A Cheltenham Festival winner over hurdles last season, he has excelled over fences and was a good winner of the Topaz Novice Chase over Christmas. However, that was over three miles and he would be dropping three furlongs in trip were he to take up his option this weekend. Advertising the strength in depth of trainer Willie Mullins and owners Gigginstown House Stud, Valseur Lido is another possible. He has not been seen since a very impressive display in the Drinmore Novice Chase in November. Jarry D’Honneur and Adriana Des Mottes are other options for Mullins. Gigginstown also have Mouse Morris’ Rule The World and Band Of Blood under consideration, along with Noel Meade’s Very Wood, who is another previous Cheltenham winner. Morris said of Rule The World: “He will either go to Leopardstown this weekend or Navan a week later, we’ll just see what the weather does. It’s been pretty cold here the last two days. “He’s taken well to fences, I think. “First time he was only just beaten by a smart mare of Willie’s (Adriana Des Mottes) giving her lumps of weight and then the ground was just a little bit testing at Naas. “That’s taking nothing away from the winner (Wounded Warrior), though, because he looks a smart one. “At that time I just had a few not running up to scratch and I think he could have been one” The Tullow Tank, disappointing the last twice for Sandra Hughes, Shanahan’s Turn, Le Vent D’Antan and Draycott Place are the other possibles. The race used to be run as the Dr P.J. Moriarty Chase and the likes of Bostons Angel and Cooldine have won it before winning the RSA Chase the following month, while Lord Windermere was beaten in it two years ago before winning at Cheltenham. RSA Chase favourite Don Poli is among a total of 12 horses in the mix for Sunday’s Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Press Association
Coleman-Lands carries Miami (Ohio) over Cent. Michigan 76-57 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditOXFORD, Ohio (AP) — Isaiah Coleman-Lands had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as Miami (Ohio) defeated Central Michigan 76-57 on Thursday night.Nike Sibande had 17 points and nine rebounds for Miami (Ohio) (11-17, 4-11 Mid-American Conference). Milos Jovic added 15 points. Mekhi Lairy had 12 points.Rob Montgomery had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Chippewas (13-15, 6-9), who have now lost seven games in a row. David DiLeo added 10 points. Associated Press February 27, 2020 The RedHawks leveled the season series against the Chippewas with the win. Central Michigan defeated Miami (Ohio) 93-82 on Jan. 4. Miami (Ohio) faces Bowling Green at home on Saturday. Central Michigan takes on Eastern Michigan on the road on Saturday.___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com
Do you hope to empower the youths in any way?Yes, we have several programmes we are working on to contribute to every other efforts going on in the country by others and the government. Our first programme launches in January and it relates to football and other programmes shall follow shortly after. Football fans today are torn between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Who do you think is the best between the duo?I think there is only one greatest footballer that has ever played football and that is Messi. Who were your role models both on local and international scene when you are growing up? I grew up looking up to Kanu and Jay Jay Okocha. I enjoy watching them play for their respective club sides but more importantly, their exploits in the national team was highly motivating. On the global stage, Zinedine Zidane was my all time best. Should they then be involved in politics?In every developed nation, the youths don’t merely take the back seat in decisions affecting their countries. They are active participants and help in shaping in their destinies. That perhaps explains why some of such countries now come out with very young leaders. France is an example. The Nigerian youths should take more than mere ‘sidon dey look’ attitude in our national affairs. They are the future and the future begins now. I am happy to learn that the President has signed the “Not Too Young to Run” bill. That means we are making progress. The youths who constitute the vast majority of our population must prepare to participate in lifting the country up. On the field, you were once a rookie in the Super Eagles, especially in 2005/2006 when you looked up to senior players for inspiration. There is now a shift. You are the most senior player. How do you inspire the team? I lead the team by example. To me that’s very crucial. A good leader should always lead by example, and when we are losing, I inspire my team mates by making sure they keep their heads up and believe. However, my job as a leader in the team is easier because we have players that are hungry, focused and determined to be winners. Winners never give up. We have talented players.Just as the players look up to you for inspiration, so also are millions of youths outside the football field. Do you have any word for them? Youths are the future of any nation or country. They are the future scientists, future teachers, future doctors, future governors and presidents as well as future farmers. My first advice is to our leaders, to please continue to create better environments