Free Wind defied a 320-day lay-off to land the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at York under a fine ride from Frankie Dettori.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained four-year-old had been absent since winning the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in July, but was a warm order for her return in the extended 10-furlong event.

Sent off the 6-5 favourite, she settled well and when asked to lengthen approaching three furlongs to run, she did so effortlessly.

As the run from long-time leader Aristia – carrying a Group One penalty – petered out, Free Wind hit the front soon enough and outsider Rogue Millennium loomed large on the outside under Jack Mitchell.

Though the pair came close when Free Wind edged right, Free Wind kept finding and after a stewards’ inquiry, the result – a half-length victory – stood.

Mako Vunipola feels that Saracens have not allowed themselves to be affected by external noise this season ahead of their ninth Gallagher Premiership final appearance.

Saracens return to Twickenham next week, where Sale will stand between them and a sixth title of the Premiership era.

Saracens were last crowned English champions in 2019, since when they spent a season in the Championship after being relegated for persistent salary cap breaches.

They teed up a dream finale to their first campaign back in the top flight last term by contesting domestic silverware with Leicester.

But the Tigers bit them, winning 15-12 thanks to a Freddie Burns drop goal during the nerve-shredding closing stages of a gripping final.

“Last year we probably focused too much on the things outside, worrying about what people were saying and wanting to prove them wrong,” Saracens and England prop Vunipola said.

“It probably got to that we didn’t actually enjoy the occasion. We didn’t throw a punch in the final, and that’s credit to Leicester – they didn’t let us throw a punch.

“This year, we have just been trying to improve game by game, probably a little bit more focused on ourselves and what we can control, rather than worry (about) outside.

“You get emotion spikes in big games, and we have to be able to control that, make sure we channel it in the right way and put it towards our rugby.

“Last year, we didn’t really fire a shot, and that was down to Leicester being able to dictate the way the game went.

“We weren’t able to attack because we didn’t work hard enough or we didn’t adjust well enough. Hopefully, we can do that this time.”

While Saracens have been regular Twickenham visitors over the past dozen seasons, Sale are through to their first Premiership final since 2006 when players like Jason Robinson, Charlie Hodgson and Sebastien Chabal ruled the roost.

And a pivotal part of Sale’s resurgence has been rugby director Alex Sanderson, who was previously key to Saracens’ success in a revered coaching team led by Mark McCall.

Vunipola added: “Me and Alex started working together when I was 16 or 17. He was the first one who kind of gave me a shot with the age-group stuff and gave me a bit of confidence that I could play at the highest level.

“To work with him at Saracens for so long was a privilege. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and you see that.

“We always knew here at the club how special he is as a coach and a person.

“And we knew if he did the same at Sale then success would come to them as a team, whether that was finishing higher in the league or the players enjoying what they are doing.

“Having been around a lot of them at England camps, they can’t speak highly enough of Al and what he has done.

“We know that Sale will be pumped for it, we know they will have a plan, and a lot of that will be down to the work he does with the leaders they have there at Sale.”

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is set to rejoin training on Friday ahead of the crucial trip to Wolves this weekend.

The England international was replaced at half-time of last weekend’s defeat by Manchester City due to a groin problem, and having been given a reduced workload this week, manager Sean Dyche is ready to bring him back into the squad.

“He’s had a few down days and it is looking more promising so he will be with us again tomorrow,” he said.

“He has come through the last couple of days well.”

Defender Vitalii Mykolenko’s continued absence, he missed the City game with a thigh problem, means Everton are without any first-choice full-backs as Seamus Coleman’s season was ended by a knee injury earlier this month.

Dyche admits it would be a risk to play the Ukraine international this weekend.

“I doubt he will be right for this one. He has got a chance for the next one,” he said.

“It’s a risk-and-reward scenario but he hasn’t trained so I doubt he’ll be ready for this one.

“Myko is close but it is whether we take a gamble on that with only one to go (after this weekend).”

The Football Association is expected to ask FIFA to extend Ivan Toney’s ban globally unless an appeal leads to the suspension being overturned.

As things stand the 27-year-old will not be able to play again until January 17 next year after he was banned for eight months by an independent regulatory commission for admitting 232 breaches of FA betting rules.

The PA news agency understands the FA could only apply to FIFA for a worldwide extension if a ban is still in place once the appeals process is complete.

Once the written reasons in the case are published, both parties have a window of time to issue an intention to appeal. Only once that window closes without an appeal, or the appeals process concludes with a ban still in place, could the FA apply to extend the ban globally.

The extension of the ban worldwide would rule out the possibility of Toney moving overseas to play on a temporary or permanent basis while any ban imposed in England is still in force.

The granting of an extension would require approval from FIFA’s own disciplinary committee, but would appear to be a formality with no obvious precedent where FIFA has refused a national association’s request to extend a ban globally.

The FA did apply to FIFA for a worldwide extension in the cases of two other English players banned over betting rule breaches – Kieran Trippier and Daniel Sturridge – while more recently FIFA accepted an application to extend a ban imposed by the Italian federation on former Tottenham managing director Fabio Paratici, a decision which prompted his resignation from the north London club.

Paratici’s ban was imposed following an investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement at his former club Juventus.

It is unclear at this stage whether Toney – who won his first England cap in March – will appeal against the ban. He said he was “naturally disappointed” about the sanction in a statement issued on Wednesday, but said he would await the publication of the commission’s written reasons concerning the case before commenting further.

The FA is also awaiting the written reasons.

Toney will be allowed to return to training on September 17, four months before the playing ban expires.

The ban takes effect immediately, meaning Toney is out of Brentford’s final two Premier League matches this season starting with the game against Tottenham on Saturday.

The Jamaica Football Federation has named a 20-player squad that will represent the country at the 2023 Concacaf Women’s U20 championship in the Dominican Republic from May 22 to June 3. The players are scheduled to depart for the championship on Saturday, May 20.

Jamaica will play in a tough Group A that also comprises the United States, Canada and Panama. Group B is made up of Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic.

After round-robin play, the two best teams from each group will advance to a knockout stage. All knockout stage matches with the two finalists and the third-place match winner qualifying for next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The matches will be played across two venues - the Estadio Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo and the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.

The United States is the current champion (seventh title overall) of the CWU20 after defeating Mexico 2-0 in the 2022 Final.

The Jamaica squad is as follows: Andrene Smith, Shaneil Buckley, Una Moy Lue, Davia  Richards, Liha Williams, Taijah Fraser, Tiny Seaton, Kaitlyn Ennis, Natoya Atkinson, Destiny Powell, Akeila Johnson, Janiel Mignott, Amelia Zanten, Liya Brooks, Avery Johnson, Maya Raghunandanan, Anaiyah Robinson, Njeri  Butts, NjerI Lewis, Katie Oakley.

David Seaman hailed “amazing” Mikel Arteta for Arsenal’s transformation which has seen them rival Manchester City at the top of the Premier League this season.

The Gunners will play in the Champions League next year for the first time since 2016-17 after an impressive campaign which saw them lead the title race until recent weeks.

And the former Arsenal and England goalkeeper commended the Spanish manager for his impact, despite it being his first managerial role, as he called for his former side to take further steps towards their long-term ambitions of silverware next season.


“It’s his first job, he’s doing an amazing job and it’s a massive job but he’s making it work,” Seaman told the PA news agency.

“It’s all down to Arteta, the way he’s got the lads playing, believing, the demands he makes on them, that’s what ends up being put out on the pitch.

“The process that Arteta goes on about is now really showing through. Even before when he was talking about the process when he first got there, people were questioning that because the performances were not the best but I see what Mikel does on the training field and I see the enthusiasm and his amazing coaching.

“Arsenal will judge him on his Champions League performances but I’m hoping for silverware, that’s the ultimate game, that’s where the club needs to be, back into the frame of winning silverware.”

Arteta joined Arsenal in 2019 and led the club to FA Cup glory in 2020, before masterminding consistent improvement in their league positions over the last three seasons – they finished eighth in 2020-21, fifth the following season and are currently second.

Seaman believes the hard-working culture Arteta has instilled is behind the improved performances his young squad have produced this season.


The 59-year-old who will also be goalkeeper coach for the England team in this year’s Soccer Aid, added: “He’s doing his first job really well and he’s getting the best out of the team, his coaching team and all the people at the training ground, they all totally respect him.

“Not only is he a great manager, he’s a gent as well, he’s a great bloke. I know I’m waxing lyrical about him but he’s a nice guy and everybody around the training ground knows that and they all want to do the best for him.

Arsenal’s form dwindled in recent months, they have lost top spot to treble-chasing Manchester City as a result of just two wins in seven matches.

Although the Gunners’ chances of winning their first league title since 2004 have faded, their former goalkeeper is delighted with his former side’s development this year.

He said: “I’m massively proud (of Arsenal), second in the Premier League is another huge improvement on the last few seasons and we’ve got to take that into next season.”

Seaman, who won three league championships, four FA Cups, the League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup during his 13-year career with the club, added: “Arsenal can now contend, it’s been a long time since they’ve been able to do that.”

::Tickets for Soccer Aid For UNICEF on Sunday, June 11 at Old Trafford, are on sale via www.socceraid.org.uk/tickets, with a family of four able to attend for just £60 — two adults and two children.

Queen For You created a deep impression when scoring on debut at Ascot but now faces a real fight to wear the crown at York on Friday, as a stellar cast has assembled for the Oaks Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s daughter of Kingman is out of Fallen For You – a Coronation Stakes winner for the Clarehaven yard – and is a half-sister to six-time Group winner Glorious Journey, so is clearly bred to be a smart operator.

The manner of her two-length success, in what appeared a decent maiden, suggests she is on track to become an above-average filly herself.

She is pitched into Listed company for just her second start, a path taken by her training team in the past, including last year when they saddled the runner-up Grande Dame.

Thady Gosden said: “She won nicely first time out at Ascot and was a little green, which she was entitled to be

“She seems to have come forward for the run and although it is a big jump up into Listed company, we’d be hopeful. It is a much more competitive race and a step up in class, but we hope she will do herself justice.”

Equally impressive in her first start was Charlie Appleby’s Silver Lady, who romped the best part of four lengths clear of the opposition at Newmarket last month.

The form of that race was given a timely boost when the third scored at Beverley earlier this week and the daughter of Sea The Stars, who is out of Group One winner Lumiere, looks packed with potential ahead of this contest, better known as the Michael Seely Memorial Fillies’ Stakes.

Appleby said: “Silver Lady was impressive on her debut at Newmarket and came out of the race well.

“We feel that this is the right next step to test her credentials ahead of the summer.”

Sir Michael Stoute won this 10 years ago with Pavlosk, and looks to repeat the dose with Stormy Sea, who built on an encouraging Kempton bow at two when returning to the track at Haydock recently.

A half-sister to the Freemason Lodge handler’s Champion Stakes winner Bay Bridge, she surged over four lengths clear in her first try over a mile at the Lancashire track and now Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle.

“I haven’t ridden her on the track but she clearly did it very well on her return at Haydock and I’d expect this half-sister to Bay Bridge to be featuring here,” the jockey told Betfair.

“That said, it is clearly a very competitive race full of similarly unexposed fillies of potential, so I imagine a few will be fancying their chances.”

Representing Jessica Harrington, Sounds Of Heaven brings smart form from Ireland to the table, while Ralph Beckett’s Juliet Sierra has to concede 5lb to all rivals following her victory in the Group Three Dick Poole Stakes at two. She is the most experienced runner in the field and also the only one to run in Group One company.

“It’s an extremely hot race and the initial plan with Juliet Sierra was to go to the 1000 Guineas and we were just not happy with her scope the week before, so we gave her a quiet week the week of the Guineas,” said Barry Mahon, racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“To be honest, options are few and far between and she carries a penalty for her Group Three win at Salisbury last year.

“You would prefer to be running a nice filly like her without a penalty and maybe starting off at seven (furlongs) and working up to a mile, but when you go through the programme book, it was hard to find a race.

“We’re starting there, she’s fit and well and a filly we like. I wouldn’t be confident giving a penalty to some of the fillies in that race, like the Appleby and Gosden fillies, but she is a nice filly and we’re hopeful she will run a nice race.”

Owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum is well represented with both Kevin Ryan’s Glenlaurel and Andrew Balding’s Clochette lining up in the yellow silks with black spots, while William Haggas is another double-handed in the contest as he saddles both the reappearing Newmarket two-year-old winner Orchid Bloom and eye-catching Newbury maiden scorer Fakhama.

Connections have high hopes for the latter, with Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell, saying: “She is nice. She won first time at Newbury. She is very well bred – a beautiful filly. I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t go on.”

Domingo Miotti has won the race to start for Glasgow in the number 10 jersey in Friday’s EPCR Challenge Cup final against Toulon.

The 26-year-old Argentina international will make his ninth start for Warriors in Dublin as the replacement for the suspended Tom Jordan.

Stafford McDowall stepped back to deputise for Jordan following his red card in the BKT United Rugby Championship quarter-final defeat by Munster but the centre has had to make do with a place on the bench at the Aviva Stadium.

Miotti has been preferred to kicking specialist Duncan Weir in the vacant stand-off position.

Hooker Fraser Brown has been handed a start days after signing a new one-year contract, with Johnny Matthews dropping to the bench.

JP du Preez replaces Richie Gray in the second row, Sione Vailanu is in for Rory Darge in the back row while centre Huw Jones is also back in the starting line-up.

Head coach Franco Smith said: “This week’s training has been highly competitive, with every player putting their hand up for selection and pushing each other forward.”

Amo Racing have been in blistering form in two-year-old contests this term and hold an ultra-strong hand in the Clipper EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes that kicks off the action at York on Friday.

Two Dominic Ffrench Davis-trained runners feature in this Listed event, with Persian Dreamer leading the charge on the back of a blistering display at Newmarket on debut and Nottingham scorer Treasure Storm providing able support.

Three fillies have done the Marygate/Queen Mary double in the past and this could prove the perfect stepping stone to Royal Ascot for Persian Dreamer, who is not only of warm order for this contest, but also the market leader for the Queen Mary itself.

“We think Persian Dreamer is a very classy filly and I think she has a standout chance in the race,” said Ffrench Davis.

“There are one or two obvious dangers. I think the Richard Hannon horse (Gaiden) will come on a lot for her debut at Windsor, she looked a nice type there and we have a little bit of a line through the form with Always Love You who was fourth that day.

“She was very impressive at Newmarket and has come on well since then. We are looking towards Ascot with her but this is a stepping stone and hopefully she can get the job done.”

He went on: “Treasure Storm has done nothing wrong. She was a little bit green on her first start and then improved on that to win at Nottingham, but we don’t think she is in the same league as Persian Dreamer. We would love it if she could run into a place.”

Karl Burke saddled the one-two in this 12 months ago and saddles two classy prospects as he attempts to repeat the dose.

One of the Spigot Lodge duo is the Middleham Park Racing-owned Got To Love A Grey who created a deep impression when scorching to a six-length success at Nottingham last month.

“She was very impressive at Nottingham, she was drawn out wide there and did everything Sam (James, jockey) asked of her and and was very impressive at the end,” said Middleham Park’s Mike Prince.

“It’s a sharp five furlongs at York and we do think she will step up to six furlongs at some point. It looks a very warm race with some decent fillies in it – I think it’s a very decent renewal and a strong affair.

“It’s interesting because it’s probably the first two-year-old race for the fillies that brings all the form lines together, so it will be interesting to see who is on the right form lines, but she couldn’t have done any more at Nottingham and hopefully goes there with every chance.”

Meanwhile, stablemate Dorothy Lawrence represents last year’s winning owners Clipper Logistics, but has just over three lengths to find with Persian Dreamer from when they met on the Rowley Mile earlier in the campaign.

Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle now and told Betfair: “I think she probably bumped into a good one when beaten at Newmarket last month, but she clearly shaped very well there and hopefully she can improve a good deal for it.”

Rod Milman’s Beenham built on her debut at Bath when accounting for a decent cast at Goodwood recently, while Richard Hannon’s Gaiden bumped into a useful looking rival when runner-up at Windsor and can be expected to take a step forward now.

Similar sentiments also apply to Tierney who finished an encouraging fourth when pitched into the Lily Agnes at Chester for her first start and trainer Hugo Palmer is keen to see if the speedy daughter of Mehmas can better that first racecourse effort on ground which will suit his filly much better this time.

He said: “She’s very much a filly for the here and now, she’s a speedy filly.

“She ran really well in the Lily Agnes taking on unpenalised winners, so it was a really good effort.

“The ground was much too soft for her at Chester, but I thought she ran a really encouraging race, although she will obviously need to step forward on that in stakes company.”

Bellarchi (Grant Tuer), Callianassa (Brian Ellison) and Miss Woo Woo (Robert Cowell) complete the field of 10.

Bernardo Silva is determined to right a wrong after firing Manchester City back to the Champions League final.

The Portugal playmaker struck twice as City overpowered Real Madrid 4-0 in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday to set up a clash with Inter Milan in next month’s Istanbul showpiece.

It marks a return to the final for City two years on from their disappointing loss to Chelsea on European club football’s top night and Silva wants to ensure the result is different this time.

The 28-year-old said: “The final of the Champions League is always an unbelievable occasion.

“I’ve only played it once and the outcome was wasn’t very happy for me. Let’s try and change that.

“We know that we play against a very tough team. I watched their game on Tuesday and they are very organised collectively.

“We’re going to study them, follow the manager’s plan once again and try to, individually and collectively, put out the best possible performance, like this one, to be as close as possible to winning that game.”

City produced one of the greatest performances in the club’s history to move a step closer to winning the competition for the first time.

Real Madrid, the holders and 14-time winners of the trophy, had no answer to City’s dizzying combination of movement, speed, strength and cutting edge.

City made a blistering start and maintained the intensity throughout. Silva put them into a thoroughly deserved lead after 23 minutes and added a second before the interval.

An Eder Militao own goal and late Julian Alvarez strike made the scoreline 5-1 on aggregate and truly reflective of their superiority. Victory could have been even more emphatic with Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making three fine saves to deny Erling Haaland.

City’s display ensured sweet revenge for their loss to the same opponents in the semi-finals last year.

“I’m very happy because the performance was amazing,” Silva said. “From minute one, the pressure that we put on Real Madrid’s defence – we pushed them back and we created lots of chances.

“And with our people – the energy – we felt the momentum that we created. It helped a lot.

“The second half started in a weird way where they put us under a bit of pressure but I think the team was very resilient, very organised, and the difference from this year to last year was the chances – we created most of them. We took them and we scored the goals.”

The Champions League final could be the crowning moment of a glorious treble for Pep Guardiola’s City this season.

They will claim the first of the three trophies they are chasing if they beat Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

Silva said: “Yes, with our people again. Hopefully we can give them another happy day and give them the special moment of winning five (Premier Leagues) in six years, which is not easy in this country.

“We’re going to rest, sleep well, eat well and prepare well to be at our best and give that happiness to them because they deserve it.”

Ben Kavanagh can still recall being hoisted onto his father’s shoulders as a four-year-old to watch his beloved Halifax play out their final seasons at Thrum Hall.

After a career that started with a Super League stint at Widnes and snaked through Wakefield and Bradford to Hull KR, the Halifax-born prop finally signed for his hometown club in 2019.

Kavanagh’s return coincided with the then second-tier side’s surge to the Challenge Cup semi-finals, including a win over Super League London Broncos, and he featured in their eventual 26-2 defeat by St Helens in Bolton.

On Friday night the 35-year-old will get his second shot at Saints when the reigning world champions head for The Shay for a sixth-round clash that Kavanagh admits will bring back plenty of happy memories.

“I’ve been a Halifax fan ever since I used to go to Thrum Hall with my dad, and even when I was playing for other clubs I’d try to get back back to watch them as often as I could,” Kavanagh told the PA news agency.

“I always said I wanted to finish my career at Halifax so it was a very special moment when I signed for them in 2019. We had a great cup run that year and we shocked ourselves a bit getting to semis and pushing Saints so hard in the first half.

“We’ve spoken about that cup run this week. We are going into the game as massive underdogs but there will be a great home crowd and it just shows that if we chuck a few things at them that they haven’t experienced before, anything could happen.”

Saints were also the opponents when Halifax claimed the latest of their five Challenge Cup wins with a thrilling 19-18 win at Wembley in 1987, 10 months before Kavanagh was born.

The club has put long-term fans like Kavanagh though every conceivable emotion in the summer era, including plunging out of Super League, teetering on the brink of the third tier, and winning a battle against potential liquidation.

Rebranded to their current Panthers in 2020, Halifax have been resurgent in recent seasons, finishing third in the Championship last season and retaining similarly strong play-off hopes in the current campaign.

A dream return to Super League with his home club may realistically come too late for Kavanagh, who also figured in the 2013 World Cup for Scotland, but he is pleased that the turbulence of the last two decades appears to be a thing of the past.

“It took a long time after their relegation from Super League to build things back up but now we’re heading in the right direction, and it’s something that’s back on the horizon,” he added.

“I remember those days at Thrum Hall when there were thousands watching, and it would be great to get back to that sort of atmosphere on a regular basis, starting on Friday night against Saints.”

Halifax are one of four Championship clubs featuring in the last 16 of the competition this weekend. Batley travel to Hull KR while London face York in a game that ensures at least one non-Super League side will reach the quarter-finals.

Jamison Gibson-Park admits the lingering pain of last year’s agonising Heineken Champions Cup final defeat to La Rochelle has fuelled Leinster’s desire for a shot at redemption.

Leo Cullen’s men are preparing for Saturday’s showpiece rematch with the French club in Dublin – 12 months on from losing to a last-gasp try in Marseille.

Scrum-half Gibson-Park concedes the disappointment of the dramatic climax at Stade Velodrome was a bitter pill to swallow.

And the Ireland international is determined to help secure a different outcome against Ronan O’Gara’s side this time around as Leinster bid to equal Toulouse’s record of five Champions Cup titles.

“It’s one of those things that’s mentioned all the time with great teams over the years, the way they use defeats and having it spur you on for the next year,” said Gibson-Park, who won the competition with his province in 2018.

“There’s probably no doubt that it has for us in getting to this point.

“When you work with a collective group to try and get somewhere and you fall at the last hurdle, it’s hard, especially when it’s like that, a few minutes from the end of the game.

“It’s tough moments in the dressing room and on the pitch afterwards.

“You live for those moments where you get to lift trophies and you enjoy those moments in the dressing room with your brothers.

“But the sombre feelings after a defeat stick with you as well.”

Leinster led for most of the 2022 final before replacement scrum-half Arthur Retiere crossed a minute from time in a 24-21 victory for La Rochelle.

A year on from a gut-wrenching trip to the south of France, the Irish club have the luxury of home advantage on this occasion.

New Zealand-born Gibson-Park says the prospect of competing for silverware at a sold-out Aviva Stadium has been a motivating factor throughout the campaign.

“Last year was obviously tough, having to go away to France and play a French team,” said the 31-year-old.

“The La Rochelle fans were out in force that day, like they always are, so I’m sure there will be a few of them that show up to the Aviva Stadium no doubt.

“It was a pretty big carrot for us at the start of the year, the fact it was going to be here in the Aviva.

“We’re looking forward to it, we’ve got the chance to be in front of our friends and family and hopefully a few home supporters.”

Leinster failed to score a try against La Rochelle last year as captain Johnny Sexton slotted six penalties before deputy Ross Byrne added another.

With talisman Sexton sidelined due to a groin injury suffered helping Ireland win the Six Nations Grand Slam, Byrne will partner Gibson-Park in the half-back positions from the start.

“Ross has played all of our games this year in the Champions Cup so I suppose we’ve adjusted a little bit to life without him (Sexton),” said Gibson-Park.

“He’s been such a big part of Leinster over the last however long it is and he’s an unbelievable player so we miss him massively.

“But I think Ross has done a pretty good job up until this point.”

Frost has delayed the start of the 105th US PGA Championship, the year’s second major, at Oak Hill in Rochester.

Play had been scheduled to get under way at 7am local time (1200 BST), but predictions of an overnight frost proved accurate.

