Tag Archives: ladbrokes

Ladbrokes refund 200k of bets after 11 Godolphin horses test positive for anabolic steroids

Ladbrokes refund 200k of bets after 11 Godolphin horses test positive for anabolic steroids

St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni” class=”blkBorder” />

Scandal: 2012 St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni

‘I can only apologise for the damage this will cause to Godolphin and to racing generally.’

When jumps trainer Howard Johnson was banned for four years in 2010, one year was a result of positive steroid tests.

None of the Al Zarooni horses to test positive can currently run.

His stable was subject to a random test on April 9.

No date has been set for the hearing.

Football betting guide for Jan 1-2 2013

THE BETTING SLIP: Top tips and ones to watch in our gambling guide for the New Year fixtures

|

UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 31 December 2012

The Premier League produced 41 goals over two thrilling days at the weekend and if QPR had managed to make it 42 we would have finished 2012 on a high.

But they didn't. So, we didn't.

Goals Galore, as the 'both teams to score' bet is known with some bookies, was well named for punters who follow the English top flight.

Ruinous: Adel Taarabt and his team-mates failed to score

Ruinous: Adel Taarabt and his team-mates failed to score

But from over here, the Hoops drawing a
blank against Liverpool was hard to watch after Norwich, Manchester
City, Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham, Sunderland,

Everton and Chelsea had all scored and the Reds broke the deadlock early doors at Loftus Road.

A goal for Harry Redknapp's side would
have completed a five-timer at around 14/1 and provided a tidy wee sum
for the first assault of 2013.

The attack is still on though, and who better to lead it than the Gunners.

Arsenal have hardly put a foot wrong
since their Capital One Cup calamity against Bradford and put seven past
Newcastle on Saturday evening.

Theo Walcott helped himself to a
treble and his former club Southampton (who shared six goals with Stoke)
will not be looking forward to his return to the south coast.

Homecoming: Theo Walcott (left) is in fine fettle and Saints need to watch out

Homecoming: Theo Walcott (left) is in fine fettle and Saints need to watch out

Saints have lost all six matches against top-seven opponents and were crushed 6-1 at the Emirates earlier in the season.

The 8/11 (Ladbrokes) on an away win should be snapped up.

West Brom (21/20) also jump off the page against a Fulham side with just one win in their last 12 Premier League fixtures.

Baggies manager Steve Clarke was
fairly satisfied with the performance if not the result as his team lost
2-0 against table-topping Manchester United at Old Trafford and the
same effort again should be enough to see off the Cottagers.

Add in Crystal Palace (10/11) at home
to Wolves and Leicester (8/15) against Huddersfield and a tenner on the
four returns just over 100.

Not too bad: Although West Brom lost to United, they should beat Fulham

Not too bad: Although West Brom lost to United, they should beat Fulham

Goals galore… again

'Both teams to score' is THE popular bet in shops and online and I'm not letting QPR put me off.

Four to give you a run for your money on Tuesday and Wednesday are Swansea v Aston Villa (the Welshmen will win this but Paul Lambert's youngsters can't go another game without finding the net), West Ham v Norwich, Newcastle v Everton and St Mirren v Kilmarnock.

All four correct pays just under 8/1 with Coral.

Three is the magic number

Theo Walcott took the match ball home with him after his hat-trick downed the Magpies on Saturday and he is 33/1 (widely available) to do the same to his old employers at St Mary's.

Walcott is 11/2 with bet365 for the opener and 11/8 with most firms to score at any time.

Michael van Gerwen beats James Wade to book place in World Darts final

Mighty Mike hits maximum on the way to booking final place after seeing off Wade

PUBLISHED:

22:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

Michael van Gerwen tonight reached the Ladbrokes World Championship final and went agonisingly close to historic back-to-back nine-dart finishes in his semi-final win over James Wade.

Van Gerwen was leading three sets to one but trailing 2-0 in the fifth set when he produced a perfect leg, matching the achievement of Dean Winstanley earlier in the tournament.

The Dutchman hit a maximum 180, 177 and then finished 144 on double 12 to send the Alexandra Palace crowd wild.

