Moohaajim: Set to take drop in class Moohaajim is likely to drop to Listed level for his next start after disappointing in the 2000 Guineas.
Marco Botti’s colt won the Mill Reef Stakes last term and finished a close second to Reckless Abandon in the Middle Park, but has failed to run up to that level of form this season in the Greenham and the Guineas.
Botti will now drop him in trip to see if it worth the Cape Cross colt taking up his engagement in the July Cup.
“It is very hard for three-year-old sprinters, they are either forced to go a mile early in the season or take on their elders,” said Botti.
“He might go for a Listed race at Haydock over six furlongs on June 8 (Sandy Lane Stakes).
“He’d have to carry a penalty if he ran for winning the Mill Reef last year but it’s for three-year-olds only which should help him.
He’s in the July Cup and we need to know if it’s worth running him in that.”
Eddie Ahern: Launched appeal against ban Eddie Ahern has lodged an appeal against the decision of the British Horseracing Authority to suspend him from riding for 10 years.
Ahern was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice along with former footballer Neil Clement at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.
The rider stated his intention to appeal and has now completed that process, as has James Clutterbuck, son of trainer Ken, who was banned for 30 months after being found guilty of passing on inside information.
The BHA tweeted: “Eddie Ahern lodges appeal against decision of Disciplinary Panel to find breaches of several Rules of Racing, as well as penalties imposed.
“The date of the hearing will be announced in due course, as will the date of the James Clutterbuck appeal.”
Danilo Di Luca has been banned for doping twice before in his career Former Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca been provisionally suspended from cycling after testing positive EPO.
The 37-year-old Italian, who received previous doping bans in 2007 and 2009, failed an out-of-competition test on April 29, three days after signing for new team Vini Fantini and five days before the start of this year’s Giro.
He had been sitting 26th in the general classification at the race, 33min 33sec behind compatriot and leader Vincenzo Nibali, with his best result being third on stage seven.
A statement from the International Cycling Union (UCI) said: “The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA-accredited laboratory in K ln indicating an adverse analytical finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in an out-of-competition test on 29 April 2013.
“The provisional suspension of Mr Danilo Di Luca remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Italian Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.” Di Luca won the Giro in 2007 but was later suspended for three months after being implicated in the Oil for Drugs investogation in 2007.
He later tested positive for CERA at the 2009 Giro and was given a two-year ban.
Vini Fantini sports director Luca Scinto told Gazzetta dello Sport : “Di Luca is an idiot and I never wanted him in the team.”
Joe Lydon: Moving from Wales to Twickenham The RFU has appointed Joe Lydon as England’s new head of international player development.
The former England attack coach will move to Twickenham from his current role as head of rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union.
Lydon will report into England boss Stuart Lancaster and the RFU has told him he must “lead and manage the international performance pathway to provide a pipeline of international players for England”.
Lancaster said: “This is a significant appointment for the future of England Rugby, made following a rigorous selection process.
Joe has a huge amount of experience as a player, coach and head of a successful performance and development structure in Wales and I am looking forward to working with him.
“He will be responsible for developing and managing a world class system of international player development for all our teams.
We would like to build on the current system of talent identification, development and selection process that ensures that we have continual supply of high quality international players for England.” Lydon’s remit includes the Saxons, U20s, U18s, Sevens, and the Women’s senior, Sevens and U20 teams.
Lydon said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time within Welsh Rugby and I feel proud and privileged to have helped the WRU make great strides in performance and development over the last five years.
I’d like to thank Welsh Rugby for the fantastic opportunity and the support and guidance provided by so many along the way.
“I am sad to be leaving Wales, but the challenge of playing such a pivotal role in the development of English rugby at this time is one I had to take up.
“Welsh rugby is in great shape and I leave behind a team of people more than capable of achieving the goals we have set.
“The experience I have gained across the past five years with the WRU will set me in great stead for the exciting new challenge ahead.” WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: “I am personally and professionally sad to see Joe leave but the whole of Welsh rugby will always be grateful to him for what he has achieved during his time in Wales.
