Tag Archives: royal

Reading owner"s wife: Katsia Zingarevich royal beauty perks up club"s relegation scrap

Reading's striking options: Royals owner's wife in bid to help ailing club beat the drop

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:52 GMT, 1 March 2013

Second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, having being thumped 3-0 at home to Wigan last week, Reading can be forgiven for seeking inspiration from any source possible. And, it seems the owner’s wife is rallying behind the Royals' bid for survival.

Belarusian bombshell Katsia Zingarevich, wife of Reading owner Anton, is desperate for the Royals to win three points against Everton tomorrow — at least according to the lingerie brand Intimissimi she endorses.

Mrs Zingarevich earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World back in 2006, the same year Reading were first promoted to the Barclays Premier League, so perhaps that’s a good omen.

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

It will be an odd afternoon for Reading
midfielder Hope Akpan, who admits he will get a buzz from facing his
boyhood club again.

The 21-year-old joined the Toffees as an eight-year-old and remained at Goodison Park until a move to Crawley in 2011.

He then penned a deal with Reading in the recent January transfer window and will go back to face his boyhood club this weekend.

'Going
back to where I started my career from a young age is going to be
exciting, definitely, but I’m a Reading player now and I want to do well
for Reading,' he said.

'At the end of the day it is just another game so I’ve got to go out with the same mentality as I do every time I play.

Katsia

katsia

Katsia

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

'It is a massive game for Reading Football Club because, in the position we are, we need to get out of there and we need the points more than anything so I will put everything to one side and concentrate on getting a result for Reading.”

Reading lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Wigan last weekend to fall back into the relegation places in the Premier League.

But Akpan claims the players are not letting the defeat play on their minds and believes a positive result at Everton is achievable.

'After a result like we had on Saturday I think we just need to let it go,' he said.

'It was a bad day for the players and the club, we’ve moved on now and are ready for the game on Saturday.

'Every
game you go into you have to believe that you can get the points from
the game. Everton are a strong team throughout the entire squad but we
have to make sure we implement ourselves on them.”

Brian
McDermott’s Reading side picked up their first win of the season
against Everton in November and a decent run of form after Christmas saw
the Berkshire club push towards top-flight safety.

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

The loss to Wigan has pulled Reading right back into the relegation battle but Akpan is enjoying playing under McDermott and is targeting a result on Saturday before a clash at home to Aston Villa the following week.

'We built a good momentum a couple of weeks back and got some good results back-to-back,' he said.

'That is the way to pick up points so hopefully we can get a result here and then go into the Villa game.

'He is a great guy, the gaffer. He gets his point across well and the things he has told me to do I have tried to implement them in the games so it has been really good.'

Newcastle defender Danny Simpson knocked out in Manchester street fight

Newcastle defender Simpson 'OK' after bloody 4am brawl in Manchester

By
Tom Wilkinson, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

09:18 GMT, 4 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 4 February 2013

Danny Simpson was left bleeding and unconscious in the street after a bloody 4am brawl outside a takeaway in Manchester.

The Newcastle defender, who is expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season, was out celebrating his side's last-gasp 3-2 win over Chelsea on Saturday evening.

He had recovered enough by Monday morning to tweet: 'For the record im okay, 2 on 1 well done!'

Battler: But Danny Simpson could be on his way out of Newcastle

Battler: But Danny Simpson could be on his way out of Newcastle

Simpson's argument was said to have
kicked off outside the Rice Flamebar and Grill in Manchester in the
early hours of Sunday morning after the night out at the exclusive
Circle Club.

But after leaving the night spot on his own to get food, he reportedly got into a scrap with a fellow punter while queuing for his kebab.

'Him and this guy started getting aggressive with each other,' a source told The Sun. 'They started scuffling. The man was pushing and shoving Danny and he just lost it. He punched him and he dropped to the ground.'