Cloud nine: Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect nine dart finish on the way to booking his place in the final

Cloud nine: Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect nine dart finish on the way to booking his place in the final

And the fans were still on their feet moments later when the speedy right-hander hit two more maximums to start the next leg and narrowly missed double 12 for a checkout on 141.

Remarkably, Van Gerwen did not even win the set, with Englishman Wade holding his nerve to win the fifth leg and reduce his deficit.

The left-hander won the next set as well to make it 3-3, but Van Gerwen regained his composure to open up a 5-3 lead and looked set to seal the win when he needed 52 to win the ninth set.

In top form: Van Gerwen has looked at his very best in the World Championships

In top form: Van Gerwen has looked at his very best in the World Championships

However, he hit single five instead of 12 and ended up missing his only dart at double 20, allowing Wade in to make it 5-4.

Wade was unable to take further advantage though, Van Gerwen racing through the next set 3-0 to complete a hard-fought 6-4 victory.

On the money: Van Gerwen celebrates his perfect leg

On the money: Van Gerwen celebrates his perfect leg

'It was unbelievable,' Van Gerwen said. 'It was a very difficult game for me because Wade is a very slow player and I had not beaten him on TV, but it was a nice one to win.”

Asked about attempting to hit his second nine-dart finish, Van Gerwen added on Sky Sports 1: 'I was very concentrated, thinking 'Just carry on' because I was 2-1 down in the set and I still lost it, but it's not about nine-dart finishes, it's about winning games.

'It's nice to be in the final of the World Championships.'

Beaten man: James Wade looks dejected after losing the semi final

Beaten man: James Wade looks dejected after losing the semi final

Darts at Alexandra Palace – why everyone loves it

Why even the Queen loves darts at Christmas in the madhouse of the Palace (that's Ally Pally, of course…)

|

UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 26 December 2012

Friday night at the Palace. Her Majesty the Queen sweeps into the room, with Philip, Charles and Camilla in tow. All in her presence greet her with curtsies and cheers before spontaneously bursting into a hearty rendition of the national anthem.

But Her Majesty suddenly stumbles in her heels, loses her stately poise and crashes into Charles. The four-pint pitcher of Carlsberg she was balancing on her handbag sloshes down Camilla’s dress.

A great mocking cheer goes up from those nearby – from Mario and Luigi, from the six traffic cones and from Captain America.

Then the thudding beat kicks in, the lights go up and a party like nothing ever before seen at the Palace starts. The guests at the back start doing the Poznan, Spiderman is dancing Gangnam style on a table with a Christmas tree and the Royals spill more lager as they chant ‘Oi Oi Oi’ in chorus.

Festive fun: The Ladbrokes girls warm the crowd up at Alexandra Palace before Christmas

Festive fun: The Ladbrokes girls warm the crowd up at Alexandra Palace before Christmas

Playing second fiddle: The action on the oche is often competing for the limelight

Playing second fiddle: The action on the oche is often competing for the limelight

The Queen is in most nights, they all are. How could they stay away It’s brash, bombastic and brilliant. It’s fancy dress, froth and frolics. It can only be darts.

For six years now, sportsmen with a build closer to Henry VIII than Adonis have congregated at the Alexandra Palace just before Christmas to chance their arm at the Ladbrokes PDC World Championships.

And while the thousands in the sell-out crowd let off steam, 72 players from around the globe compete on the oche for a 200,000 jackpot and the honour of being crowned the first world champion of the sporting year.

A very British sport played in every pub from Penzance to Penrith feels snuggly at home at a place christened by its Victorian benefactors as the “Palace of the People” – but behind-the-scenes and away from the glare of the Sky cameras, the tournament has the feel of a travelling show.

Just a couple of days before the first darts were thrown, the great auditorium in which darts legends such as Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld perform was full of nervous students sitting accountancy exams.

Stand-out dress: Pals enjoy a beer in their Where's Wally outfits

Stand-out dress: Pals enjoy a beer in their Where's Wally outfits

Sealed with a Kiss: This rock 'n roll fan didn't hold back with his fancy dress gear

Sealed with a Kiss: This rock 'n roll fan didn't hold back with his fancy dress gear

The stands and the 120ft stage were assembled through the night. The rigs, jibs and cameras are painstakingly positioned by an army of Sky Sports technicians within hours of the start. The “best seat in the house” studio from which Dave Clark fronts broadcasts to every continent of the world is a precarious Meccano set of steel scaffolding, perspex and black drapes.

