Wales & The West and Saffie Osborne lead the way in the William Hill Racing League, after a dramatic evening that saw fire engines called to Chepstow on night two of the competition.

London & The South took maximum points in the first race as Eve Johnson Houghton’s Cabinet Of Clowns (15-2) was steered by Charlie Bishop to a half-length success.

But the action then came to an abrupt halt when an electrical fault caused a fire in a kitchen at the track, with some water also coming through the ceiling in the weighing-room area resulting in the complex having to be evacuated.

A number of fire engines arrived at the scene and the track was eventually deemed safe, creating a near 40-minute delay to the contest scheduled for 6.00pm.

“There’s been an electrical fault upstairs in the weighing-room complex and it’s turned off all the power in the weighing room,” clerk of the course Libby O’Flaherty told Sky Sports Racing during the delay.

“We’re waiting for the fire engine to get here so we can deem it safe to carry on.

“It’s (the water) just by the door when you go in (to the weighing room), the water came through and that’s all been cleaned up.

“We’re just waiting for the fire brigade to tell us everything is fine.”

The delayed race was won by Rod Millman’s Chinese Knot, the 7-4 favourite being steered to victory by last year’s leading rider as Osborne bagged the first leg of a double.

The same jockey then crossed line first in the next, with Executive Decision (5-2 favourite) prevailing after a photo finish to get even more points on the board for the Wales & The West outfit.

Scotland were triumphant in the fourth contest on the card when Totnes (4-1) struck for Paul Mulrennan and Andrew Balding, with Ireland enjoying their first success of the series when Star Harbour (12-1) was a winner for Adrian McGuinness and Dylan Browne McMonagle.

In both of those races Wales & The West had placed runners and when Tim Easterby’s Manila Scouse took the penultimate race as the 8-11 favourite for David Allan and Yorkshire, the third- and fourth-placed horses gained even more points for the leaders.

The final event went the way of the North, with the 9-2 favourite Ramazan winning for Richard Fahey and Oisin Orr in a race worth £100,000.

The evening left Wales & The West with a significant advantage in front on 319 points, whereas Ireland sit in second with 242 and London & The South third on 231.

Osborne is the leading riding so far as she sits at the top of the jockey leader board on 161 points.

Jamie Osborne, trainer of Executive Decision and father of Saffie, said: “We’ve got a good spread of horses, we don’t have the biggest trainers in the world but I think in a way that’s a help.

“Some of the bigger trainers have other fish to fry, this kind of prize-money is very important to our owners.

“We’re well positioned, but we’re not yet a third of the way through the competition so we’re not home and hosed yet. But I’d say it will take a good one to beat Saff!”

The year 2023 has been a historic one for football in Jamaica.

In fact, President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts, described it as the greatest year in Jamaica’s football history at a press conference held at the JFF headquarters on Thursday.

“We are delighted to be here this morning basking in the glory of a number of the achievements of a number of our national units,” Ricketts said.

“I would say without apology that, so far, this must go down in history as the most successful year ever in the history of football in this country,” he added.

The biggest of those achievements is, undoubtedly, the recent exploits of the Reggae Girlz who became the first Caribbean team to ever advance to the Round of 16 at a FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Four years after their maiden World Cup appearance, the Girlz progressed from Group F including powerhouses France and Brazil, securing draws with both along with a 1-0 win over Panama to finish with five points and progress to the Round of 16 where they suffered a 0-1 loss to Colombia on Tuesday.

“The girls really, really made us proud. I want to reiterate the fact that these girls have impacted the whole world,” Ricketts said.

“Sometimes we don’t understand the magnitude of the achievement until we meet people overseas and they are so amazed that Jamaica, with less than three million people and hardly any world class facilities, can not just qualify for the World Cup, but also be competitive. I know their performance would’ve provided a catalyst for young girls and boys in Jamaica to want to play the sport,” Ricketts added.

On the men’s side, the Reggae Boyz got to the semi-finals of the Concacaf Gold Cup for the first time since 2019 and, in the process, got their biggest win ever in the tournament with a 5-0 group stage win over St. Kitts & Nevis.

The Gold Cup also saw the Reggae Boyz defeat Guatemala for the first time in 11 years and Trinidad & Tobago for the first time in seven years. Individually, Demarai Gray was named to the team of the tournament.

Some other achievements for Jamaican teams included the Under-20 Reggae Girlz defeating a Central American team at the Concacaf U-20 Championships since 2020 with a 4-1 win over Panama.

