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Yeats and O'Brien join Ascot immortals

This was not just one horse better than the rest. This was how habit becomes ritual, how years become epochs. They have been running the Gold Cup here for 201 years now, and they will keep coming back, if their luck holds, until the royal heath and forest succumb to desiccation or floodwater. So long as they do, greatness will have its context, will be measured against the annals of this place. And yesterday, in a race worthy of their achievement, Yeats and his trainer perhaps engraved their names above all others.

Inside Racing

Cuis Ghaire the next to shine in Bolger constellation

Friday, 20 June 2008

Say what you like about Jim Bolger – after all, everyone else has – but the man's legacy will be matched by only a bare handful of horsemen in the world today. Never mind that two of them, Aidan O'Brien and Tony McCoy, learnt their trade under Bolger; over the past three years it has become apparent that he will also leave a lasting imprint on the thoroughbred itself.

Brilliant Yeats is all gold

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Yeats sealed his place in the stayers' hall of fame as he lifted a record-equalling third Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Bankable saves bookies from Marmalade jam

Thursday, 19 June 2008

They say that you never see a bookmaker leaving a racecourse on a bike. The general idea is that they tend to find a Bentley both faster and more commodious, but for a brief, blessed moment yesterday it became possible to contemplate a very different explanation. For by the time Bankable went to post, some bookmakers must have wondered whether they would ever again sample the unimagined luxury of a bicycle.

Yeats to confound doubters with third coming

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Some people have no respect. Here is Yeats, his name long carved in the pantheon of great stayers, seeking a third consecutive Gold Cup. And here we have this French upstart, Coastal Path – unbeaten in six starts, admittedly, but still with plenty to find before he can usurp the champion. Yet all the money in the build-up to their meeting today has been for the challenger.

O'Brien mastery with Navigator rocks his rivals

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

In such a gaudy milieu, their success may seem monochrome to some. But then those who cannot celebrate the mastery of Aidan O'Brien will, by this stage, be fed up of Tiger Woods as well. Little over an hour into the meeting, his horses had hoarded two more top-level prizes. And two more groups of horsemen stood gazing wistfully across from the berth reserved for the runner-up, and knew how it felt to be Rocco Mediate.

Duke Of Marmalade has Prince of Wales class

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Dukes are not accustomed to having their eligibility questioned at Royal Ascot, but there are certainly people wondering whether a horse that failed to win once in six starts last year can really be in a different class from his rivals for the big race of the day. Duke Of Marmalade is no better than 7-4 favourite for the Prince of Wales's Stakes, and many who saw him repeatedly fall short at this level last season may be reluctant to take that sort of price.

Chris McGrath: Henrythenavigator to spoil Cecil honeymoon

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Ladies arriving at Ascot today will be the first to test the revised nuances of the Royal Enclosure dress code. In January, they were advised that "only formal day dress with a hat or substantial fascinator will be acceptable". On that basis, perhaps some innovator might consider fixing a racecard to her hair. It would be quite a statement – not a fashion statement, perhaps, but an expressive one none the less. For none who respect the substance of Royal Ascot could contrive anything more fascinating than three Group One races in 75 minutes.

Fortune expects Tariq to help retain Ascot title

Monday, 16 June 2008

It's Royal Ascot week, and that means superlatives. The biggest, the best, the richest, the most ostentatious, the most elegant. And a bit of number-crunching is always appropriate on such occasions. Prize money for the week: £4,000,000. Amount likely to be spent on champagne in public bars: £2,000,000. Lobsters devoured: £10,000. Strawberries ditto: £200,000. Value of the week's top purse: £375,000.

Point-to-Point: Greenall breaks record with last day double

Monday, 16 June 2008

Men's champion Oliver Greenall achieved his ambition of beating Ashley Farrant's 2004 record of 54 winners with a double here in Devon on Saturday.

Royal Ascot preview: Takeover Target flies in with league of nations in his sights

Sunday, 15 June 2008

The verbal jousting that has marred (or enlivened, depending on the point of view) the approach of Britain's most famous and most valuable week's racing must end on Tuesday with the opening of the lists. Then any talking will be left to the horses, not their trainers. But as the targets for opprobrium have been Australian, they probably couldn't give a XXXX anyway.

More racing:

Columnist Comments


Dominic Lawson: This is more than a political knock-about...

... it's the inexcusable smearing of an opponent


Matthew Norman: Prepare for the second wave of Obamania

This time Michelle will be on every glamour mag front page


Terence Blacker: The selective morality of business leaders

It takes real talent to be described as a leech by a City lawyer and as a mugger by a senior TV executive

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