Manchester United graduate: Simpson remains good friends with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley

Manchester United graduate: Simpson remains good friends with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley

But while he attempted to leave in the
back of a taxi, two bouncers are said to have to have dragged him out
and punched him in the face, leaving him unconscious on the floor for 15
minutes before an ambulance arrived on the scene.

The source added: 'He dropped to the floor and was half on the pavement, half on the road with blood pouring from his mouth. He was in a bad way. It looked like he’d been knocked out.'

An ambulance spokesperson confirmed a man was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary following the incident, while police said they were called to the takeaway restaurant after reports of an assault but a man with 'minor injuries' did not wish to make a complaint.

Out of favour: Simpson has not been a Newcastle regular of late

Out of favour: Simpson has not been a Newcastle regular of late

The following morning Simpson wrote on his Twitter page that he was enjoying spending some time with his young
daughter.

He tweeted: 'Sunday chill out with my little girl.'

Fulham and West Ham are among those reported to be interested in signing Simpson on a free transfer in the summer.

Billy Joe Saunders beats Nick Blackwell to keep Commonwealth middleweight title and win British belt

Classy Saunders beats Blackwell to add British belt to Commonwealth title

|

UPDATED:

02:54 GMT, 16 December 2012

Billy Joe Saunders retained his Commonwealth middleweight title and added the vacant British belt to his growing collection with a unanimous points win over Nick Blackwell.

The former Olympian, who remains undefeated after 16 professional contests, was forced to dig deep during the middle rounds but his class was reflected by scores of 117-112, 116-113 and 115-114 on the judges' cards.

Blackwell, who was fighting for the British strap for the second time, provided a stern test for the 23-year-old, but faded in the second half of the fight.

Champion: Billy Joe Saunders celebrates with his belts after victory over Nick Blackwell

Champion: Billy Joe Saunders celebrates with his belts after victory over Nick Blackwell

Saunders, 22, was fighting for the fourth time in a busy 2012 but only once had he been pushed, when winning a unanimous decision over Bradley Pryce in June.

In winning the vacant Commonwealth strap in April, Tony Hill was brutally dispatched in just 30 seconds at the Royal Albert Hall.

Unbeaten Australian Jarrod Fletcher last slightly longer when he made the trip to London but only until the second round when he too was stopped.

Blackwell's only previous defeat meanwhile came against world title challenger Martin Murray who faces WBC champion Sergio Martinez in Argentina next spring.

The 22-year-old emerged via the unlicensed circuit, winning all 18 of his fights before turning professional in 2009.

Since losing to Murray last summer, Blackwell had stopped his four subsequent opponents, most recently Mikheil Khutsishvili in May.

After a tense opening to the first round, Saunders began to exert control, landing with several flurries while Blackwell struggled to manoeuvre himself into position with his jab.

Saunders' pressure punching looked to be
taking its toll but Blackwell began to find his range towards the end of
the third stanza as he took advantage of Saunders' low right hand to
land several effective jabs.

Growing in confidence, the Trowbridge fighter began to move downstairs with his left hand and by the fourth round, an evenly-matched contest had developed.

And as a thrilling fight reached the
halfway stage, Blackwell was producing the more eye-catching
combinations as Saunders was forced on to the ropes and his right eye
began to redden.

Resistance: Blackwell put up a strong defence but Saunders deserved to take the fight on points

Resistance: Blackwell put up a strong defence but Saunders deserved to take the fight on points

Saunders' rod-like right jab proved effective in keeping Blackwell at bay in the seventh but the challenger was intent on stalking his opponent around the ring and had no hesitation in trading toe-to-toe.

Having boxed just one round since March, Blackwell began to tire in the eighth session as Saunders regained control of the bout. Although the ninth round was punctuated by solid jabs from Blackwell, it was the champion who stretched his lead on the scorecards with ever-more punishing combinations.

Aside from sporadic attacks to the body, Blackwell was also second best in the tenth round and was repeatedly beaten to the punch in round 10 while missing with shots of his own. Saunders took his foot off the gas in the penultimate round, perhaps aware that hearing the final bell would assure him of victory.

