Tag Archives: coming

Godsmejudge wins Scottish Grand National for Alan King

Godsmejudge delivers Scottish Grand National glory for King and Hutchinson

By
Jonathan Powell

PUBLISHED:

15:47 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 20 April 2013

Scots-born trainer Alan King was overcome with emotion after his smart novice Godsmejudge gave him his first triumph in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

King, who was brought up near Glasgow, admitted: 'This means as much to me as any of the wins I've had. It is like coming home.'

National glory: Wayne Hutchinson celebrates Scottish Grand National glory with Godsmejudge

National glory: Wayne Hutchinson celebrates Scottish Grand National glory with Godsmejudge

But for another Scotsman, Ryan
Mania, and his mount Auroras Encore, this proved one National too many
after their shock success at Aintree a fortnight ago.

The pair were soon struggling towards the rear as they sought to emulate Red Rum's famous double in 1974.

Though they briefly made progress at
halfway, they were out of the race long before the end. Mania was
clearly thrilled to be riding again so soon after a heavy fall at Hexham
the day after the National that saw him airlifted to hospital by
helicopter.

Home alone: Godsmejudge clears the last

Home alone: Godsmejudge clears the last

Godsmejudge, a 12-1 shot, won with eye-catching ease after jumping to the front early on the final circuit.

Big Occasion threatened briefly
early in the straight, but was never going to catch the leader. Jubilant
jockey Wayne Hutchinson, gaining the biggest win of his career, said:
'For a little horse, Godsmejudge is like a rubber ball, so enthusiastic.
He's relentless with his jumping and galloping and soon got into a
great rhythm.

'Once we led, it seemed awfully quiet behind us.'

King spent many years as a hard-working assistant to legendary trainer David Nicholson.

He briefly took over the licence
from Nicholson before sending out a conveyor belt of winners from his
current base at Barbury Castle, Wiltshire.

This has been a testing season for
King, with several of his best horses out of action, but he is finishing
it with a flourish with the able assistance of the ever-reliable
Hutchinson.

Npower Championship round-up March 5

Bonkers! Championship goes crazy as promotion race hots up with a glut of late goals

By
Janine Self

PUBLISHED:

11:36 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 6 March 2013

So did the world stop for you on Tuesday night Answers on a postcard, addressed to Senor Jose Mourinho, c/o Real Madrid.

The Special One might be slightly surprised to learn that for many the earth continued to revolve around its axis, despite the global marketing pull of a duel with Manchester United.

While 74,759 paying customers crammed into Old Trafford, another 175,547 decided that the npower Championship was the only show in town.

Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night

Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night

The second tier of English football has been even more crazily unpredictable than usual this season and did not disappoint on Tuesday night.

How about Kevin Phillips, 39 years old, and scorer of an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace in the 4-2 win over Hull

The same Hull who thrashed Birmingham last weekend and who started the night in an automatic promotion place. Steve Bruce’s team are down to third while Palace lurk a point behind.

At fogbound Nottingham Forest, the pre-match chat was all about the second coming of Billy Davies. No mention of Sir Alex Ferguson or Cristiano Ronaldo at all.

Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies

Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies

The force appears to be with Davies. Ipswich had two players sent off and came within four minutes of holding out for a point only to concede to a deflected goal from Lewis McGugan.

Since returning as manager, Davies has drawn one and won the last four games. With that sort of momentum the play-offs are beckoning.

Late goals were the theme of the night at Leicester, Bolton and Huddersfield, too. Just down the road from Old Trafford, Chris Eagles continued Wanderers’ fine run with an added-time winner against Lancashire rivals Blackburn.

Rest assured that none of the 19,063 fans at the Reebok would have given United a passing thought – apart from hoping they would lose, of course.

Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton

Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton

Danny Ward came off the bench to score in stoppage time and give Mark Robins his first home win as Huddersfield manager at the expense of a Middlesbrough side, who are in freefall. Eight defeats in 11 games is doing nothing for Tony Mowbray’s mood.

The biggest attendance of the night was 22,660 at Leicester, who had Manchester United loanee Michael Keane to thank for yet another added-time goal – an equaliser against Leeds.

Some people will always remember Tuesday as the night Roy Keane burned whatever bridges he had left with Ferguson after backing the sending off of Nani.

Wolves fans will remember it as the night manager Dean Saunders won his first match after 10 attempts.

Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall

Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall

The 2-0 win at Millwall took Saunders’s team out of the bottom three and sets them up nicely for the next match, except it is at Forest.

Rant of the night came from Dave Jones, manager of Sheffield Wednesday, after a 2-1 defeat at Watford. Suggesting the referee was more suited to the Sunday League will not go down well at
the FA.

Howler of the night came from the same match. Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond scuffed a back pass from Marco Cassetti, which allowed Michail Antonio to run round him for a simple tap-in.

Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday

Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday

Brighton’s point at bottom club Bristol City came at the expense of a bad achilles injury to striker Craig Mackail-Smith, who is out for the rest of the season, which is a huge blow to their play-off hopes.

Last, but not least, even runaway leaders Cardiff are wobbling. Craig Noone popped up eight minutes from time with an equaliser against Derby, who were so short of bodies they could only name five substitutes.

Now that’s something you don’t see in the Champions League, either.

Manchester United v Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo trains ahead of Old Trafford return

Ronaldo trains ahead of Old Trafford return in crunch clash with former club United

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

All eyes will be on Old Trafford tomorrow, with many focusing their view on Cristiano Ronaldo, who is making his first appearance back at Manchester United since leaving three years for a world record 80million.

And it was the same tonight as he, along with the rest of his team-mates, put in a final training shift before the titanic Champions League clash.

Speaking in his press conference, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: ‘My biggest concern is if Cristiano turns up. What do you expect when you play against a team with Ronaldo in it'

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Coming home: Cristiano Ronaldo trains ahead of his return to his former club on Tuesday night

He added: ‘You expect problems on the night. We have to try and curtail that as best as we can. It won’t be easy as he does it every week.

‘The experience young Rafael had in Madrid will probably help him because he has the same task. If you go in worried about what Cristiano can do then we forget what we can do ourselves.

‘The older one, the fatter one, peaked that time (ten years ago) as a centre forward. This Ronaldo is a supreme athlete, an unbelievable athlete, never misses a game, two great feet, pace, good in the air.

‘They are two different types but our main worry is not what happened 10 years ago but what will happen tomorrow.’

Alistair Brownlee wins Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

Olympic triathlon hero Brownlee cruises to Abu Dhabi win by smashing course record

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:47 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:12 GMT, 2 March 2013

Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee smashed the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon short course record on his way to clinching his first win since the Olympic Games last summer.

Wearing the colours of the Union Jack, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman looked every inch the champion in Abu Dhabi.

Having spent much of his winter training acclimatising to the warm Arabian temperatures, the hard work paid off for the back-to-back European Triathlon Union champion as he finished the 111.5kms pure power course in 3h20m18s – 29 seconds ahead of the previous record, set in 2010 by Dutchman Jan Van Berkel.

Winning feeling: Alistair Brownlee smashed the course record on his Abu Dhabi debut

Winning feeling: Alistair Brownlee smashed the course record on his Abu Dhabi debut

And Brownlee, who is used to the shorter Olympic distances and is in Abu Dhabi to expand his competitive horizons, was full of praise to the thousands of fans who turned out to cheer him over the line.

‘It is a good race to do for an introduction to longer distances and I would like to do more, but right now my focus us is on the ITU circuit.’ said Brownlee.

The young Briton was in fine fettle, coming out of the water in the opening 1.5kms swim leg comfortably positioned.

Riding to glory: Brownlee was on commanding form in Abu Dhabi

Riding to glory: Brownlee was on commanding form in Abu Dhabi

With a cycle distance of 100kms more than Brownlee is used to, pundits tipped the following bike section to be the make or break for the youngster, and it nearly proved to be true. After taking a wrong turn on the circuit, Brownlee lost ground and was overtaken by Dutchman Cesar Beilo – who won the Abu Dhabi short course in 2011.

Coming into the final 10kms run, Brownlee was nestled in second place. Having conserved his energy on the bike, the look of determination on his face was easy to see at the final transition. With thousands of fans lined up to cheer him on, the Olympic golden boy dug deep to make light work of the final run, bringing it home in emphatic style.

‘I was swimming very fast in the beginning, apologies to anyone we might have kicked on the way through,’ joked Brownlee on the Abu Dhabi finish line.

Top gearL Brownlee was in fine form during his Abu Dhabi win

Top gearL Brownlee was in fine form during his Abu Dhabi win

‘The bike was a challenge. I saw a sign on the bike course and thought that was where I needed to go; it was only when I got back on the course I realised I had been there before. I tried to pace it quite well, but I have no idea how to pace 100kms on a bike, but it seemed to go ok.

‘I felt tired towards the end, but I didn’t have to push too hard, which was good as it was getting hot; it’s a bit of a shock as it is zero degrees back home and nearly 30 here, but it was early morning so I didn’t struggle too much.’

Beilo took second place, more than five minutes behind Brownlee, with Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov taking third. Egyptian star, Omar Nour, finished in seventh place, making him the highest Arab athlete on the day.

Event organiser, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said that Brownlee’s win would be a huge inspiration to local athletes and it hoped to see more kids get into the sport because of it.

Rafa Benitez refused to rule out a return to Anfield

Never say never: Rafa refuses to rule out a return to Anfield

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UPDATED:

00:31 GMT, 29 December 2012

Rafael Benitez has refused to rule out a second coming at Liverpool ahead of his first match on Merseyside as Chelsea boss.

Interim Blues manager Benitez has been linked previously with a return to Anfield and will be a free agent again at the end of the season.

Sunday sees Benitez take a team to Merseyside for the first time since he was sacked by Liverpool two-and-a-half years ago when Chelsea visit Everton in the Barclays Premier League.

Refusal: Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez refused to rule out ever returning to Liverpool but did say he will give '100 per cent' for Chelsea

Refusal: Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez refused to rule out ever returning to Liverpool but did say he will give '100 per cent' for Chelsea

And asked if he could see himself returning to manage his former club one day, he said: 'At the moment, I'm really pleased here.

'I want to keep winning and you never know what can happen in football.

'I have a very good relationship with the fans and the city but I'm a good professional and that means I will give 100 per cent for this club.'

Return: Benitez returns to Merseyside for the first time since leaving Liverpool when Chelsea visit David Moyes' Everton team

Return: Benitez returns to Merseyside for the first time since leaving Liverpool when Chelsea visit David Moyes' Everton team

Benitez's work ethic has helped him begin to rebuild his reputation as one of the most astute coaches around, the Spaniard having got Chelsea's campaign back on track in recent weeks.

However, his latest comments are unlikely to aid him in his quest to win over Chelsea fans who still see him as the enemy due to his Liverpool connections.

Benitez's work ethic has seen him begin to rebuild his reputation at Chelsea

Graft: Benitez's work ethic has seen him begin to rebuild his reputation at Chelsea

He added ahead of Sunday's game at Goodison Park: 'It is always something special when you go back to Liverpool.

'My connection with the city is very strong.'

Those links continue, with Benitez's family home still on the Wirral near the city after he decided against relocating them when he joined Inter Milan or when he was appointed to the Chelsea hotseat.

He said: 'When you have children, 10 and 14, they have their friends around and have been there for eight years so it is difficult to move the family and you have to do something for them.

'I have to move around on my own and then find a way to be there for Christmas dinner or whatever.'

Liverpool have nosedived since sacking Benitez and are on their third manager in that time.

To compound matters, they have also been supplanted as the top team on Merseyside by Everton, who finished above them last season and ended the first half of the current campaign eight points clear of their neighbours.

However, Benitez was almost at pains to avoid discussing whether there had been a power shift in favour of David Moyes' men.

He said: 'I cannot say this. What I can say is that Everton are doing well.

'I don't think it is fair for me to talk about one or the other one. I think it is fair for me to say that we are playing Everton and they are doing well.

'Moyes is doing a great job, they have good players and a good team spirit and it will be difficult for us.'

Dissent: Despite a recent run of good results there are still protesting voices among the Chelsea support

Dissent: Despite a recent run of good results there are still protesting voices among the Chelsea support

Side-stepping another row with Everton is unlikely to spare Benitez the role of pantomime villain when he takes a team to Goodison Park for the first time in more than three years.

The Spaniard is still suffering a backlash from his own club's fans, whose revolt against his appointment was galvanised by criticism they perceived him to have levelled at them while Liverpool boss back in 2007.

That was also the year Benitez branded Everton one of the Premier League's 'smaller teams', something that provoked a furious response from Liverpool's arch-rivals.

Benitez was the subject of plenty of unpleasant chants from Toffees fans during his six years at Anfield and he was not expecting an easy ride this weekend.

Return to form: Chelsea have won their last three Premier League games, scoring 12 and conceding just one

Red hot: Chelsea have won their last three Premier League games, scoring 12 and conceding just one

Everton have also made themselves Chelsea's bogey-team, having won the sides' past three league meetings at Goodison Park.

