Trinidad and Tobago will be missing two of their key players when they tackle Puerto Rico in their return-leg Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifier on Tuesday evening.

Maria-Frances Serrant and Chrissy Mitchell, both failed to make the trip to Puerto Rico due to visa issues. This serves as another major blue to twin island republic's chances, as the Richard Hood-coached team is intent on overturning the 1-2 loss they suffered, to the same opponents at Hasely Crawford Stadium, last Friday.

The players’ absence was confirmed by T&T Football Association (TTFA) media officer Shaun Fuentes on Monday.

“Full squad didn’t travel. Chrissy Mitchell had no visa and Maria Serrant won’t receive hers in time to get there,” Fuentes said.

In Friday’s match, Serrant played the entire game, while Mitchell was substituted on in the 85th minute for Asha James.

Serrant also played full-time for their opening group match against Mexico, which T&T lost 0-6, while Mitchell, who started, was then replaced in the 62nd by Naomie Guerra.

Trinidad and Tobago, who are yet to get a point on the board sit at the foot of the three-team Group A in League A. Mexico (six points) and Puerto Rico (three points), currently occupy the all-important positions respectively. 

This, as the top finishers in each League A group, will qualify for the 2024 Women’s Gold Cup group stage, while the second-place finishers in each League A group, and the first-place finishers in each League B group, will advance to the Women’s Gold Cup prelims.

As such, Trinidad and Tobago will have to secure a favourable result from Tuesday's fixture to remain in contention for a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, Hood, in Friday’s post-match press conference declared as much, despite the setback of not having the entire squad travel together.

“We have to go for a victory. If we get a 2-0 victory, then we’re right back in it. That is going to be the mindset, to go out there and try to get a victory," he noted.

After Tuesday’s encounter, Trinidad and Tobago will host Mexico in their final group fixture in early December.

Ahoy Senor and Dashel Drasher appear unlikely to clash at Wetherby on Saturday, with the former being readied for the Charlie Hall Chase and the latter instead set to run over hurdles on the undercard.

Lucinda Russell’s Ahoy Senor disappointed as a hot favourite for last year’s Charlie Hall, trailing home last of five runners behind Bravemansgame.

The eight-year-old did, though, show his true colours in the second half of the season – winning the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January before rounding off his campaign with a runner-up finish behind Shishkin in the Aintree Bowl.

Ahoy Senor is entered in both the bet365 Charlie Hall and the bet365 Hurdle in West Yorkshire this weekend, but Russell’s partner and assistant Peter Scudamore said on Tuesday morning: “I’m almost certain that Ahoy Senor will go for the chase.

“He seems OK, we’re happy enough with him.”

Ahoy Senor could again clash with Bravemansgame in Wetherby’s feature event, although the latter’s trainer Paul Nicholls will not make a final decision on his participation until later in the week.

Dashel Drasher also holds a Charlie Hall engagement, but his trainer Jeremy Scott is leaning towards running over the smaller obstacles at this stage.

He said: “On the face of it, the hurdle looks an easier race, but we’ll see which way Ahoy Senor goes and if Bravemansgame runs at Haydock (Betfair Chase) instead.

“We’ve just been discussing it; are we better over fences or over hurdles? It’s an interesting question really.

“I think we’ll bide our time and see what everybody else is doing and try to work it out, but I think in principle the most likely race, I would imagine, would be the hurdle.”

Haddex Des Obeaux has either a Cheltenham return for the Shloer Chase or the Tingle Creek on his agenda following his last-gasp fall at Prestbury Park on Saturday.

Trainer Gary Moore has a strong hand in the two-mile chasing division and is aiming high with the Ollie Harris-owned six-year-old who was on a real upwards curve before a setback last season and appeared set to resume his progress on his racecourse return until his agonising final-fence departure.

He is reported to be none the worse for that tired fall in his first outing for 287 days and his handler has highlighted another outing over the undulations of Prestbury Park in the Shloer Chase on November 19 or a first crack at a Grade One at Sandown in early December as his possible options.

“He seems fine,” said Moore. “He was running a nice race, it was just a bit of a tired fall in his first run for a long time. He was jumping pretty good up until then.

“It will either be the Shloer next or he will go straight for the Tingle Creek.”

Haddex Des Obeaux and eventual winner Dancing On My Own were matching strides heading to the final fence of the Epic Value At William Hill Handicap Chase, but Moore is unsure what would have happened if his young chaser had stayed on his feet.

“I wouldn’t like to say, but what I would say is Racheal Blackmore went for her horse a lot earlier than Jamie (Moore, jockey) has gone for him,” continued Moore.

“But the way Henry De Bromhead’s horses are running at the minute, he would probably have beaten Haddex Des Obeaux anyway.”

Haddex Des Obeaux and stablemate Editeur Du Gite are both by the same sire in Saddex and the latter, who won last season’s Clarence House Chase, will return at Exeter on November 10 before attentions turn to further big-race assignments over two miles.

“He’s fine and, all being well, he goes to Exeter for the Haldon Gold Cup,” added Moore.

“He could run in the Shloer as well. Probably the Shloer and Game Spirit.”

Meanwhile, the Lower Beeding handler is poised to send exciting duo Authorised Speed and Givega novice chasing this term, with both almost ready for a first outing over the larger obstacles.

“They are both going novice chasing,” said Moore.

“They are nearing a run, Authorised Speed will probably be a week behind Givega, but Givega is ready to go. He was nearly entered at Ascot (on Saturday) but we will save him for the next Ascot.

“I’m thinking two and a half miles, Authorised maybe two, but Givega definitely two and a half miles.”

Melbourne Cup favourite Vauban posted an impressive workout as he enjoyed a first look at Flemington.

Willie Mullins’ charge heads the market for next Tuesday’s feature after recording a seven-and-a-half-length win in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot in June before booking his ticket to Australia with a cosy victory in the Ballyroan Stakes in August.

A three-times Grade One winner over hurdles, Vauban worked in company with stablemate and fellow Cup contender Absurde at Flemington, pulling away from the Ebor victor in comfortable fashion.

Mullins’ assistant David Casey has been overseeing the pair’s preparations for the Group One handicap and he is more than satisfied with Vauban heading into the two-mile race.

“Everything seems good, we’re having a ball,” Casey told www.racing.com.

“The horse has been very relaxed, taken it all in, done everything we’ve asked, great to get a morning like this morning to come to Flemington and see something different.

“It’s all just a good experience for him for race day.”

Vauban is a best-priced 3-1 with bet365, with Absurde a general 14-1 chance for the Melbourne Cup.

Britany Anderson has described missing out on last season because of injury as heartbreaking and has revealed her primary objectives for the coming season as she aims to make Jamaica’s team to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, the 2022 World Championship 100m hurdles silver medallist also explains why she still has a major hurdle to clear if she is to get back to her best and explained her reaction to watching fellow Jamaican Danielle Williams win gold in Budapest in August.

The accomplished 22-year-old sprint hurdler missed out on the 2023 outdoor season after damaging ligaments in her knee going over a hurdle in training in Padua, Italy. The injury required surgery ligaments and since then Anderson has been undergoing rehabilitation with the goal of being fit for the coming season. The last six months, she said, have not been easy.

“The most difficult part was right after the surgery, going into the first part of training with just trying to get that mobility and that strength in my entire leg, my quad, knee, everything. Just walking around was difficult. Just lifting my leg was difficult so everything I did was hard,” she remarked.

“Rehab has been one of the most difficult challenging things I have ever had to overcome during my entire track and field career but I think we’re right where we need to be and I am just looking forward to going out next season and at least performing at my best.”

Even tougher for Anderson, who had set a new national record of 12.31 while winning the silver medal at the World Championships in Oregon in July 2022, was knowing that she was unable to build on that success in 2023, especially since she was coming off a solid indoor season when she ran an encouraging 7.83 in Poland in February, just 0.01 off her lifetime best of 7.82 set in Louisville, Kentucky a year earlier.

“It was disappointing because I was looking forward to an excellent season because the way that I started the season, it was not my best but I think it was good the way I started and going into the outdoor season, after I got the injury it was disappointing because I was looking forward to a better season so it was heartbreaking,” she told Sportsmax.TV from her training base in Padua, Italy.

While she was recovering, Anderson watched Williams, who was third at Jamaica’s national championships in July, win gold giving Jamaica’s its third global medal in consecutive championships starting with Megan Tapper’s bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and her own silver in Oregon a year later.

And even though she was unable to line up in Budapest in August, Anderson said she was overjoyed that Williams was able to snatch the gold medal against a stacked field that included the likes of 2022 World Champion and world-record holder Tobi Amusan, former world-record holder Kendra Harrison and Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn.

“It was an amazing feeling, to be honest, just to see the battles that she has been through. I have been watching Danielle since I was in high school at Vere (Technical) so just to see the battles that she has been through and how she fought to get to where she is right now, the feeling was amazing knowing that Jamaica brought the gold home,” she remarked while believing that had she been there should would have been in the mix for the medals, possibly gold.

“We athletes work hard each and every day so if I was in that race, it would have been a battle because we are all great women. We all fight to get where we are so it would have been a battle.”

Turning her attention back to her preparation for the coming season, Anderson revealed that the physical side of things is not her only area of concern. She acknowledges that since has begun background work while simultaneously continuing rehabilitation, she has come upon another hurdle that she hopes to clear before she begins to compete.

It has to do with overcoming her fear of getting hurt again, a not uncommon condition of athletes recovering from reparative surgery.

“I most definitely think it is one of the things that is going help me for the next season because even now during the training workout, landing or anything that gives me a bit of discomfort on my knee at the back of my head I would think ‘Okay, I need to either slow it down or stop for a second and adjust to what I’m feeling. I can’t just do it because I have the fear in the back of my mind saying it’s going to hurt or the injury is going to happen again,” she said.

“I am already working on that, just to go and do it instead of holding back. I think that is one of the most important things that will help me next season just to be more confident that nothing is going to happen.”

That said, her focus is unwavering. She remains committed to her rehabilitation and recovery to prepare for what she intends to be a more productive season in 2024, one in which the plan is to get to the national trials and making the team to Paris 2024.

“For now, the plan is getting as healthy as I can, going into the season, whether it is strength, mental health, just being confident getting out there again and knowing that nothing is going to happen, getting used to going over the hurdles, landing, getting a couple races that is going to build that confidence in me,” she said.

“Being out for basically an entire season, it’s really hard to get back up and going out there again but I think I can do it. That just looks like getting healthy and getting in as many races as possible as I think it is going to help me for the Olympics and even after the Olympics.”

 

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda are in sync with initiatives that will benefit cricket stakeholders in the Caribbean.

On 25 October 2023, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honorable Gaston Browne, held an audience with CWI President Dr. Kishore Shallow at the Office of the Prime Minister in St John’s. Also in attendance were Honorable Daryll Matthew, Minister of Sports, Ricky Skerritt, Chairman of the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) Board and former CWI President, and Nelecia Yeates, CCG General Manager.

The meeting focused on Antigua and Barbuda's continued role in cricket development, particularly in grassroots cricket, infrastructure improvement, and hosting international cricket. In addition, an update of the master development plan for CCG was presented to the government officials, with both parties identifying opportunities for collaboration to transform the existing cricket facility into one of the best in the world.

CWI President, Dr. Shallow was upbeat about the partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda government. He said: “Prime Minister Browne and his Government have been valuable friends of West Indies cricket. In recent years, their cooperation in supporting CWI in the acquisition of Coolidge Cricket Ground as our home of cricket has been truly appreciated. It gives us great confidence to have them as a key partner as we embark on this next development phase.”

President Shallow also commented on his predecessor’s involvement as CCG Board’s Chairman. He remarked: “The appointment of Ricky Skerritt as Chairman of CCG augurs well for the continuation and further investment in the potential of CCG. No doubt, his wealth of experience and institutional knowledge offer tremendous value to completing this next phase of the CCG project.”

The CCG Board met on 24 October, 2023, at the CWI headquarters at Coolidge. The updated design for the facility, inclusive of a state-of-the-art training facility, was presented by the designers. In addition to cricket, a significant component of the new development comprises commercial establishments.

Prime Minister Browne was also pleased about the upcoming international fixtures for Antigua & Barbuda. In December, the first two matches of the impending CG United One-Day International Series between West Indies and England will be held at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The country was also named among the seven Caribbean host countries for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

Antigua has been the headquarters of CWI (formerly West Indies Cricket Board of Control and West Indies Cricket Board) for nearly three decades.

 

James Doyle will join Wathnan Racing as retained rider for the 2024 Flat season.

The 35-year-old has ridden as second jockey for Godolphin since 2015 and tasted Classic success in the royal blue silks in 2022 when partnering Charlie Appleby’s Coroebus to 2000 Guineas glory.

However, Doyle – who partnered Kingman, among others, when he was the retained rider for Juddmonte – will ride as number one for the Qatar-based Wathnan operation from the new year when his contract with Godolphin expires.

Doyle has already worn the Wathnan silks in victory, guiding Adrian Keatley’s Ballymount Boy home at Doncaster on Saturday, and has a plethora of high-profile mounts to look forward to, including Ascot Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami and fellow Royal Ascot winner Gregory.

“It is a tremendous honour for me to sign for Wathnan,” said Doyle, in a statement released by Wathan Racing on Monday afternoon.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for me going forward with His Highness Sheikh Tamim’s Wathnan Racing and I’m greatly looking forward to working with Olly Tait, Richard Brown and the rest of the team.

“I want to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Charlie Appleby and everyone at Godolphin for the unstinting support they’ve given me over the last nine years. It’s been a wonderful time and I have enjoyed literally every moment. But this is an incredible new venture and I can’t wait to get started in January.”

Many of Doyle’s biggest victories have come when riding for long-time Godolphin ally Appleby, and the Moulton Paddocks handler has fond memories of their time together.

He said: “James has been a key member of our team for his whole time with us and, whilst we will miss him greatly, he is leaving very much with our blessing and we wish him all the very best with this exciting new chapter in his riding career.

“James and I enjoyed many big days together on the racecourse, not the least of which was Coroebus winning the 2000 Guineas last year, but he also rode a number of other stable stars like Blue Point and Naval Crown.

“To my mind, one of his great rides for us was aboard Rebel’s Romance in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland where he was quite superb. So we will continue to use James whenever his new commitments permit because he’s a world-class jockey.”

Wathnan Racing’s Adviser Olly Tait added: “Wathnan is delighted to have retained the services of James Doyle. He is a fantastic rider and an incredible addition to the team. We are all looking forward to working closely with James in the coming years.”

Datsalrightgino will be aimed at Newbury’s Coral Gold Cup after finishing down the field in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree on Sunday.

Winner of the Future Champion Novices’ Chase at Ayr in the spring, Jamie Snowden’s charge made his return in another Grade Two contest on Merseyside, but came home a well-beaten eighth of 11 runners.

With six of the 16 fences omitted due to low sun, Snowden was not overly disappointed with his seven-year-old’s performance and plans to step him up in distance at Newbury on December 2.

He said: “He ran a fine race considering there was six fences taken out. They landed over the back of the cross fence, we were sixth crossing that and he has ended up finishing eighth.

“We are going to step him up in trip and go for the Coral Gold Cup now as opposed to the Paddy Power Gold Cup (at Cheltenham).

“He had a good blow after the race, but you can’t draw too many conclusions from the race at Aintree given they took six fences out.

“When it works in your favour you are delighted and when it doesn’t you blame it. He is now ready to step up to three-miles-two at Newbury and he should stay that trip.

“Yesterday was more like a slightly inconclusive racecourse gallop, but that is the way it is.”

Hansard will tune-up for a tilt at the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle by running on the Flat at Nottingham on Wednesday.

Owned by Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates, the five-year-old won his first two starts for trainer Gary Moore in taking fashion last term before leaving a disappointment in Kempton’s Dovecote Hurdle behind when a commendable fourth in an Aintree Grade One in the spring.

He now returns on the level over 14 furlongs at Colwick Park with Tom Queally taking the ride in the Racing TV Club Novice Stakes.

It is a contest his handler sees as the perfect spot to clear the lungs ahead of Cheltenham action on November 19 and a race for which he is currently 12-1 with the sponsors.

“He’s a nice horse and it is kind of a prep run before he runs in the Greatwood Hurdle – that’s the plan,” said Moore.

“I always think it’s a good thing to sharpen them up on the Flat if you can do. I think it always bodes well and is something I’ve done before and also seen other people do it. He doesn’t have to have a hard race and doesn’t have eight flights of hurdles to jump, so you have less chance of injury and also I think it is a good way forward for the horse.

“Hopefully he is quite a nice horse and one we can look forward to.”

The John Durkan Memorial Chase is shaping up to be a race to savour with Martin Brassil adding Punchestown Gold Cup winner Fastorslow to the list of names that could reappear in the all-star contest.

Willie Mullins has already stated his intention to start Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs in the race he claimed in emphatic style 12 months ago, but lying in wait will be the only horse to lower his colours during a fine 2022-23 campaign.

Fastorslow had both the Closutton star and Paul Nicholls’ Bravemansgame behind him when striking at Grade One level for the first time in the spring and it is fitting that the seven-year-old – who is as short as 8-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March – returns to the scene of his finest hour for his reappearance.

“He’s about four weeks (away) and we hope to run him on November 26 at Punchestown,” said Brassil.

“He’s done very well (over the summer), he’s good and healthy and well and all seems good with him. It’s nice to have a horse of his calibre.”

On the prospect of meeting Galopin Des Champs again, he added: “I would say the second and third had a hard race at Cheltenham and they are going to be fresher horses starting the season out again.”

Fastorslow was beaten a neck by Grand National hero Corach Rambler at the Cheltenham Festival earlier in the year but is likely to have Gold Cup aspirations when he returns to Prestbury Park next March.

His route to the blue riband is still to be inked in, but Leopardstown’s Savills Chase at Christmas appears the next stepping stone following his Punchestown comeback.

Brassil continued: “It would probably be on to Leopardstown at Christmas and then we will decide after that if he’s going to have another run before Cheltenham. You will have an idea of where you are going then.

“We hope he has a big year ahead of him, if he can maintain what he did there (in the Punchestown Gold Cup) or even progress from it, then he’s going to be running in those type of races.”

Last year’s winner Bravemansgame is one of eight entries for the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.

The eight-year-old provided trainer Paul Nicholls with his fifth victory in the West Yorkshire highlight last season before going on to lift the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

He subsequently finished second to Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before rounding off his campaign with a third-placed finish in the Punchestown Gold Cup.

With a defence of his King George crown nominated as his primary objective, Bravemansgame could again make his comeback at Wetherby on Saturday, although his participation is likely to be ground dependent.

Nicholls has also entered Pic D’Orhy, last seen winning the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree.

Lucinda Russell’s Ahoy Senor disappointed in last year’s Charlie Hall, but has the option of contesting the Grade Two feature again, while he has also been entered in the bet365 Hurdle on the same card.

The sole Irish contender is Gentlemansgame, trained by Mouse Morris. Aye Right (Harriet Graham), Dashel Drasher (Jeremy Scott) and Dan Skelton’s pair of Midnight River and Sail Away are the other contenders.

With significant rain forecast for the coming days, Wetherby’s clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson expects conditions to be testing for the track’s two-day fixture.

He said: “We had six millimetres of rain overnight and I’d say ground is probably slightly nearer soft than good to soft.

“The weather forecast is mixed, to say the least. They’re saying we might get 5mm overnight tonight, 4mm overnight tomorrow night and then this storm is brewing.

“From Thursday into Friday it looks like being a wet 24 to 30 hours, so we’ll see what happens. At the moment they’re saying something between 15mm and 20mm of rain through that period.

“The track will take that, I would hope. Our issue is when we get heavy rain in a short period of time, the dykes lift up and you get water pooling on the track, as opposed to the track being waterlogged.

“I don’t think 20mm will cause that, it would be more like 40mm or 50mm. There’s nothing in the forecast at the moment that would give us concern, but if we get what’s on the horizon, the chances are we’re going to be soft ground Friday/Saturday.”

Bill Baxter is reported in “A1” condition ahead of a proposed return to action in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle on November 5.

The seven-year-old was last seen prevailing in the Topham at Aintree, which made it four wins from five outings since a wind operation, and the long-term plan is to go for Grand National glory over the same fences in April.

Bill Baxter is also entered in the Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Friday, but Carlisle appears to be the preferred option.

“He’s done everything well, he’s summered well,” said trainer Warren Greatrex. “He’s back in and he’s been all good. I think he’s probably improved a little bit from last season, which he has to, but he seems A1.

“The main plan is to go to Carlisle, that will be his start-off point. We’ll aim him there, it’s a nice place to start off again, and then he does have an entry for the Hennessy (Coral Gold Cup).

“We’ll look at that, we’ll see how Carlisle goes and go from there, but I couldn’t be happier with him.”

Tackling Newbury’s Coral Gold Cup over three miles and two furlongs would represent a significant step up in trip compared to Bill Baxter’s successful exploits during a first campaign over fences.

However, he was second at Catterick over a distance only slightly shorter during his hurdling days the previous campaign.

Greatrex added: “It will hold him in good stead that we didn’t really over-race him, especially over that trip – there’ll be plenty in the tank and he will definitely get the trip.”

With regards the ultimate aim of mounting a Grand National challenge, Greatrex is determined to dream big.

“That is the plan, I would love to go to the Grand National,” declared the trainer. “That would be the main aim so we are working backwards from there.”

The Colin Parker has drawn an initial seven-strong entry, with The Real Whacker, winner of last season’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, the headline act.

Champion jockey William Buick is to become an ambassador for Autism in Racing.

Buick, who landed the final Group One of the season at Doncaster on Saturday on Ancient Wisdom, recently highlighted that his son, Thomas, is autistic.

When approached by Autism in Racing founder Bobby Beevers regarding getting involved, he was delighted to accept the role.

Buick said: “I’m delighted to be an ambassador for Autism in Racing. It is something which is very personal to me and my family and it is very close to my heart.

“I am naturally very supportive of what Autism in Racing is doing across our courses with autism-friendly racedays. They are raising autism awareness across the industry which is brilliant.”

Beevers said: “We are deeply honoured to welcome William as an ambassador and have assured him that this will in no way interfere with his riding commitments. His agreement will provide a tremendous fillip to all those involved.”

Defending champions Clarendon College and last year’s semi-finalists Manchester High maintained their perfect win records in this season’s ISSA/Wata DaCosta Cup with wins over Mile Gully High and first-time qualifiers Tacky High, respectively, to kick off the Round of 16 on Saturday.

Clarendon College are the early leaders in Group 1 on goal-difference after beating a stubborn Mile Gully High 2-0 at Glenmuir High for their 11th consecutive win of the season.

St Elizabeth Technical edged 10-man Cornwall College 3-2 at Jarrett Park in the day’s other Group 1 game.

Manchester High gave Tacky High a warm welcome to the Round of 16, beating them 4-1 in Group 2 and took their perfect run to 13 games.

The other Group 2 game saw Happy Grove suffer their first loss of the season, going down 2-4 to B.B. Coke after leading 2-1 at halftime.

Christiana High are the early leaders in Group 3 after a 3-2 win over William Knibb while Dinthill Technical and McGrath played out a goalless draw. Interestingly, Dinthill had already beaten McGrath twice this season.

In Group 4, a Demar Williams’ 20th minute goal was good enough for Frome Technical to beat Port Antonio High 1-0 at Carder Park while Garvey Maceo and Glenmuir played out a 1-1 draw.

 

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