But Blackwell threatened to spoil the party in the last round as a punishing body shot momentarily stopped Saunders in his tracks but a barnstorming final two minutes failed to deliver a knockout blow.

Saunders was pleased to have been taken 12 rounds.

'Nick was very, very game and those rounds will hold me in good stead for the future. I've moved on to the next level,' he said.

Earlier in the evening, Liam Smith and Steve O'Meara both played their part in an enthralling contest for the vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight title, with Liverpudlian Smith winning by unanimous decision.

One of four boxing brothers, the 24-year-old looked set for an early finish when a left hook to the body had O'Meara, 28, on the canvas as the bell went for the end of the opening session.

The home favourite beat the count and showed no ill-effects but Smith's superior work rate and punishing blows saw him open up a commanding lead.

Despite trailing by large margins, O'Meara was far from outclassed and had plenty in reserve to contribute to a thrilling final round in which both boxers went toe-to-toe.

But having been unable to land the knockout blow, O'Meara lost for the third time in his career by scores of 112-116, 110-118 and 112-116.

Tough test: Blackwell impressed in defeat as he took Saunders to the final bell

Tough test: Blackwell impressed in defeat as he took Saunders to the final bell

Tony Conquest lost his unbeaten record, and his WBO International cruiserweight belt, when he was knocked out in less than two minutes by Neil Dawson.

Conquest started brightly but just as the contest was warming up, he was floored by a sharp left-right combination to the head and failed to beat the referee's count.

Bradley Skeete delivered the best performance of his career to win the Southern Area welterweight title with a fourth-round stoppage of Chas Symonds.

Skeete struggled to a laboured points victory over journeyman Peter McDonagh in September but produced a vastly-improved showing against Symonds.

Boxing behind the jab, the 25-year-old floored his opponent in the second round courtesy of a vicious left hook to the body.

Symonds, 30, had no trouble beating the count but Skeete began to land his right hand with alarming regularity and by the fourth round, Symonds' left eye was almost closed shut.

The doctor cleared him to continue but yet another right hand delivered Symonds to the canvas for a second time and although he again rose quickly, the contest was waved off.

Crowd favourite Frank Buglioni enjoyed yet another early night when Ciaran Healy retired on his stool with an injured back at the end of the second round.

The rising star from Enfield enjoyed his fifth stoppage from seven fights – a left hook to the body doing the damage, sending the Irishman to the floor before his corner called it a day.

Finally, Mitchell Smith needed less than four rounds to stop Estonian Igor Chuev in his fifth super-featherweight contest.

Smith, 20, had his opponent on the canvas in the third session but Chuev beat the count and although his corner threw in the towel seconds later, the referee opted to continue the contest.

But he did wave it off towards the end of the next round as Smith extended his unbeaten record.

Long putters set to be banned from golf in 2016

Controversial long putters will be outlawed from golf as new ruling is proposed for 2016

|

UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 28 November 2012

Golf's ruling authorities have served notice on the 'divisive and controversial' method of anchoring putters to the body and declared their intention to outlaw the practice.

The proposed change won't come into effect until 2016 but it will be a surprise if affected players like three of the last five major champions – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – don't honour the spirit of the decision and look to make instant amendments.Indeed, Simpson has revealed that he has already been practising with a new method.

Scroll down for video explaining the new rules.

Keegan Bradley

Webb Simpson

Putt: Bradley and Simpson are among the last five major winners

Golf blog

Although it won't mean the end of the
wretched long and belly putters that have come to deface the game, it
will certainly lessen their frequency and address the fundamental issue
regarding their fairness.

Tiger Woods summed up the case for
change perfectly when he said: 'Having a fixed anchor point, as I have
been saying all year, is something that is not in the traditions of the
game. We swing all 13 other clubs and I think the putter should be the
same. It should be a swinging motion throughout the entire bag.'

At a teleconference on Wednesday Mike
Davies, representing America's governing body, the United States Golf
Association, and Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient
Golf Club of St Andrews, who are the authority for everywhere else, were
in full agreement with Woods.