But Benitez has won on his past three league visits there and goes on the back of six wins from seven games.

He said of his own impact on his players: 'We are adjusting things but, at the same time, we are giving them freedom to do things in the way they want to do.

'I think we have a good balance and you can see they are keen to learn and that is the main thing for a manager.'

Fulham boss Martin Jol fears relegation scrap in 2013

Sort it out! Fulham boss Jol fears relegation scrap if worrying slump continues

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UPDATED:

20:11 GMT, 24 December 2012

Martin Jol believes Fulham will find themselves in a 'relegation battle' if they do not pick up points over the festive period.

The Cottagers lost a number of key players during the summer but begun the season surprisingly well.

Things, though, have taken a turn for the worse of late and Jol has only led his side to one victory in their previous 10 matches.

Slump: Fulham are dropping like a stone towards the relegation zone

Slump: Fulham are dropping like a stone towards the relegation zone

That poor form has seen them plummet in the table and the Dutchman knows they need to improve in the coming games, starting when Southampton visit Craven Cottage on Boxing Day.

'We wanted that win last week against QPR but I don't think we were good enough,' Jol said.

'Against Liverpool we didn't show our strength and hopefully we can pick up the points not because it is a vital game for us. It is a vital game for them as well.

'We are in a good position, we have got a good cushion but if we don't pick up the points in the next week or so then we're really in a relegation battle with other teams.'

Jol believes Southampton are one of the sides that will around the dropzone come the end of the season, but will not be taking them for granted on Boxing Day.

'Sometimes they showed they can get the results and sometimes their weaknesses have been exploited, like we have,' he said.

'You saw a big contradiction with Aston Villa, losing 8-0 at Chelsea after winning at Liverpool the week before.

'That is the Barclays Premier League for you. It is unbelievably strong so you have to be strong in your organisation and you need your players that can make the difference.

'I feel we have got these players and hopefully they will be available. Even when they're not, we have got other players that can do the job, but the margin is a bit thin between being successful and not successful.'

Up please: Jol has fired a stern warning in the direction of his squad

Up please: Jol has fired a stern warning in the direction of his squad

Jol may well be able to welcome back one of those key players, with Bryan Ruiz rated 50-50 for the match after a hamstring injury.

Steve Sidwell returns after a one-match ban, but Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric are doubts, while Damien Duff is definitely out.

Southampton's only injury concern is likely to be that of captain Adam Lallana, although Jol is wary of their other attacking options.

'I don't think it matters,' he said of the left winger. 'If you see them, they had Jay Rodriguez and we had a close look at him.

'He was quite expensive and they bought him. They have Gaston Ramirez, who has over 10million and is a good player.

'He can play on that flank and if you see Jason Puncheon on the other flank, he has done very well. They also have Emmanuel Mayuka, who we had a look at as well. He was 6million or 7million.

'They have a few players that can fill in that role. We have to do that all the time so why couldn't they come up with a solution'

Nathan Cleverly to get home advantage in world title defence against Robin Krasniqi

Cleverly to get home advantage in world title defence against Krasniqi

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UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 19 December 2012

Coming home: Cleverly will not have to travel to Germany to defend his title

Coming home: Cleverly will not have to travel to Germany to defend his title

Nathan Cleverly has avoided a daunting trip to Germany to defend his WBO world light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi.

Cleverly, 25, missed out on a mouthwatering clash with American legend Bernard Hopkins after being ordered to face his mandatory challenger.

The Welshman will face Krasniqi on home soil on March 16 at a venue yet to be confirmed.

‘This fight is very motivating for me because it’s been hanging over me for a while so I really want to get this guy out of the way,’ Cleverly said.

‘I’ve got to make sure I’m on my game and put him to the sword.
‘I know that after this, the big fights are out there for me.

'I am pleased with the final decision. Now I have a schedule and can concentrate fully on the preparation.'

Cleverly was originally scheduled to face Serbian-born German last February at the Royal Albert Hall but had to pull out through illness.

Krasniqi, 25, has not been defeated since losing two of his first three fights over six years ago. Since then he has won 36 consecutive bouts, stopping 14 of his opponents.