and opportunities for our youths. And for the youths, put God first, stay focused on your dreams, work hard and be a person of good character. Your name is the most important asset to you in life. Dreams do come true. I am an example of that. Never give up!! We know that a sport, especially as an athlete, is not a life career. What are you going to be doing after eventually hanging your boots? I have several business interests and I have surrounded myself with a team of good business professionals. We are growing partnerships with manufacturers, brands, and Tech. I can also say that Nigeria is a place with enormous opportunities and great business leaders, from industries to banking, to oil and gas. Any plan for an academy or foundation? The Mikel Obi Foundation will be launched in December 2018 in Lagos and our first major programme will be in January 2019.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Let’s talk a bit of politics. Nigeria’s general elections are just months away next year. What are your expectations fromNigerian youths? What do you expect them to do?The great thing about democracy is that everyone has a voice and everyone can contribute to changes in our country by voting. I encourage every youth that can vote, to get their PVC and vote. To make their vote count so they can have a say in their own future. Like I said, they are the future. Undoubtedly, Mikel John Obi is one of Nigeria’s most decorated active footballers. He becomes a legend having featured in all FIFA’s tier of football – the U-17 in Finland 2003, the U-20 in the Netherlands 2005, FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018, FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013, Olympics in 2016 and FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea in 2012. He has also been an Africa Cup of Nations winner with the Super Eagles in 2013 and winners in the UEFA Champions League (2011/12), UEFA Europa League in 2012/2013 as well as being a winner in the English Premier League (2009/10, 2014/15), the English FA Cup in 2006/07, 2008/09, 2011/12). Obi who is currently the captain of both his Chinese club, Tianjin Teda and Super Eagles in this interview with Kunle Solaja gives insight into his other activities outside footballThe name Mikel sounds unusual. It’s been suggested that it might be an adaptation from Michael. Can you explain how the name came about? Yes. My real name is John Michael Obi. At a tournament, it was miss-spelled and I have since been living with it without any regret. I did not notice it in the first place because of my desire to represent Nigeria at the international competition was uppermost in my mind. It was in 2003 as we prepared for the FIFA U-17 in Finland. All I did was to consult with my dad and he did not see anything wrong in my adopting the name, Mikel. That brings one to your early career. In 2005, you were at thecentre of what is perhaps the fiercest struggle by two major European clubs and the obvious leaders in the Premiership to sign a young player. What were your feelings then and how did you settle?My dad was a Manchester United supporter. He wanted me to join Sir Alex Ferguson. But Chelsea offered to sign me and three other friends who might not have gotten a club otherwise. For that reason, I decided to join Chelsea. Many Nigerian youths are obsessed with going abroad to ply their trade. What advice do you have for such young players hoping to break barriers in the course of going professional abroad?Our league in Nigeria is getting better, but going abroad gives young players better opportunity, a better environment to train and focus and better facilities to also become world class. We are starting a programme in Nigeria in January 2019, to give young aspirants an opportunity to go abroad and become professional footballers. It is called the ‘African Next Superstar’. We are in the process of packaging the event which details will be unfolded after the Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifier with Seychelles. You are a typical sports star who has a life outside the sports arenas. How do you unwind after hectic matches and training schedules?I love spending time with my family, my partner and my two daughters. I also enjoy working on my various business interests with my business team especially in the areas of manufacturing, and infrastructural development. You may be aware that I love Nigerian music a lot. Among my favourites are Tiwa Savage, P-Square and Banky W among others.As a football icon known globally, it is assumed you have taste for fashion like most youths. Can you share your fashion zeal with us as most youths in Nigeria and possibly outside see you as a model they like to share passion with?Everyone says am stylish. I just like wearing what looks good on me and what I feel comfortable in. It also helps to be tall and athletic, because everything fits well. My clothes types depend on the occasion. But it’s all about quality, and not quantity. Finally, I must say that we have some amazing designers in Nigeria, with fantastic ideas. Undoubtedly, you are a success in your chosen field. A captain ofclub and the national team. One of the very few players in the world to have featured in all FIFA men’s tournaments (U-17, U-20, U-23 Olympics, Club World Cup and FIFA World Cup). What has really