“In Joe we chose the right man to introduce an unprecedented scale of change and reform which had to be achieved for the continued growth of our game.”
Western Force have named an unchanged squad for a third successive week ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby encounter with the Highlanders in Perth.
Head coach Michael Foley has retained the same starting line-up as the Force seek a first win in five outings.
Foley will hope his side can find just their third win of the campaign in the foot of the table encounter.
In contrast Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has named seven changes to the side which lost 35-18 to the Bulls last time out.
Props Tony Woodcock and Ma’afu Fia combine with hooker Liam Coltman to form and all-new front row for the Highlanders.
Josh Bekhuis has recovered from a shoulder injury and will join the second row, allowing TJ Ioane to move in at blindside flanker.
In the backs, fly-half Hayden Parker returns to the starting XV which sees Colin Slade demoted to the bench.
Centre Ma’a Nonu takes the number 12 jersey having recovered from a knee injury while Jason Emery starts on the right wing with Toni Nemani set to start on the bench should he be passed fit.
Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Matt Hodgson (capt), 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Rory Walton, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Junior Rasolea, 22 Sam Norton-Knight.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Jason Emery, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 John Hardie, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn (capt), 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Joe Wheeler, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Tino Nemani/Trent Renata.
What they said…
Western Force head coach Michael Foley “Last weekend was one of our better first halves of the season.
“While I’m enormously proud of the character this team has shown and developed over recent months, our challenge is to achieve a more ruthless approach to finishing opportunities.”
Peter Whittingham: Part of Cardiff’s plans for the Premier League Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Cardiff manager Malky Mackay insists the club will not be selling midfielder Peter Whittingham this summer.
The 28-year-old found himself out of the first-team towards the end of last season as Cardiff secured the Championship title and promotion to the top flight.
But Mackay believes Whittingham’s craft will be vital as Cardiff attempt to make a positive impression in the Premier League, and the Bluebirds boss is determined to keep the player.
Mackay said: “We will not be listening to anyone about Peter Whittingham.
He is totally part of my squad.
He is very much part of my plans for the Premier League now.
“He is a fantastic player and a tremendous young man to have at the club.
He’s someone who is involved in everything we do and a player who has a very big part to play for us.
“He’s signed three contracts for me and he’s under contract right now and that is the way things are going to stay.
“He’s going to be playing in the Premier League with Cardiff.
He is going to get his chance and he thoroughly deserves it after everything he has done for Cardiff City.”
Tom Cleverley: Manchester United midfielder says the England squad are “fearless” Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley says that England are ‘fearless’ as they prepare for their forthcoming friendlies.
Roy Hodgson’s side host the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday before travelling to Brazil on June 2, a game which they hope will put them in good stead for next year’s World Cup.
England are unbeaten in their three games so far this year and Cleverley believes the good atmosphere amongst the squad can help them to success.
“A lot of us know each other from the Under-21s and we’re enthusiastic and fearless,” he told The Mirror.
“We’ve got to make sure we qualify first, but if we do that I don’t think we’ll be scared of anyone.
We proved that by beating Brazil earlier this year.
“Knowing each other, coming through the ranks together and having that bond would make it even more special if we could do something big.
“Add to that the experience of senior players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, and you’ve got a great mix.
“When we’re away the team spirit is so good.
You can see the passion is there and what it means to players when we don’t win.
“We can take massive confidence from what Spain have done,” the 23-year old added.
“They’ve got a lot of players who have come through the ranks together as well, from Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“I think there were seven of us from United picked in the last England squad, so it does help, knowing the players inside out and training with them every day.
I’m sure that’s helped Spain in terms of what they’ve achieved.
“It would be hard to do what Spain have done, but we can take confidence from the fact that 10 years ago they hadn’t won anything, but look what they’ve done.”
Martin Smolinski: Brilliant form continues (Pic credit Aaron Lupton) Defending champions Swindon Robins suffered their first home defeat of the season as a Martin Smolinski inspired Birmingham claimed a 47-45 success at the Abbey Stadium.