Tournament organisers released a statement early on Thursday morning which read: “Due to frost, all Oak Hill Country Club practice facilities and the golf course are currently closed.

“To protect playing surfaces, everyone on-site must stay off any grass and gates will not open until the frost clears.

“Starting times for round one will begin approximately 1hr and 15 minutes after practice facilities open.”

The possibility of weather delays had been on the cards since the US PGA was moved from August to May in 2019, with Oak Hill having already been selected as this year’s venue.

Speaking on Tuesday, the PGA of America’s chief championships officer Kerry Haigh said: “Wherever the championship is (in May) appears as though it will bring some more variety to the weather than we’re used to having when we played in August.

“There is the possibility of a frost again on Thursday morning. We had a frost Tuesday morning. We had a couple of frosts last week. That may delay the start. Hopefully it won’t. But if it does, we’ll adapt.

“We’ve got the chance of rain on Saturday and hopefully clear on Sunday. That’s sort of the fun of golf. It’s an outdoor game and we can’t wait to see what Mother Nature brings as well.”

Manchester City moved within three wins of the treble by thrashing Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Pep Guardiola’s side need one victory from their three remaining Premier League fixtures to secure the title, while they can also win the FA Cup and Champions League by beating Manchester United and Inter Milan respectively.

City are seeking to emulate their local rivals United who achieved glory on the same three fronts under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1998-99.

Here the PA news agency compares the two sides.

Premier League

There are several parallels between this season’s title race and 1998-99.

Neither City nor United topped the table for a prolonged period until the second half of the campaign and both trailed Arsenal at various points during the run-in.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were eight points clear of Guardiola’s side with nine games to go at the beginning of April, while Arsenal were three points ahead of Ferguson’s men with two matches remaining in 1999 – although both City and United had a game in hand.

Just as United edged out Arsene Wenger’s team with a 20-match unbeaten run, City have gone 14 Premier League games without defeat to move within touching distance of claiming a fifth title in six years.

Statistically, Guardiola’s treble-chasers have had the better season. They have amassed 85 points and scored 92 goals with three fixtures still to play, while United ended the campaign with 79 points and 80 goals scored.

Dwight Yorke top-scored for Ferguson’s side with 18 goals, which is half as many as Erling Haaland has managed for City (36).

That said, Andy Cole (17) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (12) also reached double figures for United, while only Phil Foden (10) has done so for City.

Defensively, Guardiola’s men have conceded 31 goals so far – the joint-fewest in the league alongside Newcastle. United shipped 37 goals in 1998-99, which was more than Arsenal (17), Chelsea (30) and Leeds (34).

Champions League

City topped their group ahead of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Copenhagen, while United finished second behind Bayern Munich but ahead of Barcelona and Brondby.

Guardiola’s side have since gone on to beat RB Leipzig, Bayern and Real Madrid over two legs, thanks mainly to crushing home wins in each tie.

Ferguson’s men had fewer rounds to negotiate in 1999 – when the Champions League was contested by 24 teams rather than 32 – but they still had to get past Inter Milan and Juventus across two legs before facing Bayern in the final.

United’s European campaign was considerably bumpier than City’s, who have scored 31 goals and conceded only five on their path to the final.

The Red Devils – by contrast – lifted the trophy having scored 29 and conceded 16.

While City are yet to concede more than once in a Champions League game this season, United were involved in several high-scoring thrillers including a pair of 3-3 draws against Barcelona in the group stage and a dramatic 3-2 comeback win against Juventus in the semi-final second leg.

FA Cup

As with the Champions League, City’s route to the final has been largely serene while United’s 1998-99 campaign was filled with trials and tribulations.

Guardiola’s team have cruised past Chelsea, Arsenal, Bristol City, Burnley and Sheffield United without conceding a goal, becoming the first side to reach the final with a perfect defensive record since Everton in 1965-66.

Meanwhile, as well as coming back from a goal down against Middlesbrough and Liverpool in rounds three and four, United needed replays to see off Chelsea in the quarter-finals and Arsenal in the semis.

The latter victory was especially dramatic, with Peter Schmeichel saving a Dennis Bergkamp penalty to keep the game at 1-1 and Ryan Giggs scoring a fantastic solo goal in extra time.

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