Tag Archives: hurdle

England beaten by Pakistan in first Test in Dubai

England brought back down with a thud as world's No 1 side are humiliated in Dubai

England descended to a hapless defeat inside three days after a second successive batting collapse against Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The tourists fell alarmingly short of their billing in their first series as world Test No 1s, only Jonathan Trott delaying their downfall as they were bowled out for 160 to lose this first match of three by 10 wickets.

It was a sixth defeat in their last seven international matches for an England team rightly lauded last summer for their Test exploits after a sixth consecutive series win took them past India to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings.

Humiliated: England failed with the bat for the second time in three days

Humiliated: England failed with the bat for the second time in three days

It was widely predicted that they would face a stern examination of those world-beating credentials here, and throughout the remainder of a tough 2012 Test calendar.

But few could have imagined they would stumble so ignominiously at the first hurdle, albeit against fast-improving opponents.

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Running riot: Pakistan made light work of England

During an awkward 40 minutes of batting up to lunch – after Adnan Akmal (61) had frustrated England's attempted fightback with a gritty half-century – Andrew Strauss was the only batsman to go, in contentious circumstances.

He appeared confident he had made no contact when Billy Bowden gave him out caught-behind down the leg-side off Gul.

But despite the absence of a Hotspot mark on replay, Strauss was disappointed on DRS as the third umpire heard an apparently telling noise and saw no compelling evidence either that there was definitely no impact with bat or glove.

Tormentor-in-chief: Umar Gul (left) was the pick of the bowlers

Tormentor-in-chief: Umar Gul (left) was the pick of the bowlers

Matters soon went from delicate to dire for England after lunch. Alastair Cook got in an ugly tangle against Gul, another caught-behind down the leg-side, and then Kevin Pietersen went for an eight-ball duck after smashing a pick-up pull straight into the hands of deep square-leg.

England's batsmen have not appeared, several times, to help themselves in this match – but Pietersen's dismissal was still an obvious worst example.

Ian Bell's attempts to help Trott dig England out of trouble foundered against Ajmal, and he used up his team's final DRS option for good measure after playing defensively inside a doosra and being hit on the back pad.

Pakistan squandered a review for lbw by Ajmal against Trott, who began to hint at permanence as he and Eoin Morgan more than doubled the score.

Out: Ian Bell walks back to the pavilion

Gone: Andrew Strauss was the first wicket to fall

Gone: Andrew Strauss was the first wicket to fall

But Morgan's departure, caught behind on the back-foot defence to Abdur Rehman, was another crushing blow for England's optimists.

There was then little time for any positive thinking after tea, especially after Trott had gone one short of his 50 when he tried to cut Gul but could only edge behind.

The end seemed nigh once Matt Prior, England's first-innings saviour, was lbw on the back foot to an off-break that kept very low – and although last pair Graeme Swann and James Anderson did enough to make Pakistan bat again, it was a token gesture.

Akmal had earlier helped Pakistan turn an overnight 288 for seven into 338 all out. Pakistan's wicketkeeper batted with good sense and significant skill to eke out important runs with the tail, in his 117-ball 50.

England knew they needed to finish Pakistan off quickly on the third morning, having started this match so poorly.

They seemed set to do so when Stuart Broad prevented any potential aggravation from Gul by seeing the useful tailender off for a duck, caught driving to point in the first over of the day.

Pakistan had then lost three wickets for six runs. But Akmal and Ajmal dug in to put on a precious 30 more before England managed to strike again.

The day's first arguable DRS ruling went against Pakistan, concluding Bowden was right to give Ajmal out caught at short-leg off Swann (four for 107) via a suspicion of glove and pad.

But Akmal was still able to add 19 more runs with No 11 Aizaz Cheema, who did not face a single delivery, before running past an off-break down the leg-side from Swann to be easily stumped.

It already seemed Pakistan had nonetheless done enough with the bat to push home the advantage won by their bowlers – but no one expected England's batsmen to fold again in under a day.

Darlington FC could fold on Friday

Darlington could fold by Friday after stadium wrangle dashes rescue hopes

Darlington could cease to exist by Friday unless a buyer can be found to save the non-league side.

The Quakers were placed in
administration last week after former chairman Raj Singh said he was
unwilling to cover any more losses.

Under threat: Darlington could cease to exist by the end of the week

Under threat: Darlington could cease to exist by the end of the week

Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier game at Barrow went ahead after fans held a whip-round and raised 8,000 for the players, several of whom have not been paid for two months.

But the 3-0 defeat could prove to be Darlington's final game in their 128-year history after the club's administrator, Harvey Madden, admitted he feared the worst.

'It is sad, but I’m trying to give the reality of the situation. We have got some hard and fast decisions to make by the end of the week. If anybody is interested, please come forward now, otherwise you will be too late,' he told the Northern Echo.