'We recognise that for 30 years this
has been a controversial and divisive issue and the action we are
taking today is all about looking to the future, defining what a stroke
should be and brining clarity to the issue,' said Davies.

Great Scott: The Australian uses a broom-handle putter

Great Scott: The Australian uses a broom-handle putter

He added that they had been forced into action by the growing proliferation of anchoring over the last two years.

'Until 18 to 24 months ago, there were no significant increases at all levels of the game when it came to anchoring,' he said.

'Then in 2010 it jumped to 6 per
cent. In 2011 it almost doubled to 11 per cent and in 2012 it has been
running at 15 per cent, with some tournaments having 20 or even 25 per
cent of the field using anchored strokes.'

Perhaps worried by the threat of
litigation if they tried to ban the belly or long putters, Davies
stressed that this was a playing change to the rules of golf, rather
than an equipment change.

'We have no problem with either
putter, just when they are anchored to the body,' he said. 'Players are
welcome to use both putters so long as they make what we consider to be a
proper stroke'

Players like Bradley have indulged in
sabre-rattling and threatened litigation but Dawson is not anticipating
the proposed change being held up by legal wars.

'We are aware of remarks made by
Keegan and others and recognise that they are not going to necessarily
agree with the change,' he said.

'But I notice more recent remarks
seem to accept that we are the governing body and we have the authority
to make changes like this if we think they are in the best interests of
the game. Once we think we're doing that, we're prepared to defend our
actions to the hilt.'

Dawson said there was a three month
consultancy period whereby people could come forward and make
representations before a formal announcement next Spring.

'I feel like we have covered every
issue regarding the matter but it is only right that if people have
anything else to say they should have that opportunity,' he said.

The rules are revised on a four year
cycle and, with the last change only coming in at the start of this
year, that is why it will be January, 2016 before Rule 14-1b is added.
It will prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club
held directly against the player's body, or with a forearm held against
the body to establish an anchor point.

It also comes with a note 1 and note
2, covering the way belly and long putters are anchored respectively.
The punishment will be two shots for every use of an anchored putter in
strokeplay and loss of hole in matchplay.

The new belly-putter rules explained.

Ben Watson does not require surgery on broken leg

Watson boost for Wigan with news midfielder does not require surgery on broken leg

|

UPDATED:

14:19 GMT, 19 November 2012

Wigan have been boosted by the news Ben Watson’s fractured shin is not as serious as first feared and he will not need surgery.

The 27-year-old spent two nights at the Royal Liverpool Hospital but has now returned home to begin his recovery from the injury, which he suffered in an innocuous-looking clash with Raheem Sterling in Wigan’s 3-0 defeat by Liverpool on Saturday.

Watson will need to wear a cast for a few weeks but the club are optimistic he will be able to resume training in the New Year.

Down and out: Watson broke his leg during the clash at Anfield

Down and out: Watson broke his leg during the clash at Anfield

The midfielder has been in and out of the side this season but had started the last three Barclays Premier League games and he will be missed, according to manager Roberto Martinez.

The Spaniard told www.wiganlatics.co.uk: 'It’s not as bad as it could have been, that’s for certain. It’s still a very serious injury and we need to ensure that Ben is given all the time that he needs to make a full recovery.

'The good news is that he won’t be out for as long as we initially thought and, with the character that Ben has, he will be able to deal with such an injury.

'Ben has just started to put his stamp on the team and he will be missed in the group because of the type of lad he is.'

No surgery required: Watsion will be back sooner than first thought

No surgery required: Watsion will be back sooner than first thought

Why can”t the R&A see sense on women members? – Derek Lawrenson

If Augusta can see sense on women members, why can't the R&A

|

UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 12 November 2012


Open season: R&A chief executive Peter Dawson will be under fire

Open season: R&A chief executive Peter Dawson will be under fire

Watching grown men defend the indefensible is never a comfortable experience and so it was with Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National, at the Masters this year.

One minute he was waxing lyrical about all the initiatives the club were doing to grow ‘the great game of golf.’ The next he was being skewered by a very reasonable question: ’If you’re that keen on growing the game, why haven’t you got any women or junior members’

Let’s say this about Mr Payne. Sure, he squirmed and shifted in his seat and tried to save face, like so many of his predecessors. But here’s the difference. He then went away and made sure he was never put in such a position again. A month later, the first two women members were invited to join the club and Billy Payne had put right the obvious hypocrisy.

Now we come to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. They are already bracing themselves for unfavourable headlines next year. A men-only club taking The Open to another men-only establishment in Muirfield At least over the past week they’ve had a warm-up, as one former Minister of Sport in Colin Moynihan and then present incumbent Hugh Robertson laid into them over their anachronistic stance.

Breakthrough: Augusta National, home of the Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson in April, have now admitted women members

Breakthrough: Augusta National, the world-famous home of the Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson in April, have now admitted women members

Peter Dawson, the R&A’s chief executive, believes this subject to be simply a Press obsession, that most golfers couldn’t give two hoots, and he’s at least partly right. Most golfers couldn’t care less.

But it doesn’t make the R&A’s stance right. There’s no hiding from the fact it is embarrassing for the sport to have a governing body who don’t have any women members, and that will not change until the R&A do. It’s all well and good to allow juniors to attend The Open for free but what message are you sending out if you then take the event to clubs that don’t allow juniors to join

And so next summer, like so many before it, we’ll watch grown men defend the indefensible – and pray silently for the day when the R&A finally comes up with its own Billy Payne.

Another side to the glamour game

‘Rory McIlroy leads a galaxy of stars to Hong Kong’ proclaimed the main headline on the European Tour’s website on Monday. He also leads a cavalcade of dead men walking.

No disrespect to the leading players like Rory at either the Hong Kong Open or the South African Open being played at the same time on another continent this week, but these final full-field events of the regular season are all about the men at the other end of the table.

Men like the English trio, Tommy Fleetwood, Jamie Elson and Richard Bland, all within agonising touching distance of the top 115 who keep their cards for next year but in need of a good last week to seal the deal.

Last year in Hong Kong I sat in a courtesy car with two of the fallen, Nick Dougherty and Oliver Wilson, and the devastation they were feeling at missing out was plain.

No-one would seek to minimise the pressure that McIlroy so adeptly copes with as the world’s No 1. But that is surely a nice kind of pressure. Down among those worried about keeping their jobs, the pressure exerted by a game that is supposed to be all about relaxation must be hell.

Quote of the Week

’When Luke Donald won both money lists last year we thought “how good was that” Now Rory has done it and won a second major as well at the age of 23. The sky really is the limit.’

Eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie eloquently sums the feelings of a sport regarding the extraordinary Rory McIlroy.

Remarkable talent: Life just gets better and better for Rory McIlroy

Remarkable talent: Life just gets better and better for Rory McIlroy

Challenge Tour goes East

The Middle East has become such a vital part of the regular European Tour over the past two decades it is surprising that no event is staged in the region on the Challenge Tour.

That will all change next year when the Sultanate of Oman joins the party, with the National Bank of Oman Classic becoming the penultimate event, complete with a very respectable 200,000 prize fund.

One nice thing about the tournament is that there will be a reciprocal arrangement with five other Challenge Tour events during the season whereby promising Arab National players, both amateur and professional, will have the opportunity to gain some invaluable experience.

Beljan's Miracle moment

They say the traditional closing event on the US Tour might not take place next year, which would be a great shame. ‘Where Dreams Come True,’ declares the slogan outside the gates at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and so it has proved these past two years at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

Last year, Luke Donald complemented the fireworks seen at the Disney theme parks with some of his own, as he won the final event when nothing else would do if he were to clinch the US Tour money list.

Fairytale: Charlie Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Classic

Fairytale: Charlie Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Classic

This time it was 28-year-old American Charlie Beljan making the headlines. On Friday, he was rushed to hospital after suffering a panic attack on the course that left him fearing he might die. Two days later he was in heaven all right, as he claimed his maiden victory to end all thoughts of anxiety for at least the next two years.

‘You never know what’s going to happen in this game or this game of life,’ he said. ‘You just keep plugging away.’

Keep plugging way like this, Charlie, and you might even become that rarest of creatures. A famous Beljan.

Royal and Ancient Golf Club must "get real" and allow women members, says Lord Moynihan

Royal and Ancient Golf Club must 'get real' and allow women members, says Lord Moynihan

|

UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 8 November 2012

Lord Moynihan has told the Royal and Ancient Golf Club that it is time to 'get real' and allow women to become members.

'It should be an embedded
characteristic of 21st century sport, especially when you see the
contribution the athletes make,' said the outgoing chairman of the
British Olympic Association.

Traditions: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club

Traditions: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club

'It is remarkable that Augusta has changed, but the Royal and Ancient is still there having not entitled and allowed complete equality of opportunity for women in this country.'

The Royal and Ancient, based at St Andrews, was founded in 1754. Sportsmail revealed earlier this year that the Augusta National had lifted their ban on women.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Lord Moynihan added: 'Let's get real and let's get on with the job of providing equality of opportunity across sports, sports administration as well as sporting opportunity.'

Augusta made the decision to
admit its first two female members in August – one of whom was Condoleezza Rice,
the former US Secretary of State.

Over
the past 80 years, the home of the Masters has played host to some of
the greatest golf ever played. But it has also been a bastion of
bigotry, racism and sexism and now the last of these has gone the way of
the first two.

'This is a
joyous occasion,' said Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, raising
the question that if the membership consider it that joyous, why on
earth did it take them so long

Now pressure has fallen on the Royal and
Ancient and other men-only British clubs that host The Open, such as
Muirfield and Royal St George's, to follow suit.

Rather sensibly, Augusta has admitted
two female members rather than have one subjected to the taunt of
tokenism. South Carolina financier Darla Moore was the other new member.

ends

Green Moon claims stunning victory in Melbourne Cup

Euro challengers fail to fire as Green Moon claims stunning victory in Melbourne Cup

|

UPDATED:

07:22 GMT, 6 November 2012

A distinct lack of pace was blamed for
the largely disappointing European showing in the Emirates Melbourne
Cup, which was won by Green Moon.

The Marco Botti-trained Jakkalberry
fared best of the foreign raiders in third, but several big overseas
challengers failed to fire in the coveted Flemington handicap over two
miles.

First up: Jockey Brett Prebble (right) rides Green Moon to victory in the Melbourne Cup

First up: Jockey Brett Prebble (right) rides Green Moon to victory in the Melbourne Cup

Delight: Jockey Brett Prebble

Delight: Jockey Brett Prebble

Green Moon, conversely, mastered every fraction to give jockey Brett Prebble and trainer Robert Hickmott their first Melbourne Cup.

Formerly trained in Berkshire by Harry Dunlop, the five-year-old gelding flashed past the long-time leader Glencadam Gold a furlong and a half from home and was not for catching.

Fiorente, another ex-British runner, stayed on for second, a length adrift of the winner. Hong Kong-based Prebble said: 'He was never going to get beat.

'It's the pinnacle of racing in Australia.

'I've had some great highs here, but you don't get any higher than reaching the pinnacle.

'If he sustained the journey, nothing was going to go with him.

'It's very emotional and it's going to last for a long time.'

Royal approval: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, presents the Melbourne Cup trophy to winning owner Nick Williams

Royal approval: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, presents the Melbourne Cup trophy to winning owner Nick Williams

Joy: Jockey Prebble, centre, celebrates with trainer Robert Hickmott, left, and owner Nick Williams

Joy: Jockey Prebble, centre, celebrates with trainer Robert Hickmott, left, and owner Nick Williams

Glencadam Gold enjoyed an uncontested lead from the outset, but initiated an admittedly humdrum gallop off which major European players like last year's respective first and second, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, struggled to adapt.

The Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos was perhaps the biggest casualty, however, as he flew from the rear to finish fifth under Ryan Moore.

Botti was nonetheless proud of Jakkalberry, but was left to reflect on what could have been.

He said: 'He ran a very good race, but he probably could have done with the pace being a bit quicker.

'He stayed on very well. It's been a fantastic adventure and I knew I'd left a bit of improvement in the horse.

'I had him at his best today.

'He's got an invitation for the Japan Cup and we can also think about Hong Kong, but we'll see how he comes out of this first.

'There's also Dubai and we'll think about coming back next year.'

Spectacle: The Melbourne Cup

Spectacle: The Melbourne Cup

Celebrity status: Mischa Barton and Ashley Madekwe hold the Melbourne Cup trophy

Celebrity status: Mischa Barton and Ashley Madekwe hold the Melbourne Cup trophy

Ed Dunlop also felt 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux, who stayed on for eighth, was hamstrung by a weakly-run encounter.

He said: 'About 15 jockeys will tell you that there was no pace.

'He had to drop in anyway, but he just couldn't make up the ground.'

David Redvers, racing manager for Dunaden's owners, Pearl Bloodstock, believes the six-year-old could have been feeling the effects of a tough race in the Caulfield Cup last month as he came home in 14th place.

He said: 'He won so well in the Caulfield Cup that it might have taken the edge off him.

'He's probably got too much weight in handicaps and he'll stick to Group races from now on.'

Cumani echoed the thoughts of Dunlop and Botti when assessing Mount Athos' display.

He said: 'The race was totally inconclusive because of the lack of pace.

'He was further back than we would have liked.

'Ryan started to move him forwards but he got bumped.

'He was the fastest finisher in the race.'

Royal party: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Flemington Racecourse

Royal party: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Flemington Racecourse

Mount Athos' owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, said: 'I'm a bit disappointed but he ran a big race.

'He would have liked a better pace but he finished like a train.

'Hopefully we can freshen him up and come back next year.'

Cumani also saddled the 10th-placed My Quest For Peace.

He said: 'The other horse is not a sprinter and didn't pick up as we would have liked.'

Irish challenger Galileo's Choice featured prominently under Pat Smullen but weakened into 20th place.

Trainer Dermot Weld said: “'He got a lovely ride from Pat and was in a lovely position turning in.

'It's just unfortunate he couldn't let himself down on that ground.

'We had thunder and lightning but, unfortunately, no rain.

'If we'd had a drop of rain he could have been in the first three.'

Other European disappointments were the 2010 winner Americain and Godolphin's Cavalryman, who finished a respective 11th and 12th.

Cavalryman's racing manager Simon Crisford said: 'He's a hold-up horse and he was never going to be suited by a race with a lack of pace.'

Green Moon is owned by Lloyd Williams and his family, who were securing a fourth Melbourne Cup crown.

Nick Williams, son of the victorious owner, said: 'It's terrific.

'I'm so proud for all of our team at the farm.

'It's another Melbourne Cup win for 'Team Williams'.

'We've put a lot of money in and a hell of a lot of effort so to get this result is terrific.

'I'm so excited and so happy for all our people.'

Pardaig Harrington to play in Grand Slam of Golf as Ernie Els pulls out with ankle injury

Bermuda bonanza for Harrington as Els pulls out of Grand Slam of Golf

|

UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 21 October 2012

Bonanza: Harrington

Bonanza: Harrington

Ireland's Padraig Harrington has suddenly found himself called into the four-man PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal in Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday, and even if he finishes last he will earn 125,000.

Harrington replaces Open champion Ernie Els, who has pulled out with a left ankle injury, and in an event meant to bring together the season's four major winners is up against Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open winner Webb Simpson and last year's USPGA champion Keegan Bradley – himself a replacement for Rory McIlroy.

Northern Ireland's world No 1 qualified with his USPGA victory in August, but is defending the BMW Masters title in Shanghai this week, while second and third alternates Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods are also honouring commitments to play in Asia.