Megafight: The Welshman still hopes to face American legend Bernard Hopkins

Megafight: The Welshman still hopes to face American legend Bernard Hopkins

London 2012 Paralympics: Oscar Pistorius apologises

I'm sorry! Pistorius apologises for rant over length of blades after 200m defeat to Oliveira

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UPDATED:

07:15 GMT, 3 September 2012

Oscar Pistorius has apologised for the timing of his comments about the running blades used by T44 200 metres gold medallist Alan Fonteles Oliveira immediately after Sunday night's race.

The South African hit out at the International Paralympic Committee for failing to act over the length of some athletes' blades after Oliveira, wearing noticeably longer ones, came from way back to pip him at the line.

I'm sorry: Oscar Pistorius (right) apologised for his comments about the length of Alan Oliveira's (left) blades

I'm sorry: Oscar Pistorius (right) apologised for his comments about the length of Alan Oliveira's (left) blades

The Brazilian took gold in 21.45 seconds, leaving Pistorius to settle for silver, coming home in 21.52secs with stunned quiet from the 80,000 spectators greeting the result.

Pistorious said in a statement: 'I would never want to detract from another athletes' moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday's race.'

The statement continued: 'I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the IPC but I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong.

'That was Alan's moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him.

'I am a proud Paralympian and believe in the fairness of sport. I am happy to work with the IPC who obviously share these aims.'

Shock: Oliveira was a surprise winner in the T44 200m final at Olympic Park

Shock: Oliveira was a surprise winner in the T44 200m final at Olympic Park

Shock: Oliveira was a surprise winner in the T44 200m final at Olympic Park

Steven Gerrard: West Bromwich defeat left Liverpool shocked

West Brom defeat shocked us all! Gerrard reveals Liverpool anguish after opening day reversal

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UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 20 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Steven Gerrard has has urged his team-mates not to panic, but conceded the Liverpool players were left stunned by their surprise opening-day defeat at West Bromwich.

Shocked: Gerrard has revealed his team-mates' anguish

Shocked: Gerrard has revealed his team-mates' anguish

The Reds had Daniel Agger sent off as they lost 3-0 at The Hawthorns but Gerrard believes it is essential everyone looks beyond the result.

'The feeling after was one of total shock with the result. It was never a 3-0 game,' said the England international. 'I fancied us to go there, dominate and win but things didn't work out that way. In football you can be left feeling hard done by.

'It's not the start we wanted but
it's no time for panic. It's only the first game and it was one bad day
at the office. We've got to look at the bigger picture. There's been so
much hope around the place and rightly so.'

Gerrard
added in the Liverpool Echo: 'After a 3-0 defeat everyone is going to
be concerned. It's important that the likes of myself and the other
experienced players take responsibility for a poor defeat.

'We
have to put it behind us. We've got to dust ourselves down and bounce
back against Hearts (in the Europa League) on Thursday night.

'We have to react in the right manner and look to put things right in the coming games.'

Midfielder Charlie Adam has dismissed speculation about his future at Anfield by insisting he is determined to stay and fight for his place.

The Scotland international, signed last
summer by former manager Kenny Dalglish, has fallen down the pecking
order after the return to fitness of Lucas Leiva and the arrival of Joe
Allen from Swansea.

Gera load of that! Liverpool were sunk at the Hawthorns

Gera load of that! Liverpool were sunk at the Hawthorns

He has already been linked to a number of clubs but said he was committed to staying.

'I am happy at Liverpool and why would I leave after a year There is no point,' he said. 'I am open enough to say I have had a conversation with the manager but for me I'm not going anywhere.

'I am playing with some of the best players in the world, I have a good coach, good manager, and I am learning every day from what he is doing.

'I want to play this year and hopefully I get the opportunity to do that. For us at Liverpool it is a big season, we have got the Europa League and we want to improve on what we did last year in the league.'

London 2012 Olympics: Dai Greene replaces Nigel Levin in relay

GB skipper Greene named in relay team as Levine misses final

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UPDATED:

18:27 GMT, 10 August 2012

Dai Greene will race for Great Britain in the 4×400 metres relay final.

Team captain Greene missed out on a medal in the 400m hurdles, coming home fourth, and will be looking to make up for that disappointment by helping the quartet on to the podium.

The Welshman will run the third leg, with Conrad Williams running the first, Greene's fellow 400m hurdler Jack Green the second and Martyn Rooney the anchor.

Nigel Levine has been left out.

Final showdown: Dai Greene will run in the 4x400m relay for Great Britain

Final showdown: Dai Greene will run in the 4x400m relay for Great Britain