Underneath the 200ft tall ceilings of the Palace’s great function rooms, underneath the iconic classical frescoes, the Sky trailers, screens and endless miles of cables are wheeled in alongside the incalculable gallons of ale and the well-stocked pantries of pie and mash.

This fleeting feel to what is the annual highlight of the sport only adds to the earthy, all-embracing and all-round enjoyable nature of darts. It’s a formula that the sport’s head honcho, Barry Hearn, has got nailed down.

‘99.9 per cent of fans who come to the Ally Pally are there to have a good time,’ he says. ‘There’s a lot of worry in people’s lives at the moment – they’re worried about their job, about paying the bills, about affording things for Christmas.

‘But they can come here on their Christmas party or with their family, forget about all those things for a while and have a good time while not breaking the bank.

Girls night out: But most of the crowd are guys enjoying a beer with their mates

Girls night out: But most of the crowd are guys enjoying a beer with their mates

Making their point: Fans are encouraged to write their signs for the cameras

Making their point: Fans are encouraged to write their signs for the cameras

‘It’s a sport for the people because the players are just like them, just normal blokes. It’s not like football, where they jump in to a Ferrari, speed off, have a crash and then jump into their second Ferrari. I remember when Phil Taylor – the 15-time champion of the world – was earning 75 a week as a lathe operator in Stoke-on-Trent.

‘It’s that kind of game that’s open to anyone, it’s a classless sport which is enjoyed by everyone from the bloke down the pub to the Royal family.’

It’s funny that Hearn should mention the Royals – and I don’t mean those in fancy dress. Sat up in the Sky studio, surveying the magnificent arena below, Dave Clark beams as he recalls the moment last year when Adrian Lewis, caught up in the euphoria of winning a second successive title, unwittingly planted a wet celebratory kiss on the forehead of Prince Harry, who had come backstage to congratulate him.

‘That’s the beauty of this sport,’ says Clark, who has fronted Sky’s annual 100 hours of live coverage for a decade now. ‘You never know what’s going to happen. It’s unscripted drama and entertainment the entire time, both up on the oche and up here in the studio. We never prepare anything, it’s all spontaneous and based on the strength of character of these players.’

The excitement on this occasion is about the 23-year-old Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, just one of a good 10 players who have a feasible chance of winning the Sid Waddell Trophy in an incredibly open field.

The dark and claustrophobic commentary booth underneath the studio is a quieter place this year in the absence of Waddell, the “Voice of Darts” for 40 years who passed away in August. The trophy is a fitting tribute to him and the description of it – “made from the same Eritrean marble as used by Michelangelo in the Sistine chapel” – almost passable as one of his inimitable soundbites.

Where's Darth Vader Fans queue up to see the darts stars walk up to the stage

Where's Darth Vader Fans queue up to see the darts stars walk up to the stage

The future's darts, the future's orange: Dressing up is part of the fun

The future's darts, the future's orange: Dressing up is part of the fun

While the coverage may not be scripted,
Clark and the commentators can fall back on a 75-strong team who produce
the polished final product screened around the world. The Sky trailers
are like NASA mission control, with the producers able to see about four
dozen different feeds and every conceivable angle.

Throwing up on the oche, even when there’s nobody in the audience, is like a daunting experience – like being caught up in the glare of a great eye. It’s no wonder the players sweat under the heat of the lights, while every expression is captured by a bank of camera lenses trained at every part of your body.

For the semi-finals and finals, eight additional cameras for Sky’s 3D coverage will further magnify the scrutiny. There’s going to be a camera directly above the board, to create the effect that the darts are being flung straight through your TV screen.

The feeds are stitched together by a team who sit and control in a tiny trailer for five or six hours without pause, every second committed to industrial-sized hard drives (no tapes any more) linked by giant fibre optic snakes of wires. Replays are captured in a split-second and on air before you can yell ‘One hundred aaaannnddd eighty..’