inspired you for these rare feats and what words do you have for aspiring youths outside sports?My father and mother are my greatest inspirations. Their sacrifices to our family growing up and seeing how we grew up, I was driven to never forget what we went through and how we grew up. I am also an ambitious person. I did not give myself any other choice but to be successful because I never stop pushing myself. For the youths, follow your dreams, don’t listen to people that tell you, you cannot make it, and when thing are hard, pray harder, God will give you strength to go through it. Most importantly, hard work and good name. After China exploit, where is the next destination?Time will tell, I am enjoying my time in China. It is a great country to live and work and I want to continue playing for another four to five years. I will like to retire back in the Premier League in a few years’ time, but we will see what comes.
GREG DIXON/Herald photoEVANSTON, Ill.–The season is over for the Wisconsin women’s soccer team. Following a devastating 3-0 loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin has been eliminated from Big Ten tournament consideration.Coming into Friday’s matchup, Wisconsin needed a win to keep its postseason hopes alive. Northwestern, on the other hand, had already secured a tournament berth with a 3-0 victory over Iowa.It was the Wildcats who came out looking like the team that was facing a must-win situation. In contrast, the Badgers played like a team that had run out of gas after beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 2-0 a week ago.“For me, [the loss] is extremely disappointing,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “I think your entire season is based on what you do in the postseason — not to make the Big Ten tournament is a major wake-up call to myself and to the players.“There are a lot of things that this program needs to do better,” Wilkins added. “We cannot leave it down to one game like this.”Offensively for Northwestern, senior Shannon Schneeman netted her team-leading ninth goal of the season and eventual game-winner in the 31st minute.The Wildcats kept the pressure on the Badgers late in the first half as freshman Sam Greene tallied her first goal of the season in the 41st minute.Northwestern’s other senior offensive leader — Kelsey Hans — would not be outdone by Schneeman.Hans added the Wildcats’ third and final goal in the 52nd minute — her ninth goal of the season — with a spectacular shot off the crossbar.“[Northwestern] had three great finishes. The third goal, that was a great shot,” Wilkins said. “They were dynamic, and they brought a lot of emotion; they looked like one of the best teams I have seen in recent years.”Despite allowing three goals, Wilkins praised senior goalkeeper Lynn Murray for her play Friday night.“[Lynn] played quite well; I think she did everything she could,” Wilkins said. “Even with the three goals, I was impressed. With the shots that they had, I don’t think many people could have gotten to those.”Wisconsin never seemed to get in rhythm offensively as the team once again struggled to create scoring opportunities. Overall, the Badgers were outshot 16-7 by the Wildcats. Further, they only managed to post three shots on goal while the Wildcats tallied eight.“I think we worry too much about playing defense and trying to have people back there so that the other team does not create opportunities,” junior forward Taylor Walsh said. “When we do get chances to go forward there are not enough people going forward to make anything happen.”Senior Shannon Terry also noted that Wisconsin’s inability to create scoring opportunities often stems from its concentration on defensive play.“I think our forwards need to have more confidence in our defense rather than thinking ‘I have to go back and help,’” Terry said. “We should remember that Birdie [Leibham] or [Lauren] Rud[zinski] or whoever, can take care of themselves and they don’t need us to come back and help.”Friday’s loss was an emotional and shocking one for Terry and her fellow seniors as it marked the end of their careers in the cardinal and white.The Badgers graduate six seniors — Madison natives Ann Eshun and Katy Meuer, goalkeeper Lynn Murray, defender Lauren Rudzinski, midfielder Marissa Sarkesian and Terry, a forward.“I am really upset,” an emotional Terry said of the loss. “I am kind of in between crying and shock right now. I am really shocked; I cannot believe it is over — I have to be a real person now.”Walsh, who took a medical redshirt her freshman season, started her career with Eshun, Meuer, Murray and Terry. After the loss, Walsh will no longer share the field with her fellow classmates.“I will cry for like 30 seconds and then it will go away and then I will cry again,” Walsh said. “I don’t know what I am going to do without these girls. I cannot imagine playing without them.”As the Badgers transition into the offseason, the team will continue to focus on details as it has the entire season. Additionally, Wilkins plans to put the team through an extensive conditioning program.“We are going to start back with the basics,” Wilkins said. “We need to pick up the tempo and demand more out of players. I think we need to get better with fitness and with the whole spring ahead of us that is going to be our complete and utter focus.”