Harrington said: 'While my entry is under unique circumstances, I am excited to compete in the event again. I came close the last two times I was there, losing in play-offs to Angel Cabrera in 2007 and Jim Furyk in 2008, so maybe the third time will be a charm.'

Els, winner in 1997 and 2010, stated: 'I am bitterly disappointed. It is a great reward for winning a major and something I have enjoyed in the past and was looking forward to again.

Ankle injury: Els has had to pull out of the event in Bermuda

Ankle injury: Els has had to pull out of the event in Bermuda

'Unfortunately I sprained my left ankle a few days ago and while it isn't too serious and should recover relatively quickly, I have been advised not to try and play on it.'

The winner receives 375,000 and the runner-up 187,500.

England fans show Bulldog spirit in Poland

Fans show Bulldog spirit but feel the pain after Poland clash is rescheduled

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 17 October 2012

Plac Zamkowy, Warsaw’s historic hub, was bathed in watery autumn sunlight and busy with tourists as midday chimed.

A group of schoolchildren gathered around Sigismund’s Column to pose for a photograph before visiting the Royal Castle.

Others burrowed down the cobbled streets towards the old-town Market Square, past the mime artists, human statues and those hawking business for restaurants and bars.

All smiles: England fans take in the sights in Warsaw ahead of the match

All smiles: England fans take in the sights in Warsaw ahead of the match

Weather beaten: An England fan with his ticket which was destroyed in the rain

Weather beaten: An England fan with his ticket which was destroyed in the rain

Across the River Vistula, the National Stadium glistened, blissfully unaware it had become the focus of what Polish papers called a ‘National Scandal’.
Inside, the grass was being mown and the tarpaulin roof had been re-opened to help the pitch air. Later it was closed, as if the roof controller was making up for lost time.

In the city centre, with five hours to kick-off, there was little evidence that this was a big match day. England flags hung outside the Bulldog pub but the anticipation was not building.

Some England supporters were trying to work out if it was better to watch the first half and miss the second as they travelled to the airport, or go early to the airport and see the whole game on TV. Others were long gone.

Many were seeking help to re-arrange flights or trying to claim back their 40 ticket, as the FA had promised they could do.

In fact, England’s players have joined with the FA to part-fund the fans’ money-back scheme as a sign of their appreciation for their away support.

Heading home: Some England fans left Warsaw after the rain on Tuesday

Heading home: Some England fans left Warsaw after the rain on Tuesday

Scott Thompson was one of a group of Stockport County fans who had always planned to stay until Thursday but still something rankled about the fact a World Cup tie in a new 400million stadium with a retractable roof had been postponed for rain.

‘We went to watch Stockport at Southport and it was raining but they borrowed a blotter from Lancashire cricket club and got the game on,’ said Thompson. ‘We were in Belarus when it was -14C on a rubbish pitch and they played.

‘The English are used to things going wrong with the weather. We were at Bristol Rovers one night when a game was called off at 7.40pm, five minutes before kick-off.

‘The worst thing with this was the lack of information. They had a state-of-the-art screen, so why not use it to get information across I found out on Twitter. They got it all so wrong.’

Resolute: Around 800 fans stayed in Warsaw to watch England play Poland

Resolute: Around 800 fans stayed in Warsaw to watch England play Poland

Inside the stadium, as the game kicked off under a big top, keeping the sunshine at bay, there were more than 50 St George flags on display and 800 people rattling around inside the section for visiting supporters.

There were many empty seats in the Polish end, too, left by those fans who had travelled from different parts of the country or could not get time off work at short notice.

Kevin Miles of the Football Supporters’ Federation, called for a FIFA inquiry to make sure it does not happen again.

‘We want the process to be examined and questioned,’ said Miles. ‘Never again should we have hundreds and thousands sent home from an expensive trip without seeing a ball kicked.’

England fans were praised by Polish police.

There were eight arrests after the game, for bottle-throwing and damaging police vehicles, but the night seemed to pass without major incident.