‘Everywhere around the world, from the USA to New Zealand, people are watching the darts,’ says Hearn. ‘Watching darts take off over these last few years have been one of the most satisfying moments in my life and my career.

Leading the way: Top players like Phil Taylor are adored by the Alexandra Palace masses

Leading the way: Top players like Phil Taylor are adored by the Alexandra Palace masses

‘In some countries like Germany, we
started off playing tournament in front of 50 people. Now we get 3,000
or more. Over a million watch every night in Holland (the Dutch TV
companies have started bringing their own equipment and have colonised
part of the press tent).

‘Where next The Middle East and Japan – we’ll take the superstars there, go global!’

Back in the auditorium, the 'jimmy jib' boom camera makes another sweep over the audience as ‘Chase the Sun’ – the song by Italian electronica outfit Planet Funk discovered entirely by chance by a Sky producer to become a metaphor for darts – kicks in again.

It captures the fans dancing on their chairs and waving their red signs with long-mulled over messages scrawled on them in black marker pen, it captured the dodgy dress sense and the dodgier dance moves. It even captures the bouncers turfing people out seemingly at random for getting a bit too involved in it all.

From the pub to the Palace, this travelling, sporting show of darts is genuinely unlike anything else.

The Ladbrokes World Championship is live on Sky Sports HD including the semi-finals and final in 3D. Join the conversation at #Ladbrokesdarts.

Dean Winstanley hits nine dart finish against Vincent van der Voort at World darts championship

Winstanley nets 15k bonus after hitting nine darter… but it is not enough to stop Van der Voort knocking him out

|

UPDATED:

19:01 GMT, 23 December 2012

In a madcap half-hour at Ally Pally, Dean Winstanley experienced the ecstasy of throwing only the fourth perfect nine-dart leg in the history of the Ladbrokes.com PDC World Championship and then the agony of defeat.

A 15,000 bonus cheque and a more sumptuous Christmas dinner will be the material comforts to absorb a 4-2 second-round defeat by Vincent van der Voort, but the Yorkshireman will be able to dine out on his achievement for years to come.

Winstanley said: ‘No doubt about it, I’d rather have won the match than got the nine-darter but I’ve hit a nine-darter on TV and I still want to go out and scream as much as I want to go out and cry. I’m going to go back for Christmas and have the biggest, fattest turkey ever with gravy dribbling down my chin, the lot. I’m happy. Really happy.’

Cloud nine: Dean Winstanley shakes hands with Vincent van der Voort after scoring a 9 darter

Cloud nine: Dean Winstanley shakes hands with Vincent van der Voort after scoring a 9 darter

What made Winstanley’s perfect moment all the more remarkable in his first season on the PDC Tour was the fact he stood two sets down and had won just a single leg in the match at the time.

Sprinting manically across the giant stage to celebrate with his wife Lorraine, he initially used the adrenaline rush to draw level with Van der Voort before losing concentration as the game moved into its final stages. It turned out that his Dutch opponent had good reason not to panic among the pandemonium.

Van der Voort revealed: ‘The moment Dean hit it I thought: “I’ve had two nine-darters against me before in my life and I won both matches”. So that helped me a little bit.’ Van der Voort plays James Wade, a 4-2 winner over Steve Beaton, in the third round on Thursday.

Perfect darts: Winstanley on his way to his nine dart finish

Perfect darts: Winstanley on his way to his nine dart finish

It was sportsmanship of the highest order rather than technical brilliance which threatened to work against Mark Walsh in his encounter with Justin Pipe.

Leading 3-1 and requiring one more set for victory, Walsh saw his opponent snap a stem off his dart during a throw.

Not enough: Despite the nine dart finish Vincent van der Voort beat Winstanley

Not enough: Despite the nine dart finish Vincent van der Voort beat Winstanley

Unable to fix the problem initially, Pipe had left his spare darts at home and was forced to ask if he could borrow one of Walsh’s reserve set while former world No 1 Rod Harrington repaired his projectile.

Walsh agreed willingly, then watched as Pipe mounted a comeback and almost took the game into a deciding set before clinching a 4-2 victory.

Walsh said: ‘I didn’t want to claim the game by default. I’d rather beat him on merit than he couldn’t throw his darts any more or be timed out.

