When will Thomas Cook go on Strike in Summer 2014

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Why are workers going on strike?

09 July 2014 23:47:40 BBC News - UK

Why are public sector workers going on strike?

Vice All News Time09 July 2014 23:47:40


Cook eager for new era to 'get going'

22 May 2014 09:14:36 BBC News - UK

Captain Alastair Cook says "the summer starts now" as England prepare for the one-day series against Sri Lanka.

Vice All News Time22 May 2014 09:14:36

Alastair Cook's summer mission to repay England's faith in him after worst Ashes winter begins against Sri Lanka at The Oval

22 May 2014 03:11:27 Sport | Mail Online

PAUL NEWMAN: Alastair Cook on Thursday embarks on the summer which will go a long way towards defining his captaincy of England, insisting that he retains the full support of a public.

Vice Sport Time22 May 2014 03:11:27

Thomas Cook sued after holidaymaker contracts CHOLERA in Tunisia

28 April 2014 13:28:19 News | Mail Online

Tim Warner was on a romantic getaway with his partner Amanda Dworak when he claims to have been hit by the infection, which is usually confined to Third World countries.

Vice All News Time28 April 2014 13:28:19

The strike that threatened an English summer

11 April 2014 14:40:38 BBC News - UK

The cricket ball makers' strike that threatened the 1914 season

Vice All News Time11 April 2014 14:40:38

Questor share tip: Thomas Cook still a buy

28 March 2014 07:25:14 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

The holiday giant reports a rise in summer bookings and increasing margins, leaving recovery on course, says Questor        

Vice All News Time28 March 2014 07:25:14

Thomas Cook flight chaos fear for summer holidays as staff consider strike action over job losses

28 March 2014 07:22:39 mirror - News

The travel giant wants to reduce the number of stewards and stewardesses to the bare minimum allowed - union Unite is balloting nearly 1,000 of its members

Vice All News Time28 March 2014 07:22:39

Thomas Cook sees pick up in summer bookings

27 March 2014 13:08:41 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

The holiday operator said bookings for the summer were up 2pc compared to last year, despite "significant market disruption" due to the continued unrest in Egypt        

Vice Finance Time27 March 2014 13:08:41

Taste for short breaks lifts Thomas Cook

27 March 2014 11:19:37 UK Homepage

UK holidaymakers are booking shorter than usual summer getaways, affecting the tour operators’ selling prices for the ‘high’ season

Vice All News Time27 March 2014 11:19:37

Thomas Cook returns to profit

28 November 2013 13:10:50 UK Homepage

Tour operator reports its first full-year operating profit for three years after coming close to collapse following the financial crisis

Vice All News Time28 November 2013 13:10:50

Thomas Cook sells Neilson to Luke Johnson for £9.5m

25 November 2013 12:38:34 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Thomas Cook agrees £9.5m deal with Luke Johnson's Risk Capital Partners for Neilson, the specialist ski, sailing and beach holiday company.        

Vice Finance Time25 November 2013 12:38:34

Harriet Green steps up Thomas Cook turnaround

24 November 2013 00:33:00 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green is expected to announce further cost cuts this week as part of the holiday group's recovery programme        

Vice All News Time24 November 2013 00:33:00

Thomas Cook sells corporate foreign exchange business

18 November 2013 20:16:42 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Tour giant announces foreign exchange and outsourcing deals as part of ongoing turnaround campaign.        

Vice Finance Time18 November 2013 20:16:42

Flashback: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 - Michael Thomas stoppage-time strike wins 1989 league title for Gunners

01 November 2013 14:43:00 Sport

Si Hughes looks back at the 1989 league title decider when Michael Thomas broke Liverpool hearts with stoppage-time goal.        

Vice Sport Time01 November 2013 14:43:00

Flashback: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 - Michael Thomas stoppage-time strike wins 1989 league title for Gunners

01 November 2013 14:42:29 Football - Fixtures, results, news, match reports, comment

Si Hughes looks back at the 1989 league title decider when Michael Thomas broke Liverpool hearts with stoppage-time goal.        

Vice Football Time01 November 2013 14:42:29

Thomas Cook pulls plug on Egypt and Lebanon

07 October 2013 19:25:59 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Thomas Cook is selling its travel businesses in Egypt and Lebanon and taking a £19.5m balance sheet hit in the latest phase of an extensive and costly recovery programme.        

