Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington bids for a triumphant return to Ascot in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

The three-year-old has enjoyed an immense run of form through the season, winning a string of races that carried him from a Naas handicap to a Group One four-timer that included the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace, the Coral-Eclipse and the Sussex Stakes.

His sole defeat of the season, and only the second loss of his career, came at York in the Juddmonte International as he came home third behind Mostahdaf and Nashwa.

That was in August and the Siyouni colt has not been seen on course since, meaning he will arrive at Ascot a fresh horse as he looks to regain the winning thread.

“Obviously he’s had a very busy year and it was nice for him to get a little bit of time after his last run,” O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing.

“Everything has been really good with him and everyone seems very happy with him.

“We were very happy with his run at York, it was a great run.

“Frankie (Dettori, on Mostahdaf) went a very strong gallop out in front, Ryan (Moore) just let our horse relax and he came home very well but just didn’t catch him.

“It’s a very strong, competitive race, which is what you would expect and want.”

John and Thady Gosden’s Nashwa swerved the Champion Stakes to drop back to a mile after her fine effort on the Knavesmire.

The Frankel filly has form over both trips having won the Falmouth Stakes in July and arrives at Ascot off the back of two valiant runs in defeat in both the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes.

She will be ridden as ever by owner Imad Al Sagar’s retained jockey Hollie Doyle, who said: “It really hasn’t mattered to me which race they chose.

“Nashwa seems just as good at a mile as a mile and a quarter, so the trip doesn’t seem to be an issue, and she goes on any ground. She’d have had a right shout in either of them.

“She’s been great lately when placed against the colts in the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes, and those two runs have been close to her career best.

“Physically she does well year in, year out, and she’s really stepped forward again this year. The figures say she’s improved significantly again, which is mad, so I’m delighted she’s staying in training.”

Ground permitting, Dermot Weld hopes to saddle the Aga Khan’s brilliant filly Tahiyra, whose season has so far involved victories in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes and the Matron Stakes.

There are also a pair of French-trained contenders in Christopher Head’s Big Rock and Jerome Reynier’s Facteur Cheval.

The latter was beaten just a head in the Prix d’Ispahan in May and then gave Paddington a race to finish second behind him when carrying 7lb more on soft ground in the Sussex at Goodwood.

Such conditions are no hindrance to the horse and Reynier is looking forward to seeing his gelding take his chance against a quality field.

“All lights are green, the only question mark is the straight course as he’s never been racing on one, but he handles the soft ground,” he said.

“He was racing against Paddington in the Sussex and he was carrying much more weight that day, it’s always been the plan to angle the season around this race.

“We are happy, he is very consistent and he is a lovely horse.

“We can only hope for the best, it is a very competitive race and it’s very exciting to have a runner in what is probably the best race of the year.

“We don’t mind any ground with him, he is such a consistent individual and we are happy with the conditions.

“Paddington has had a bit of a rest and is nice and fresh, him and Big Rock are two horses that are ridden prominently so if we can keep up and follow them, that would be a good thing.”

Andrew Balding is represented by Chaldean, the 2000 Guineas winner who was then second behind Paddington at the Royal meeting.

The chestnut’s next outing was a beaten effort in the Prix Jean Prat, where he was seventh, but that was in early July so the horse has had a good break since.

Barry Mahon, of owners Juddmonte, said: “His work is very good and Andrew and the team are very happy with him.

“In fairness to Oisin (Murphy, replaced by Frankie Dettori), he’s been a great help the last few weeks riding him in his work and everyone seems very happy with the horse.

“In terms of the ground, we know we handle soft ground, whether we handle heavy ground or not will be another question, but he’s in very good form, he’s had a good break and his form from earlier in the year is up there with the best of them.

“It’s a top-class race, as you’d expect on Champions Day, and any of one of them would be plausible winners.”

Ralph Beckett will saddle Angel Bleu after a supplementary entry for a final run before his racing career comes to a close and he heads off to stand as a stallion in France.

Beckett said: “It’s going to be tough, but he’s in very good form and when the ground became soft we made the decision to supplement. The ground will even everything up as he is a proven soft-ground performer, unlike some of the others.

“This will be his last race as he is off to stud at the French operation of his new part owner Nurlan Bizakov.”

Tom Clover’s Rogue Millennium, winner of the Duke of Cambridge at the Royal fixture, William Knight’s Checkandchallenge, Kevin Ryan’s Hi Royal and the Gosdens’ Epictetus complete the 11-strong field.

Time Lock and Bluestocking give owner-breeders Juddmonte a strong hand in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Time Lock has made steady progress throughout the season for the training partnership of Harry and Roger Charlton and appears to have hit form at just the right time with Qipco Champions Day in mind judged on an impressive Group Three victory at Newmarket three weeks ago.

The Ralph Beckett-trained Bluestocking finished third in the Ribblesdale Stakes, second in the Irish Oaks and fourth in the Yorkshire Oaks earlier in the season, but was unable to make the most of having her sights lowered when touched off by Al Qareem in a Listed event at Chester last time out.

Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon admits testing conditions at Ascot will not be ideal for either filly, but feels both merit their place at Ascot.

“They’re two lovely fillies, the ground is an obvious concern I suppose for both of them, but they have both shown they can handle it on occasions,” he said.

“Time Lock ran well on Goodwood on heavy ground when she finished third in the Lillie Langtry and obviously Bluestocking was second in the Irish Oaks on soft ground, so they have run well on soft before, it just depends how testing it is.

“It’s the end of the season, it’s a lovely place to finish up and it’s nice to have both of them in it with a chance.”

Time Lock would be a popular winner for Derby-winning trainer Roger Charlton as he prepares to fully hand over the licence to his son Harry at the end of the season.

“She is in great form and is on the right path, growing in confidence with her success. It looks very competitive with a big field but she’s in as good form as any of the others at the moment,” said Charlton junior.

“It’s hard to be too confident as the conditions aren’t ideal. We’d be going with more confidence if they weren’t looking at so much rain, as good ground would have been ideal, but she handles soft.”

The likely favourite for the Group One contest is John and Thady Gosden’s Free Wind, one of five rides on the day for Frankie Dettori on what is set to be his final competitive appearance in Britain.

The five-year-old was well held in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three weeks ago, but her narrow defeat at the hands of Warm Heart in the Yorkshire Oaks in August arguably sets the standard.

“Free Wind found the ground a bit lively in the Arc. Frankie looked after her and that’s one of the great things about him, he’s very quick at knowing when they aren’t enjoying it,” said John Gosden.

“He wrapped up on her with 400 metres or so to go and that’s why I can entertain running her again here – she seems in good form.”

Aidan O’Brien saddles Jackie Oh, who was narrowly denied an Arc weekend victory when touched off by Blue Rose Cen in the Prix de l’Opera.

The daughter of Galileo will be tackling a mile and a half for the first time this weekend, but O’Brien does not expect the longer distance to be a problem.

“We always felt a mile and a half was within her compass and ease in the ground will definitely be a help to her. She’s very genuine and we’re really looking forward to her,” he said.

In a thrilling clash at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad, the West Indies Academy launched their 2023 CG United Insurance Super50 Cup campaign with a resounding 29-run victory over Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) on Thursday.

The West Indies Academy put on a stunning display of batting prowess, amassing a formidable total of 318-8 in their allotted 50 overs. Their victory was anchored by remarkable half-centuries from Teddy Bishop, Matthew Nandu, and Leonardo Julien. The trio's collective performance set the stage for a dominant showing.

Former West Indies Under-19 standout, Teddy Bishop, was the standout performer, narrowly missing out on a century with his sensational innings of 95 runs off just 75 deliveries. His knock included an impressive 14 boundaries and one towering six. Joining Bishop in the batting spectacle was Guyana's first-class opener, Nandu, who announced his List-A debut in style, contributing a solid 84 runs from 92 balls, featuring seven boundaries and a six.

Julien also played a pivotal role, contributing 51 runs from 67 deliveries, including three boundaries and two powerful sixes. Nyeem Young provided a late flurry of runs with his quick-fire 24 off 14 balls, embellished with three boundaries and a maximum.

Isai Thorne took 3-65 off 10 overs and Abhijai Mansingh 2-55 off 10 for the CCC.

The West Indies Academy's impressive batting display was complemented by a determined bowling effort. The CCC team had a mountain to climb to chase down the challenging target. Despite valiant efforts from their top-order batsmen, including Johann Jeremiah, who raced to 82 off 65 balls before being run out and Shaqkere Parris’ 52 off 74 balls, the combined team could not breach the Academy's total.

Guyana’s Akshaya Persaud contributed 28 runs off 30 deliveries, while Shatrughan Rambaran and Abhijai Mansingh chipped in with 26 and 24 runs, respectively.

The West Indies Academy's bowlers displayed their mettle in defending the target. Nyeem Young led the attack with an impressive 3-80 off 10 overs, while Kelvin Pitman and Joshua Bishop provided crucial support, taking two wickets each.

 Pitman's figures read 2-37 off six overs, while Joshua Bishop accounted for 2-58 off his 10 overs.

Frankie Dettori partnered thousands of winners over the years and much argument can be had about his finest performances in the saddle. We look at 12 of his most memorable victories:

Markofdistinction, Queen Elizabeth II, Ascot, 1990

Dettori’s first winner at the highest level was aptly trained by his mentor, Luca Cumani. The rider produced his mount two furlongs out after settling in behind early on and hit the front with a furlong still to run. He hung a bit in the finish, but Dettori proved strong enough in the plate to hold on and claim the victory.

Lochsong, Prix de l’Abbaye, Longchamp, 1994

Always a headstrong individual, Lochsong knew no other way of running than blasting out of the stalls and trying to make all – a quality which suited Dettori’s excellent front-running skills. With something to prove after finishing last in the Nunthorpe at York, Dettori let his mount rocket to the front and he never saw another horse as she strolled home by five lengths.

Barathea, Breeders’ Cup Mile, Churchill Downs, 1994.

Hardly the most obvious of challengers after a largely indifferent season, Dettori also started from stall one aboard the Cumani-trained colt. However, he made the direct route pay as tracked the leaders hard against the rail before switching to the outside and galvanising Sheikh Mohammed’s Barathea to a clear-cut victory over Johann Quatz.

Fujiyama Crest, Gordon Carter Handicap, Ascot, 1996

The horse that sealed Dettori’s superstar status and propelled him beyond the confines of the racing world. Fujiyama Crest gave his all under the Italian, making every yard of the running before clinging on by a neck to seal the rider’s ‘Magnificent Seven’. Dettori never forgot the gelding’s contribution to his legend and when his racing days were over, he bought Fujiyama Crest to see out his days in a paddock at his home.

Dubai Millennium, Dubai World Cup, Nad Al Sheba, 2000

Orginally named Yaazer, Sheikh Mohammed renamed the Seeking The Gold colt Dubai Millennium when his potential became clear. The 2000 Dubai World Cup was his ultimate target from the moment he took on his new moniker and the colt fulfilled his destiny when Dettori took him to the front after just a furlong and he powered home by six lengths, to rapturous cheers from the crowd.

Fantastic Light, Irish Champion Stakes, Leopardstown, 2001

A rematch of Fantastic Light’s King George battle with Galileo ended in a thrilling finish up the straight. The pair raced stride for stride throughout before they knuckled down to slug it out in the final furlong, with Galileo looking certain to edge it only for Fantastic Light to respond to the Dettori drive and claim the prize.

Scorpion, St Leger, Doncaster, 2005

Dettori’s decision to partner the Coolmore-owned favourite proved controversial, with the Italian apologising to Sheikh Mohammed for taking the rival ride in the aftermath. In atrocious conditions, the 10-11 shot made all, with Dettori having to survive a slight scare as Scorpion jinked into the rail inside the final furlong, but nevertheless running out a decisive victor.

Authorized, Investec Derby, Epsom, 2007

Dettori looked destined to never win the blue riband of British Flat racing after 14 unsuccessful attempts, but Peter Chapple-Hyam’s colt was his best chance yet. Slowly away and further back than ideal, Dettori exercised patience and let his mount work his way into contention before joining the issue two furlongs out and powering away by five lengths.

Raven’s Pass, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Santa Anita, 2008

Jimmy Fortune was jocked off in favour of Dettori as the John Gosden-trained colt became the first British winner of one of America’s biggest races. Held up early on, Dettori switched wide at the top of the straight and Raven’s Pass powered down the outside to lead a furlong out and record a famous victory.

Golden Horn, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Longchamp, 2015

The colt who put Dettori back in the big time. The pair had enjoyed a stunning season, with just one blip, at York, but the crowning moment undoubtedly came in France. The masterful Dettori soon got his mount in the best possible position from an unfavourable draw and while it briefly looked at one stage that Treve might swoop to conquer, Dettori had got it right again and his mount stayed on in tremendous fashion. Majestic.

Enable, King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot, 2019

Enable defined three seasons for Dettori and her victory over Crystal Ocean after a titanic battle up the Ascot straight is definitely one for the highlight reel. The pair went toe to toe over the final two furlongs, with Dettori demonstrating his mastery in the saddle as he put down his whip and relied on hands and heels to snatch a narrow verdict over an incredibly worthy adversary. The mare added a record third triumph the following year.

Stradivarius, Gold Cup, Royal Ascot, 2020

Not a vintage renewal by any means, but Stradivarius was another cornerstone of the Dettori-Gosden partnership renaissance. Heavy rain on raceday morning appeared likely to impact on Stradivarius’ chance of a Gold Cup hat-trick, but Dettori rode with supreme confidence and when he popped the question, Stradivarius sprinted clear to win by 10 lengths – with the duo returning to near silence and empty stands due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Frankie Dettori will have the support of a number of old allies when he bids for a memorable farewell on Qipco British Champions Day.

The Italian will jet off for a number of international engagements before his American move after Ascot’s end-of-season showpiece on Saturday – and it is appropriate the 52-year-old will close the European chapter of his career at a venue that has played host to some of the most notable moments in a journey featuring over 3,300 winners.

As well as 81 winners at Royal Ascot, the Berkshire track was also the scene of his first Group One triumph and the place he famously went through the card in 1996 for the 25,095-1 ‘Magnificent Seven’.

He will bow out after partnering King Of Steel in the feature Qipco Champion Stakes, but fittingly, will begin his swansong adorned in the royal blue of his former employers Godolphin aboard Trawlerman.

Many of Dettori’s finest hours have come when riding for Sheikh Mohammed’s organisation, and Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin, is in no doubt about his place in racing history.

He said: “Nothing is certain with Mr Dettori, but it looks like it will be his last ride for us, certainly in 2023, and for me personally and for Godolphin, Frankie Dettori has been a huge part of our history.

“Long before I came to Godolphin myself, back in 1996, I was on my brother’s stag do when he won all seven including the QEII. I sort of feel personally that I go back a long way with him and it has been a huge joy and a privilege to be associated with him in the time I’ve been at Godolphin.

“For my whole adult life – and I’m a little bit older than Frankie – he has been the top jockey or one of the top jockeys in this country and I think his contribution to the sport has been incalculable.

“I’m very pleased he is going to be wearing Godolphin blue on what is potentially his last Champions Day and we hope he does well.”

Trawlerman claimed the 2022 Ebor under an inspired ride from Dettori and Anderson is hoping to see one final moment of magic aboard the John and Thady Gosden-trained outsider.

“Let’s hope he runs better than his odds,” he continued. “He’s a pretty good horse and Frankie has done wonders with him. Particularly, if you remember the Ebor when he had to come up with a cunning plan with John Gosden having been drawn on the far side of the track.

“You can’t predict the Dettori story, but you can predict it will be fun. Racing is better with Dettori in it and we wish him all the best.”

Dettori steered Enable to an unprecedented three wins in the King George at Ascot – as well as two in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – and will link-up with her owners Juddmonte in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – a race he has won on six occasions.

He has been the ‘go-to’ man for the Abdullah family’s racing operation over the years and he now renews his association with Chaldean, who provided both Dettori and Juddmonte with Classic success in the 2000 Guineas earlier in the year.

“Frankie has been an integral part of Juddmonte for 20 years, so it would be special if we could provide him with a winner on his last weekend at Ascot – and no one knows their way around Ascot better than Frankie,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for the owners.

“Over the years he’s been brilliant. In recent times Enable and (2019 St Leger winner) Logician are two that come straight to mind and I remember him winning on Enable and Expert Eye at the Breeders’ Cup a couple of seasons ago – what a special night that was.

“He’s been top-class for over 20 years and he’ll be hard to replace. He was always our go-to man when we got into Group Ones or Classics when he was available.”

However, this may not be the last of Dettori riding for Juddmonte, who have a thriving and expanding team of talent in America.

“He’s an unbelievable talent, hopefully he’ll have a good winter in America and maybe we will see him next year,” added Mahon.

“He’s already been on at me trying to recruit a few horses for California. Every time he rides a winner for us he tells me ‘that would do well in California!’. It shows his appetite is still there.”

Dettori had to wait until 2017 to first get his hands on the Champion Stakes trophy aboard eventual dual winner Cracksman and his quest for a third victory in the race on Roger Varian’s King Of Steel will bring the curtain down, perhaps only briefly, on his 37-year career in Britain.

The Milan-native was the man on top when Varian saddled his first Group One winner in 2011 and 12 years on, the Newmarket trainer is delighted to have the services of “the ultimate professional” aboard his stable star.

Varian said: “You can get wrapped up in it being Frankie’s last Ascot ride etc., but I don’t think any of us will be thinking about that too much, even Frankie. As he gets on the horse and heads to start it’s just another day at the office and he’s the ultimate professional when the goggles come down.

“We’re happy to have him on our horse on Saturday, and on the big day, when the goggles come down, he’s one of the very best there has ever been and the season he’s had tells everyone he is still riding at the top of his game.

“He rode us our first ever Group One winner which was Nahrain in the Prix de l’Opera back in 2011, so at the top level it started with Frankie in the saddle and he’s ridden for us all around the world on occasion, if not regularly. Why wouldn’t you turn to him if the situation suits?”

Free Wind for his long-time ally John Gosden and another familiar equine face in Kinross – the horse he labelled his “cash machine”, so often does he deliver – complete Dettori’s Champions Day book of rides, as he hopes to perform his flying dismount celebration once more before he packs up his kit from the Ascot weighing room.

And the man himself will be doing his level best to not let emotions run away with him as he waves goodbye to a country in which he has become a household name.

He said: “It’s a premier raceday where we crown our champions of the year and it will be my last day of riding in England. I don’t want to take the gloss off Qipco British Champions Day, it coronates the best horses of the year – the best fillies, colts, milers, middle-distance and long-distance horses.

“It will be very emotional, but I am set to have four or five decent rides on the day. So, I’ll try to keep my emotions in check until after my last ride, but obviously all my friends and family will be there.

“I’m sure I’ll shed a tear on the day, but at the moment I’m really trying to focus on the races and give my friends and family something to shout about on the day.”

Ascot have confirmed the three races due to take place on the round course on Qipco British Champions Day will be run on the inner course.

Following almost 40 millimetres of rain in the past seven days, the going had turned extremely testing on the round course by Friday morning, with heavy appearing in places.

A rule had been brought in some time ago stating that should that be the case, Ascot were able to move the Long Distance Cup, Fillies & Mares Stakes and the Champion Stakes to the inner/hurdles track.

The going on that track was reported as good to soft, soft in places, while on the straight track, used for the Sprint, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Balmoral Handicap, it was soft.

A statement released by Ascot read: “The going on the round course is now soft, heavy in places. Following verification from an independent panel and agreement that this will not improve before raceday, the three Round Course races will switch to the Inner Flat Course.

“This is as per the race conditions which state that in the event of ‘heavy’ appearing in the going description the races will switch to the Inner Flat Course.

“The going on the Inner Flat Course is currently good to soft, soft in places.”

As a result there are minor distance changes to two of the three races which will move. The Long Distance Cup will now be run over one mile seven furlongs and 127 yards, a decrease of 82 yards. The Fillies & Mares Stakes will be run over 78 yards less taking it to just under a mile and a half, while the Champion Stakes stays over 10 furlongs.

Ascot racecourse helped develop Frankie Dettori into the world-famous jockey he became thanks to his ‘Magnificent Seven’ in 1996, on an afternoon which evolved into Qipco Champions Day. So it is fitting he will bid farewell – at least it seems he will – to British racing at that meeting this weekend.

That incredible day saw Dettori win all seven races, at cumulative odds of 25,095-1 – a feat which saw some bookmakers go bankrupt.

What is Champions Day?

British Champions Day is the richest day of racing in the UK with £4 million in prize-money up for grabs. With the ultra-competitive Balmoral Handicap, the Group Two Long Distance Cup and four Group Ones, the afternoon showcases the best of British racing – and this year offers racegoers the chance to say goodbye to Dettori. Champions Day is an upgrade on the British Festival of Racing, which in 1996 became headline news thanks to one man.

So, can he do it again?

His day begins on last year’s Ebor winner Trawlerman in the Long Distance Cup in which Trueshan and Kyprios will prove tough nuts to crack. Kinross won the British Champions Sprint 12 months ago and has been a very reliable ally for Dettori in recent seasons. Free Wind faced a tough test in the Arc but will be more at home in the Fillies & Mares Stakes, while Chaldean has a live chance in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Picking up the ride on King Of Steel in the Champion Stakes is a real boon and suddenly Dettori has an enviable book of rides.

What are the chances of a flying dismount?

Frankie took his trademark flying dismount idea from Angel Cordero Jr, a leading rider in America when the Italian rode as a youngster in the States. He brought it over to Europe and the racegoers loved it, with it adding to Dettori’s growing profile every time he rode a big-race winner. According to the bookmakers, this year his best chance of a winner is Ralph Beckett’s Kinross in the Sprint.

What are the bookmakers saying?

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “It’s most likely the last time we will say this, but the man we fear most heading into the weekend is of course Frankie Dettori. With a potential five-timer on the cards, Dettori is giving us a few more sleepless nights before he starts a new chapter in the US.”

Lee Phelps, a spokesperson for William Hill, said: “While Frankie Dettori is now set to ride on in the US next year, Champions Day is still a chance for British crowds to wave farewell to the flamboyant rider and he’s sure to want to sign off riding in the UK with a big win.

“We make Dettori 5-4 to ride one winner and take his total to 10 Champions Day wins, while he’s 3-1 to boot home two or more winners on Saturday.”

What are Ascot doing to mark the occasion?

Dettori was at London’s South Bank last week promoting the afternoon. However, the morning took an unexpected turn when he announced he was no longer retiring but heading to ride in California for the winter. Nevertheless, he is still insisting Ascot is his European farewell.

Friday’s jumps fixtures at Fakenham and Uttoxeter have been called off as Storm Babet continues to bring heavy rain and strong winds across the country.

Both tracks had called inspections for 7.30am but neither venue will race due to the weather conditions.

Uttoxeter had 12 mm of rain overnight, with clerk of the course Richard Fothergill anticipating a further 20 mm at least over the day.

He said: “We had the 12mm overnight but in the hour after I walked the course at 7am, we had a further 5mm. The forecasts are for upwards of 20mm, with some even saying 40mm.

“We were raceable yesterday, but we didn’t have much scope for more.”

Fakenham clerk of the course David Hunter felt a combination of factors had gone against the Norfolk venue.

He said: “We had 17mm by 6.15/30 this morning which was fine, but the problem is what is to come with our forecaster saying we could get 30-40mm, with the worst rain moving in around lunchtime.

“We have a drainage ditch that runs through the course from surrounding farmland with a pond that can overflow onto the track, we also couldn’t guarantee safety vehicles would be able to access all areas of the track and obviously horse and rider safety is paramount.

“Given the weather is not ideal for travelling either, we felt it best to make an early decision.”

Redcar’s Flat meeting has been given the go-ahead after passing a morning inspection, although officials at the track will continue to monitor the forecast strong winds – a proviso that also applies to Newcastle’s evening meeting on the all-weather.

Beth Tweddle won Great Britain’s first gold medal at the gymnastics World Championships in the uneven bars competition, on this day in 2006.

Tweddle had suffered injury disappointment at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne earlier in the year, but bounced back in Aarhus.

A score of 16.200 points was enough for Tweddle to beat defending world champion Anastasia Liukin and Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari to the title in Denmark.

British hopeful Tweddle had claimed bronze during the World Championships 12 months earlier, but a right ankle injury halted her momentum and forced a watching front for the Commonwealth Games.

Tweddle recovered to star at the European Championships in April with victory before she cleaned up at the British Championships later in the summer.

It raised expectations over what the Olympian could achieve at NRGi Arena and after Tweddle ranked fourth overall during the qualification phase, she suffered a fall the day before the uneven bars final.


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It did not knock the Liverpudlian off her stride and she peaked perfectly to post 16.200 points, beating Liukin’s total of 16.050 and Ferrari’s 15.775 tally.

Tweddle told BBC Five Live: “All my hard work has finally paid off and I’m absolutely ecstatic. A lot of people told me it would come, but I didn’t think it ever actually would. It hasn’t sunk in yet.

“I’ve had the bronze medal at the last two World Championships and to come out today after the fall yesterday and get through, it is an achievement.”

Wolmer’s Boys and St Jago consolidated their spots as group winners and runners-up respectively, after playing out 1-1 stalemate in their ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup Group G top-of-the-table clash at Mico University on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Leighton Murray sent St Jago in front with a delightful 32nd-minute freekick, but Addon Daye (62nd), with his 13th goal of the season, rescued a point for Wolmer’s Boys.

With the point, the Heroes Circle-based Wolmer’s ended on 25 points, while their Monk Street-based counterparts inched up to 22 points. Papine finished third in the group on 16 points with a 3-1 win over fourth-placed Vauxhall (11 points), while fifth and sixth-placed Donald Quarrie (eight points) and Ascot (three points), played out a 2-2 stalemate.

St Jago’s Head coach Wolery Wolfe expressed slight disappointment with the point.

“I am a bit disappointed at the result because we wanted a win, I thought the players lacked focus a bit and they were rushing the game as well, so we needed a little more patience and also to possess the ball more.

“But we still have to give the players credit. I think they did well, and I think it is only going to get bigger and better for Jago, so we just have to deal with whosoever comes (in the next round),” Wolfe said in a post-game interview.

It was a cagey affair for the most parts, as chances were at a premium, particularly in the first half.

In fact, the two best efforts on goal at that point, were in favour of St Jago, the first of which was in the seventh minute. Milton Luckain’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box, was parried by Roan Melford, in goal for Wolmer’s.

The second came two minutes past the half-hour mark when the burly Murray stepped up and drove a stunning right-footed freekick from about 30 yards out that had his opposite number beaten all ends up.

Jago thought they had doubled the lead early in the second half when they got the ball in the back of the net, but it was later ruled offside.

Wolmer’s came into their own and pulled level when a good build up between Daye and Dante Dacres, ended with the former completing an easy finish beyond slightly advanced Murray.

The maroon and gold maintained the momentum from there on into the latter stages and almost found the winner mere minutes from the whistle. However, it took a big save from man-of-the-match Murray to keep out Demetri Jackson’s well-struck right-footer from a distance.

Jerome Waite, head coach of Wolmer’s Boys lauded his team’s fighting spirit, but in the same breath, pointed out that they still have much to work on.

“I think Jago came here with a purpose, and they fought well. I think the difference was their goalkeeper, not only to score the goal but in the end to defend well to ensure that they didn’t give up more than one goal. But the Wolmer’s team showed character to fight back and earn a point,” Waite said.

“What we will have to focus on now is the areas that we need to work on, and we also have our fair share of injuries that we will have to figure out to ensure that we can go as far as possible,” he added.

Thursday’s results

Cedar Grove 1, Excelsior 5

St Jago 1, Wolmer’s Boys 1

Papine High 3, Vauxhall 1

Ascot 2, Donald Quarrie 2

Haile Selassie 2, Eltham 0

Dunoon 6, Denham Town 2

Meadowbrook 0, Jamaica College 8

Jonathan Grant 8, Greater Portmore 0

Having been appointed to lead Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz for their upcoming Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying fixtures against Panama and Guatemala, Head coach Xavier Gilbert admits it will be a difficult task, but says he is committed to ensuring the team gives of its best.

Gilbert’s appointment, which was announced late Thursday, follows the controversial non-renewal of Lorne Donaldson’s contract, as the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hierarchy parted ways with the well-rated coach for his tendency to be outspoken.

Prior to Gilbert’s selection, the JFF had reportedly interviewed three potential candidates –two females, who were not named, and Englishman Jonathan Morgan –for the post.

However, SportsMax.TV understands that the JFF is unable to meet the salary request of the main female candidate, who is said to have led a team at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while Morgan, the next best choice, was ruled out after reports surfaced that he is under investigation by Sheffield United over his alleged conduct and behaviour.

As such, Gilbert, who was initially being retained as an assistant, has now been asked to take up the mantle. But, while willing to serve, he is under no illusion that his employment will be without challenges.

“It is going to be difficult, but the expectation is to try and get a result out of the two games to put the country in a good position to qualify for the Gold Cup,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV shortly after the announcement.

“We just have to be smart about our play and give it our best shot. It is very short to get the players in and the turnaround time is also quick for the games. So, it is going to be a lot more mental preparation than even physical, and we have to go over some tactical preparation as well,” he added.

Though the veteran coach’s appointment is for familiarity purposes, given the success he had with the Girlz under Donaldson’s leadership, uncertainty surrounds whether or not he will have a squad for the upcoming games, as well as the quality of that squad.

This as, contrary to the JFF’s release that a “squad of players has been selected” for the two games against Panama and Guatemala, SportsMax.TV has been reliably informed that all 23 members of the successful World Cup squad, are unavailable due to college and other commitments, while Cheyna Matthews has retired.

The Girlz under Donaldson’s leadership had an historic run to the round of 16 at the World Cup, after goalless results with France and Brazil, and victory over Panama in the group stage.

Uncertainty also surrounds whether or not Gilbert will have a full complement of staff to work with, as the timing of the announcement may rule out Laura Thomas and Ak Lakhani, both of whom were also assistants to Donaldson.

Efforts to contact JFF president Michael Ricketts and general secretary Dennis Chung to provide clarity proved futile, as their phones went unanswered.

The 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz are scheduled to visit Panama on October 25, before returning home to face Guatemala on October 29.

They will then host Panama on November 29 and close away to Guatemala on December 3.

A superb unbeaten 134 by Kjorn Ottley led Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to a commanding six-wicket win over Windward Islands Volcanoes during their CG United Insurance Super50 Competition encounter at Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday.

Replying to Windward Islands’ score of 254-9, Trinidad and Tobago achieved victory at 255-4 with 12 balls to spare.

Batting first, Windward Islands owed their total to a brilliant knock of 89 from Johnson Charles, who smashed eight fours and five sixes in his 69-ball stay before he was dismissed by Yannick Cariah, who also claimed the wicket of Johnson’s opening partner Alick Athanaze for 39.

Kavem Hodge contributed 45 while Captain Andre Fletcher, batting much lower in the order, made 36 to help take the Windwards to a competitive total.

Cariah also took the wickets of Sunil Ambris for 10 and Tevyn Walcott for six to end with figures of 4-57. Sunil Narine provided support with 2-29.

The chase was relatively uneventful was Ottley dominated the bowling scoring his runs from 142 balls during which he hit 11 fours and three sixes. Fellow opener Tion Webster scored 40 and there were contributions of Terrence Hinds, who was not out on 26 at the end, and Darren Bravo, 25 and Jason Mohammed, 20.

Kenneth Dember was the best of the bowlers with 2-23.



Cricket West Indies (CWI) is creating a development roadmap with major investment for women’s cricket in the region. This effort comes after the launch of its inaugural Women's Cricket Academy, a key initiative aimed at nurturing and developing our region’s female cricketing talent.

 Under the leadership of Miles Bascombe, Director of Cricket at CWI, the Academy commenced its operations earlier this month at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, marking a significant milestone for women's cricket in the region.

The director of cricket expressed his enthusiasm by stating, “This move aligns with Cricket West Indies' commitment to fostering the growth of women's cricket and investing in the development of players at all levels”.

As CWI embarks on its four-year budget cycle and the formation of its four-year strategic plan, Bascombe emphasizes the organization's commitment to investing in various initiatives that will contribute to the overall development of women's cricket.

“We have ambitious plans and programs lined up to ensure sustained growth in women's cricket,” he said. “Our investment in talent development and coaching will create a robust foundation for the future success of our women cricketers. Our approach is to incrementally seek to level the playing field, and we have started this process in earnest in other key areas.”

Earlier this year, CWI announced that with immediate effect the members of the West Indies Women’s squad will travel business class for all long-haul international flights and be accommodated in single rooms for all international assignments, bringing it in line with the policy for West Indies Senior Men’s tours. This resulted in an increase in the women’s budget of over US$500,000.

Meanwhile, Bascombe who assumed office in August of this year said, “We have had a fruitful engagement with our women players during our recently held West Indies Cricket Players’ Summit in Barbados, and have taken into consideration their views. Such discussions have informed the priority areas for women’s cricket at this point, particularly the development pathway.”

The West Indies Women’s A team just arrived in Pakistan yesterday for the first-ever away tour. The average age of the playing squad is 20. The majority of the players were in the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year.

Bascombe concluded by stating, “The trajectory of women’s cricket is one that is very pleasing, and that is why we are presently supporting the Women’s ‘A’ Team tour to Pakistan. Giving our players international opportunities helps to strengthen our second line and further enhances our competitive chances.”

CWI and the West Indies Players Association are in the process of finalizing a new Memorandum of Understanding. Both parties are working feverishly to achieve significant increases for women cricketers. These are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The new 2023/2024 Jamaica Premier League powered by returning partner Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum is set to kick off this weekend with six highly anticipated encounters across several venues on the island.

Last season saw 16,830 minutes of pulsating football from 350 players from 14 clubs. However, only one champion can be crowned in the new season which will get underway on Sunday, October 22 with defending champions Mount Pleasant FC hosting former champions Portmore United at the Drax Hall Sports Complex starting at 3:15 pm.

That encounter will be preceded by the clash between debutants Lime Hall Academy FC who will be going up against Montego Bay United at 1:15 pm.

All eyes will be on the Mount Pleasant/Portmore clash with both clubs possessing impressive rosters, with Mount Pleasant set to unveil new signings Damari Deacon, Fitzroy Cummings, Dominican Troy Jules and Marlon Allen.

Portmore United will also have their fair share of firepower with the likes of Emelio Rosseau, Alex Marshall and veteran Rudolph Austin in their ranks.

Elsewhere, Tivoli Gardens will host Waterhouse FC at the Edwards Seaga Sports Complex at 3:00 pm while over in Clarendon, home side Humble Lion will welcome the league’s other debut team Treasure Beach FC at Effortville.

On Monday’s televised doubleheader, Molynes United under coach Alex Thomas will face off with Linval Dixon’s Vere United at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex starting at 5:00 pm after which the home side ‘Junglist’ Arnett Gardens will entertain Dunbeholden at 7:00 pm.

 CEO of the Professional Football Jamaica League, Owen Hill says the new season is expected to heighten the already exciting local football product which will be further advanced with the return of long-time sponsor Wray & Nephew.

 “Our mission is to build a solid football industry with supporting ecosystems which involve building out our income, capital and grants. These are the key pillars that will help us to keep raising the bar,” said Hill.

 Raising that bar is right up the alley of the team at Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, with Brand PR & Communications Manager Dominic Bell eagerly anticipating the start of the new season to roll out the brand's extravagant plans.

 “Both Wray & Nephew and the JPL share a common goal in elevating the league to allow the players to benefit from international level play. We are excited to inject our standard of excellence into the matches starting on Sunday and we look forward to the spectators enjoying a world-class display of Jamaican football,” Bell added.



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