Held up: Referee Russ Bray tries to fix one of Justin Pipe's broken darts in his match against Mark Walsh

Held up: Referee Russ Bray tries to fix one of Justin Pipe's broken darts in his match against Mark Walsh

'I wouldn’t like anything like that. Not just to Justin, to any player. I haven’t got a nasty bone in my body.

‘Sid Waddell used to call me a hooligan because of my image, but I’m not. I’m a really nice guy. You ask any player. I’m probably the nicest person in darts.

‘It doesn’t matter who I play, I want to beat them on my own merits. I don’t want to beat them by default.’

Peter "Snakebite" Wright shows off crazy haircut

Hair-raising! Darts star Peter 'Snakebite' Wright shows off arguably the maddest haircut ever seen on a sportsman

|

UPDATED:

13:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright put on a show in the first round of the Ladbrokes World Championship.

The wacky darts player scored four 180s as he fought past 22-year-old Arron Monk yesterday. Other winners included James Wade and Mark Webster.

But as enthralling as Wright's performance was his hairdo.

Peter 'Snakebite' Wright wins his first round match in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship

The eccentric darts player beat Arron Monk at Alexandra Palace last night

Wright is known for showing off a
collection of weird and wonderful hairstyles, which change at every
tournament. They are created by his wife, Joanne, who is a professional
hairdresser.

The 42-year-old often has snakes painted onto one side of his head to honour his nickname, which comes from his favourite drink.

He has even had special ‘Snakebite’
darts created which change colour in different lights, reflecting the
chameleon nature of his hair.

Peter 'Snakebite' Wright competes in the Labrokes World Darts Championship

Peter Wright competed at the Ladbrokes Darts World Championship at Alexandra Palace

Wright likes to co-ordinate his look and has had special darts designed which change colour in different light

Peter Wright competes with Phil 'The Power' Taylor at Alexandra Palace

The 42-year-old has his wife design and create his wacky hairstyles

While the style is certainly flamboyant, Wright usually pulls off his original look. Other sporting stars have been less fortunate.

The most ridiculous hairstyles in the
world of sport are more often found in football, with Ronaldo’s 2002
World Cup hairdo surely being the most bizarre.

Colombian Carlos Valderrama also
sported a unique bushy hairstyle back in the 1990s, and Taribo West
went through a period of favouring green dreadlocks, usually worn in
bunches while he played.

Ronaldo of Brazil in the 2002 World Cup Final against Germany

Carlos Valderrama played for Colombia in the 1998 World Cup

Ronaldo and Carlos Valderrama are two footballers who have shown off an individual sense of style

Nigerian defender Taribo West holds off Peter Moeller

Nigerian defender Taribo West sported unique hairstyle during the 1998 Soccer World Cup

Not bad for a rugby player! Care pockets 2,000 with a 10 Champions League bet

Not bad for a rugby player! Care pockets 2,000 with a 10 Champions League bet

|

UPDATED:

16:39 GMT, 7 November 2012

A lot of professional sportsmen enjoy the occasional flutter, but rarely do they come off quite as spectacularly as Danny Care’s latest gamble.

The England scrum-half put 10 on a four-match accumulator involving Tuesday’s night’s Champions League action and, lo and behold, all four matches — Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City v Ajax, Dynamo Kiev v Porto and Schalke v Arsenal — ended in draws to win 2,011.10.

The Harlequins No 9 tweeted ‘Ladbrokes just took a hammering….. #cheers boiii!!’ and included a picture of his betting slip.

Jackpot: Danny Care shows off his accumulator betting slip

Jackpot: Danny Care shows off his accumulator betting slip

It looked as if a surprise Real Madrid defeat would cost him his jackpot, but a late free kick from Mesut Ozil completed the clean sweep, cueing Care to tweet: ‘Ozil…..what a legend!’

‘Haven’t won an accumulator in ages so can’t claim to be any good at them! 4 draws always fun to have a dabble on! Me and @roryclegg happy boys!’

