John and Thady Gosden’s promising Regal Jubilee makes her seasonal reappearance on Saturday in what promises to be an informative running of the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury.

The three-year-old is by Frankel out of the mare Regal Realm, making her a half-sister to Sir Michael Stoute’s multiple Group-race winner Regal Reality.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned bay made her debut at Newmarket in September, but ran no race when hampered in a one-mile fillies’ novice – a performance she put firmly behind her in October when running away with a Windsor novice to prevail by seven lengths.

She then stepped up to Listed level back at Newmarket in the Montrose Fillies’ Stakes, where she shone again in winning by two lengths on heavy ground.

Now returning to action at Newbury, Regal Jubilee will make another step up as she tries her hand on soft ground at Group Three level, in the seven-furlong feature registered as the Fred Darling.

“The stiffer seven at Newbury will suit her, the ground will certainly suit her from what we saw last autumn,” said Cheveley Park’s Chris Richardson.

“I think the trip is the minimum, really, she’s probably bred to be more of a mile-and-a-quarter filly. But it makes sense to go for a trial and see where we go after that.

“Her action favours the more rain-softened conditions we think, but we haven’t got much to go on.

“We’ll take advantage of the slightly easier ground now and see what happens.”

Marco Botti has a fascinating contender in Folgaria, a Due Diligence filly who makes her British debut after joining Botti’s yard from the Italian stable of his brother, Stefano.

She was unbeaten in five starts for Botti’s brother, working her way through Listed, Group Three and Group Two level when taking contests such as the Premio Primi Passi by six lengths and the Premio Dormello by two and a quarter.

Botti said: “She’s unbeaten in Italy, she won over six (furlongs), seven and a mile.

“She joined us about two and a half months ago, the owner decided to see what she can do abroad and it seems a good race to start her off in.

“The ground won’t be an issue, she’s been in good form and her work at home has been pleasing us.

“Of course it’s hard to transfer that form in Italy to England, but it seems the right race to start her off in and see where we are.

“She’s in the French Guineas and this will tell us a bit more about how to compare what she did in Italy to here.

“She won the Premio Dormello in good style, a Group Two, she’s facing a good field at Newbury though it has cut up a little bit.

“We’ve been happy and we will find out whether she’s up to this level.

“She was trained by my brother and we’ve been in touch, she’s been a straightforward filly since she joined us.”

William Haggas is represented by Relief Rally, a Kodiac filly who proved herself to be high quality when meeting with defeat just once in five runs during her juvenile season.

That defeat was a nose loss in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, after which she went on to win the Super Sprint at Newbury and the Lowther Stakes at York.

She was subsequently sold by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, fetching 800,000 guineas at Tattersalls and staying in the Haggas yard for new owner Zhang Yuesheng.

Roger Varian runs Elmalka, with Richard Hughes set to saddle Oh So Sharp third Star Music and the field completed by Andrew Balding’s Topanga.

Blown and Fantastic Warriors have secured their spots in the eagerly anticipated final of the 24th KPMG Squash League after impressive victories over Saints and Racketeers in the semi-finals. Squash enthusiasts are gearing up for an exciting showdown between these two formidable teams, scheduled for this Friday at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston, with the action kicking off at 6:00 pm on the main court.

The path to the final saw both teams display exceptional skill and determination, thrilling spectators with intense matches that highlighted the competitive spirit of the league.

In the first semi-final clash between Blown and Saints, Jerry Bell of Saints delivered a commanding performance to secure victory over Fraser McConnell in straight sets (21-17, 21-19, 21-13). However, Blown fought back fiercely, with Jake Mahfood and Andrew Bicknell securing crucial wins to propel their team to the final.

Meanwhile, the battle between Fantastic Warriors and Racketeers kept fans on the edge of their seats with extended rallies and impressive displays of athleticism. Racketeers' Adam Lee and Fantastic Warriors' Nabeel Jawad and Stewart Maxwell showcased exceptional talent, ultimately leading to a thrilling conclusion in favor of the Fantastic Warriors.

This year's league has witnessed captivating matches and standout performances, with a new champion set to be crowned following the absence of defending champions AGI (Advantage General Insurance). The competition, which began with 16 teams in early March, featured 64 players representing a diverse range of skill levels, from beginners to national champions.

A unique aspect of the league was the implementation of handicaps based on players' skill levels, ensuring a level playing field and offering every participant an opportunity to excel. Matches were extended to twenty-one points, adding an extra layer of challenge and excitement to the games.

As the KPMG Squash League reaches its pinnacle with the highly anticipated final, squash enthusiasts and supporters eagerly await what promises to be an exhilarating showdown between Blown and Fantastic Warriors. Don't miss out on the action as these two top-tier teams vie for supremacy in this prestigious tournament.

 

Shimona Jok, the Jamaican netball star, has emerged from a tumultuous year with renewed optimism and a fresh opportunity in Super Netball, having signed with the Melbourne Mavericks as their 11th player. Jok's journey to this point has been marked by challenges, controversy, and personal growth, as detailed in a recent interview with ABC Sport.

The 2023 season was a testing period for Jok, navigating the collapse of the Collingwood Magpies, enduring financial struggles due to a CPA dispute, and experiencing an 11-week period without pay. Amidst this adversity, she found solace in marrying basketball player Buay Jok.

Despite these hardships, Jok's fortune turned when she was selected by the Mavericks, albeit under controversial circumstances. The signing raised eyebrows due to the league's criteria for the 11th player, which appeared to favour emerging Australian talent eligible for the Diamonds. However, Mavericks coach Tracey Neville leveraged Jok's permanent residency to secure the seasoned international shooter.

Reflecting on the unexpected opportunity, Jok expressed gratitude and determination. "All I needed to do was just show up to training, work hard, be positive and show them that last year's hardships are not going to define me," said Jok, who will now earn the six-month league minimum of $22,000.

While Jok's eligibility sparked debate around World Netball regulations, particularly her potential representation of Australia, she remains focused on the present. "My priorities have switched because I don't want to be in this position ever again," Jok explained. "Representing the national team will not always be there; once the international games are done, it's like what's your actual job? What do you do beyond that?"

Regarding her future with Jamaica versus potential eligibility for Australia, Jok admitted to being "50-50" but emphasized the importance of keeping an open mind.

As Jok embraces this new chapter with the Mavericks, she reflects on personal growth and resilience amidst professional challenges. Her journey serves as a testament to perseverance and the unwavering support of loved ones and mentors who stood by her during difficult times.

With the possibility of making her debut for the Mavericks in upcoming matches, Jok looks ahead with confidence, underscoring her growth as a player and her readiness to contribute to her new team's success.

The Melbourne Mavericks eagerly anticipate integrating Jok into their roster, recognizing her potential to bolster their attack and make a significant impact on the court.

As Jok prepares for the next phase of her netball career, she embodies resilience and determination, poised to seize the opportunities that lie ahead with the Mavericks.

"I feel like defenders aren't going to know what to expect if I do get the chance to play Super Netball, because the Shimona Nelson last year is different to the Shimona Jok this year," she said.

 

 

 

 

Nashville SC coach Gary Smith is not looking forward to his team facing Lionel Messi for the third time this year, with the Inter Miami star fit and firing ahead of Saturday's MLS clash in Fort Lauderdale.

A hamstring issue caused Messi to spend almost a month on the sidelines before he returned with a goal in Miami's 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids earlier this month.

The Argentina great was then on the scoresheet again last weekend, as Miami ended a five-game winless run with an entertaining 3-2 success against Sporting Kansas City.

With Messi also scoring in both legs of a CONCACAF Champions Cup triumph over Nashville in March, Smith is sick of the sight of the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"I'm a little bit disappointed that Lionel Messi has gotten himself back into tip-top sharp form as we come back into town again!" Smith said.

"I think that what we can safely say is when he's in the group, there's a very, very different feel and look and inspiration about that team."

Nashville are winless in three games since beating Charlotte FC 2-1 last month, with Daniel Gazdag's last-gasp strike condemning them to a 2-1 defeat against the Philadelphia Union last time out.

Smith believes his team are at least giving themselves a chance of picking up results, adding: "When we've got our best group on the field — and we need to have our best group on the field — we're very competitive."

Miami's win over Kansas City ensured they will enter the weekend top of the Eastern Conference standings, and boss Gerardo Martino is pleased to see them setting the pace.

"Being first in the standings is comforting, especially with a long week ahead," Martino said. "It was very important for us to get out of that rut of getting ties, losses, and making mistakes."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Inter Miami – Lionel Messi

Messi has been involved in at least one goal in each of his first five league games of the season, the second time he's done so in his career, having achieved the feat in six straight matches with Barcelona to begin 2013-14 in LaLiga.

The Argentine has also managed at least one goal involvement in each of his eight appearances for Miami across all competitions in 2024, including two goals and one assist in two matches against Nashville.

Nashville SC – Jacob Shaffelburg

Shaffelburg has assisted each of Nashville's last two MLS goals, one in each of their last two matches.

Previously, he had only recorded one assist in his first 40 regular-season matches with Nashville. Will his purple patch continue in Florida?

MATCH PREDICTION – INTER MIAMI WIN

Nashville have only managed one win in their last 15 away games against MLS opponents across all competitions (six draws, eight defeats).

That run, which stretches back to June 2023, includes a draw and a loss against Miami, who are also unbeaten in five straight head-to-head meetings between the teams (two wins, three draws).

Last week's 3-2 win over Sporting KC was the 11th time Miami have scored three or more goals in their 22 games with Messi making an appearance, across all competitions. They have only scored three or more goals on 15 occasions in their 134 all-time games without the Argentine. He should be involved on Saturday, and that makes them favourites. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Inter Miami – 36.6%

Nashville SC – 33.8%

Draw – 29.6%

A destructive spell of spin bowling by Bryan Charles ensured Trinidad and Tobago Red Force maintained a strangle hold on their final round West Indies Championship encounter against Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park on Thursday.

Charles snared six wickets for 75 runs in 23.1 overs, including four maidens, as he proved most destructive for the Red Force, who pegged the Scorpions against the ropes at 159-9, after the vistors earlier ended their first innings at a daunting 432.

Jeavor Royal, on 33, and Andrae Dennis, yet to score, will resume batting for the Scorpions, who are 273 runs behind heading into Friday’s third day.

Scores: Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 432 all out (Joshua Da Silva 106, Terrance Hinds 79, Amir Jangoo 51, Kjorn Ottley 45, Khary Pierre 43, Navin Bidaisee 31; Jeavor Royal 3-113, Ojay Shields 2-61, Peat Salmon 2-83).

Jamaica Scorpions 159-9 (Kirk McKenzie 57, Jeavor Royal 33 not out; Bryan Charles 6-75, Khary Pierre 2-46).

Earlier, Red Force resuming on 308-7, added another 124 runs to their overnight total, thanks to Terrance Hinds and Khary Pierre, who put together 91 for the eighth wicket. Hinds, added 58 runs to his overnight score of 21, in a just over two-hour 118-ball knock that included seven fours and five sixes.

Pierre, who resumed on one, had two fours and two sixes in his 99-ball 43, as the Red Force lower order built on the momentum left by captain Joshua Da Silva, who initially revived the innings with a well-played century.

Royal was the most successful Scorpions bowler with 3-113 from 37 overs, while pacer Ojay Shields and off-spinner Peat Salmon took two wickets apiece.

If the Scorpions were frustrated by Red Force’s prolonged innings, then their week got a bit worse, as they failed to contend with the skill and precision of spinners Charles and Pierre.

Charles, 28, first removed opener Javaughn Buchanan (10), and later ripped through the middle order, erasing any hopes the Scorpions had of staging a fightback.

In fact, only West Indies left-handed batsman Kirk McKenzie, who topscored with a patient 153-ball 57, including two fours and two sixes, offered some resistance, before Royal became the second batsman to pass 20 runs. Pierre had 2-46 in 21 overs.

Elsewhere, at Frank Worrell Field in Trinidad and Tobago, Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners lead Guyana Harpy Eagles by 142 with three second innings wickets intact.

Scores: Campuses & Colleges Marooners 200 all out (Demario Richards 43, Romario Greaves 36, Avinash Mahabirsingh 23, Amari Goodridge 22, Jediah Blades 22 not out, Jarion Hoyte 21; Nial Smith 3-45, Veerasammy Permaul 3-51, Gudakesh Motie 2-40, Isai Thorne 2-45) and 165 for seven (Odaine McCatty 56, Shamarh Brooks 54 not out; Kevin Sinclair 2-29, Gudakesh Motie 2-42, Veerasammy Permaul 2-44).

Guyana Harpy Eagles 223 all out (Raymond Perez 62, Tevin Imlach 55, Kevin Sinclair 37, Kevlon Anderson 27; Avinash Mahabirsingh 17.4-2-51-8).

At the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, Barbados Pride lead Cricket West Indies Academy by 21 with seven second innings wickets in hand.

Scores: Barbados Pride 155 all out (Jonathan Drakes 35, Kevin Wickham 27, Shian Brathwaite 26, Demetrius Richards 21 not out; Johann Layne 3-23, McKenny Clarke 3-26, Joshua Bishop 2-25, Ramon Simmonds 2-43) and 109 for three (Kraigg Brathwaite 49 not out, Shian Brathwaite 21; Joshua Bishop 2-11).

CWI Academy 243 all out (Ackeem Auguste 76, Carlon Tuckett-Bowen 49, Johan Layne 38, McKenny Clarke 30; Akeem Jordan 4-76, Raymon Reifer 2-32, Jair McAllister 2-40, Shaquille Cumberbatch 2-75).

Meanwhile, At Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago, Leeward Islands Hurricanes were 232 runs ahead of Windward Islands Volcanoes, with eight second innings wickets intact.

Leeward Islands Hurricanes 300 all out (Mikyle Louis 100, Jewel Andrew 68, Jeremiah Louis 43, Jahmar Hamilton 34; Ryan John 3-67, Gilon Tyson 2-33, Daren Cyrus 2-70) and 111 for two (Mikyle Louis 33, Kieran Powell 31).

Windward Islands Volcanoes 179 all out (Johann Jeremiah 41, Shamar Springer 33, Kavem Hodge 29, Stephan Pascal 25; Daniel Doram 16-5-34-6, Hayden Walsh Jr 3-21).

Michael Ricketts, the President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), remains hopeful that the ongoing issues between the association and Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey will be resolved soon.

Bailey was dropped from the national team after breaking curfew prior to a crucial Nations League semi-final against the United States in late March. Subsequently, Bailey, speaking on the ‘Let’s Be Honest’ podcast, aired his grievances publicly, criticizing the JFF's professionalism and citing reasons for taking a self-imposed break from international football.

In response, the JFF issued a detailed statement refuting Bailey’s allegations.

On Thursday, Ricketts expressed regret over the situation and emphasized the player's past dedication to representing Jamaica on the field.

"I just think it is so very unfortunate and I hope he really doesn’t mean what he is saying," said Ricketts. "He probably was a little bit upset but we are hoping that things will settle down because he has given his all for his country.

“I remember, I think it was after the Canada (in the Nations League quarter-final) game that he came up to me and said ‘President, you know every time I go on the field I try to do my best because I am representing my country’ and I guess he felt bad because he didn’t do as well as people were expecting.

“And when he said that to me, I just thought that here is somebody, who it might not be working for him then but his heart is in the right place.

“I remember years ago, (West Indies cricket great) Viv Richards was going through a bad patch and when he was interviewed he said that you lose form but you don’t lose class and if you have the class the form will come back and I am just hoping that these issues and these utterances from Bailey will, sooner rather than later, be sorted out and that we can re-establish a proper relationship.”

However, Ricketts expressed concern over the tendency of airing internal grievances in public, particularly given the widespread reach of social media.

"I really don’t think he (Bailey) had an issue that had to be played out in the public," Ricketts remarked. "It’s just unfortunate and we are just hopeful that we will be able to sort these things out and have them amicably settled rather than going public because social media, it’s all over the world. So whatever you say or do the whole world will know."

Despite the current challenges, Ricketts expressed optimism about restoring a positive relationship with Bailey in time for upcoming national team activities.

"We are hoping that the coach (Heimir Halgrimsson) will work this out," Ricketts concluded. "I know the coach really wants to have this sorted out quickly. He is very disappointed but at the same time he is very optimistic that he will get it sorted out soon."

The JFF remains committed to addressing and resolving any issues with Bailey to ensure a harmonious working relationship moving forward. Jamaica will begin its World Cup campaign against the Dominican Republic on June 6 at the National Stadium in Kingston. Their next match will be against Dominica in Dominica on June 9.

 

Endless Victory struck the front in the nick of time to book his ticket to a Classic trial by winning the bet365 EBF ‘Confined’ Novice Stakes at Newmarket.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, the son of Teofilo was well-backed prior to the 10-furlong event and was sent off the even-money favourite in the hands of Godolphin number one William Buick.

A taking winner on his debut at Wolverhampton in the winter, he confirmed that promise by pulling out all the stops to run down Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Salamanca, with the winning distance only a short head.

The colt – a full-brother to Appleby’s Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter – holds an entry in the Dante, but the Moulton Paddocks handler suggested it could be the Lingfield Derby Trial on May 11 that proves his next port of call as he shuffles his swelling Classic hand.

Appleby said: “They’re all in the same boat, he had obviously just won around Wolverhampton (previously) and has come here for his first start on turf.

“It looked a sensible race on paper and they are probably a nice field of horses going forward and for our fellow to do what he’s done, I’m very pleased.

“I think he is a horse that will progress as we go up in trip. Everyone will be asking is he a Derby horse? Well, he’s still got a bit to do yet and we’ll see how much he improves for this run and whether we look at one of the trials.

“Arabian Crown will probably go to Sandown and maybe this horse can go to Lingfield or something like that, a race we like to support if we can.”

Chapple-Hyam may have missed out on a double with the narrow defeat of Salamanca, but can take comfort that her Rolica booked her ticket to the Qipco 1000 Guineas when Hollie Doyle got the better of husband Tom Marquand.

A 9-2 chance for the Rossdales Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, the daughter of Lope De Vega was a beaten favourite on debut at Nottingham last autumn, but was a sharper model on her three-year-old bow, showing a good attitude to wear down the Marquand-ridden 9-4 joint-favourite Vicario.

“We got confidence from her galloping companion Mallavelly who was second yesterday in the mile maiden and thankfully she has done the job,” said Chapple-Hyam.

“I think Mallavelly has shown she wants further, so if Mr Harris (Peter, owner) is happy I would like this filly to take her chance – she’s a Guineas filly.

“She was third at Nottingham on a very heavy track, but she’s wintered well and done everything right and I’m just thrilled to have this Lope De Vega.”

Although unsuccessful aboard Vicario, Marquand did find the scoresheet with Woodhay Wonder as Tom Ward’s star filly sprinted to a third straight win in the opening bet365 Handicap.

A real money-spinner for connections last term, she proved could still be a forced to be reckoned with at three as she led from start to finish in the six-furlong event.

“She’s been great and a lot of fun and they’ve done a fantastic job with her to get her ready to go ‘bang’ on her first start of the year,” said Marquand.

“She paid her way just fine last year and after a year like that there is always the question of if they will train on and do the same, but she’s started on the right path and hopefully she will keep on improving.”

The concluding Consign With The National Stud Handicap went the way of Karl Burke’s Poet Master (100-30 favourite) who was registering his fourth win in five starts off a mark of 100.

He could now have bigger assignments in store and his handler said: “He’s got a lot of ability and I think he’s a Group horse in the making. We thought he would be very competitive off 100.

“I would say he will go to the Listed race at Haydock (Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes) in a few weeks’ time. That would be a lovely track for him, a real front-runners’ track and he’s a horse to just let him do his own thing. A nice, level track like Haydock will be perfect for him.”

Jeremy Scott’s Golden Ace continued to impress as she cruised to victory on her return to Cheltenham.

The six-year-old is a daughter of Golden Horn and has enjoyed a superb campaign, living up to the promise shown when she was second in the Grade Two mares’ bumper at Aintree the season prior.

The winner of two Taunton novice hurdles earlier in the year, the mare then went to the Cheltenham Festival to contest the Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle under usual rider Lorcan Williams.

While she did not face her Aintree conqueror Dysart Enos, she still crossed paths with some highly-regarded mares in Gordon Elliott’s Brighterdaysahead and Willie Mullins’ Jade De Grugy.

Neither could outperform Golden Ace, however, and she triumphed by a length and three-quarters on a day to remember for Scott and the team at Holworthy Farm.

She was then aimed at the Grade One Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, but that plan was scuppered when she suffered a bruised foot and was therefore withdrawn.

The Listed Changing Young Lives At Jamie’s Farm Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham was the alternative outing and her prior successes saw her line up the 4-9 favourite, on what was a step up to two and half miles.

In a field of nine she was an effortless winner, striding up the hill to cross the line eight and a half lengths ahead of Ben Clarke’s Ooh Betty.

The form from her Festival win now looks rock solid, with Brighterdaysahead and Jade De Grugy both taking Grade One events since – the same level Golden Ace will be aimed at next year.

“She was very good, there were a couple of sketchy jumps but she always had everything covered,” said Scott.

“Once the Aintree plan fell through this is what we were thinking of for her.

“Lorcan said that if anything she’d probably be happier on slightly softer ground, so we’ve learnt that, but she came up the hill very well.

“We’ll aim at the two-and-a-half-mile race (Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle) here next year if we’re lucky enough to be in that position.”

Of the subsequent performance of the Elliott and Mullins mares, Scott added: “They’ve looked very, very impressive and it was just so frustrating not being able to go to Aintree, but that’s just horses I’m afraid!

“It’s been a very, very good season for her. She’s been great.”

There was some minor movement in the trainers’ championship table, as Dan Skelton collected small amounts of placed prize-money across the afternoon.

Notnowlinda finished fourth in the Catesby Estates Mares’ Challenger Series Final Handicap Hurdle and Sacre Coeur was runner-up in the NAF Mares’ Handicap Chase, reducing the gap between Skelton and table-leader Mullins by just over £9,000.

Haatem could join esteemed stablemate Rosallion in next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas after throwing his hat into the ring with a dominant victory in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

Rosallion, who won three of his four juvenile starts including the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp, is very much Richard Hannon’s first string for the season’s first Classic on May 4, with only the unbeaten and much-vaunted City Of Troy ahead of him in ante-post lists.

Haatem himself kept good company during a busy two-year-old campaign, most notably winning the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood as well as finishing second and fifth behind City Of Troy in the Superlative and Dewhurst Stakes respectively, but looked more exposed than most ahead of his three-year-old debut.

Making his reappearance and 10th career start in one of the key Guineas trials, Haatem was sent off at 17-2 in the hands of Sean Levey and quickened up smartly racing out of the dip to pull three and a half lengths clear of Dewhurst third Eben Shaddad.

“The way he did it has surprised me, but you can’t say that was a fluke. He’s obviously improved a lot physically – he’s a big, strong, impressive horse,” said Hannon.

“He’s a good horse and he’s just won a Craven by three and a half lengths. He won a Vintage Stakes with the subsequent Champagne Stakes winner behind him and he was fifth in a Dewhurst.

“Funnily enough, I said to Sean after the last race I thought he’d get the trip well and it seems the horses who have been making the running all week have been winning and have been hard to peg back. I know he didn’t make the running, but I don’t think you can say that is an average performance, he was pretty good there.”

Coral cut Haatem to 25-1 from 66-1 for the 2000 Guineas, with Aidan O’Brien’s City Of Troy their 4-6 favourite and Rosallion rated his biggest threat at 5-1. Betfair and Paddy Power make Haatem a 20-1 chance.

Hannon is ready to let both of his pair line up at Newmarket next month, but did mention a couple of potential alternatives for Haatem.

He added: “This is the racecourse and this is where it matters and on what he has done today, the 25-1 on offer for the 2000 Guineas could be generous to me.

“Rosallion is a horse that contains an awful lot of speed, whereas this is a horse who gets the trip extremely well. Rosallion will get the mile and they will both probably run (in the Guineas).

“We’ve made no secret about how good we think Rosallion is. This horse has surprised me in the manner in which he did it, but I don’t think he should ever have been a 20-1 shot for the race like he was yesterday. It’s nice to have two very good milers on our hands and two with very good chances in the Guineas – one with an exceptional chance and one with a better chance than he had before.

“He’s in the German Guineas and Irish Guineas as well and I think he will be a force to be reckoned with wherever he goes. I’m delighted and the owners are delighted – they deserve it.”

Levey said: “No doubt he (Haatem) is exposed, but I thought he brought a lot of good form to the table. He was a big horse last year and I always thought he was doing well to do as well as he did because I knew he would get better in time.

“I wasn’t expecting that sort of run today, he’s obviously been hiding a bit from me at home. I thought he wanted a mile and a quarter, but I think he has done that really well and he’s going to show his hand in the Guineas now.

“Rosallion is a good horse and it gives you a bit of confidence to see this lad win the way he did. I hope I’m right (when I say) that he (Rosallion) is exceptional.”

Washington Heights dug deep from the front to provide trainer Kevin Ryan with a record fifth victory in the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at Newmarket.

Previously successful in the Group Three contest with Hamza (2014), Astaire (2015) and the popular dual winner Brando (2017 and 2018), Ryan this year fielded a widely unconsidered 33-1 shot who had been off the track since landing a Listed event at Bro Park in September.

Prior to his Swedish success the four-year-old had been placed in a number of competitive sprint handicaps and looks set to ply his trade at Pattern level from now on judged on a fine comeback win on the Rowley Mile under a well judged ride from Tom Eaves.

Mill Stream also made a promising start to his campaign in second, beaten three-quarters of a length, as did Spycatcher who was only a short head further behind in third.

Adam Ryan, assistant to his father Kevin, said of the winner: “He was a bit of an unlucky horse last year and he bumped into Shaquille first time out giving him weight.

“The good thing about him is he is very consistent and he deserved to get his head in front in Sweden. This year was always going to be about if he could take the next step up and he has certainly done that.

“He’s such a genuine horse and if you had 100 like him it would be an easy game. He’s always going to give you 110 per cent and once his head is in front he is always going to be hard to pass.

“It’s a good starting point to the year and generally at this time of year the weather can be a bit in and out, but it’s usually all right here and it’s a nice place for these sprinters to start.

“The Duke Of York or the Greenlands Stakes in in Ireland could be the next port of call and he’s an exciting horse to look forward to.”

Cosmo Charlton, representing the winning owners, Hambleton Racing Ltd, said: “We’ve got quite a few of the syndicate here today and everyone was really excited.

“He’s done well over the winter and was impressive over in Sweden last year so we were hoping he was going to run above his odds today.

“He’s a horse who tried very hard in his races and he’s run loads of really good races for us. It was a strong Group Three today and almost a Group Two on paper and he just has a tremendous attitude and Tom just said he tries very hard for you and digs deep. I sort of knew he had won a furlong out to be honest.

“Tom has given him a great ride from the front and has got the job done and he looks like a sprinter to follow for the season.

“Kevin wins this race a lot and is a fantastic trainer of fast horses and it looks like he’s bought another really nice one for us. The owners have really bonded with him and to come here and win in Group company, hopefully there are exciting things ahead.

“He has options and he’s in the Duke Of York and the Greenlands. They have great prize-money and will be fun days out and the dream is very much alive with this horse about where he could take us in the future.”

The front-running First Conquest narrowly denied the promising Lead Artist in a thrilling renewal of the bet365 Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes at Newmarket.

The one-mile contest for unraced three-year-olds has been won by a whole host of high-class performers over the years, including 12 months ago when subsequent Dante third and Derby runner Passenger made a winning debut for Sir Michael Stoute.

Representing the formidable combination of Charlie Appleby and William Buick, First Conquest was unsurprisingly prominent in the market for this year’s renewal at 4-1 and having dictated affairs from the off, had most of his rivals in trouble racing out of the dip.

Lead Artist and Earl Of Rochester, two sons of Dubawi trained by John and Thady Gosden, came from the chasing pack to throw down a challenge with the former emerging as the biggest threat in the Juddmonte silks, but First Conquest dug in to prevail by a nose.

As a gelding this year’s Wood Ditton winner does not have Classic aspirations, with Appleby eyeing a more low-key campaign.

He said: “He’s been schooled up there at home and is from a family we have known. He worked with a nicer horse that ran well earlier in the week as well so we were confident, barring greenness. He hit the lids and was very professional throughout.

“At the moment I hope he will be a nice, progressive handicapper and stepping up in trip in time he can be a proper mile-and-a-quarter type of horse.

“The thing about the Wood Ditton is years ago when you’d win it you would have to throw them in at the deep end, but now with the change of the programme we can give these horses a chance and let them develop in their own manner.”

West Indies Women's captain Hayley Matthews delivered a stellar all-round performance to lead her team to a commanding 113-run victory over Pakistan Women in the first One Day International (ODI) at the National Stadium in Karachi on Thursday.

Matthews played a pivotal role in setting up the win, first with the bat and then with the ball. She showcased her batting prowess by scoring an impressive unbeaten 140 runs, anchoring the West Indies' innings to a challenging total of 269-8 in their allotted 50 overs. Matthews' innings was decorated with 15 boundaries (fours) and a well-struck six.

After losing an early wicket, Matthews combined forces with Shemaine Campbell to forge a crucial partnership of 102 runs for the second wicket. Campbell contributed a valuable 45 runs to the cause before departing.

Chinelle Henry (23) and contributions from Chedean Nation and Aaliyah Henry, who scored 17 each, further solidified the West Indies' innings as Matthews led from the front, steering her team to a formidable total.

In response, Pakistan Women struggled to build partnerships against the disciplined West Indies bowling attack. Tuba Hassan top-scored with 25 runs, while Muneeba Ali and Nahida Alvi made contributions of 22 and 20 runs, respectively.

However, it was Matthews who turned the game decisively in her team's favor with the ball, claiming three crucial wickets for just 17 runs. Afy Fletcher and Zaida James also made significant contributions with the ball, picking up two wickets each to bundle out Pakistan Women for 156 runs in 35.5 overs.

Sadia Iqbal (2-38) and Tuba Hassan (2-48) were the standout bowlers for Pakistan, but they couldn't contain Matthews' brilliance.

With this commanding victory, West Indies Women have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Pakistan Women, setting the stage for an exciting contest in the upcoming matches.

 

Jamaican sprinter Oblique Seville is gearing up for an electrifying showdown against world champion Noah Lyles at the upcoming Racers Grand Prix on June 1, setting the stage for a thrilling test of readiness ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Seville, who finished fourth at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest where Lyles clinched his first 100m world title, is optimistic about his chances this season, having managed to steer clear of injury thus far. Seville's coach, Glen Mills, revealed earlier this year that an injury at a crucial stage last season hindered Seville's performance in Budapest, where he clocked 9.88 seconds, narrowly missing out on a medal.

Reflecting on his preparation for the upcoming races, Seville expressed confidence in his improved health and training regimen this season. "This year I have taken some drastic steps with regards to my injuries and injury management. I am cautious with what I'm doing so I am healthy at this point, and everything is going well," Seville explained at Tuesday's launch of the Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston.

Seville's recent performances, including a 47.44-second 400m and a 20.17-second 200m, demonstrate his dedication and hard work leading into this pivotal season. "The 47.44 and the 20.17 that I ran show my dedication and hard work, so it is a possibility that I can make it onto the medal podium if things work out as planned," Seville remarked.

 “Last year, I didn’t get to train the way I really wanted to but this year I got to train the way I wanted so everything is working out. I am stronger because I have got more chances training wise to do things I didn’t get the chance to do last year because of some niggles that I had.

“I had some issues with my back and stuff which caused me not to be able to lift weights as much as I could but I got it sorted out now and I am good.”

Looking ahead to the Racers Grand Prix, where he will face off against Lyles and training partner Zharnel Hughes, Seville expressed excitement about the opportunity to race against the world's best. "The last time I competed against Lyles was at the World Championship finals, so it's good to run with him before the Olympics to get a feel of what is to come," Seville emphasized.

The clash between Seville, Lyles, and Hughes at the Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston, promises to be a thrilling preview of what's in store for the Olympic Games in Paris, as Seville aims to secure his first global medal.

Charlie Hills’ highly-regarded Cicero’s Gift is back in training with his handler confident he can make his mark at the highest level.

A winner of his first three starts, the son of Muhaarar impressed when bringing up his hat-trick in a Goodwood conditions event – a performance which earned the colt a shot at the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A finishing position of seventh belies the true tale of that outing, with Cicero’s Gift catching the eye when having his passage repeatedly blocked in the closing stages of the Group One contest.

That was the final time he was seen last season with a setback curtailing his progress, but his trainer now has high hopes as he prepares to recommence his career at four.

Hills said: “He will have his first canter back this week and he’s a horse who had a problem last year so we threw him into a paddock for five months and gave him some time off. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we can get him back on track.

“We’ll go nice and gentle and keep him off fast ground.

“He ran a really nice race in the St James’s Palace last year, he was a bit unlucky in running and I think he can be a Group One horse. It will probably be over a mile, but the stallion is getting them to stay.”

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