'Without money, the club will not survive. I will have to make decisions by the end of the week and assess it.

'I want to try and save the club if at all possible, but I fear that will not happen.'

Madden said he had received 'dozens of enquiries from business and experienced football people' but concerns over the stadium and surrounding land are believed to have put off several potential investors.

Many fans blames Darlington's problems on George Reynolds' decision to move Darlo to a 25,000-seater stadium

Folly: Many fans blames Darlington's problems on George Reynolds' decision to move Darlo to a 25,000-seater stadium

'Some of the consortia have included chairman of previous clubs, and it’s not a slight on Darlington that they’ve pulled out,' he said.

'What we wanted to get from people was whether they had the wherewithal, the capital, and a number fell at the first hurdle, but a lot of people came back with requisite funds but decided not pursue it.

'I don’t necessarily think it’s putting people off in terms of knowing the amount of debt.

'I think some of the squabbles that appear to be long-running with the council, the owners of the ground etc, are not doing any good in terms of finding a buyer long-term.'

Darlington play their home games at the 25,000 all-seater Northern Echo Arena but they rent the stadium after it was sold to two local businessmen during a previous administration.

Hopes of attracting a supermarket chain to redevelop the site were dashed on Monday after Darlington Borough Council confirmed they were unable to lift planning constraints for retail development.

Darlington need about 400,000 just to finish the season and the only glimmer of hope appears to be a group of local businessman who have formed the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group and asked to look at the club's accounts on Tuesday.

Darlington are not due to play again until January 21 when they are scheduled to host Fleetwood Town.

Emma Lavelle targets Imperial Cup return for Tocca Ferro

Tocca Ferro's Imperial plan: Lavelle lines up hurdler for Cup comeback at Sandown

Trainer Emma Lavelle has pinpointed the Imperial Cup at Sandown on March 10 as a comeback target for talented hurdler Tocca Ferro.

The seven-year-old, who has not run since winning the 2010 Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury, was a possible candidate for the 150,000 Betfair Hurdle at the Berkshire track on February 11.

But Lavelle said: ‘I’ve been cautious but he had a scan yesterday and it was perfect. We will be cracking on now but he won’t be ready in time for Newbury. Realistically, we are looking at the Imperial Cup.’

On the comeback trail: Tocca Ferro is due to return to action at Sandown on March 10

On the comeback trail: Tocca Ferro is due to return to action at Sandown on March 10

The proximity of the Sandown race to the Cheltenham Festival means Tocca Ferro will not be given an entry in the Champion Hurdle.

Lavelle is only two successes short of matching last term’s seasonal best of 30 wins with the good form of her string in part down to an extended gallop.

She added: ‘It was four furlongs but an extra two and a half uphill makes a big difference. It worked well before but we probably had to be a little harder on the horses.

‘Now the gallop does the work for you.’

The changes have brought the best out in a clutch of useful novice hurdlers headed by Benign Dictator, Court Victory, Gullinbursti and Highland Lodge, who goes to Doncaster for the Grade Two River Don Hurdle on January 28.

Good season: Trainer Nicky Henderson moved onto 93 winners for the season at Huntingdon

Good season: Trainer Nicky Henderson moved onto 93 winners for the season at Huntingdon

Lavelle has the Ascot Grade Two Warefield Mares’ Hurdle on January 21 as a target for Kempton Christmas winner Kentford Grey Lady while fellow mare Elegant Touch attempts to complete a hat-trick in the Listed 32Red.com Mares’ Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.

The trainer said: ‘It’s a different level but she has earned a step up in class. I think she is quite smart.’

Both are possible contenders for the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson, who moved on to 93 winners for the season with doubles at both Southwell and Huntingdon, is planning a hunter chase campaign for The Queen’s Barbers Shop.

The 10-year-old, seventh to Kauto Star in the 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup, last ran when pulled up in the 2010 Hennessy Gold Cup.

However, the season is over for Paul Nolan’s Joncol who sustained a tendon injury when unplaced in last week’s Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

Paul Hanagan returns to action with two mounts (Henry Bee and Aurora Lights) at Wolverhampton.

The dual champion jockey will mix rides on the all-weather circuit with trips to Dubai where boss Richard Fahey has sent the useful duo of Glen’s Diamond and Sir Reginald to race at the carnival which starts today at Meydan.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy taken to hospital with rib injury after Taunton fall

Champion jockey McCoy taken to hospital with rib injury after Taunton fall

Tony McCoy faces a spell on the sidelines after sustaining suspected cracked ribs at Taunton on Friday.

McCoy suffered a final-fence fall aboard Laudatory in the Steve Logan Memorial County Contractors Handicap Hurdle.

Agony: Iron-man McCoy lies prone after a fall at Taunton

Agony: Iron-man McCoy lies prone after a fall at Taunton

The 16-times champion jockey gave up his final ride of the day, Hopeful Start, in the totetrifecta Handicap Chase.