Despite an underwhelming regular season overall for the University of Wisconsin football team, the Badger offense was well represented during the Big Ten Awards with five offensive players receiving All Big Ten Team honors as selected by both conference coaches and media this week. On the defensive side, four Wisconsin players were selected by the coaches with two making the media’s list.Star running back Jonathan Taylor was on both first team All-Big Ten lineups. Taylor was a workhorse all year for the Badgers, rushing for 1,977 yards in the regular season coming up just shy of 2,000 — though he will almost certainly surpass that mark in Wisconsin’s bowl game.In typical Wisconsin fashion, four Badger offensive lineman earned All Big Ten honors. Center Tyler Biadasz and guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel made both first team All Big Ten lineups while tackle David Edwards was selected first team by the media and second team by the coaches.Men’s basketball: Badgers win in nail-biter come-back against NC StateThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (6-1) came from behind Tuesday to beat previously undefeated NC State (6-1) 79-75 Read…On the defensive end, linebacker TJ Edwards performed best earning first team All Big Ten from the media and second team from the coaches. Safety D’Cota Dixon was the only other Wisconsin defender selected for the media’s All Big Ten list on the third team though Dixon and linebackers Andrew Van Ginkel and Ryan Connelly made third team All Big Ten through the coaches selections.Three Badgers came away with individual accolades in the Big Ten awards as well. Former Badger offensive lineman Jake Wood earned the Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award for Wood’s work in founding Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization centered on connecting former veterans to volunteer work in global disasters.Fullback U: Why football’s forgotten position still reigns supreme in MadisonRon Dayne was one of the most talented college athletes to ever step foot on a football field. Though, even Read…On the current Badger team Taylor and Deiter earned individual honors as the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year and the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year respectively.Hopefully these awards will translate to on-field production for the Badgers during their bowl game this year and going forward in future seasons.
Argentina international Lionel Messi has admitted that he dreams of guiding his country to World Cup glory in Brazil next year.Alejandro Sabella’s men beat Paraguay 5-2 on Tuesday evening to seal qualification for next summer’s showpiece and the Barcelona star is eager to follow in the footsteps of Diego Maradona and steer la Albiceleste to their first world title since 1986.“I dream of winning the World Cup. We all do in Argentina. But there is still a long way to go,” Messi told reporters after his side’s away victory over Paraguay.“We got what we wanted, but it was difficult to play here. The most important thing was to qualify as soon as possible.“We want to continue like this and we want to keep winning.”Messi also briefly reacted to rumours that Barcelona have asked the Argentine football association (Afa) to leave the attacker out of the squad for their remaining two World Cup qualifiers and stressed that he always wants to play for the national team. “I don’t know anything about that. I always want to play for Argentina.”
The Lakers are in freefall, a needed, potentially fortuitous freefall that could land them a premium lottery pick in next summer’s draft.By now, you know the drill. The Lakers promised the Phoenix Suns a 2015 first-round pick in the Steve Nash trade. But the Lakers keep it if they finish within the top five of the lottery. They currently have the fourth-worst record in the NBA, meaning they have an 82.8% chance of staying in the top five, a 37.8% chance of landing in the top three and an 11.9% chance of getting the top pick overall. The Lakers’ rebuilding project depends on importing as many young, talented players as possible and adding them to a couple of established veterans via free agency or trades.The lottery pick, coupled with the first-round pick they get from the Houston Rockets from the Jeremy Lin trade and the two second-round picks they’ll likely have, means adding four players with upside to promising youngsters like Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. And with the money they will have to play with in free agency, they can add one or two impact veterans. By October, we could be looking at a completely different Lakers team.So while you keep one eye on the Lakers’ plunge, it’s probably time to start looking at whom the Lakers might be considering pick within the top five selections. And while they desperately needing a big-body presence to anchor the defense or an explosive playmaker, expect the Lakers to target an elite post player or a play-making wing or guard.With the help of two high-ranking NBA team executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity, here are five players the Lakers should be considering. JAHLIL OKAFORFreshman center, Duke, 6-11, 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks The lowdown: Without question, the most polished offensive big man available, and though there are questions about his ability to consistently protect the basket, his defense has improved during the course of his freshman season and he is an efficient rebounder. His calling card is an advanced, offensive game, an NBA body, big hands and terrific footwork. The Lakers have always built from the inside out, and in Okafor they’d have their center for the next decade.NBA executive: I think he’s going to go with the top pick. Does he have some aspects of his game that need to improve? Yes. But offensively, the way he can score in the low post, his foot work, and he’s actually a really good passer, he’s a very good rebounder and while he’s not a tremendous athlete, he’s sneaky. Are there other guys who can go before him? Maybe. Maybe if you have a big already on your roster, maybe you’d go in another direction or maybe you pick him anyway, just to have as an asset. I just don’t know if there are enough guys who can challenge him at this point.EMMANUEL MUDIAYPoint guard, China, 6-5, 17.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.9 assistsThe lowdown: One of the true wild cards in the draft, Mudiay originally committed to Larry Brown and SMU but opted to play professionally in China this year. A minor ankle injury cut short his season after just 10 games — although some suspect a short season was the plan all along — curtailing his exposure to scouts. In the time he did play, Mudiay put up outstanding numbers. Coming out of high school, Mudiay was considered the potential top-pick overall while drawing comparisons to elite point guards like John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose. The Lakers desperately need a new star and dynamic playmaker, and Mudiay checks both boxes.NBA executive: Haven’t seen him since high school, but, you know, he’s talented. With the injury, it’s going to be interesting to see how he does in the draft just because teams might be a bit leery of drafting a guy like that without seeing him, and depending on whether he works out for them or not. I think he’ll still go pretty high, but it might hurt him that he’s injured. The guys you’re seeing now that are playing, let’s be honest, they’re getting more exposure. Of course, there’s something to be said sometimes about the mysterious guys. Sometimes that actually helps.D’ANGELO RUSSELLFreshman point guard, Ohio State, 6-5, 19.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.4 assistsThe lowdown: No one is shooting up the draft board faster than Russell, an explosive, creative playmaker who is showing he can handle point-guard duties but also take over games with his scoring. Some wonder if he is tall enough to be an NBA two-guard — he is listed at 6-5 but some think he is closer to 6-3 or 6-4. Nevertheless, he’s been an awakening with his combination of scoring and passing ability. And at this point he’s a lock in the top five. In fact, with Mudiay still somewhat of a wild card on some boards, there are some who think Russell can overtake him as the second overall pick.NBA executive: I think he’s really made a push recently. He came in originally more as a two guard. And when we saw him in high school, at the McDonald’s All-America game and things like that, we saw him as a two. But now, the way he’s playing, I think he’s one of those guys that doesn’t really have a true position. He’s a combo guy. He can run a team, or at least make plays. He can score and make plays. He’s pretty unique. And that’s really boosting his stock because there aren’t a lot of point guards out there. People are looking at him, he’s 6-3, 6-4, and he rebounds, he shoots it pretty decently and he’s really good off the dribble. He can make plays and score off the dribble. The lack of point guards is helping him, and I think people are looking at him differently, someone they can convert to point guard in the NBA. He’s not quite big enough to be an NBA two, but he can run a team and he’s certainly creative enough off the dribble, and that’s I think what’s so intriguing about him. Russell is an impressive player, he can really go and he makes things happen. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNSFreshman center, Kentucky, 6-11, 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 blocksThe lowdown: It’s tough sometimes getting a read on Kentucky players. There is so much talent in Lexington it forces individuals to sacrifice personal numbers and exposure for the good of the team. So don’t get caught up in the stats, they don’t tell the whole story. That said, Towns has flashed enough offensive game, defensive mastery and basketball I.Q. to thrust himself into top-five consideration. On the right team, he could develop into the premier player in this draft.NBA executive: I like him a lot. He’s probably the most skilled inside-outside kind of guy, for a big. I think he can make mid-range shots and threes. He’s pretty good around the basket. He’s a good athlete, although I’m not sure he’s a great athlete. He knows how to play, he’s got a high I.Q. One thing that’s underrated is his shot blocking. He plays on a team with a great shot-blocker, but he’s a pretty dang good shot-blocker himself. I think he can be a little bit stronger, add a little more strength. He’s not super chiseled, he’s sort of got that baby fat thing still going. But if he can improve his rebounding, and his defense — not just shot blocking but individual defense — it will help. He kind of reminds me a little bit of Al Horford in how he can step out and shoot. Al shoots more of a set shot, but from that 18-, 19-foot range he’s deadly. Al’s legs are spread out and he doesn’t jump, but his release is deadly and I think Towns has a little bit of that going on. He’s got a great stroke and he can hit college threes. I think a lot of guys were looking at him as a potential No. 1, but I think Okafor and some other guys have maybe nudged ahead of him. But I wouldn’t sleep on him.WILLIE CAULEY-STEINJunior center, Kentucky, 7-0, 8.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocksThe lowdown: Again, if you play at Kentucky, expect to sacrifice some of your game. And in Cauley-Stein’s case, that means offense. However, there isn’t a prospect in the draft who can impact the defensive side of the court more than this elite, 7-foot athlete who flashes incredible speed, lateral quickness and shot-blocking ability that extends from the rim to the perimeter. Cauley-Stein would make an immediate impact with the Lakers on the defensive end — arguably their biggest weakness — while finishing on the break.NBA executive: I think he might be a sleeper. He’s going top 10 for sure, but I think guys like him, the way he can run and moreover his lateral quickness are off the chart. I’m not sure there are a lot of guys in the NBA, if any, that have that combination. He’s not super strong, he can definitely get stronger. And I know people criticize him offensively, but he’s a weapon because on pick-and-roll defense, he can guard the bigs but also switch down on the guard. He can play in front of guards. Maybe not for long periods but certainly enough in a shot clock or long enough for guys to rotate back and help them out. He can contain on the perimeter, even on some guards, and that’s a big weapon to have. Rim protectors and defenders like that are really at a premium. Look, if you had a great offensive team, he might be the No. 1 pick. But Okafor has all the footwork and huge hands and skill around the basket, but Stein is, and if you’re just talking (defense), that’s a huge component of being a good player. Most people would look at it like he isn’t great offensively. But he can run and finish and he’ll get better. I think his ability to defend and his ability to contain pick-and-roll, which is the staple of the NBA, makes him really, really intriguing.OTHERSStanley JohnsonFreshman small forward, Arizona, 6-7, 14.6 points, 6.8 reboundsKristaps PorzingisPower forward, Latvia, 7-0, 10.2 points, 4.6 reboundsKevon LooneyFreshman power forward, UCLA, 6-9, 12.3 points, 10.0 reboundsMyles TurnerFreshman power forward, Texas, 6-11, 11.0 points, 6.3 reboundsKelly OubreFreshman small forward, Kansas, 6-7, 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
NEPTUNE’S STORM ATTENDS PACE EN ROUTE TO IMPRESSIVE ONE LENGTH WIN IN $150,000 CINEMA STAKES UNDER VAN DYKE; TRAINED BY BALTAS, HE GETS 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF IN 1:48.65 ARCADIA, Calif. (June 2, 2019)–Attentive to the pace, Neptune’s Storm took command a quarter mile from home and went on to an impressive one length tally in Sunday’s $150,000 Cinema Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and trained by Richard Baltas, Neptune’s Storm, a 3-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding, got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:48.65.Breaking from the far outside in a field of five sophomores, Neptune’s Storm was quickly into stride and laid second to King of Speed to the top of the lane where he took command.“On paper, there wasn’t a whole a lot of speed and this horse has natural speed,” said Baltas, who took over the training of Neptune’s Storm prior to his most recent start, a three quarter length win in the one mile turf Singletary Stakes here on April 28. “He can carry his speed and he’s a good horse. The thing about him is, he’ll rate. He doesn’t have to have the lead…I didn’t have to tell Drayden anything…I just told him to have the horse up close.”The second choice in the wagering at 3-2, Neptune’s Storm paid $5.00, $3.00 and $2.40.“I learned from riding him last time and then working him in the mornings that when horses come to him on his outside, he’ll re-engage and fight back,” said Van Dyke. “On the gallop out today, horses came to him and he took off. He should like more distance.”Owned by Cybertec International Inc., Saul Gevertz, Lynn Gitomer, Mike Goetz, Michael Nentwig and Daniel Weiner, Neptune’s Storm, who is out of Immortal Life, by Iffraaj, picked up $90,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $249,585. In garnering his second stakes win, he improved his overall mark to 9-4-1-2.In a determined effort, Parsimony, who was ridden by Mario Gutierrez, tracked the winner and pacesetting King of Speed to the furlong pole, prevailed by a neck for second money and paid $5.60 and $3.40 while off at 6-1.Ridden by Victor Espinoza, King of Speed was off at 11-1 and paid $3.60 to show while finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Gregorian Chant.Fractions on the race were 25.12, 49.53, 1:12.77 and 1:36.59.
Four tries to the Capras in the first half gave them a 20-4 lead at the break.The Hunters put themselves right back into the game when utility Noel Zeming crossed over to score two minutes into the second half.Zeming converted his own try to narrow the deficit to 20-10.The Hunters continued to put pressure on the Capras defence, launching wave after wave of attack threatening to score more points.This turned into points in the 61st minute when quick hands on the fifth tackle produced an overlap for winger Adex Wera to score out wide.Zeming found his mark striking the ball between the posts to set up a big finish for the match.All the momentum was with the Hunters and they were in again to score four minutes later when halfback Atte Bina Wabo spread the ball out to the wing for fullback Stargoth Amean to dummy and step in to score to level the game.Zeming’s attempt to convert was unsuccessful as his kick sailed wide.The last 10 minutes of play was where the Capras won the match.Halfback Matthew Minto struck a field goal in the 72 minute to put his side in front.But the win was sealed in the 77th minute when the Capras turned defence into attack after fullback Reece Baker caught the ball on the full from a Wabo bomb to run 70 metres to score.Minto added the extras right on the full time siren to cap off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Intrust Super Cup competition for the 7th placed Capras to beat the Hunters, who are sitting in 3rd place in the competition.
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