Smolinski, who from reserve is averaging over 10 this season, romped to a paid 19 score which was key in the Brummies claiming victory.
Score and scorers: SWINDON 45 Troy Batchelor 12, Davey Watt 10+1, Rory Schlein 8+1, Kacper Gomolski 8+1, Edward Kennett 6, Ashley Birks 1, Nick Morris r/rn BIRMINGHAM 47 Martin Smolinski 18+1, Jason Doyle 7+1, Chris Harris 7, Danny King 6+1, Josh Auty 5+1, Ben Barker 2+1, Nico Covatti 2+1 Swindon were without their Danish top-two in Hans Andersen and Peter Kildemand, as they were in their homeland preparing for their national final and as a result the Robins turned to guests Davey Watt and Rory Schlein.
The Aussie pair contributed, but never looked like beeing able replacements for the heavy scoring Andersen and Kildemand, and so it proved.
Indeed with five heats to go, Swindon were some ten points down and that meant they deployed a tactical ride – something their fans have not seen at home in some time.
The Robins did rally late on with a couple of 5-1s – but a 3-3 in the final heat was enough as Smolinski led the Brummies home to a fully deserved win.
Jason Doyle (7+1) and Chris Harris (7) – but the win was all down to Smolinski – who reeled off five heat wins.
Troy Batchelor scored well for the home side as he led the home with 12, but Ed Kennett could only deliver 6 points as the Robins came up short.
Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel is backing fellow countryman, and friend, Mikkel Kessler to defeat Carl Froch this weekend – warning the Brit may want it too much.
The former United and Denmark goalkeeper is a close friend of Kessler’s and covered the previous fight for Danish television.
That day Kessler defeated Froch on points after a ferocious fight in front of the Dane’s home crowd in Copenhagen.
Schmeichel also knows Froch well and gave the British boxer some banter in his interview with Ringside .
But that did not stop the United legend from predicting a victory for Kessler, although he believes the fans are in for another epic clash on Saturday night.
“I am very, very good friends with Mikkel,” Schmeichel told Ringside .
“I know how much this means to him.
He is going to go out there and give it his all.
He has already won against Carl Froch and I think that that is an advantage.
“I think Carl wants this may be too much.
When you want it a little bit too much then it can work against you.
But it is going to be good.
I am absolutely sure it will be a fantastic fight.” Kessler has built up a formidable reputation in Denmark over the past 10 years but Schmeichel admits it was not until his victory over Froch in Copenhagen in April 2010.
“He is very, very big in Denmark because he has delivered,” said Schmeichel.
“What he did in the fight against Froch convinced everybody in Denmark that this is a top, top class athlete.
What we saw in that fight was something very special.
“I think they really respect each other.
They appreciate the skills each of them has and I think when you look back at the previous fight, it was an unbelievable fight.
“That final round was probably the best round of boxing I’ve ever seen and I think they know that they delivered something very special that night.
“Ever since that night Froch has been begging praying and asking for a second chance and he is getting it now.” Don’t forget to watch Froch v Kessler on Sky Box Office from 8pm on Saturday.
Tom Werner: Backing Brendan Rodgers to succeed at Liverpool Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Liverpool chairman Tom Werner admits the club’s board have been pleased with the efforts of manager Brendan Rodgers in his first season at Anfield.
The Reds finished seventh in the Premier League this season – one place higher than in 2011/12 – but Werner believes they are well placed to improve on that next term.
Rodgers began strengthening for the future by adding Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho to his squad in January, and Werner is optimistic Liverpool will continue to advance.
“I think Brendan has made remarkable progress,” Werner said.
“He’s a great strategist and has shown strong leadership as he has led the team through this season.
“Obviously there is disappointment that we didn’t finish higher in the table but the team has certainly improved as the season has gone on.
“To see the new additions in January, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, perform so well has been very positive to see.
“We scored a lot more goals than last season.
The 38 away league goals was the club’s highest number in a league season since 1990.
“The club is definitely moving in the right direction under Brendan.
Our intention is to strengthen the squad further this summer and as owners we’re very optimistic and excited about the future.”