The Under-15 Reggae Boyz are currently in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf U-15 Championship for the first time. They will take on Honduras on Thursday.

Jamaica also produced the youngest scorer in the history of the CAC Games when 18-year-old Shaniel Buckley scored in a 1-1 draw with Puerto Rico.

Hukum appears increasingly likely to head straight for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe following his heroic success in last month’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The six-year-old edged out Westover in an epic renewal of Ascot’s midsummer showpiece, his second win at Group One level having landed last year’s Coronation Cup at Epsom before suffering an injury.

Having proved his ability remains very much intact, connections are happy to keep their powder dry for Europe’s premier middle-distance contest on October 1.

“Touch wood he’s in good shape and he seemed to come out of it well,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.

“I haven’t spoken to Owen (Burrows, trainer) particularly about it, but from what I saw quoted I think he’s happy to go straight to the Arc unless something else presented itself.

“He’s a dual Group One winner, so we don’t have to run him just for the sake of it, and I think if we got him to Longchamp in good shape, he’d have a decent chance.

“That’s our job now, to get him there in the best possible shape.”

The Shadwell team enjoyed further Group One success at Goodwood last week, with the Roger Varian-trained Al Husn springing a minor upset in the Nassau Stakes.

She holds entries in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and the Yorkshire Oaks at York before the end of this month, while a trip to the Breeders’ Cup could be on her agenda later in the year.

Gold added: “She’s in the Romanet and she’s in the Yorkshire Oaks. I was just speaking to Roger this morning and if we want to go further he’s always said he’d love to end up in America with her, possibly with the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp as a race before then.

“We’re in the lucky position now where we’re not trying to make a Group One winner, she has achieved that, so we can just wait and see.

“She must have had a relatively hard race last week, although she’s a tough as nails, and now she’s a Group One winner we want to do the right thing by her.

“The options are the Romanet and the Yorkshire Oaks, or neither and just concentrate on the Opera and then maybe go to America.

“I was speaking to Roger this morning and we said Sheikha Hissa might be able to come to York and she might like to see her run. There’s lots of things to work out, so we’ll have a good think about it early next week and see what everyone thinks is the right course of action.”

Deepone will put his unbeaten record on the line when he lines up in the Coolmore Stud Churchill Stakes at Tipperary on Friday.

Paddy Twomey’s youngster has created a deep impression in his two outings so far, excelling at Leopardstown on debut, before further enhancing his reputation with a comfortable success over a mile at Killarney.

The son of Study Of Man will now make his first foray into Pattern company with his handler unable to fault what he has seen from the colt in his short career so far.

“He’s a nice horse and he’s answered every question we’ve asked of him to date,” said Twomey.

“Tomorrow is the next step of his education and hopefully he can continue in the same sort of form.

“He’s been an uncomplicated horse and everything we have asked he has done it. We think he will make a nice three-year-old and we’re just taking the steps and educating him at the minute.”

The O’Brien family is well represented in the Listed contest and Donnacha O’Brien’s Bremen is another to impress when winning over a mile at Killarney, while Joseph O’Brien will rely on Warnie who looked equally as talented when breaking his maiden at Bellewstown.

The Highland Reel colt was beaten only three lengths when making his debut in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Owning Hill handler believes his charge is more than capable of playing a part in this company.

He said: “He won nicely at Bellewstown and the race has worked out well. We think he is a smart enough colt and he can be competitive in this grade.

“The owners are Australian-based so it was nice they could be there to watch him make his debut at Ascot which was lovely and he came back and won well next time.”

Aidan O’Brien has a good record in this event and has won it with the likes of St Leger hero Capri in the past.

This time he saddles both Leopardstown scorer Brilliant and Democracy, while Dermot Weld’s Captain Maverick was behind Warnie at Bellewstown on debut before getting off the mark at Galway and is an interesting contender for the Rosewell House handler.

Adrian Murray’s Courageous Strike completes the select group of seven that will head to post.

Purosangue will head to York following his near miss in the Molecomb Stakes, with connections confident they have a high-class two-year-old on their hands.

Owned by Opulence Thoroughbreds and Teme Valley and trained by Andrew Balding, the son of Aclaim made a winning debut at Haydock in June before taking an encouraging step up to Group Two company at Newmarket’s July Festival when fourth to Jasour in the July Stakes.