Training hard: Danny Care passes the ball during an England training session at Pennyhill Park

Training hard: Danny Care passes the ball during an England training session at Pennyhill Park

England face Fiji, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in consecutive Tests at Twickenham starting on Saturday with head coach Stuart Lancaster naming his team on Thursday morning.

Richard Hughes wins seven of eight at Windsor

Seventh heaven! Hughes claims string of Windsor wins at odds of 10,168-1

|

UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 15 October 2012

Red riding: Richard Hughes won seven of his eight races at Windsor on Monday

Red riding: Richard Hughes won seven of his eight races at Windsor on Monday

Richard Hughes rode his way into the racing record books with his own fantastic 10,168-1 seven-timer at Windsor on Monday.

The 39-year-old jockey, who is on the verge of his first championship, won on all but one of his mounts to become the first jockey to ride seven winners at a meeting since Frankie Dettori's Magnificent Seven at Ascot on September 28, 1996.

Hughes said: 'I'm over the moon. I always thought I might do it one day at Windsor – my lucky track. It’s one thing after another this year, it’s been great.'

HUGHES' SEVEN WINNERS

Pivotal Movement 13-8

East Texas Red 5-2

Embankment 7-1

Magic Secret 4-1

Links Drive Lady 5-2

Duke Of Clarence 7-4

Mama Quilla 15-8

Hughes, who has ridden 161 winners this season, leads nearest title race pursuer William Buick by a massive 47 wins.

His winning roll started with
three-and-a quarter length success of Pivotal Movement in the colours of
Sir Alex Ferguson and trained by his boss and father-in-law Richard
Hannon, who supplied three of his winners.

The opportunity to go through the
eight-race card was blown when Ever Fortune could only finish third in
race six – the mile handicap.

But the Irishman was back in the
winner’s enclosure with a rallying effort on Hannon’s Duke of Clarence
before Ryan Moore stood down to allow his friend to pick up the
successful mount on William Haggas-trained Mama Quilla in the final
race.

Hughes celebrated with his own (less flamboyant) version of the Dettori flying dismount.

Bookmakers bemoaned the result but said the day was nowhere near as financially damaging as Dettori's 20,095-1 achievement which cost the industry 40million.

David Williams of Ladbrokes, who said
one client had won almost 250,000 for a 256 Hughes-related bet, said:
‘It would be wrong to liken it to Dettori day which was a Saturday with
terrestrial TV coverage but we have not had as bleak a midweek day for
a long time.’

'That was probably the cheapest
seven-timer ever for the bookies,' said William Hill spokesperson, Kate
Miller. 'The last time a high-profile jockey rode a big seven-timer it
cost us 7million, so we're very grateful that Richard timed his on a
quiet Monday.

'We'll pay out around 100,000 but the figure could easily have been 10 times that if he'd chosen this Saturday instead.'

The record for winners at a meeting
outside of Britain is held by US jockey Eddie Castro, who rode nine from
11 mounts at Calder in 2005.

Ryder Cup 2012: Jose Maria Olazabal congratulated by King Juan Carlos of Spain

Royal flush for the king of clubs… Olazabal stunned by reaction to miracle at Medinah

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 2 October 2012

For a man who had just spoken to the King of Spain, Jose Maria Olazabal was remarkably unshaven.

The stubble was in contrast to the
smartness of the European team blazer he wore, a grey-with-check number
that looked very Alan Whicker circa 1973.

That is how Olazabal, the winning
Ryder Cup captain, turned up to carry that brilliant gold yet somewhat
spindly trophy through the doors of a slick Heathrow hotel to talk about
one of the great sporting turnarounds in history.

Scroll down for video

Bringing the Ryder Cup home: Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal speaks at Heathrow

Bringing the Ryder Cup home: Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal speaks at Heathrow

Rapture was expressed in the 100-plus
messages and calls, including one from Rafael Nadal, that his phone had
bleeped with until he turned the infernal thing off. His Majesty Juan
Carlos I somehow got through.

Who’ll follow Ollie

Jose Maria Olazabal has said he will not captain Europe in 2014, so who is likely to succeed him at Gleneagles in Scotland

SAM CUNNINGHAM looks at the candidates…

PAUL McGINLEY, 45, Ireland, Evens
Holed the winning putt in 2002 Ryder Cup.