Vice Finance Time07 October 2013 19:25:59

Thomas Cook replaces globe logo with 'sunny heart'

02 October 2013 04:03:02 News | Mail Online

Tour operator Thomas Cook has ditched the globe logo it first used in 1880, replacing it with a 'Sunny Heart', as it continues its recovery from near collapse.

Vice All News Time02 October 2013 04:03:02

Thomas Cook unveils new 'sunny heart' logo

01 October 2013 12:57:50 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Britain's oldest tour operator has ditched its 'Don't just book it Thomas Cook it' tagline and revealed a new logo - the 'Sunny Heart'.        

Vice Finance Time01 October 2013 12:57:50

Thomas Cook unveils 'Sunny Heart' logo

01 October 2013 11:13:40 UK headlines

Britain's oldest tour operator has ditched its 'Don't just book it Thomas Cook it' tagline and revealed a new logo - the 'Sunny Heart'.        

Vice All News Time01 October 2013 11:13:40

Thomas Cook soars to top of mid-caps

06 September 2013 19:13:16 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Morgan Stanley gave the holiday company a first-class appraisal.        

Vice Finance Time06 September 2013 19:13:16

Thomas Cook takes big step to recovery

21 July 2013 03:24:50 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world

Thomas Cook is close to reaching a crucial milestone in its recovery amid expectations that Britain's oldest tour operator will have broken even for the third quarter, following heavy losses last year.        

Vice All News Time21 July 2013 03:24:50

In praise of Thomas Doggett and the Thames watermen | Richard Williams

12 July 2013 18:03:14 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

The world's oldest continuously held sporting event took place for the 299th time on Friday as six scullers battled to win Doggett's Coat and Badge on the Thames The world's oldest continuously held sporting event took place on Friday on the sunlit waters of the Thames. Six young men bent their backs to send their sculling boats skimming up the river on the flood tide, past the National Theatre, Festival Hall, London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Lambeth Palace, MI6 headquarters and Battersea power station before one of them was declared the 299th winner of Doggett's Coat and Badge: a real coat, of the scarlet cloth associated with Thames watermen, and a real badge, an engraved silver medallion the size of a dinner plate, to be worn on its left sleeve. Nowadays few people are familiar with the race for newly qualified watermen, held over a stretch of four miles and five furlongs from London Bridge to Cadogan Pier in Chelsea, but it has been held annually since 1715, making such contests as the Ashes (first played in 1882) and the Wimbledon championships (1887) look like mere striplings. The organisers compensated for its one unavoidable suspension, between 1939 and 1946, by holding nine races in 1947 to make up the deficit and assure an unbroken list of winners dating back to its creation by an Irish actor and theatre manager named Thomas Doggett as a way of celebrating King George I's accession. The race survives as the preserve of a group of men – and perhaps, one day soon, women – who can count themselves part of a world that came close to extinction, a community of East End families responsible since the 16th century for cherishing and guarding the skills not just of watermen, who crew passenger-carrying boats, but of lightermen, responsible for all non‑passenger vessels, such as barges and tugs: a world intimately familiar to Pepys and Dickens. Watermen were in great demand in the days when there was no bridge across the Thames between London Bridge and Kingston Bridge; theatre goers needed ferries to carry them to and from the south bank, while Pepys commuted by boat to his job at the Admiralty. In Doggett's day there were 2,500 of them, each of whom had served a seven-year apprenticeship. Today there are 550, almost all of them working on pleasure craft or serving the 2,000 people who travel to their offices by river. About 60 apprentices are currently enrolled annually, and some of them are girls. Each one is in the care of a master, and the master is usually the apprentice's father. Several of Friday's competitors are fourth-generation watermen, and it was typical that one, the 21-year-old Harry McCarthy, should be the son of a previous winner, Simon McCarthy, who triumphed in 1984 and whose brother Jeremy was the winner in 1992. Last year's winner, Merlin Dwan, is the son, nephew and cousin of winners over the past 40 years, the products of a Rotherhithe family. Doggett's champions may go on to become ferry captains, but they include world-class oarsmen: Merlin's uncle, Kenny Dwan, sculled for Britain at the Mexico and Munich Olympics, won the Wingfield Sculls – the UK's amateur championship – five years in a row and was a finalist in the Diamond Sculls at Henley in 1968. Simon McCarthy, born in Wapping, competed at world championship level and has coached Great Britain crews. The founder of their race left his native Dublin to make his London debut in 1691 and soon became acclaimed as "the leading low comedian of the London stage", with the poet‑playwrights Dryden, Congreve and Addison among his admirers. His thespian gifts were matched by a talent as an impresario: he had a popular booth at the Bartholomew Fair in Smithfield, the focal point of summer entertainment for all classes of citizen, and went on to manage the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the Haymarket Theatre, where he earned, according to the author of an 18th century history of British theatre, "a fortune sufficient for the rest of his life". At the height of his fame he married the granddaughter of the vicar of Eltham, then a village in Kent with a medieval royal palace, now a suburb of Greater London. Doggett settled there while keeping lodgings in Chelsea, and his frequent river trips from his London home to the various theatres seem to have forged his links with watermen, leading to the notion of creating a contest that would also serve as a homage to his king – who was another fan of his, once calling him out of retirement to reprise his best loved roles. Doggett died in 1721 and was buried in Eltham, in the churchyard of St John the Baptist. The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, to whom his trustees eventually transferred the running of the race, and who retain the responsibility to this day, put up a wooden plaque to him by the church's north door in 1964, briefly mentioning his achievements but concluding: "He died a pauper." That seems to be untrue. His will makes generous bequests to relatives and others, including his female servant (£30 a year), with elaborate provisions for the future of his Coat and Badge: £5 for the silver badge, 18 shillings for the orange cloth and £1.1s for the tailoring, 30 shillings to the clerk of the Watermens' Hall, to whom the organisation was entrusted. In Eltham parish office this week I was shown the original document recording the death of "Thomas Dogget (sic), Gent.," and the churchwardens' note that 13 shillings and fourpence had been duly paid for digging his grave: hardly the treatment a pauper might expect. The contestants of almost three centuries ago rowed their heavy four-seater passenger wherries against the ebb tide and took around two hours to complete the course. In the 19th century many hundreds entered and the six were chosen by ballot. Their successors on Friday had come through heats and, benefitting from an 1873 amendment to the rules that allows them to race with the tide, took a few minutes under half an hour in their sleek modern sculling boats. But all rowing is a tough business. "It's the hardest race I've ever rowed in," Simon McCarthy said, "and that just comes from the pressure that's put on by the river fraternity. It's such a big thing, because people race it for their family." Friday's sparkling scene resembled Canaletto's Thames rather than the one described by Eliot, a river that "sweated oil and tar". Few tourists crossing the bridges or strolling along the embankments paid attention to the scullers and the small flotilla of launches containing their supporters. Nathaniel Brice, 24 years old, came through the winner at his third and final attempt, four or five lengths ahead of young McCarthy, with the remainder at a distance. Old Doggett had been on the way to watch his race, squeezing through the crowds thronging the narrow streets near London Bridge, when he became the victim of an attempted mugging. "In a trice," he recalled, "I whipped out my hanger" – a sailor's short sword. But it was only when he announced his identity that the threat from his assailant, "a rakehelly fellow", evaporated. "Know that I am Doggett," he had declared. The crowd acclaimed him, as should we. Rowing Richard Williams guardian.co.uk &cop

Vice All News Time12 July 2013 18:03:14

Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook wants England to keep Britain's sporting summer of success going by beating Australia

09 July 2013 16:08:00 Sport

England captain says his side will be out to follow the victories of Andy Murray and Lions by beating Australia in the Ashes.        

Vice Sport Time09 July 2013 16:08:00

Cook targets end to 38-year drought

22 June 2013 17:10:43 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Graeme Swann unlikely to be passed fit to play India • Tim Bresnan rejoins squad after birth of son, Max Alastair Cook's message to the nation on the eve of the Champions Trophy final was not quite so entertaining as his team's good luck message to the Lions , in which Jimmy Anderson and Jonathan Trott rivalled even Graeme Swann's comic prowess, but it was no less heartfelt. Cook acknowledges that his team are underdogs, so well have India performed in this tournament so far. But it may be that his England side are more comfortable in this role. He certainly gave the impression that his side was champing at the bit – even though they may still be awaiting reciprocal messages from Warren, Sam, Brian and the boy(o)s. "You can sense that excitement", said Cook (at half-time during the Lions' match in Brisbane but rest assured that he was talking about Sunday's final against India). "The guys are just raring to go. We've been playing a lot this summer, and we've been playing some good one-day cricket in the last few games. It's a one-off day. It's whichever side plays the best on the day and I'm fully confident in our guys, that we can upset India". "Not only will it break that duck of 38 years but it will also prepare us well." At this point we awaited the dreaded words "for the Ashes". But no. Cook rightly differentiates between the various forms of the game. The preparation he was talking about was "for the World Cup", which takes place in the Antipodes in 18 months' time. "All I can say is the lads in the last two games delivered two excellent performances under pressure. I see no reason why we can't do that again. As I said a bit earlier, the lads are raring to go. They're ready. I've never seen them as relaxed as we have been leading up to a big game. But I'm looking around in the guys' eyes and I know they're ready." Much more of this and we could anticipate Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma being sorted out at the bottom of a ruck in the opening moments of the match. Cook was cagey about the 11 who would take to the field. He confirmed that Tim Bresnan was back with the squad, a proud and happy father. He will inspect the playing surface – for the first time – on the morning of the match. The strip has been under the covers for two days. Bresnan and Steven Finn will be competing for one place and the final decision may well depend upon what Cook sees in the morning. This may be a trickier decision than which spinner to play. Swann has been ailing throughout the tournament and in his absence James Tredwell has been mightily impressive. When asked whether Swann was fully fit Cook's answer was equivocal. "He's recovering well. He's pushing close. We're going to have a look [in the morning]. As I said a couple of days ago, he won't be risked if there's a slight doubt." Here was the only veiled reference to the Ashes. If the Champions Trophy really was the only show in town in the summer of 2013 then there is little doubt that Swann would be risked if he were deemed to be the best spinner available. But the expectation is that Tredwell will keep his place and that Swann will not be declared fully fit on the morning of the match. In any case Tredwell's contributions in the tournament so far could not have been bettered by Swann, who has some serious duties to perform with a red ball later in the summer. England cricket team ICC Champions Trophy Alastair Cook India cricket team Cricket Vic Marks guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time22 June 2013 17:10:43

Talking Horses | Chris Cook

13 June 2013 13:12:23 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

The latest news and best bets in our daily horse racing blog, plus our tipping competition Today's best bets There aren't many days when I sit down to type this having been awake for the previous six hours, but Newmarket mornings are not like other mornings. Apparently, it's only the hard-pressed bar staff who get to have a lie-in in this town. Anyway, it was a privilege to see the Australian and South African raiders for Royal Ascot in various different spots. Sea Siren worked on the Limekilns, Shamexpress lolloped along on Side Hill in the most sedate piece of work ever performed here, while Shea Shea was shown to us, having a pick of grass at Abington Place stables. Nothing went obviously wrong and all the trainers talked a good game when asked to outline their loathing of steroids. There will be more on that elsewhere in this section later today. I don't bet on maidens all that much but I do fancy International Love (2.50) in division two of Newbury's fillies' maiden over 10 furlongs today. I remember liking her for her debut, though Andrew Balding's runners tend to come on a great deal for a first run. If that should prove true with her, she'll do well today because she was a running-on third of 14 at Kempton that day behind a filly who has since been second in a Listed. The runner-up and the fifth won their maidens next time out and 5-1 is a good price about International Love doing the same, considering so little was expected from her at Kempton that she was sent off at 33-1. Of course, the opposition is strong but the John Gosden-trained favourite, Cushion, seems to me to have plateaued after five starts, while Sir Michael Stoute's Astonishing didn't show nearly as much in her only run so far as International Love. Later, I like Gracious George (4.30) at 4-1 for the seven-furlong handicap. He progressed through his juvenile season until breaking his duck in a Kempton nursery in December and is only 6lb higher for that. He needed the run over a shorter trip at Salisbury last month, his first start since the December win, and is preferred to the apparently one-paced maiden Thakana. The nap is Henry The Aviator (8.20) at Haydock tonight, when a mile on turf should be ideal for Mark Johnston's lightly raced colt, provided the going remains good after the forecast 4mm of rain. At 11-8, the market has hardly missed him. I can't understand the lack of enthusiasm for Just Like Heaven (8.50) , even allowing for the possibility that he may have more competition for the lead than when scoring last time. He has just a 6lb penalty for a convincing win and held his form for three good runs when peaking last summer. He is no 10-1 shot, for me. Tipping competition, day three This week's winners so far: Monday Little Eaglet 7-2 Even Bolder 20-1 Malekat Jamal 6-1 Tuesday Tight Fit 5-2 Dom Lukka 5-1 Basil Fawlty 4-1 Wednesday Out Do 5-2 Lord Of The Dance 16-1 Reset City 7-2 And our leader is: Shrewdette +15 One of only three to find Lord Of The Dance yesterday (with Dangalf and JahLion). She also had Malekat Jamal on Monday. Today, we'd like your tips, please, for these races: 4.30 Newbury, 5.05 Newbury, 7.30 Leopardstown. This week's prize is a copy of Her Majesty's Pleasure, Julian Muscat's book about the Queen's involvement in horse racing which was named 'Racing Book of the Year' at the recent Sports Book Awards. It seems a timely prize, with Royal Ascot next week. If you don't win, you can buy a copy here . As ever, our champion will be the tipster who returns the best profit to notional level stakes of £1 at starting price on our nominated races, of which there will be three each day up until Friday. Non-runners count as losers. If you have not joined in so far this week, you are welcome to do so today, but you will start on -9. In the event of a tie at the end of the week, the winner will be the tipster who, from among those tied on the highest score, posted their tips earliest on the final day. For terms and conditions click here . Good luck! Click here for all the day's racecards, form, stats and results. And post your tips or racing-related comments below. Horse racing Horse racing tips Chris Cook guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time13 June 2013 13:12:23

Cook: Pietersen 'progressing well'

23 May 2013 21:55:40 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Knee injury improving ahead of first Test at Trent Bridge • England captain backs opening partner Nick Compton Alastair Cook has admitted the shadow of Kevin Pietersen will hang heavy over England at Headingley for the second consecutive year, even in his absence. It was on the ground floor of the new Carnegie Pavilion last August, after being named man of the match for a brilliant 149 in the second Test against South Africa , that Pietersen said: "It's not easy being me" in the England dressing room, setting in motion the chain of events that led to his spell in the wilderness. He is missing again, this time through injury, but Cook agreed that Pietersen's expected return for England's next Test – against Australia at Trent Bridge in July – would raise the stakes for Nick Compton and Jonny Bairstow, the batsmen whose places he most obviously threatens. "We all know that's the situation," said the captain, delivering a more upbeat update on Pietersen's recovery from his knee injury than the version provided by the bowling coach, David Saker, earlier in the week. "He's progressing well. There is some more information over the next couple of weeks that we will receive but chatting to him at Lord's he sounded positive, and fingers crossed. With injuries you're not quite sure how they're healing but it sounded as if he was making good progress. "I think we all know when Kevin comes back and he's fit, his record and his class demands that he plays for England pretty much. So that creates competition for places and the guys in the changing room will be desperate to score runs. That's good for us in this game because we need as many runs as we can get. Cook had not come across as a great fan of Yorkshire in lamenting the occasional hailstorms that had forced England to practise inside. "I don't think we have had a two-day warm-up here where we haven't been indoors on at least one of the days," he said. So the reference to Last of the Summer Wine in praising his new opening partner was probably accidental. "Compo's got the shirt at the moment, and he fully justifies that selection," Cook said when asked whether the local hero Joe Root was pressing for a move up the order. "He's forced his way in with the amount of runs he scored at Somerset, and we've had some really good starts at the top of the order. I think Rooty has always opened the batting so he sees himself as an opener. I'm sure at some stage in the future you will see Joe Root opening the batting. "We all know selection can change but he [Compton] has shown us the determination and the talent he's got at the top of the order and the character you need to fight there and he's got to continue doing that." New Zealand will go into the Test with four seamers after Daniel Vettori , the veteran spinner who had travelled to Leeds in the hope of replacing the injured Bruce Martin, decided that his 34-year-old body was not up to the strain of a Test. Vettori has not played a first-class match since July 2012 and has recently been troubled by an achilles injury. Brendon McCullum, the captain who will also keep wicket in a Test for the first time in three years despite his own back and knee problems, said: "He [Vettori] didn't scrub up that well today and just the confidence to go into a five-day game with the workload he's had was just a bridge too far." McCullum remains confident that Vettori will return to international cricket in next month's Champions Trophy, and has welcomed the former captain's presence in the dressing room as New Zealand aim to square the series. "He brings a lot more facial hair, that's for sure," he said in tribute to Vettori's luxuriant beard. England v New Zealand 2013 Alastair Cook Kevin Pietersen England cricket team New Zealand cricket team Cricket Andy Wilson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time23 May 2013 21:55:40

Cook: bowlers 'as good as I've seen'

20 May 2013 00:29:46 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Broad takes seven for 44 as New Zealand fall for 68 • 'We started to panic,' admits Brendon McCullum after defeat Alastair Cook's first Test on home soil as England captain ended in a comfortable win, although it took an hour of supremely destructive fast bowling from Stuart Broad and James Anderson to lend the start of the Ashes summer something resembling a sense of decisive momentum. "We thought that would be a pretty tough chase," Cook said after England's 170-run victory . "We knew if we put the ball in the right areas we could cause damage. But there's still a lot of nerves in there when you walk in in the morning." Victory was almost entirely the work of Broad and Anderson, who bowled unchanged to dismiss the tourists for 68 in 22.3 overs. "That hour with Jimmy and Broady was as good as I've seen in an opening partnership," Cook said. "They've played a lot of cricket. They know their own games and they know how to get people out. That experience and that skill is invaluable." Cook defended England's slow scoring in the first innings – "We built a platform to get 300 that we thought would be an excellent score on that wicket" – and reserved particular praise for Broad, who took Test-best figures of seven for 44. "He's done it on numerous occasions now. Anyone who bowls at high eighties [mph] and is 6ft 5in and bangs it in like he does when it's swinging is going to be very hard work." For New Zealand, who must reassemble at Headingley this week with BJ Watling and Bruce Martin injured and with a battered sense of their own stickability after what was, in truth, a horrendous collapse, there are difficult decisions to make. "It's pretty tough to explain at this point," Brendon McCullum, the captain, said. "Within an hour the game turned on its head. Their confidence grew and we started to panic somewhat and the gap between the two teams started to widen." McCullum confirmed that New Zealand's player of the year, Martin Guptill, would "come into the reckoning" for the second Test, which starts on Friday, as will Jeetan Patel and Daniel Vettori, arriving soon with the one-day team. McCullum could yet drop down the order to No7 and take the wicketkeeping gloves in place of Watling. England will hope Ian Bell gets over his flu while Graeme Swann was reported to be in good spirits after recovering from a bout of vomiting. England v New Zealand 2013 Cricket England cricket team New Zealand cricket team Barney Ronay guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time20 May 2013 00:29:46

Talking Horses | Chris Cook

18 May 2013 01:24:10 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

The best bets and tips in our daily racing blog It hardly seems 10 years since the most provocative Lockinge of recent memory, when Hawk Wing cuffed his rivals by 11 lengths and was hailed by some as a superstar. It was his only success from his last five races, a run which included three defeats at odds-on, but it looked good at the time. Hawk Wing was 2-1 when he gave Aidan O'Brien his sole Lockinge victory to date. As it happens, the same odds are available about O'Brien's runner in this year's race, Declaration Of War (3.50), which hardly seems fair; Hawk Wing had been runner-up in two Classics and had won a couple of Group Ones, while Declaration Of War has never raced above Group Three level. But this ex-French four-year-old has shown abundant promise in his six starts to date, most recently when hosing up in Listed company at Leopardstown last month. He has been brought along steadily, is very easy to look upon and gets a good opportunity here. He is one of the few who should give his running whether the forecast rain arrives or not. Trumpet Major has solid form but it will be a weak Group One that goes his way. Farhh, who was favourite when the betting opened on Monday, is thought likely to need the race and comes from a yard that had to wait until yesterday for its first winner in Britain this year. Beauty Parlour probably has the necessary ability but has a bit to prove after flopping so badly on her first start for Henry Cecil in September. Fencing comes here in form but there is a suspicion that everything fell right for him at Ascot last time, which was only the second success of his career. Cityscape won a big pot in Dubai on his first run of last year and looks like the main danger, though it is open to question how many more career peaks he has in him at the age of seven. 2.05 Newbury Plenty of rain would be excellent news for Harris Tweed, whose last three wins have been on soft, though he has some form on faster surfaces too. He has usually gone well fresh to this point and looks the standout on quality in this field. 2.20 Newmarket Tiger Cliff is an interesting, lightly raced sort from the Cecil yard and there are a few in this field with the capacity to be some way ahead of their ratings. But they may all face a stiff task against Biographer, who has yet to finish out of the first two in six starts and rounded off last season with a Listed win at Ascot on soft going, powering home over this distance. He was only inched up another 2lb for that and should have more to offer this year. David Lanigan's string is three from nine in the past fortnight. 2.40 Newbury With Sir Michael Stoute in such irresistible form, Modern Tutor is easy to like. He took three goes to win a maiden last year but did it when dropped to this six furlongs and looks well treated for his handicap debut on that effort. A hood is applied for the first time and he should be able to settle behind a strong pace in this big field. 2.55 Newmarket The sprint handicap on 2,000 Guineas day really ought to have gone the way of Brazen, who pulled two lengths clear with a furlong to go but got tired and hung across the track. With the freshness out of him and more restrained tactics likely to be used, he can score despite the extra 3lb. There should be more give underfoot today and he is bred to appreciate that. 3.15 Newbury Stoute may strike again in the London Gold Cup with Hillstar, who looked a shade unlucky at Newmarket on his handicap debut last month. He was possibly given too much to do behind Soviet Rock that day and met trouble at a difficult moment but the winner has gone in again since from a 9lb higher mark. Hillstar has been raised the same amount, of course, so more is needed this time but he looks one to stick with. 3.30 Newmarket He may have had the run of the race when scoring at Newbury last month but Baltic Knight looked useful that day in what is usually an influential handicap. He sets a good standard. Horse racing tips Horse racing Chris Cook guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time18 May 2013 01:24:10

Talking Horses | Chris Cook

11 May 2013 01:16:16 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

The best bets and latest news in our daily horse racing blog Aidan O'Brien has won Derby trials for the past two days and is likely to win another one on Sunday but may meet with a bump in the road at Lingfield, where his Nevis has a bit to prove on Saturday. The winner of a Leopardstown maiden last summer, he trailed Dawn Approach by 14 lengths in the National Stakes on his only outing since and the suspicion is that he is some way from the top of the pecking order at Ballydoyle. Greatwood (2.55) is already a lot shorter than Nevis in the ante-post market for the Epsom Classic and looks a stout stayer with some class. He just failed to reel in Windhoek over 10 furlongs in a Tattersalls Millions race on his reappearance last month and that horse has since been an impressive Listed winner. An extra two furlongs ought to show Greatwood to still better effect and he is preferred to Another Cocktail, who also seems likely to thrive at this distance. 1.50 Haydock Despite a seven-length success last time, Whisky Yankee does not look harshly treated for this handicap debut. 2.05 Ascot A promising horse for some time, Harvard N Yale needs to start delivering but his yard is in form, he remains on a handy mark and ran well over this course and distance last time. 2.20 Lingfield Ralph Beckett has a sound record in this race and may have found another good filly in Secret Gesture. She won easily on heavy at Newbury last autumn but should prefer today's going. 2.40 Ascot Main Sequence is respected but there is a suspicion that he and Ted Durcan were not quite on the same page in the latter half of last season. Thomas Chippendale, who ran on well over a shorter trip last time, is narrowly preferred. 3.15 Ascot Kempton's tight circuit didn't suit Lizzie Tudor when last seen in October but she returns to a more galloping turf track with scope to be well ahead of her mark. 3.30 Haydock Handicaps have not worked out very well for Mr Mole, who was worried out of it up the hill at Cheltenham by Starluck last month. But a sound surface on this flatter track may help him show something like his best form. 3.50 Ascot A 5lb rise ought not to scare connections of Tartiflette after her recent cruise to victory at Haydock but first time out may have been the time to catch her. This could be the day for Jamesie, who turned in a fine prep-race at Dundalk and was first home on the wrong side in a Royal Ascot handicap over this course and distance last summer. Horse racing Chris Cook guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time11 May 2013 01:16:16

Alastair Cook: 'I've got no doubt it's going to be a fantastic Ashes'

01 May 2013 15:11:52 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

The England captain takes a break from lambing to reflect on becoming the youngest man to reach 7,000 Test runs and look ahead to the visit of New Zealand and the ICC Champions Trophy, as well as back-to-back Ashes Alastair Cook struggles to stifle a yawn before, giving into the inevitable, he covers his mouth and shakes his head. "Sorry," he mumbles, talking amidst yawning while raising a worry that we're set for a tedious interview with an England cricket captain whose reluctance to reveal much beyond his mechanical press conference routine has long been known. But I've also found Cook intriguing company when, on his own, he can offer sharp insights into his unyielding passion for batting and captaincy. We seem to be in luck again because, turning his yawn into a laugh, he talks through a strange assortment of muffled noises. "The last couple of days have been tiring," he explains before reverting to his well-modulated tones to reveal the real reasons for his weariness. "I'm doing three nights of lambing this week, and I'm on again tonight. I don't mind – apart from it taking me a while to wake up." It is almost lunchtime and, on a couch at a Shepperton film studio, where he has just been photographed wearing England's new bright red Adidas one-day kit, Cook suddenly leans forward. His watery eyes clear into an intent gaze as he says, of his night-time lambing routine on his father-in-law's Bedfordshire farm, "Actually, it's one of my most enjoyable times. You're alone, just you and the dog, and it's always good to have time on your own." The image of a dewey-eyed Cook, quietly delivering lambs at midnight alongside his trusty old mutt, appears at odds with the iron-willed master who, this past winter, became the youngest man to reach 7,000 Test-match runs while establishing himself as the leading century-maker in English cricket. Does he allow himself, in between midwifery duties in a warm barn at the dead of night, to reflect on these defining achievements? "Of course," Cook says. "I think a lot when I'm on my own – and much of it is about cricket. Those stats mean a lot to me. It's very hard to reflect properly when you're still playing but the hundreds one – when I got my 23rd in Kolkata felt the most special because it broke a benchmark that had stood for a very long time. "It felt good to do something no Englishman has done before. I was more elated than normal because most English cricketers know 22 hundreds were the most Test centuries ever scored by an Englishman. Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoff Boycott, KP [Kevin Pietersen] and me were all on 22. So it felt like a real landmark moment when I reached my 23rd." Cook has since scored his 24th Test hundred, in Dunedin during a long winter of strange contrasts. In his first series as England's new Test captain he went to India, with the team in disarray after losing at home to South Africa. Pietersen's texts to the opposition cruelly undermined Andrew Strauss , Cook's distinguished predecessor and friend, and opened up deep wounds. Yet, galvanized by Cook, whose batting was again monumental, England recovered from losing the opening Test to seal a 3-1 victory and their first series win in India in 27 years. That admirable start to his Test captaincy was deflated by a 0-0 draw in New Zealand. England were bloody-minded in their refusal to accept defeatbut were left bloody-nosed by a New Zealand team who will be encouraged as they begin the return series at Lord's next month. "It's been a long haul," Cook says, "and I haven't picked up a bat since we got home. A few years ago I might've been thinking: 'Shit, I need to go practice,' but not now. I could have had a few nets already but I would've drifted through them. I'll be switched on when we start." On Monday, Cook returned for Essex against Hampshire at Chelmsford and, in his first bat of a new season, he held his county's innings together by scoring 59 off 176 balls. He will also play against Lancashire next week as he gathers himself for a hugely significant season as England's captain and enduring batting colossus whose certainty in his own strengths is matched by his ambition. "My desire is as intense as ever and I've managed to keep that by getting the right balance. When I'm away from cricket I switch off totally. Otherwise I would never be able to keep that same hunger." After facing New Zealand again, the rest of the year will be as riveting as it is exhausting. The one-day ICC Champions Trophy, held in England, is followed by back-to-back Ashes series. "It's going to be an amazing summer," Cook says, "and we'll be playing in front of full crowds in every game." His voracious appetite was again evident in India where he hit three centuries – with his record-breaking 190 in Kolkata almost matched by the 176 he scored in Ahmedabad . In that first Test England were forced to follow on, 330 runs behind, but Cook was majestic. England still lost by nine wickets and Michael Vaughan tweeted: "It's now absolutely official … This England side cannot play spin … 4-0 is definitely on the cards." Cook's innings, however, was yet another masterpiece of application and concentration . "I'm not sure it was just me," he says, "because we all started to say: 'Actually we can play spin and trust ourselves on these wickets.' We'd had a tough time in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan the previous winter and our confidence against spin bowling had taken a hit. You feel under huge pressure those first 40 balls in subcontinental conditions. But if you're comfortable defending with men around the bat, things settle down. "We looked at each after that first Test and said there's not a huge amount of mystery there. And then we turned up at Mumbai on a wicket where you pretty much felt you'd be in trouble if you lost the toss. We lost it, they batted first and we knew it would spin. But to bowl them out for 300-odd was good and then KP's 186 [and Cook's 122 ] took away the pressure. We won and realised we could do it again and again." Was victory in India his most satisfying achievement? "Yes," Cook murmurs thoughtfully, "especially if you consider where we were after Ahmedabad. From there to where we ended up was as good a turnaround as we've seen from England." The reintegration of Pietersen was surprisingly successful and much of this can be attributed to Cook – even if his sympathy for Strauss remains. "It was a tough time for English cricket, and for the people involved, and something

Vice All News Time01 May 2013 15:11:52