Jamaica Tallawahs captain Brandon King said it will be important for his side to play with passion and execute efficiently, both individually and collectively, if the reigning champions are to retain their Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.

His remarks come, as Jamaica Tallawahs are set to begin their title defence against St Lucia Kings in the tournament opener in Gros Islet, St Lucia on Wednesday at 6:00pm Jamaica time.

King, who was instrumental in leading the Jamaican franchise to their third tile –first since 2016 –by defeating Barbados Royals in last year’s final at Guyana’s National Stadium, is confident that they can once again stamp their class on the tournament, starting with tomorrow’s assignment.  

“The Jamaica Tallawahs are excited for the 2023 season to begin,” the inform batsman, who scored a career-best unbeaten half-century last Sunday to help West Indies clinch a series win over India in Florida, declared.

“I firmly believe that our success in the upcoming tournament lies not just in our individual skills, but in our ability to unite as a team, play with passion, and embrace every challenge that comes our way. I’m excited for the new season and can’t wait to get on the field to defend our title,” King added.

Though they will be without last year’s winning captain Rovman Powell, who head to Barbados Royals, King’s Tallawahs outfit will feature most of the talent from the triumphant season, including out-of-favour West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen, Test vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood and the classy Shamarh Brooks, along with overseas players Imad Wasim, Chris Green, Mohammed Amir and the hard-hitting Alex Hales.

Meanwhile, St Lucia Kings, who are hunting their maiden CPL title, having twice made the final in 2020 and 2021 where they came up short against Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots respectively.

With that in mind, Head coach Darren Sammy believes it is only fitting that they begin their charge and, by extension, come out strong on home soil.

Sammy’s side will be led by the West Indies trio of Alzarri Joseph, Roston Chase and Johnson Charles, while South African star Faf du Plessis, again headlines the overseas players.

“The Saint Lucia Kings are delighted to be getting their 2023 campaign under way at our home ground,” said Sammy, who is also West Indies white-ball Head coach.

“We are sure that the Lucian public will come out in big numbers to support us as we push to make the playoffs and then go on and claim our first CPL title.  We have a very strong team full of exciting young talent and experienced local and overseas players and we are well placed heading into the tournament,” he noted.

Following the completion of games in St Lucia, the tournament will then visit St Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, with the latter again set to host the September 24 final in Providence.

Barbados' rising football star, 22-year-old Dishon Howell, alias ETO, has died.

On Sunday, the Barbados Football Association (BFA) shared the news saying the Association is "devastated to have learnt of the passing of former outstanding junior national footballer Dishon Howell.”

The BFA said: "Dishon will always be remembered by scoring twice on his debut for Barbados in a comeback victory over Bermuda in 2017.”

"May he rest in peace, we offer our deepest condolences."

In January of this year, at the age of 21, Dishon was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell Lymphoma.

A GoFundMe page was set up for him to try to help raise for his treatments which were needed urgently.

According to the details on the fundraiser page, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is a rare type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma that develops from white blood cells. These white blood cells called lymphocytes grow out of control. Lymphocytes are part of your immune system which helps protect your body from germs and diseases.

Sharing some insight into the young man who was a genius with a football, the page said, Dishon loved football.

"Dishon’s dreams came true at the age of 15 years when he represented Barbados. Since then, he has been on the rise. In 2016, he was one of 12 boys selected from a group of 420 across the Caribbean and Central America. It was this moment that allowed him to train for one week at Manchester’s City Football Club’s youth academy. From here, he not only captained the Digicel squad but also scored four scintillating goals in their 6-2 victory in an exhibition match against Hopwood College."

Dishon’s treatment started in the USA, where he was diagnosed, but after two rounds of chemotherapy, Dishon was transferred back to Barbados to continue his fight.

On his passing, the BFA has stated that the "thoughts of everyone at BFA are with Dishon’s family, friends, teammates and everyone connected with the clubs, and teams he represented."

The BFA added another post saying, "Forever in our hearts".

 

The 2023 Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship wrapped up on Sunday with the United States claiming the League A title with a 4-2 victory over Mexico at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The duel for Third-Place in League A saw an all-Caribbean affair end in a 3-1 victory for Haiti over Jamaica, also at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez.

Nicaragua are champions of League B after edging Saint Lucia 2-1 at the Stadion Rignaal Jean Francisca in Willemstad, Curacao.