Dropped back both in trip to five furlongs and slightly in grade to Group Three level at Goodwood, he produced a fine display to be beaten only a neck by Mick Appleby’s Windsor Castle scorer Big Evs and his owners now believe they have a top sprinting prospect to enjoy.

“He’s a proper horse definitely and he’s just going to go and get better and better as well,” said George Gill, director of Opulence Thoroughbreds.

“He’s not your typical breeze-up horse who can regress mentally after their first run, he’s actually mentally and physically improved from Haydock to Newmarket and then to Goodwood.

“I definitely think he’s a five-furlong horse for now. He’s sort of one you can imagine in the King’s Stand next year at Royal Ascot and I think if we come up against Big Evs again, I reckon we can beat him.”

Purosangue will continue campaigning in Pattern company, with Gill outlining an ambitious programme for the second half of the season.

The next stop for the talented youngster will be the Julia Graves Roses Stakes at York on the Saturday of the Ebor meeting, while there is the prospect Purosangue will end his season in Paris with a tilt at the Prix de l’Abbaye.

“It’s exciting and we’ll now head to York on August 26 for the Listed race which is valuable and is worth £100,000, and then there is the Flying Childers over five furlongs at Doncaster in September,” added Gill.

“There’s also a nice race at Newmarket in October but depending on how much he progresses, you also have the option of going for the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc weekend.

“There’s plenty of options and he’s one of the soundest horses I’ve ever seen and bought at the breeze-up sales. His vetting was impeccable. He’s all speed in his dam line and has the speed from Aclaim and he’s a gorgeous looking horse as well.

“It’s very exciting and he’s with the right man to take him to the top as well.”

Jockeys who use their whip nine times or more in races in France will face immediate disqualification from September 1.

France Galop announced on Thursday that regulations would be revised with the stated aim “to further strengthen deterrence against whip abuse”.

Riders in France already face stringent limits on use of the whip, with four strokes the permitted maximum introduced in May this year.

From next month, if a jockey goes five strikes over that limit, their mount will be disqualified by the raceday stewards, before any bets on the race concerned are paid out.

The British Horseracing Authority amended its rules earlier in 2023, with seven strikes allowed over the jumps and six on the Flat. Any rider who exceeds those limits by four or more is disqualified, although that sanction is not imposed on raceday, instead being passed along to the Whip Review Committee, which meets on Tuesdays and Fridays.

There have been a limited number of disqualifications since the British rules were changed, while Jim Crowley came within one strike of the sanction when riding Hukum to victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

His nine uses of the whip resulted in a 20-day ban and a £10,000 fine.

 In a celebration of legacy and the beautiful game, the 13th edition of the David “Wagga” Hunt (DWH) Football Classic is set to ignite the Mona Bowl, UWI in St. Andrew, Jamaica, on Saturday, August 12, 2023. A thrilling triple-header will kick off at 2:00 p.m., promising a day of football fervor and camaraderie that transcends rivalries.

 Amid the picturesque backdrop of the Mona Bowl, fans will witness a captivating display of football prowess, kicking off with a scintillating clash between Shortwood United FC, a 2023 KSAFA Major League Semi-Finalist, and JDF, the 2023 KSAFA Major League Winner. This encounter is anticipated to set the stage ablaze, setting the tone for an electrifying afternoon.

 As the sun dips below the horizon, the stage will be set for the masters’ game, pitting Pelicans FC against the Kingston Commissioners. It's a clash that promises nostalgia and passion, as seasoned players bring their skills to the field.

 However, the crescendo of the afternoon will resonate through the much-anticipated annual showdown for the DWH trophy. Kingston College (KC) and Calabar High School (C’bar) will lock horns in a Manning Cup clash that transcends mere competition. This timeless rivalry holds a special place in the hearts of fans, with the winner not only claiming victory but also embodying the spirit of unity and respect.

 A significant highlight of the event will be the presentation of the Paulette C. Rhoden trophy to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Manning Cup game. The late Mrs. Rhoden, former patron of the event, left an indelible mark on the football community. This year, Ambassador Stewart Stephenson, Past-President of KSAFA, assumes the role of patron, adding to the event's prestige.

 Amidst the excitement, the classic will pay homage to the late Bancroft "Banky" Gordon, a true football luminary. As a former Excelsior High School Manning Cup player, his legacy transcended the field, with academic brilliance and a humanitarian spirit. His memory will be etched into the proceedings, with a plaque presented to Shortwood United FC, a team he graced with his exceptional talent.

