Sport Ian Madigan scored nine points, including a try, to give Ireland Wolfhounds a 14-8 victory over England Saxons

Madigan and his Leinster half-back partner Isaac Boss scored a try apiece to give Ireland second XV victory

Jurassic plums, at a store near you

A new fruit being marketed as a "Dinosaur Egg" goes on sale today in an attempt to attract even the most fruit-hating youngsters to healthy eating. The Californian-grown fruit, made by crossing an apricot and a plum, is officially known as a "pluot".

Aitken's secretary was offered plum job to buy her silence

The secretary of the former minister Jonathan Aitken has said she was offered a lucrative job as an enticement to stop her giving damaging evidence against her former boss.

Search for Hidden rider ends in Hills

Michael Hills has been given the plum ride on Hidden Meadow in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket a week on Saturday. Ian Balding has chosen him ahead of Ray Cochrane for the colt, the five-length winner of the European Free Handicap under Frankie Dettori last week. Dettori will partner Shamikh for Godolphin in the first Classic.

Equestrianism: Whitaker enjoying purple patch

Nick Skelton kept the Virtual steamroller on course last night when he rode four marvellous clear rounds to collect the winner-takes-all prize of pounds 11,500 in the Vink Christmas Masters at the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

Food & Drink Special: Pudding them to the test

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PUDDING TO MAKE, OR, IF YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED, OUR PANEL PICKS THE BEST TO BUY

Simon makes grand triumph look simple

Hugo Simon won the plum award of the Monterrey International Horse Show yesterday, when he rode two clear rounds on E.T. to secure the pounds 93,000 first prize in the grand prix without recourse to a jump-off. He will also collect a minimum of pounds 16,500 as a bonus in the Pulsar Crown series.

Rich pickings from careful plotting

A small plot can produce an ample fruit harvest, Anna Pavord claims

THINK BIG

Rady to wear

Saatchi and Rogers are plum signings for upper chamber

New working peers: List spans glamorous names from business and public relations to loyal party workers and voices from ethnic minorities

Skelton closes on rare double

Nick Skelton rode the speedy mare, Sublime, to win yesterday's Silk Cut Derby Trial, defeating his long-standing friend and Olympic team-mate, Michael Whitaker on Touchdown, by a 2.29sec margin. Michel Robert, of France, filled third place on Degina.

GREAT BOARS OF TODAY

With the focus on the beef crisis, pork has been enjoying a rosy profile. This could be due to good luck, rather than good judgement or good husbandry. When, in 1988, it was thought that mad cow disease was passed on via animal feeds, the government stopped the practice of feeding cattle with processed animal waste. It is only now, eight years on, that we learn recycled animal waste was still fed to pigs. It was finally this March, with the revelation that a new strain of CJD had emerged among humans, that this feed was banned. How many of us would have believed that, having isolated animal waste as the agent of BSE in cows, they wouldn't think it mattered if they went on pushing it into other animals? It's now clear that in our quest for cheap food we don't scrutinise the means by which the food industry achieves it. In our New Charter for Meat, we call for the food industry and supermarkets to make clear to the consumer what their criteria are. We need to know by what standards their meat is healthy and safe. We need to review their definitions of value and, above all, taste. This week, we look at pork.

Country: `I'm not going near them,' said Mr X

No varroa around here, touch wood. The parasite that attacks bees doesn't seem to have made it to our neck of the woods. On the contrary, things are humming, and swarms are whizzing in all directions.

Plum jobs in the world of advertising

As readers must now be aware, we are nearing the end of National Prune Week. Not every aspect has gone according to plan.

Jones daydreams on Digpast

The riding limitations of Davy Jones, ex-Monkees star and winner on Digpast at Lingfield last Thursday, were cruelly exposed at the same venue yesterday, writes Ian Davies.

Plum pudding in the melting pot

Christmas in America by Penne L. Restad Oxford, pounds 17.99; From Santa Claus to `Away in the Manger', many of our best loved Christmas traditions are American imports, according to a new cultural history. By Christina Hardyment
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried