Barbara Hicks: Veteran of stage and television who excelled in period

Among those actors who never starred but always shone, Barbara Hicks is guaranteed a place. She was at the Royal Court during its ascendant years, and her time at the National Theatre would reflect its own first quarter of a century, from being directed by Laurence Olivier in The Crucible (1965) – for which she had the appropriate Puritan countenance – at the Old Vic, to performing on the South Bank stage named after him, in Alan Ayckbourn's A Small Family Business (1987).

Long Run ready to battle for Star billing

This could prove one of those occasions when there is no point complicating matters. Long Run, beaten only by the record-breaking Kauto Star in three Boxing Day starts over the course, is much the most likely winner of the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton tomorrow. And while the retirement of Kauto Star, who won the race for a fifth time last year, suggests the time is ripe for a changing of the guard, it is surely premature to make too much of the anomaly that Long Run – in approaching only his eighth birthday – increasingly represents the old order.

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Sky Lantern blazes Kempton trail in Breeders' Cup prep

European trainers saddling two-year-olds at the Breeders' Cup next week have welcomed the prohibition of Lasix, in the juvenile races, as a significant levelling of the playing field. In other respects, however, the local racing environment may remain sufficiently alien to drive their inexperienced charges – almost literally – round the bend.

My Secret Life: Denise lewis, 39, athlete

My parents were... I grew up with my mum. She was very, very organised, a bit of a disciplinarian. We were like a little team, more like big sister, little sister.