 The DWH Football Classic isn't just a day of thrilling football; it's a testament to the power of sport in shaping lives. Established in 2009 by the David "Wagga" Hunt Scholarship Foundation, the event is both commemorative and a fundraiser. It serves to honor the legacy of David "Wagga" Hunt, an alumnus of Kingston College, who revived Calabar High School's football program, guiding them to their first Manning Cup title in 28 years.

As the games unfold, the spirit of unity and camaraderie will flourish. The mantra "we can be rivals but not enemies," echoes the late David "Wagga" Hunt's philosophy, fostering a culture of friendly rivalry and respect. Beyond football, Hunt's legacy extends to various sporting disciplines, including track and field, where he pioneered the Champs Preview Magazine, chronicling the achievements of athletes at the ISSA High School Boys & Girls Championships.

The younger brother of David Hunt, Christopher Hunt, Co-Chair of the foundation, shared his pride in the Foundation's accomplishments. In an exciting development, the annual scholarship disbursement per recipient will increase from J$100,000 to J$150,000 in the upcoming school year, along with grants of J$500,000 to each school for a project of their choice.

The anticipation is palpable, as Jamaica-based Co-Chair Arnold "Dullo" McDonald expressed gratitude to faithful supporters over the years. Overcoming the challenges of the past three years, the event is set to shine brighter than ever. The afternoon promises to be an unforgettable blend of football, memories, and shared purpose, a fitting tribute to a great Jamaican and a meaningful cause.

Corporate donors like VM Group, Supreme Ventures Limited, Proven Wealth, and overseas sponsors like GraceKennedy Foods (USA), Steuart Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Spencer Financial have rallied behind the foundation's mission.

The public is invited to partake in this afternoon of camaraderie, with a contribution of J$1,000 for adults and J$500 for students with ID.

 

 

Donnacha O’Brien is confident his Royal Ascot heroine Porta Fortuna can give the colts a run for their money in Saturday’s Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Having won a Curragh maiden and a Group Three at Naas in the spring, the daughter of Caravaggio completed her hat-trick in the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting under Frankie Dettori.

Connections had the option of keeping Porta Fortuna against her own sex in the Lowther at York later this month, but O’Brien is happy to roll the dice against the boys in a bid for Group One glory.

He said: “She’s won two Group races now, two Group Threes, so I suppose the next step now is to let her have a go at a Group One.

“The Lowther is a Group Two and we said we’d let her take her chance in a Group One.

“She’s in good form and working well, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle aboard Porta Fortuna, who is one of seven juveniles declared for the six-furlong contest.

Aidan O’Brien, Donnacha’s father, will rely on Railway Stakes second and third Unquestionable and His Majesty in his bid for a remarkable 18th Phoenix Stakes success, having decided against running his unbeaten Coventry Stakes winner River Tiber.

Other leading contenders include Adrian Murray’s Coventry third and Railway winner Bucanero Fuerte and Jessica Harrington’s Coventry fourth Givemethebeatboys.

“It looks like he (River Tiber) is going to go for the Prix Morny, but it’s still a very competitive field,” Donnacha O’Brien added.

“There’s three or four there that are very close on ratings, there’s a few that could win it. It’s a very open race and it should be good.”

Blue Rose Cen will head to the Prix Vermeille in a bid for further Group One success after her Nassau Stakes outing ultimately ended in disappointment.

The Churchill filly has been the star of Christopher Head’s stable this season, winning three of her four runs and backing up a successful juvenile campaign in which she was a Group One winner in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

Her three-year-old season started in the Prix de la Grotte, a Group Three she won comfortably before landing the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, over the same ParisLongchamp mile the following month.

A further start at Group One level ended in a four-length victory in the Prix de Diane, a performance that paved the way to Goodwood’s flagship summer meeting.

She started as the 10-11 favourite under Aurelien Lemaitre, but the race did not go as planned when the partnership found themselves boxed in two furlongs from home and could not throw down a challenge until it was too late.

Blue Rose Cen had to settle for fourth behind Al Husn, Above The Curve and Nashwa, but was only beaten a length and a quarter in a tight finish.

The Prix Vermeille, over a mile and a half on Arc trials day back at ParisLongchamp, is next on the agenda as she steps up in trip again.

“She is very well, she had a good journey back from France and everything is all right,” Head said.

“Everything has gone smoothly with her since Goodwood and she worked well (on Wednesday morning).

“We’re still hoping to go through with the schedule we had in mind for her and the Vermeille is the plan – everything is good.”

Head has a another top-quality filly in the two-year-old Ramatuelle, a chestnut daughter of Justify who is partly owned by the NBA hall of famer Tony Parker.

Ramatuelle has won three of her four starts so far, with the last two successes coming at Group level as she landed the Prix du Bois by five lengths and the Prix Robert Papin by four.

The Prix Morny, a six-furlong Group One run at Deauville, is now the target.

“She’s doing fine, she’s really good,” Head said.

“She’s just full of speed and I have entered her in the Morny, that is going to be the plan for her.

“I’m very happy with her. She runs over that distance and at that pace really fluently, we are delighted to see her win her races and we just can’t wait to see her run again.”

Adrian Keatley already has Classic aspirations for Richmond Stakes runner-up Ballymount Boy, who is likely to step up to seven furlongs for the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes later this month.

The Irishman, who now trains in North Yorkshire, saddled Jet Setting to beat Minding in the 2016 Irish 1,000 Guineas and believes he has found another candidate to tackle the biggest races over a mile next term.

Although sent off 25-1 at Goodwood for his first taste of Group action, the son of Camacho confirmed Keatley’s high opinion of the colt to get within a length of toppling 11-8 favourite Vandeek.

And now he is keen to step up in trip with his talented two-year-old at York’s Ebor Festival, for a race won 12 months ago by subsequent 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean.

“It was what we were expecting, we wouldn’t have taken him down to Goodwood if we weren’t expecting a big run and that’s the level we hold him at,” said Keatley.

“I think he will improve again and he can step up another grade again.

“He will probably go for the Acomb next and then we will go from there. It’s seven furlongs and we’ll try to get him to win at Group Three level before stepping up again.

“He’s a very good horse who we hold in high regard and hopefully he will be my next Guineas horse. It’s been a while since I’ve had my last one, so I could do with another one.”

However, one of Keatley’s string who will not be seen on the Knavesmire is the prolific Kihavah, who will miss the rest of the season through injury.

The six-year-old has won four times on the level during the current campaign and was being pointed towards the £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor, but will now be on the sidelines until the new year when he could be sent on some international assignments.

“Kihavah has picked up an injury and won’t be running for the rest of the Flat season,” continued Keatley.

“We might look at campaigning him abroad in the new year with a view to going back for the Ebor or some of the big mile-and-a-half handicaps next season.”

 Amidst the excitement of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in Australia, the spotlight has shifted to two exceptional Jamaican footballers, Sashana Campbell and Ashleigh Shim.

These dynamic athletes have been selected to participate in Festival23, an inspiring Football for Good event taking place during the tournament.

With a gathering of approximately 70 female delegates from over 40 countries, Festival23 celebrates the transformative power of football on a global scale.

The remarkable journey of Sashana Campbell and Ashleigh Shim is a testament to the core mission of Football is Freedom, an organization established by none other than Cedella Marley.

The daughter of Reggae icons Bob Marley and Rita Marley, Cedella Marley holds the mantle of CEO of the Bob Marley Group and serves as a global ambassador for Jamaica's women's national team. Her vision for Football is Freedom revolves around empowering women and nurturing young leaders across the region. Since its inception in 2021, the organization has been steadfast in driving awareness for women's football, advocating for its growth and recognition.

Both Campbell and Shim have assumed vital roles within the Football is Freedom family, serving as assistant coaches and mentors in grassroots staff mentorship programs.

Sashana Campbell, an accomplished Reggae Girlz defender, has been a stalwart presence in the senior squad since 2014. With her recent appearance in Australia for her second consecutive World Cup with the team, she embodies unwavering leadership qualities that continue to inspire her teammates and fans alike.

Ashleigh Shim, a former Reggae Girlz forward, made her mark on the world stage as a member of Jamaica's 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup squad.

Beyond her on-field prowess, Shim stands as a fervent advocate for women's football, instilling empowerment and strength in young girls worldwide both on and off the field.

Cedella Marley emphasized, "This is part of Football is Freedom's plan to develop a proper ecosystem that the players can relate to and to support the growth and development of our Reggae Girlz through exposure to opportunities such as Festival23. This also helps our former players by providing a pathway to other careers in football. Football is Freedom is more than certain that our women will make an impact in the conference."

Festival23, hosted collaboratively by Football United, Creating Chances, and Common Goal, has unfolded in the vibrant city of Sydney. The event commenced with an official opening ceremony on August 6, extending its influence until August 13. The overarching theme, 'Inspiring the Next Generation to Embrace Equity, Driven by the Inclusive Spirit of Women's Football,' encapsulates the essence of Festival23.

The event's program spans a spectrum of activities, engaging young leaders from the global football community and beyond. From the Young Leader Fairplay Tournament on August 9 to the Football Coaching Education and Football for Good Forum on August 11 and 12, respectively, participants are immersed in enriching workshops and cultural experiences. Over 2,500 youths in Australia have seized the opportunity to participate, amplifying the potential for positive social change across communities, both locally and globally.

As the world tunes into the FIFA Women's World Cup games, Football is Freedom shines on 'OCEAUNZ TV,' a brand-new YouTube content series by the adidas Football Collective. In episode one, Cedella Marley presents the captivating essence of Football is Freedom, sharing intriguing anecdotes about her father's deep connection to the sport and providing insights into the talented players she mentors.

With their indomitable spirit, Campbell and Shim embody the essence of Football is Freedom's mission. Their participation in Festival23 signifies not only their exceptional talent but also the strides being taken to empower women and promote the holistic wellness of athletes within the realm of football. As the event unfolds in the backdrop of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, the Reggae Girls' presence continues to inspire and uplift, leaving an indelible mark on the global football community.

 

 

 

 

To throw as far as you can, is a simple concept, but there is something beautiful about the moment when hard work fuelled by stubborn determination, and just the mere need to rise above challenges, combine to create a seemingly effortless mark.

Such is the case of Jamaica’s hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis, who charted and has now completed the first phase of her course towards top level competition, as she not only achieved a personal best mark of 71.18 metres along the way but will be the first –male or female –to represent the island in the discipline at the upcoming World Athletics Championships.

In fact, just making the country’s team to Budapest, is testament of Clunis’s growth and unwavering desire to make it big to honour her now deceased mother Michelle Morgan and Grandmother Letta Black, both of whom serve as the reason why she continues to smile in the face of adversities.

“They are my main motivation. Seeing how these two women made things happen in their lives, despite the difficulties they faced with little help, really gave me the will I need to overcome all the challenges I’ve faced,” Clunis told Sportsmax.tv.

Those challenges the now 27-year-old refers to are those that came with living in a fairly unsafe space, and so she sought solace in sports, netball in particular, which she declared was her first love.

“I got into track and field because my life wasn’t in the greatest place and my netball coach thought it would be a good idea to get me away from home and stay safe even for a few hours. Netball was my first love. I remember my mom playing netball and after she passed away, I did everything I could to follow in her footsteps, but things just didn’t work out where that is concerned,” she shared.

So started her journey in track and field where she tried her hand and feet at various disciplines to include the sprints, before injury forced her to take up javelin, shot put, discus and later heptathlon, before she inevitably finding her niche –hammer throw.

In a discipline which arguably favours power and technique over passion, it wasn’t necessarily easy for Clunis, as her best throw back in 2016 was marked at 50.23m, but she eventually found her footing and now seven years later, she breached 71m, not once, but three times in quick succession.

The first was 71.13m in Idaho, with the second coming on July 14, when she hit her new lifetime best of 71.18m and two days later, Clunis, a four-time National champion, launched the instrument to 71.11m. All marks were achieved at separate meets, mere weeks after Clunis claimed another Jamaica title with a 70.17m throw.

“As everything in life, change is challenging. Specializing is challenging, but I always knew I’m destined for more and even though I am not yet at the point in my life where I want to be, I’m satisfied with where I am at and I remain hungry to see how much more I can give,” Clunis said.

“Making a career, however, has been extremely difficult because throwers don’t get paid compared to other events. So, the journey has been difficult but I’m hoping it will get easier with sponsorship,” she noted.

Still, there remains a willingness to succeed and a sense that the mood, and, by extension, Clunis’s attitude has changed for the better in recent years.

Clunis believes her lifetime best throw was long overdue and was accomplished due to the exact combination of her biomechanics, physical attributes and excellent technique.

“I am pleased and grateful that I’ve gotten to the point of my career where I’m able to throw lifetime bests, but there’s more there and, like I said, I’m hungry. This tells me the consistency is important and a big throw is coming.  This tells me that I’m becoming the athlete I’ve always dreamt of being, and so I am working on myself one day at a time,” she said.

