Normandy veterans speak: Gordon Hornsby - ‘There are so few of us

Gordon Hornsby, 89, from North Shields, North Tyneside, was a Driver Mechanic with 203 Field Ambulance Unit, Royal Army Service Corps. He came ashore at Gold Beach on D-Day, and drove a series of ambulances all the way from Normandy to the Netherlands, where he was himself wounded in the Battle of Arnhem

Cheltenham Festival: First Lieutenant can assume command

The Festival has lost none of its intensity since expanding to a fourth day in 2005, but those who counselled that "less is more" may yet feel they had a point when they contemplate today's card. Elevated to the Thursday centrepiece, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle has hitherto borrowed lustre first from Inglis Drever, who won three times in four years, and then from Big Buck's, whose record-breaking spree of 18 wins has incorporated the last four runnings.

Henderson wants to try hair of staying dog with Whisky

The loss of Cheltenham today was rued not only by thousands who had relied on the meeting for their customary New Year's Day hangover cure, but also by those seeking a remedy for Oscar Whisky. Nicky Henderson had hoped to give the horse another run over the intermediate distance of two and a half miles, but instead ended up parading him to Channel 4 viewers in a live broadcast from his stables. And the trainer disclosed that waterlogging at Cheltenham had now forced his hand, in the ongoing debate over Oscar Whisky's eligibility for big races over two miles or three.

Rainbow clouds Henderson's Gold quest

To the extent that he must choose the lesser of two evils, you could say that Nicky Henderson finds himself between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps the expression is better reserved, however, for when Britain's saturated racecourses compound his dilemma by freezing over. For now, conditions are better suited to barges than thoroughbreds – much to the vexation of a trainer trying to navigate a course for perhaps the best string of jumpers in the land. "The whole thing is a complete nightmare," Henderson admitted yesterday. "It's now getting into a no-joke area, and I'm quietly going mad."

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