In the League B Third-Place Match at the Stadion Rignaal Jean Francisca, Martinique defeated Bermuda 7-6 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.

In League C in the Dominican Republic, Saint Martin claimed the title thanks to a 4-1 win over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Final. 

Meanwhile, in the Third-Place Match that was completed on Saturday, Turks and Caicos Islands topped Dominica 1-0.

 

Alflaila could be supplemented for the Irish Champion Stakes rather than take on fellow Shadwell-owned runner Mostahdaf in next week’s Juddmonte International at York.

Trained by Owen Burrows, Alflaila is on a four-race winning streak and landed the Group Two York Stakes over the same course and distance as the International last time out.

The highlight of the opening day of the Ebor meeting would look a logical next step but Angus Gold, Shadwell’s long-serving racing manager, feels it could be prudent to split the pair up.

“It’s unlikely at this stage that we would run the two against each other, I would think,” he said.

“God willing, Mostahdaf stays in good shape – he’ll be the one to represent there. Obviously, we will leave Alflaila in just in case something went wrong.

“Sheikha Hissa may decide to run the two together. But at the same time if he didn’t go there, we may look to supplement Alflaila for the Irish Champion.”

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Mostahdaf is second favourite behind Paddington currently, but his rating of 128 makes him one of the best in the world.

“Mostahdaf was very impressive at Ascot. We’ve freshened him up, just given him a little break after Ascot and hope we can get him to York in as good a form as he was at Ascot,” said Gold.

“Frankie (Dettori) rode him the other day and was very happy with the horse. And John and all the team there have been happy. On paper, it’s a fascinating clash. Let’s hope it lives up to its billing.”

Another big hope for the famous blue and white silks on the Knavesmire is Roger Varian’s Al Husn, who is set to step up in trip for the Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks.

“She’s never run over this trip before and nobody has ever particularly said she needs that trip,” said Gold.

“She’s so tough and she’s such a little star of a filly that she might well stay. On pedigree, the mare (Hadaatha) I think would have stayed – she was by Sea The Stars out of a Linamix mare. And Al Husn’s by Dubawi – they can do anything.

“She a very easy filly to ride and she’s got a heart the same size as her. So, she might well get it and it would be fun to try it, but we’re in the luxurious position of her already being a Group One winner now, so we’ll just see how Roger and his team feel she is and whether she’s ready to go again.”

Running Lion will be bidding to serve a reminder of her quality when she lines up in the British EBF 40th Anniversary Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury on Wednesday.

John and Thady Gosden’s three-year-old was well-fancied for the Oaks earlier this year having racked up an impressive four-race winning sequence, but her Epsom dreams were dashed when she was withdrawn at the start having got upset in the stalls.

Given the chance to gain Classic compensation she headed to Chantilly for the Prix de Diane, but struggled to make a telling impact from an unhelpful draw and was eased down in the closing stages by regular partner Oisin Murphy.

Running Lion is one of 13 fillies who head to post in the Listed heat, with Roger Varian’s Ameynah tackling 10 furlongs for the first time having blown away the cobwebs with a respectable return from a long absence in the Valiant Stakes at Ascot.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel had not been seen since finishing sixth to Cachet in last year’s 1000 Guineas and with only four career starts to her name, she could have plenty more to give.

“We were pleased with her comeback run at Ascot and we have a lot of belief she is a nice filly,” said Varian.

“She looks to have come forward nicely from that run and we’ve always thought 10 furlongs would be within her compass, so we’re looking forward to running her.”

Another filly returning from a break is Sparkling Beauty, who placed in the Group Two Prix du Calvados when trained by Richard Hughes last term and has been sighted just the once this campaign.

She is now trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis and the handler is confident of a bold showing from the Amo Racing-owned filly on her stable bow.

“She came to us earlier in the year and Richard Hughes did a very good job with her,” said Ffrench Davis.

“She won a nice maiden at Goodwood, the same one we won with Ornellaia the other week and she was then Group Two placed and I just think she disappointed a little bit earlier on in the year and could do with a break.

“She’s done nothing wrong with us and is coming to the boil nicely and I think she will run a big race.”

French racing’s new star Ace Impact maintained his unbeaten record in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville.

Jean-Claude Rouget’s three-year-old grabbed the headlines when displaying an electrifying turn of foot in the Prix de Jockey Club in June, coming from a long way back to beat Big Rock.

Off the track for 72 days, Ace Impact was very keen in the early stages under Cristian Demuro before dropping in at the rear of the field, with only had one behind him for much of the race as stablemate Cambronne set the pace.

Aidan O’Brien had two runners in Breeders’ Cup winner Victoria Road and Greenland, while his son Joseph fielded Al Riffa, a Group One winner as a juvenile last season.

They mounted a stern challenge and had their chances, but Ace Impact made up plenty of ground in the straight and grabbed the lead in sight of the post.

However, he had to battle with Al Riffa, who finished three-quarters of a length adrift in second, with Birr Castle a further head back in third and Greenland coming home fourth.

Paddy Power left the winner unchanged as their 7-2 favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, however, Coral eased him slightly to 9-2 from 4-1.

Bradsell is primed for a York rematch with Highfield Princess in the Group One Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday week.

The pair, trained by Archie Watson and John Quinn respectively, filled the first two places in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, with Bradsell edging the victory by a length in a tight finish to the five-furlong heat.

Bradsell was trying the minimum trip for the first time that day after connections decided to supplement the three-year-old and following the colt’s maiden Group One victory, Watson is certain the fast five furlongs at York will present no issues.

He said: “I don’t see a sharper five furlongs being a problem.

“He travels so well that nothing can really take him far enough into his races. Over the quick five furlongs at York he should get a nice tow deep into the race.”

While Highfield Princess went on to finish third in the six-furlong Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the Royal meeting and subsequently registered an impressive win in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, Watson has kept Bradsell in reserve for his Knavesmire date.

“I would say it’s (his absence) a reflection of the options over five furlongs,” said the trainer.

“He won his Group One at Ascot, so I didn’t feel the need to go to the Group Two at Goodwood, and I wasn’t going to step him back up to six furlongs in between either.

“I have been delighted with him since Ascot. He cantered away in his routine for six weeks and then has been galloping well through August into this race.”

Bradsell won at the first time of asking on good to soft ground at York last May and while he has stuck to sound surfaces since, Watson would not be perturbed should conditions be on the easy side.

He added: “He has obviously got very good form on good and good to firm ground.

“We haven’t deliberately avoided cut in the ground. His maiden win was on good to soft but until we run on proper soft ground we won’t know.

“I never get overly concerned about it until you know that a horse doesn’t handle a certain type of ground. If it rains, it rains.”

Aside from his sprint star, Watson also has Newbury Listed winner Action Point in contention for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes, while Ambushed features in the Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes.

Of Action Point, Watson said: “The flat, quick six furlongs at York should suit him well and I’m looking forward to seeing him up in class as he was impressive last time and is a horse we have always thought a lot of.

“Ambushed won his maiden at Newcastle from a horse of Adrian Keatley’s who was subsequently second in the Richmond Stakes (Ballymount Boy).

“He has plenty of ability and I hope he can run a good race, if the draw and pace set-up are kind. You need plenty of luck in the big-field sales races.”

The Professional Jockeys Association has called on the British Horseracing Authority and racecourses to reconsider their position on saunas.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the PJA said the permanent closure of the on-course facilities “has created physical and mental wellbeing issues for jockeys that far outweigh any perceived risk of dehydration by sauna use”.

Minimum riding weights for both Flat and Jump jockeys were raised 2lb by the BHA last year after the decision was taken at the end of 2021 to remove saunas completely from racecourses.

A 3lb allowance was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic to compensate for the lack of saunas, but the PJA now says it should “have insisted on cast-iron guarantees from the BHA and others that the Covid weight allowance would remain in force before accepting the removal of saunas”.

The statement goes on to say: “The PJA is in no doubt, having consulted with senior psychologists, that the most urgent medical issue threatening the health of jockeys is that of the anxiety and stress associated with the need to make weight.

“Jockeys are using a range of inappropriate and more risky methods including very hot baths, use of sweat suits whilst driving, restricting fluid intake for long periods of time, or even flipping.”

The PJA is calling for new research into saunas to “investigate the regulated use of on-course saunas in the jockeys’ workplace, understand the physical and psychological impact, and consider the jockeys’ loss of agency that has been triggered by the loss of saunas”.

Dual Breeders’ Cup winner Modern Games has been retired from racing.

Trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, the son of Dubawi won four of his six two-year-old starts in 2021, culminating in Grade One success in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar

Pitched into Classic company first time out at three, Modern Games won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp before going on to add another Grade One verdict in the Woodbine Mile in Canada and land the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

He was out of luck on his return at that track when second in the Maker’s Mark Mile in April this year, but did go on to secure a fifth top-level success in the Lockinge at Newbury the following month.

Last seen when beaten into fourth in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, Modern Games will now embark on a stud career, with further plans to be announced.

Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Modern Games was a brilliant horse to train and such a great advert for Godolphin. To win at two Breeders’ Cups, to be part of our trio of Guineas winners in 2022, and to land the Lockinge Stakes this season, shows his class, toughness and durability.

“He answered every call we asked of him, and we will miss him at Moulton Paddocks. I’m sure he will be a huge success in his next career as a stallion.”

Richard Hannon expects Chindit to thrive for dropping back to seven furlongs in Saturday’s BetVictor Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

The five-year-old has had three starts over a mile so far this term, winning the Paradise Stakes at Ascot before pushing Modern Games close when second in the Group One Lockinge Stakes at the Berkshire venue in May.

A subsequent spin in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot ended in disappointment and Hannon took him out of the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on account of the testing conditions earlier this month.

The handler is anticipating better ground at Newbury though, and is backing the son of Wootton Bassett to put last year’s eighth place in the race well behind him.

Hannon said: “He’s only had three races this year, this will be the first for his new owner (Villoo Poonawalla Greenfield Farms).

“I’m delighted with the form he is in – he loves Newbury, he’s won the Greenham and finished second in the Lockinge. It looks like coming back to seven furlongs will be ideal for him and hopefully he has an excellent chance.

“He worked very well on the grass on Sunday. The forecast is looking dry leading into the weekend so we are hopeful it will be quick ground.”

Charlie Fellowes is also keeping an eye on the weather as he seeks decent ground for his challenger Marbaan.

The three-year-old bounced back to from when coming home third in the Lennox Stakes over this seven-furlong trip at Goodwood, with Fellowes giving him extra credit as the good to soft ground did not play to the colt’s strengths.

He said: “He ran a cracker at Goodwood in a strong race, the first two horses are clearly Group One horses. We decided to ride him with a bit of patience and he finished well on ground that was probably softer than ideal.

“I think the seven furlongs at Newbury will suit him, we are on weather watch though, I wouldn’t want the ground to be getting too soft. He is definitely better on better ground.

“He looks a picture and is in really good order, his Goodwood run has done him the world of good and I would think he would be very competitive if conditions are in his favour.”

Ornellaia is set to have her sights raised after opening her account in impressive fashion at Goodwood.

Trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis, the daughter of Night Of Thunder gave a respectable account when third behind subsequent Princess Margaret Stakes winner Sacred Angel in a hot Newmarket maiden on debut.

She then confirmed the promise of that encouraging first appearance and gave a real glimpse of her class when upped to seven furlongs on the Sussex Downs, striking clinically by two lengths.

The Amo Racing-owned youngster is now on course to make the step up to Group company at Deauville on August 19, while she also holds entries for a plethora of top two-year-old contests later in the campaign.

“We went to Newmarket on debut knowing she would benefit from the experience and we were encouraged when the winner went on to win the Princess Margaret,” said Tom Pennington, racing and operations manager for the owners.

“I was a bit disappointed to see the Godolphin filly that finished second (Dubai Treasure) get beat at Yarmouth, but we knew our filly had a good deal of ability and we went to Goodwood pretty confident she would get the job done at seven furlongs being by Night Of Thunder and with there being some cut in the ground. She went and did it nicely.

“She’s in the Prix du Calvados at Deauville and that is on the radar at the minute, but she’s also in a lot of nice races. She’s in the Moyglare (Curragh, September 10), she could go to the Prestige at Goodwood (August 26) at the end of the month and she’s potentially a very nice filly who we think is probably Group class.”

President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts, has consistently highlighted the importance of education to every part of society, including football.

In keeping with that philosophy, Ricketts announced last Thursday that, starting in September, the JFF will be providing a pair of scholarships valued at $300,000 each to two members (one male and one female) of Jamaica’s national youth football setups.

“We want to ensure that our players get some academic support. The JFF is very proud to announce that we will be providing two scholarships valued at $300,000 each,” Ricketts said.

“This year will be the inaugural year and this will be for a boy and girl out of a High School. That boy and girl ought to have matriculated to be a national player. A number of our U17s and U20s would certainly qualify for this initiative,” he added.

“This is something that the President dreamed about when I spoke to him about it last year. He said he wanted to do something for children and academics,” said JFF General Secretary, Dennis Chung.

“The Wisynco Foundation will be working with us and we thought it was important because we can’t just focus on the football side. We have to emphasize academics and push that,” he added.

Ricketts offered similar sentiments.

“This JFF has one single item on its agenda and it’s to grow the sport of football. We also want to make it very clear that it’s not just about football,” said Ricketts.

“We want to, from a commercial and a social standpoint, positively impact the psyche of every single boy and girl in this country,” he added.

 

Al Riffa faces a big ask as he heads to Deauville to take on the unbeaten Prix du Jockey Club champion Ace Impact in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano on Tuesday.

Raiders have won five of the last six renewals of the 10-furlong Group Two contest, however, the last two victories for the home side have been provided by trainer Jean Claude-Rouget and his latest contender will be a warm order to follow in the footsteps of stablemate Al Hakeem, who won this prize en route to finishing fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 12 months ago.

Ace Impact finds himself favourite for Europe’s richest middle-distance prize on October 1 following his emphatic French Derby triumph earlier this summer and this contest represents a key step on the road to ParisLongchamp for the son of Cracksman.

He will run for the first time in the colours of the Chehboub family’s Gousserie Racing, who purchased 50 per cent of the colt from Serge Stempniak following his Chantilly triumph.

Pauline Chehboub, racing manager for the operation said: “Ace Impact is in good form and should run well tomorrow.

“We are targeting some exciting Group Ones in the autumn, so tomorrow’s race is important.”

However, despite the presence of Ace Impact, Al Riffa’s trainer Joseph O’Brien is undeterred and feels his charge is well placed to run a big race following his comeback second at the Curragh in the International Stakes.

“We’re hoping for a good run,” said O’Brien.

“Obviously it looks a very good race, but he is in good shape and we think he can run a really good race.”

Al Riffa is a Group One winner in his own right having claimed the National Stakes as a two-year-old and is one of three making the trip from Ireland alongside Aidan O’Brien’s Victoria Road and Greenland.

Both Ballydoyle challengers are capable of playing a part, with the former accounting for Blue Rose Cen before scoring at the Breeders’ Cup during a four-race winning streak last season – a record the Saxon Warrior colt will be attempting to extend on his belated seasonal return.

Meanwhile, stablemate Greenland already has winning form in France this term having landed the Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud in May.

Andre Fabre has won this race more times than anyone else and relies on Compiegne Listed winner Birr Castle, while Ponty (Hiroo Shimizu), Cambronne (Rouget) and Andreas Wohler’s German raider Straight complete the line-up.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise is thrilled to announce that two exceptional young talents have secured scholarships to join the franchise during their home leg of the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The two promising players, batting all-rounder, Mavindra Dindyal and fast bowling sensation, Isai Thorne have demonstrated outstanding skills, dedication and potential in their cricketing career. The selection process was rigorous with the franchise keen on aiding the development of young Guyanese players.

“We are delighted to welcome Mavindra and Isai to the Warriors family,” Chairman of the franchise, Dr. Bobby Ramroop said while continuing, “their exceptional talents and passion for the game has truly impressed us. We believe this exposure will contribute significantly to their development and their addition is a testament to our commitment in fostering young talents and providing a platform for them to shine.”

Both Dindyal and Thorne have garnered attention for their remarkable performances at the grassroots level and junior regional levels, demonstrating their prowess with bat and ball. Both players have featured in the recently concluded Cricket West Indies Under-19 regional tournament with Dindyal scoring over 300 runs with a best of 94 while Thorne, who has represented West Indies at the Youth World Cup, is widely regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in the region at the youth level.

“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” Dindyal related. He noted, “Joining the Amazon Warriors has been a dream come true and I am excited to learn from some of the best players in the game.”

Thorne equally expressed his enthusiasm to be part of the set up and highlighted, “being part of the Warriors is an honor. I look forward to giving my best and learning as much as possible.”

CPL bowls off on August 16 but heads to Guyana on September 12 with Warriors facing Jamaica Tallawahs (September 13), Saint Lucia Kings (September 14), Trinbago Knight Riders (September 16) and Barbados Royals (September 17).

The playoffs will begin with the first eliminator on September 19 followed by the Qualifier 1 on September 20 and Qualifier 2 on September 22. The final is set for September 24.

All matches in Guyana will be played at the National Stadium, Providence.

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