.

Bookies face a £50m hit from duty on machines

The leisure and gaming industries were spitting tax yesterday as they faced a hit of up to £50m from the new Machine Games Duty which will affect all fixed-odds betting terminals as well as fruit machines and other gaming terminals.

Ruby Walsh riding Big Buck's earlier this year

Big Buck's has World at his feet for another year

It is going to happen some day. And only when it does, perhaps, will everyone truly appreciate what has gone before.

Big Buck's can lay claim to greatness with a fourth win in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Immortality beckoning for Big Buck's

One of the classiest jumpers ever seen, he has made being a marathon man sexy and can rewrite the record books at the Festival

Paul Hanagan (right) has earned promotion

Champion Hanagan lands Hamdan post

The theory that the jockeys' championship is nowadays a brute measure of stamina and consistency, rather than a proof of essential class, has this week been roundly rejected by the Maktoum family. On Tuesday, they hired Silvestre De Sousa to ride for Godolphin; and yesterday Sheikh Hamdan filled his impending vacancy, as retained jockey, with the only man to top De Sousa in last year's standings. For Paul Hanagan, the appointment is a gratifying breakthrough even after consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011, which had seemed to consummate long, uncomplaining service away from the big stage.

David Pipe with Grands Crus at Nicholashayne, Somerset, yesterday

Like Father, like son for Pipe's Festival plots

Knowing the way they have always done things round here, it is safe to assume that yesterday's date has long been circled in red on the office calendar – and that any such prompt had precious little to do with an invasion of film crews and reporters. For by the time David Pipe hosted his pre-Festival open morning, he had already completed the most significant clerical chore of the entire year. Entries for the Cheltenham handicaps closed at noon, and the dozens submitted from Pond House surely included at least one that will get the job done next month.

Gamilati is a 12-1 chance for the 1,000 Guineas after scoring in the UAEe quivalent at Meydan in Dubai yesterday

Gamilati hot – before a tot of Whisky?

Originally devised to keep the racing and betting industries on the move during exactly this kind of freeze, the all-weather has since evolved into a surface for all seasons. Many trainers nowadays like to start off well-bred young horses on the polytrack rather than on firm, heavy or unevenly watered turf.

Ruby Walsh who rode Zaidpour to victory at Gowran Park,
said: 'He just loves soft ground'

Zaidpour could go the distance with Big Buck's

While one rising star hesitated before his own career crossroads, another yesterday struck out with rather more conviction than most appeared to perceive. Grands Crus, it turns out, will not test the water for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Festival trials meeting tomorrow; but the rehearsal on the same card of Big Buck's has surely obtained fresh interest after Zaidpour's emergence as a plausible new force in a division, staying hurdlers, the champion has so dominated over the past three years.

Trainer Nicky Henderson with Oscar Whisky at his Seven Barrows yard in Lambourn yesterday

Henderson ready to scotch Champion route for Whisky

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

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

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

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'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

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

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel: