Record-breakers in the news today

Tributes have been pouring in for Emmy-award winning American actor James Gandolfini, who died yesterday in Italy at the age of 51.

Gandolfini was best known for playing therapy-seeking New Jersey mafia boss Tony Soprano in the hit TV series The Sopranos.

The Sopranos holds the record for the highest-rated cop show, garnering a score of 96/100, beating the similarly acclaimed The Wire into second place.

According to Forbes' Celebrity 100, the cast of The Sopranos (HBO, USA) earned a combined salary of $52 million (£26 million) for the seventh series of drama, setting a record for highest paid television cast, with Gandolfini reportedly securing himself a $1 million (£505,000) fee for each of the last eight episodes.

To sport, where Queen Elizabeth II's horse Estimate claimed victory in the Gold Cup at Ascot in the UK - the first time in the race's 207-year history that it has been won by a reigning monarch.

The Gold Cup is regarded as Britain's most prestigious event for horses which specialise in racing over long distances and is traditionally held on day three of the Royal Ascot meeting.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the four-year-old filly held off the challenge of Simenon over the final furlong to win the race.

The largest prize fund for a single horse race is $10 million (£6.71 million), for the Dubai World Cup, held at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 27 March 2010.

From horse racing to cricket, where former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting has today announced he will retire from all forms of cricket in October.

The former Australia captain, who is currently playing for Surrey until the end of July, quit international cricket in November 2012.

The 38-year-old will end his career after appearing for Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians in the Champions League, which ends on 6 October.

In 2010, Ponting set a record for most successful captain in Test match history after winning his 48th Test match while in charge of Australia in the Fourth Ashes Test vs. England at the MCG, in Melbourne.

Finally, zookeepers in Norfolk, UK, have been celebrating after a pair of rare Siberian tiger cubs were born at Banham Zoo.

Staff at the zoo watched on CCTV as the endangered cats - fewer than 400 Siberian tigers are believed to be left in the wild - entered the world on Friday.

Also known as Amur tigers, the breed holds the record for largest wild cat. Males, which are bigger than females, normally have a total length of 2.7-3.3 m from nose tip to tail tip (as measured between the pegs), a shoulder height of 0.99-1.07 m, and a weight of 180-306 kg.