A shaky-looking McCoy was later taken by ambulance on a stretcher to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.

Clerk of the course Michael Trickey said: “He had some morphine and they”ve had a further look and taken him to hospital.

“He has suspected cracked ribs.”

McCoy is due to be in action at Warwick on Saturday, where he has four rides.

Unaccompanied wins Istabraq Hurdle

Unaccompanied triumph sees mare”s odds shorted for Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

Unaccompanied provided another boost to the reputation of last season’s crop of juvenile hurdlers with victory over Thousand Stars in Thursday’s Grade One Istabraq Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The Dermot Weld-trained mare, second to Zarkandar in last season’s Triumph, was cut from 25-1 to 12s for the Champion Hurdle by sponsors Stan James.

In front: Unaccompanied jumps the last to win The Istabraq Festival Hurdle

In front: Unaccompanied jumps the last to win The Istabraq Festival Hurdle

Her victory under Paul Townend also led apoint to be shaved off the Champion Hurdle odds of Nicky Henderson’s Grandouet (5-1), the Triumph third and winner of Cheltenham’s International Hurdle.

Zarkandar, yet to race this season, remains a 10-1 chance with trainer Paul Nicholls planning one prep race for him in February.

Weld said: ‘The Irish Champion Hurdle in a month’s time is the next logical step. If everything went well we’ll look at the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.’

Bitter blow: Sparky May (right) has been retired due to injury

Bitter blow: Sparky May (right) has been retired due to injury

Meanwhile, Sparky May, the gutsy mare who was second to Quevega at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, has been retired due to a tendon injury.

Trainer Keiran Burke said: ‘It’s a massive blow to the yard.’

Haydock inspect at 8am to see if Friday’s meeting can go ahead.

The going is described as heavy and with more rain forecast overnight, clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright said: ‘It is raceable at present so we would be hopeful but 10mm or more of rain would make it a close call.’

Betfair backlash after Leopardstown in-play betting error

Betfair face backlash as punters miss out on millions after in-play betting error

Betfair face a backlash from punters after the bookmakers declared all bets are void following an incredible in-play betting error.

The gambling firm faced an unprecedented multi-million pay-out after odds of 28-1 were offered in-play on a runaway 13-8 favourite at Leopardstown.

There were bizarre scenes in the in-running betting world with a freakish amount traded on Betfair in the 2pm woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle.

A total of 1,642,094 was matched at 28-1 on Voler La Vedette, who went off the 13-8 favourite on-course and won very easily.

In-play mistake: Andrew Lynch steers runaway favourite Voler La Vedette to victory at Leopardstown

In-play mistake: Andrew Lynch steers runaway favourite Voler La Vedette to victory at Leopardstown

Even more strangely, the Betfair graph showed over 21million was offered to back Colm Murphy”s mare at those odds, even though she was always in contention and looked the obvious winner even before the final flight.

This meant one layer could potentially have lost 600million in only a few minutes if all of the money had been matched.

Betfair suspended the market in order to investigate, with many of the exchange”s members in a state of shock on the website”s forum.

After lengthy discussions, it was revealed this was due to a technical error, and that all bets on the event would be cancelled.

A statement from Betfair customer services read: “Customers betting in-play on this race will have seen that Voler La Vedette was available to back at 29 when the in-running market was suspended, and that a considerable sum was matched on the clear winner at that price.

“An investigation has revealed that this was due to an obvious technical failure which allowed a customer to exceed their exposure limit.

“In accordance with our terms and conditions, all in running bets on this race, both win and place, will be made void.

“We fully appreciate the dissatisfaction this will cause many customers, and apologise for a very poor customer and betting experience.”

Long Walk continues to be an easy stroll for Big Buck"s

Long Walk continues to be an easy stroll for Big Buck”s

Big Buck”s moved another step closer to jumping immortality with a faultless display in the Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Victory in the Grade One event was the 14th on the bounce for the Paul Nicholls-trained superstar, moving him one ahead of Bula as he closes in on Sir Ken”s record of 16 set in the 1950s.

Peerless: Big Buck

Peerless: Big Buck”s on the verge of immortality as he gets a pat from Ruby Walsh

Young pretender Dynaste set out to test the 3-10 favourite from the front, and for a brief moment going to three out Ruby Walsh had to niggle Big Buck”s along.

But normal service was soon resumed rounding the home turn, and Big Buck”s, racing right-handed for the first time, jumped two out in front and sauntered clear from there.

The exertions in taking Big Buck”s on took a toll on Dynaste, who weakened as Five Dream and Restless Harry took the minor honours.

Happy connections: Owner Andy Stewart (left), Ruby Walsh and trainer Paul Nicholls (right)

Happy connections: Owner Andy Stewart (left), Ruby Walsh and trainer Paul Nicholls (right)

Nicholls said: “He”s all class. He looked fat at Newbury and I thought he was a lot fitter today.

“He”s such a character and you”ve really got to manage him. But he was really good today and I hope he will continue to be hard to beat.

Salute: Walsh and Big Buck

Salute: Walsh and Big Buck”s are led into the winner”s enclosure at Ascot

“We”ll have to see, but I wouldn”t have thought he would run again until Cheltenham.

“He won”t ever go over fences now, he doesn”t like them and he is too good at that job.”

Walsh said: “He”s an incredible stayer with loads of pace. He”s just a very good horse. He”s maturing and growing up.

“Going right-handed wasn”t an issue, it might have been a few years ago but now now. He”s incredible.”

Nichollswas also responsible for Five Dream, and said: “I thought he was going to run a good race on his last run and he will go for the Cleeve Hurdle now.”

David Pipe said of fourth home Dynaste, who was stepping up markedly in class after a facile Haydock win: “It was a good run but that was graded company.

“We will have to sit down and have a think about where he goes next.”

Sports pictures of the day: December 14

Sports images of the day: Our picture editor”s selection

Each day, MailOnline sports picture editor Dave Muir will choose his favourite photographs from around the world in the past 24 hours.

Enjoy today”s selection right here…

Santos starlet Neymar is captured leaping high into the air to celebrate his wonder goal against Kashiwa Reysol in the Club World Cup semi-final

Santos starlet Neymar is captured leaping high into the air to celebrate his wonder goal against Kashiwa Reysol in the Club World Cup semi-final

Yemen

Yemen”s Mohammed al-Areqi fails to lift 108kgs during the men”s clean and jerk 56kg weightlifting competition at the 2011 Arab Games in Doha

Dark clouds gather over Catterick racecourse but the sun manages to shine through during the racinguk.com Handicap Hurdle

Dark clouds gather over Catterick racecourse but the sun manages to shine through during the racinguk.com Handicap Hurdle

Alexis Thompson has the skyscrapers in the distance as she hits her drive on the eighth during the Omega Dubai Masters on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club

Alexis Thompson has the skyscrapers in the distance as she hits her drive on the eighth during the Omega Dubai Masters on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club

LA Kings centre Colin Fraser is almost horizontal after colliding with Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins as referee Dave Jackson tries to avoid getting caught up

LA Kings centre Colin Fraser is almost horizontal after colliding with Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins as referee Dave Jackson tries to avoid getting caught up

Grandouet saunters to International Hurdle victory at Cheltenham

Grandouet proves Champion Hurdle credentials with International win

Barry Geraghty survived a moment of crisis on his way to a notable big-race treble at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Earlier, iron man Geraghty had the kind of fall in front of a packed field of runners which all jump jockeys dread.

As he lay on the ground, he was caught with terrifying force by the flying hooves of another horse which trampled all over him.

Easy win: Grandouet (green) had plenty to spare up the Cheltenham hill

Easy win: Grandouet (green) had plenty to spare up the Cheltenham hill

“It hurt all right and I felt rough,” he said later after his fall from Tanks For That in the Jenny Mould Memorial Chase.

“At first, I couldn”t even walk over to Jerry McGrath, who had taken a bad fall at the same fence. I got to the rail and rested and by the time I returned to the weighing room I knew I was OK.”

McGrath was carried from the course on a stretcher and taken to hospital with a suspected back injury.

Geraghty declared himself fit and was soon spotted limping painfully into the paddock before the Spinal Research Gold Cup.

“If he can walk he will ride,” suggested his great rival Ruby Walsh with a degree of accuracy.

Geraghty then landed an improbable victory in the big race on Quantitativeeasing with a door- die effort that defied belief.

He went on to complete a treble for himself and his boss Nicky Henderson on the stable”s talented duo Grandouet and Oscar Whisky.

Grandouet is now 5-1 for the Champion Hurdle, while Oscar Whisky is bound for the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

Plenty left: Barry Geraghty and Grandouet (centre) clear the last from Overturn (left) and Brampour (right)

Plenty left: Barry Geraghty and Grandouet (centre) clear the last from Overturn (left) and Brampour (right)

Both hurdlers won with plenty to spare. In startling contrast, the only time Quantitativeeasing looked like prevailing was when he thrust his head willingly between the two leaders, Roudoudou Ville and Medermit in the shadow of the post.

Geraghty admitted: “We were struggling the whole way and could not have got to the front any sooner. Luckily, he pinged the last four fences to give us a chance going to the last.”

Henderson, celebrating his 61th birthday, added: “We were further back than we intended and needed a long run-in today.”

Geraghty took the ride when champion AP McCoy opted to partner Sunnyhillboy, the 7-2 favourite, which failed to fire.