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Jeremy Kyle has Wincanton winner and Zarkandar stakes Champion Hurdle claim

Jeremy Kyle has Wincanton winner and Zarkandar stakes Champion claim

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UPDATED:

16:02 GMT, 10 November 2012

Zarkandar (100-30) fuelled his claims for the Champion Hurdle and surprised trainer Paul Nicholls when outpointing stablemate Prospect Wells in the totepool.com Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.

Fifth in last season's Champion and a faller when previously seen in action at Aintree, the diminutive Zarkandar showed with a determined display under Daryl Jacob that, in a tight situation, class will out.

Champion Hurdle prospect: Zarkandar and Daryl Jacob (right) clear the last flight with Prospect Wells

Champion Hurdle prospect: Zarkandar and Daryl Jacob (right) clear the last flight with Prospect Wells

It was a perfect start to the campaign for Jacob, who because Ruby Walsh is expected to ride Hurricane Fly throughout the season is set to be aboard Zarkandar for all his races.

Despite giving his rival 17lb, Zarkandar cruised up to join Prospect Wells still on the bridle two flights from home, and buckled down on the run-in to resist the latter's final thrust under Walsh by a neck.

It was seven lengths back to Balder Succes. Nicholls was all praise for the winner, who William Hill cut to 10-1 from 12s for the Champion.

He said: 'He's done well, real well, and I never had him looking as good as this for the whole of last season.

'For him he looks big and well, and in the last fortnight he's just suddenly picked up. Ruby thought the 17lb would swing it and I told the owners that win, lose or draw he would come on for the run.

'Zarkandar will now go for the Bula (International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December) )and we're right back where we want to be with him. The Bula is the race we've been training him for.

'Then we'll look to bring him back here for the Kingwell in the new year. Prospect Wells is a rattling good handicapper and will win a nice race.

Winning owners: Jeremy Kyle with his wife, former model Carla Germaine, were on the mark at Wincanton

Winning owners: Jeremy Kyle with his wife, former model Carla Germaine, were on the mark at Wincanton

'Today there hardly deserved to be a loser. Prospect Wells lost nothing in defeat, I always hate beating a stablemate but he will win a nice race. Both have run well and I am chuffed for both of them.'

Fairy Rath was gameness personified in making every yard of the running in the totepool Mobile Text Tote To 89660 Handicap Chase.

The Nick Gifford-trained six-year-old
ran virtually to the pound with Henry San as he turned round recent
Chepstow placings with that rival.

Denis O'Regan did not intend to lead
on the 5-1 shot, but was encouraged to do so when there was a sedate
early pace and his mount winged the first.

Fairy Rath had fought off all bar
Henry San when that rival joined him two out, and survived an awkward
jump at the last before going away again to score by a length and a
quarter.

It was a further 21 lengths back to the third, Sum Laff.

Fairy Rath is owned by talk show host Jeremy Kyle's wife, Carla.

The couple are in the Caribbean with Andy Stewart and are not believed to have seen the race.

O'Regan said: 'He was very game. He picked up again after the last and then just idled.'

Houblon Des Obeaux made all the running for Venetia Williams and Aidan Coleman in the totepool Rising Stars Novices' Chase.

In what looked on paper to be a red-hot renewal, Houblon Des Obeaux was preferred in the market by several rivals and went off at 9-1, in spite of having been impressive when scoring on his debut over fences at Worcester.

Measuring his fences with accuracy, the five-year-old benefited from the jumping deficiencies of Aegean Dawn (unseated rider second) and Court In Motion (bad mistake middle fences down back) to come home four and a half lengths clear of Poungach, who rallied to catch Court In Motion for second.

Coleman said: 'That was super. We were a bit worried that there wasn't going to be a lot of pace and he wants further, so I had to pop out and make it. He jumped for fun and will do even better over a longer trip. If he carries on along this path he could be an RSA Chase type.'

Coral gave the winner a 25-1 quote for the RSA.

Miss Milborne took the spoils in a Bet totequadpot Test Tote To 89660 Mares' Handicap Hurdle in which five of the 10-strong field were line-abreast approaching the final flight.

You could have thrown a blanket over the protagonists, but on the run-in Jamie Snowden's mare showed the best resolve to forge two lengths and three clear of Prima Porta and Tempest River under Harry Skelton.

It is the dream of the winner's part-owner Adrian Brown to land the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, as he is CEO (UK) for the same company.

Snowden observed: 'She is as tough as nails and had a good blow on her comeback at Chepstow. The trip was too short and we knew that had put her spot on for today.

'She can be the first off the bridle, as she was at Towcester, but she's a mare with plenty of guts and that counts for so much.

'All being well she'll run next in a mares' Listed race at Kempton in a fortnight.'

Kings Lad helped make it a red-letter week for Colin and Joe Tizzard when he floored 2-7 favourite Mr Mole in the Bet totescoop6 Text Tote To 89660 EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.

Fresh from their Haldon Gold Cup triumph with Cue Card at Exeter, the father and son trainer/jockey combo can do little wrong and Kings Lad (5-1) defied connections' belief that he would improve for the outing.

In charge after the penultimate flight, he never looked like being reeled-in and came home with a seven-length cushion over the disappointing market leader.

Owner Graham Gingell, related to Tizzard as his son married the trainer's daughter, said: 'Colin thought he would need the run so we didn't get carried away. It was his first run since May and we are over the moon.'

Gingell spotted and purchased Kings Lad at Doncaster Sales as a three-year-old. He and wife, Sylvia Musgrove, live just a mile from Wincanton.

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Rodgers hails "brilliant" Sterling after youngster seals first home league win of season

Rodgers hails 'brilliant' Sterling after youngster seals first home league win of season

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UPDATED:

19:04 GMT, 20 October 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised Raheem Sterling after the youngster's maiden goal for the club secured the Reds' first home league win of the season.

The 17-year-old became the club's second-youngest Premier League goalscorer behind Michael Owen with his 29th-minute strike to beat Rodgers' former club Reading.

Liverpool had more than enough chances to put the game beyond doubt, but the manager was thrilled Sterling's early-season performances were finally rewarded with a goal.

Get in: Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Liverpool to seal victory over Reading

Get in: Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Liverpool to seal victory over Reading

'It was a brilliant goal,' said Rodgers.

'We have been asking him, Suso and the other wide players to try to break the line of defenders and he's done that.

'We've been doing a lot of work on that on the training field but all the credit goes to him because he's got to identify the moment to go in.

'It wasn't an easy chance because he is going away from goal, has a quick defender tracking him and to adjust his feet and have the technique to shoot across the keeper is wonderful.

'He's a terrific talent and he's got a good head on young shoulders.'

Fellow forward Luis Suarez was also at the heart of much of Liverpool's attacking thrust, but he could not add to his tally of seven goals in his last eight matches despite having a number of chances.

'He scores a lot of chances. He's not perfect, he's not going to score every chance, but he's got a great return if you look at his stats, at his goals return at Ajax and since he's come into here,' added Rodgers.

“There's no doubt he'll want to be a bit more clinical and going forward we want to get some more players around him who can take the load off him as well.

'He leads the line terrifically for us. His movement and creativity is great.

'He created opportunities for himself and he'll be disappointed he hasn't scored today.'

Rodgers also praised goalkeeper Brad Jones, who made his first Premier League start for the club after Jose Reina was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Sliding in: Sterling (right) impressed his manager Brendan Rodgers with his display at Anfield

Sliding in: Sterling (right) impressed his manager Brendan Rodgers with his display at Anfield

Beaming: Rodgers was delighted to have earned his first home league win as Liverpool manager

Beaming: Rodgers was delighted to have earned his first home league win as Liverpool manager

'I thought Brad was outstanding: what he had to do he did very well,' he added.

'When I came in during the summer he had been the number three keeper but I've seen massive development and it's a great credit to him.

'What he is absolutely outstanding at is shot-stopping and he made a great save from (Gareth) McCleary.'

Reading manager Brian McDermott was pleased with the way his side came back in the second half and thought they could have earned a draw.

'Liverpool never really hurt us with their passing moves but did so with one ball over the top,' he said.

'In the second half we were right in the game and I honestly felt we were going to get at least a point and we were on the front foot right till the end.'

Reading substitute Jason Roberts carried out his vow not to wear a 'Kick It Out' T-shirt in the warm-up in protest at the perceived lack of action in combating racism in football.

Up in the air: Luis Suarez is sent flying after a challenge by Shaun Cummings

Up in the air: Luis Suarez is sent flying after a challenge by Shaun Cummings

McDermott was fully supportive of the 34-year-old's actions.

'I spoke to Jason about that and he was very clear in his views. He had his reasons and I support him 100 per cent,' he added.

'When you consider what happened this week with Danny Rose (who suffered racial abuse in an England Under-21 match in Serbia) hopefully we can put these issues to bed.

'I wrote to Danny actually as I thought he conducted himself really well.

'But it doesn't belong in society and it certainly doesn't belong in football.

'It is an emotive subject and rightly so. I can only speak for my players and Jason feels very strongly about this so I back him 100 per cent.'

Rangers hit by 12-month transfer embargo and Craig Whyte is banned for life

Banned! SFA hit Rangers with 12-month transfer embargo as Whyte is barred for life

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UPDATED:

06:46 GMT, 24 April 2012

Rangers were plunged further into the abyss on Monday night after being found guilty of bringing Scottish football into disrepute.

In a swingeing and potentially crippling blow to hopes of a takeover, an independent SFA judicial panel found the Ibrox club guilty of breaching six regulations and imposed a 12-month ban on signing players, accompanied by fines totalling 160,000.

Discredited owner Craig Whyte was also found guilty of breaching three SFA rules, fined 200,000 and expelled for life from holding office in Scottish football.

Barred for life: Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte

Barred for life: Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte

The independent panel’s verdict came after three days of evidence last week, when the Ibrox club’s
administrators argued that the actions of Whyte should be separated from those of the club.

Those arguments fell on deaf ears, with Duff & Phelps spokesman Paul Clark vowing to appeal what he dubbed the ‘draconian’ punishments late on Monday night.

On receiving the judgments, Rangers have three days to appeal and are certain to do so after the administrators said: ‘All of us working on behalf of the club are utterly shocked and dismayed by the draconian sanctions imposed on Rangers in respect of these charges.

‘It appears that, on one hand, the disciplinary panel accepted our argument that responsibility for bringing the club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual — Craig Whyte — as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.

‘During this hearing, the club produced compelling evidence from a number of sources that, following his takeover, Craig Whyte ran the club in a thoroughly unaccountable manner, rather than adhering to a proper form of corporate governance.

‘The thrust of the charges against the club focused on non-payment of payroll taxes and evidence was produced that all such decisions in this area were taken by Craig Whyte during his tenure.

Anger: Rangers fans have been demanding answers in recent months

Anger: Rangers fans have been demanding answers in recent months

‘Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the club even more heavily than Mr Whyte.

'A ban on signing players will seriously undermine the club’s efforts to rebuild after being rendered insolvent.

'Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the club will react to these sanctions and what effect they will have on their proposals. The club has asked for full written reasons for these decisions and intend to appeal.'

The judgment came at the end of a day when Duff & Phelps once again failed to appoint a preferred bidder, with all parties calling for patience.

With Bill Miller and the Blue Knights calling for clarity on what sanctions a newco Rangers might face following an SPL meeting next Monday, the SFA's punishment casts the club’s hopes of survival into grave and significant doubt.

Defiant: But Rangers fans will be shocked at this new news

Defiant: But Rangers fans will be shocked at this new news

A number of key first-team players already look certain to leave and, if upheld, the club will be barred from replacing them, making the fielding of a team of youth players all but unavoidable.

An unrepentent Whyte had refused to attend the Judicial Panel hearing but said on Monday night: ‘It doesn’t affect my life, I’m just disappointed what it does to Rangers. It’s an outrage.

'It’s a joke, a complete joke. They have never spoken to me. Stewart Regan and Campbell Ogilvie had dinner with me in November and they told me it wouldn’t be a problem. Now they are just reacting to all the publicity since February.

'Rangers fans can see where the SFA is coming from. We are Scottish football’s biggest club, they should be helping us, not kicking us when we’re down. Rangers fans will remember this for a long time.'

Asked if the SFA can enforce his own fine, he responded: 'Of course they can’t. It’s farcical.'

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Banned! SFA hit Rangers with 12 month embargo on signing players, as Whyte is barred for life from Scottish football

Banned! SFA hit Rangers with 12 month embargo on signing players, as Whyte is barred for life from Scottish football

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UPDATED:

23:46 GMT, 23 April 2012

Rangers were plunged further into the abyss on Monday night after being found guilty of bringing Scottish football into disrepute.

In a swingeing and potentially crippling blow to hopes of a takeover, an independent SFA judicial panel found the Ibrox club guilty of breaching six regulations and imposed a 12-month ban on signing players, accompanied by fines totalling 160,000.

Discredited owner Craig Whyte was also found guilty of breaching three SFA rules, fined 200,000 and expelled for life from holding office in Scottish football.

Barred for life: Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte

Barred for life: Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte

The independent panel’s verdict came after three days of evidence last week, when the Ibrox club’s
administrators argued that the actions of Whyte should be separated from those of the club.

Those arguments fell on deaf ears, with Duff & Phelps spokesman Paul Clark vowing to appeal what he dubbed the ‘draconian’ punishments late on Monday night.

On receiving the judgments, Rangers have three days to appeal and are certain to do so after the administrators said: ‘All of us working on behalf of the club are utterly shocked and dismayed by the draconian sanctions imposed on Rangers in respect of these charges.

‘It appears that, on one hand, the disciplinary panel accepted our argument that responsibility for bringing the club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual — Craig Whyte — as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.

‘During this hearing, the club produced compelling evidence from a number of sources that, following his takeover, Craig Whyte ran the club in a thoroughly unaccountable manner, rather than adhering to a proper form of corporate governance.

‘The thrust of the charges against the club focused on non-payment of payroll taxes and evidence was produced that all such decisions in this area were taken by Craig Whyte during his tenure.

Anger: Rangers fans have been demanding answers in recent months

Anger: Rangers fans have been demanding answers in recent months

‘Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the club even more heavily than Mr Whyte.

'A ban on signing players will seriously undermine the club’s efforts to rebuild after being rendered insolvent.

'Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the club will react to these sanctions and what effect they will have on their proposals. The club has asked for full written reasons for these decisions and intend to appeal.'

The judgment came at the end of a day when Duff & Phelps once again failed to appoint a preferred bidder, with all parties calling for patience.

With Bill Miller and the Blue Knights calling for clarity on what sanctions a newco Rangers might face following an SPL meeting next Monday, the SFA's punishment casts the club’s hopes of survival into grave and significant doubt.

Defiant: But Rangers fans will be shocked at this new news

Defiant: But Rangers fans will be shocked at this new news

A number of key first-team players already look certain to leave and, if upheld, the club will be barred from replacing them, making the fielding of a team of youth players all but unavoidable.

An unrepentent Whyte had refused to attend the Judicial Panel hearing but said on Monday night: ‘It doesn’t affect my life, I’m just disappointed what it does to Rangers. It’s an outrage.

'It’s a joke, a complete joke. They have never spoken to me. Stewart Regan and Campbell Ogilvie had dinner with me in November and they told me it wouldn’t be a problem. Now they are just reacting to all the publicity since February.

'Rangers fans can see where the SFA is coming from. We are Scottish football’s biggest club, they should be helping us, not kicking us when we’re down. Rangers fans will remember this for a long time.'

Asked if the SFA can enforce his own fine, he responded: 'Of course they can’t. It’s farcical.'

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Lee Westwood will have to raise his game to triumph in Arizona

Westwood will have to raise his game to triumph in Arizona

Lee Westwood will try to solve a
13-year-old mystery as he swaps the desert surroundings of Dubai for
those of Arizona on Wednesday.

After a week off in which he has
been presented with his OBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, Westwood
heads for Dove Mountain and the Accenture World Matchplay Championship.

But the world No 2 cannot figure out
why, since the event was first played in 1999, he has never managed to
get past the second round.

Not bad!: Lee Westwood receives his OBE

Not bad!: Lee Westwood receives his OBE

That record just does not make sense to Westwood, 38, who in his career has won 19 points for Europe in the cut and thrust atmosphere of the Ryder Cup.

He said: 'I would love to know what the Friday is like playing there, but I've never got into the last 16 and I have normally got my flight booked out of there on Friday.

'I just don't know why it is. Sometimes I have not played well enough or just run up against somebody who is playing hot.

'But it's very strange when you look at my match-play record in the Ryder Cup and that I won the [World] Match Play at Wentworth.

'The ultimate focus at this time of year is getting ready for the Masters, but that is not to say my game has not been in shape by the time these two WGCs come round.'