Announcement puts end to weeks of speculation as bookies' favourite comes through
George remains the firm favourite as thousands head to place bets on the name chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Spanish newspaper claim the deal is already done for Martino to replace Tito Vilanova at the Nou Camp
After what feels like a lifetime of nail-biting anticipation – is it a he or isn’t it a he? Gemini or Cancer? Bugaboo or Maclaren? – the nation could soon let out a collective sigh of relief with reports suggesting that the royal baby might be here sooner than expected, with a recent helicopter dash back to Buckinghamshire from North Wales fuelling rumours that the real due date is actually earlier than speculators had imagined.
The gauntlet that was left lying on the ground at Cheltenham is to be picked up at Aintree.
So long as they have Willie Mullins, they need never weaken. The track set aside for later in the week was hidden under funereal frost sheets, and the air howled with the final, bitter imprecations of winter. But the punters – above all, the Irish – left here last night aglow with the vindication of their faith. However slow the buds of springtime, they know exactly where to find the most reliable bloom in all Nature: a stable in Co Carlow.
With jump racing's richest week looming and the most powerful stables in Britain and Ireland poised to do battle for more than £6 million in purses, there was a timely reminder yesterday that success is relative.
Plus: What will Boris Johnson choose on Desert Island Discs and does Chris Grayling need a cup of tea and a nice sit-down?
Mullins aims for Arkle Chase with Fairyhouse winner while Zaidpour earns tilt at Big Buck's
Nicholls' next generation suggest they could fill the gap left by Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges
Though exploits of Kauto Star are unlikely to be matched any time soon, at least it seems his absence from the scene may be cheerfully borne. As the jumpers have gathered momentum there have already been tantalising glimpses of the future from emerging talent such as Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti, Kauto Stone, For Non Stop and Flemenstar. And more frissons are likely during the three-day meeting at Cheltenham that starts today.
In a break from the usual diplomatic conventions Mr Duncan Smith appeared last night to take sides in the US presidential election by making comments on Mitt Romney's business credentials
Though the race falls only a week before Epsom, the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas on Saturday will not only measure the form of Camelot but could also produce an 11th-hour threat to the odds-on favourite for the Investec Derby.
Though serving its traditional role as both the final fling of the jumps season and a test of the new order established at Cheltenham last month, the Punchestown Festival must this week absorb one or two challenging incongruities.
Thousands of racecourse spectators and millions of TV viewers watched the closest Grand National in history today, but the event was marred by tragedy as big favourite Synchronised died after a fall.
Three-day Grand National meeting opens with a card for jumps connoisseurs