DARREN CLARKE, 44, N Ireland, 5-1
Won his first major in 2011, after 20 years.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE, 49, Scotland, 5-1
Won the Ryder Cup as captain in 2010.

THOMAS BJORN, 41, Denmark, 5-1
In 1999, he was first Dane picked for Ryder Cup.

PAUL LAWRIE, 43, Scotland, 14-1
Says he will accept the captaincy if asked.

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ, 48, Spain, 16-1
A veteran of five Ryder Cups as a player.

All odds by Ladbrokes

‘The phone’s been hot,’ said
Olazabal. ‘There is one call that stunned me. The king called a few
minutes ago. He was, like me, over the moon.’

Olazabal talked of a ‘wonderful’
outcome. Of ‘emotion’. He conducted himself with a laugh and a smile and
a self-deprecation and an honesty that could only win over the room,
just as it had seized the imaginations of the 12 heroes he marshalled on
a golf course in Chicago.

‘I slept a little bit last night,’
said Olazabal, 46. ‘It was the first time since Friday. I have been
running on adrenaline. What they did was just extraordinary. The whole
world did not believe we could do it. We did. It is incredible.’

At his side was the Belgian putting
machine and party animal Nicolas Colsaerts, who declared himself the
last man standing at the celebrations.

Not unrelated to the foregoing, his
voice was hoarse. He still managed to say of Olazabal: ‘As everybody
knows, he is a very passionate man. He made it clear to us that winning
the Cup was very special to him. We knew the importance of it to this
man’s life — as it was to Seve’s.’

Olazabal, overcome with emotion on TV
on Sunday night, looked down at the table as the glowing words were
spoken. His eyes glistened when he looked up again.

All smiles: Olazabal and Nicolas Colsaerts (right), one member of the European team, with the cup

All smiles: Olazabal and Nicolas Colsaerts (right), one member of the European team, with the cup

They're back: (From left) Nicolas Colsaerts, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, Francesco Molinari, Paul McGinley and Miguel Angel Jimenez pose with the trophy after landing at Heathrow

They're back: (From left) Colsaerts, vice-captain Darren Clarke, Lee
Westwood, Olazabal, Francesco Molinari and vice-captains Paul McGinley
and Miguel Angel Jimenez pose with the trophy after landing at Heathrow

Olazabal had worn dark glasses to
hide his grief when his great friend and European talisman Seve
Ballesteros was buried last year, next to a Magnolia tree in his garden
in the Spanish fishing village of Pedrena.

Olazabal was asked whether he would
take the Cup to Ballesteros’s grave. ‘I might,’ he said. But such talk,
like that of the late five-time major winner being the 13th man in the
team, somehow seems mawkish and maudlin when it is overdone.

Although Olazabal claimed Ballesteros
‘maybe put a bit of magic into the players’, happily he did not linger
on the sentimentality more than needed.

Thumbs up: Lee Westwood

Come here you: Jose Maria Olazabal and Lee Westwood

All smiles: Westwood gave his captain Olazabal a hug at the airport

There was a palpable sense of relief
in Olazabal’s post-Cup euphoria. Also a memory of the intrusion and
helplessness he endured on the journey to victory.

First, he is a resolutely private man
and the public exposure the captaincy placed on him was an unwelcome
burden. ‘You are in the public eye all the time and that is not
something I liked,’ he said.

Second, what can you do as a captain other than cajole when you hold a walkie-talkie not a club in your hand

‘It is not more pressure than when you are playing; it is a different kind of pressure,’ he said.

Belgian bomber: Colsaerts had a storming debut

Belgian bomber: Colsaerts had a storming debut

Natural leader: Team Europe skipper Olazabal

Natural leader: Team Europe skipper Olazabal

‘You have to take care of the little
things. Be close to players. Motivate players. When you are out there,
there is nothing you can do. It is up to them. It is tough. It is
torture.

‘You hear that Martin Kaymer has two
putts to retain the Cup. Then that he is six foot beyond the hole. No
way. It is tough on your nerves. It is a huge adrenaline flow. It is
what you live for.’

He added of the ice-veined Kaymer: ‘He’s German. You can rely on German engineering these days.’

