Normandy

Dettori and Qataris form formidable foe for Dubai

Two beaten favourites at Wolverhampton on Monday made it 18 days without a winner for Frankie Dettori. Even so, it unmistakably felt like his first afternoon back in the big time. For both parties, the news that he has signed a retainer for Sheikh Joaan al-Thani – one of the Qatari investors suddenly taking on the superpowers of the Turf – represents a clarion statement of intent.

Normandy veterans speak: Vic Mackenzie - ‘It seems unreal now. Did

Private Vic Mackenzie, 89, from North Weald, Essex, was a driver with the Royal Army Service Corps, attached to 7th Armoured Division. Mr Mackenzie came ashore at Arromanches, on Gold Beach, on  on 8 June 1944 (“D-Day +2”). His unit was one of the first to stumble on to the Belsen concentration camp in  the spring of 1945

Normandy veterans speak: Ian Hammerton - ‘We just wanted to get off

Lieutenant Ian Hammerton, 91, from Dartford, Kent, is one of a small band of surviving  D-Day officers. He was among the first to land at Juno Beach on 6 June 1944. He commanded five “flail” or “crab” tanks, belonging to the 22nd Dragoons, equipped with frontal booms and chains to detonate mines

Summer Guide 2013: Bikes

Freewheel along the Via Francigena in Italy, an old pilgrimage route to Rome, on a 172-mile tour that links Parma and Lucca. Let an E-bike take the strain, firing up its electric engine when you need a little help on those hills. The week's tour costs £641pp, based on two sharing, through Freedom Treks (01273 224066; freedomtreks.co.uk), including B&B, two dinners, luggage transfers and route maps. International travel costs extra.

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French Oaks heroine dies on beach break

The loss of any horse to an accident is a matter of regret, but when the animal concerned is a high-profile performer who gives pleasure beyond its immediate connections, the more so. The unbeaten Prix de Diane heroine Valyra, much fancied for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, broke a hind leg yesterday morning at exercise on the beach at Deauville and could not be saved.

Pacy Moonlight Cloud earns her Ennis moment and routs rivals

The showcasing of female athletic talent is not confined to events with an Olympic tag, it seems. Charisma on the racetrack is currently largely the province of fillies and mares – with the honourable exception of the colts Frankel and Camelot – and yesterday Moonlight Cloud, who gave Australia's heroine Black Caviar such a fright at Royal Ascot, confirmed herself pretty much Europe's best sprinter with a with a rout of her rivals in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.