The frightening sense of determination in Clunis’s tone is very much understandable, given the fact that she has improved leaps and bounds over the past year, and it has given her a new-found confidence and perspective on what is possible.

“Qualifying for the Olympic Games would be amazing and not being able to do so yet is my motivation over the season. I believe next year is going to be great, I am just focusing on the little things that I need to do in order to achieve the Automatic Qualifying standard, as it would be honestly amazing to hit 74m.

“I just want to catapult my self-belief in a whole different league. Throwing 71m so consistently this season has been a dream and I want more so I’m patiently working until the marks come,” the bubbly athlete revealed.

“For now, my main goals at this point are to gain sponsorship leading to the Olympic Games because I would like to focus on training…like really get the opportunity to focus on training and see how great I can be with help,” she ended.

David Menuisier’s Heartache Tonight will seek soft ground as she returns from a brief break at the height of summer.

The three-year-old is an own sister to the stable’s former star Wonderful Tonight, a multiple Group One winner who also ran in the colours of Christopher Wright.

Wright and Andy MacDonald jointly own Heartache Tonight, who won her sole two-year-old start and then kicked off this season with a third-placed run in the Group Three Prix Cleopatre at Chantilly.

A good fourth, beaten only a length and a half, followed in the Group One Prix Saint-Alary, after which she headed to Epsom for the Oaks as a 28-1 shot.

There she ran a gallant race and led for a spell before losing ground two furlongs from home and eventually finishing sixth on ground quicker than ideal.

Connections have given her an easier time since but she is limbering up to run again and has a range of entries on both sides of the Channel.

After incredibly wet weather the ground is drying again, however, and Menuisier will seek cut in the turf when he decides which race to target.

“Heartache Tonight is absolutely fine, she’s had a break and is back in training,” he said.

“She’s entered on Sunday in the Prix Minerve at Deauville, but we’re looking at the weather forecast and I’m not sure if there’s enough rain for the weekend.

“She’s also in on the 19th (of August) in the Prix De Pomone at Deauville and possibly also in the Galtres at York and the Yorkshire Oaks.

“We’re not too sure where she’s going next, where the rains falls in an ideal world!”

Of the Epsom run he added: “She ran really well considering how quick the ground was.

“She had them pretty stretched out at the bottom of the hill and then the ground was just too quick for her to quicken again, but it was a very good display and I was really happy with her.”

Jim Goldie is doubtful Euchen Glen will get another crack at the Sky Bet Ebor, despite finishing an honourable third when in action at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The 10-year-old has won 12 times in a long and distinguished 61-race career, but is without a victory since winning the Listed Gala Stakes in 2021 and as such has seen his rating drop from a career high of 116 to 96.

Looking to snap that two-year loosing run in the Coral Summer Handicap on the Sussex Downs, Euchen Glen gave a fine account to make the podium in heavy ground.

However, his handler believes he needed to win to stand a chance of making the final field of the Ebor for the fourth successive year with him currently lying 37th on the list for the £500,000 contest which has a maximum field of 22.

“He’s going fine, but we’re probably going to miss the Ebor,” said Goldie.

“I think he had to win at Goodwood to get in the Ebor. We will probably have to look at another race at York.

“He needs quite a few to come out and if they do we will be running in it, but we might miss it by one or two.

“If we got the ground you got at Goodwood, you never know, and he is one of the few horses who does handle it. That would make it interesting, but I think we will get a summer at some point!”

The current favourite for the Knavesmire handicap is Euchen Glen’s Goodwood conqueror Sweet William, who was also ahead of Goldie’s stable stalwart when they clashed over two miles at Newbury last month.

But the Scottish handler is keen to take another crack at John and Thady Gosden’s improving stayer, having bridged the deficit between the pair in their most recent encounter.

“I think it was two very progressive horses that beat him at Goodwood and it was a good field,” added Goldie.

“I know they think a lot of the winner, but it is interesting because we are getting closer to him. We ran against him at Newbury and we probably closed that gap by four or five lengths at Goodwood.

“With another 7 or 8lb we might actually pass him one day, with the theory that weight will stop a train eventually.

“Euchen Glen is obviously a superstar and he’s from a good family, Sir Chauvelin is his brother, so we’ve had a lot of winners out of that mare.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.