Modern convention of having a one-term captain dictates that Olazabal will not be in charge of the side at Gleneagles in 2014.

‘Clearly, I won’t do it again,’ he
said, declining to single out a chosen successor. He did, however, name
Paul Lawrie alongside Irishmen Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke, two of
his vice-captains, as contenders. A decision will be made in January.

But for Olazabal now it is time to
catch up on sleep, watch some TV and hit a few balls with his dad in San
Sebastian. His rest is well earned.

VIDEO: Ryder Cup Champion Nicolas Colsaerts: 'This is an unbelievable experience'

DM.has('rcpv1872879228001','BCVideo');

Joseph O"Brien holds his nerve as Camelot chases historic Triple Crown in St Ledger

O'Brien holds his nerve as Camelot chases historic Triple Crown in St Ledger

|

UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 14 September 2012

He is the boy who took on a man's job, defying the old adage in spectacular fashion, and who now stands on the verge of history.

Jockey Joseph O'Brien appears devoid
of nerves ahead riding 2-5 favourite Camelot against eight opponents in
Saturday's Ladbrokes St Leger.

That's the advantage of having 19-years-old's perspective, untainted by the creeping fear of failure.

Favourite: Camelot ridden by jockey Joseph O'Brien

Favourite: Camelot ridden by jockey Joseph O'Brien

Securing the Triple Crown would ensure O'Brien's name is as entwined with his mount as that of legendary Lester Piggott is with Nijinsky, the last horse to achieve the feat 42 years ago.

Success would also make O'Brien the youngest winner of the world's oldest Classic since 18-year-old Samuel Day was successful on Mango in 1837 and offer further vindication of his father, trainer Aidan O'Brien, to make him the No 1 jockey at his Ballydoyle stable.

The wisdom handing the massive responsibility to the youngster was questioned. This job of riding for Europe's biggest stable and its Coolmore Sud backers has chewed up and spat out top riders like Jamie Spencer, Mick Kinane and Johnny Murtagh.

But while there have been minor setbacks, Joseph has landed a remarkable 10 group one races since last year's Leger meeting.

Kinane, who landed 2001 Leger for O'Brien on Milan, said: 'It's probably a bit easier because Aidan is his father and they have formed a good team. He has had support which some of us wouldn't have had at certain times when things started to go wrong and you are left a bit isolated.

'It's a good family environment which is important but he seems to have a good racing brain tactically. He knows it's a pressure cooker job and he's handles it well.' There was never much doubt O'Brien, who attended Rockwell College near Cashel in Co Tipperary, would be a jockey.

He said: 'Dad always said never let school interfere with my education. I passed my exams but I never liked school. When I was in there all I ever wanted to do was ride on the gallops.

'I played a bit of hurling, soccer and rugby but I didn't last long playing rugby. I was on the wing but I was thrown about a bit.

'I've been around horses since I can remember. I was quite young when we came to Ballydoyle but remember Galileo. Istabraq was a great horse but Camelot is up with the best of them. 'I've seen all the videos of Nijinsky and Lester Piggott but if Camelot could emulate him it would be unbelievable. 'There no such thing as a certainty in racing but Camelot has the form going into the race. He is a Guineas and Derby winner.

'He'll be hard to beat but over a mile and six, you never know until you go and do it. It's that extra two furlongs. It does not sound much but it is a long, long way and a lot further than he's run before.'

The ticking time bomb behind Joseph's career is physiological.

Can a wafer-thin six-footer remain a Flat jockey long-term despite a strict regime meaning he is currently winning this battle.

He added: 'I can do 8st 12lb if I really have to but I try keep it at 9st. If you try to kill yourself all year, you are not going to last. You'd fry your own head if you were in the sauna every day of the week.

'I would like to ride over jumps but it's very tough when you see the likes of Ruby (Walsh) and AP (McCoy) and the injuries they have. They are the best ever but it is a long way down the road.

'Adrenaline kicks ins. You never feel tired in a race no matter how bad you feel before when you are wasting but when you get to ride a horse like Camelot it is all worth it.

'He's a jockeys dream. It comes very naturally to him. He comes alive in your hands. He's not like any other horse I have ridden – he is very special'