Since 1930, Sabina Park has hosted a total of 101 international matches. Only Trinidad & Tobago’s Queen’s Park Oval with 139 and Barbados’ Kensington Oval with 123 have hosted more.

Sabina Park hasn’t hosted international cricket since the West Indies took on Ireland in three ODIs in January last year.

Taking it a step further, the ground hasn’t hosted any regional cricket since 2019. That year was also the last time Sabina Park hosted a Caribbean Premier League (CPL) game.

In an appearance on the Mason & Guest radio show on Tuesday, former Jamaica and West Indies off spinner, Nehemiah Perry, said that while local cricket is being played at the ground from time to time, the lack of international matches is concerning.

“We still have our local cricket and we’re having some Dream 11 T10 games coming up there but the real issue is that there is no international cricket being played at Sabina Park,” Perry said.

“I remember the days gone when we were talking about a Test series coming to the Caribbean, there were some grounds that you knew were going to get games like Sabina Park, Kensington Oval, Queen’s Park Oval etc. For about two years now, we haven’t had any international cricket at Sabina Park. We also haven’t had any regional cricket there for some time now,” he added.

As of late, the ground has been used mainly as a venue for hosting parties as well as football matches. For the last few years, it has served as the host for finals in competitions like the Jamaica Premier League, Manning Cup and ISSA Champions Cup to name a few.

“It has been turned into a place of parties and football. We need income to maintain the field and Kingston Cricket Club because that club is really the owner of Sabina Park and the JCA owns the stands,” he said.

“When you don’t get international cricket, there’s no revenue coming in from the ground because there’s no advertising. Members of the Kingston Cricket Club are leaving because there’s nothing happening at Sabina Park and I’m very concerned,” he added.

With the T20 World Cup coming to the West Indies next year, Senior Manager of Cricket West Indies, Roland Holder, neither confirmed nor denied whether or not Jamaica have made a bid to host any matches at the tournament.

He did, however, say that “every venue is under consideration.”

“I believe the bids are all in and a determination is being made as we speak as to who gets what and the various packages etc. I’m not intimately involved in the World Cup so I can’t say too much about it, apart from that it’s next year,” Holder said.

 

Shaquille produced a remarkable performance to provide Julie Camacho with her first winner at Royal Ascot in the Commonwealth Cup.

The three-year-old arrived on the crest of a wave having won his last four races but all hope looked to have gone when he reared up on leaving the stalls.

Three-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy did not panic though, and by halfway he was back in contention but it remained to be seen if his early exertions had taken their toll.

The hot favourite Little Big Bear hit the front on entering the final furlong but Shaquille (9-1) was creeping into it and when Murphy asked for everything, there was still plenty left.

Camacho, and her partner Steve Brown, were registering their first Group One victory as Shaquille came home a length and a quarter clear, with 66-1 shot Swingalong in third.

Trainer Denis Hogan has had his licence suspended for three months and been fined €5,000 after one of his horses tested positive for a prohibited substance.

Ballyadam Destiny showed elevated levels of triamcinolone acetonide (TCA) and dexamethasone after winning at Galway last October.

Dr Lynn Hillyer, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board chief veterinary officer, stated in a report published on Friday that Hogan had been advised not to run his horse for 40 days after being treated by his vet, Donncha Houlihan.

Hogan accepted the findings in the report, stating he had mistaken the withdrawal period due to an administration error and has now employed additional staff as well as putting new measures in place to avoid a reoccurrence.

It is the fourth time in the previous five years a horse of Hogan’s has failed a post-race drugs test – including point-to-points. His ban is due to begin on August 1.

Porta Fortuna registered an impressive success in the Albany Stakes to provide Frankie Dettori with his 80th Royal Ascot win.

Having ridden Gregory and Courage Mon Ami to success, the retiring Italian notched up his third victory of the week when guiding the Donnacha O’Brien-trained youngster to a one-length triumph.

A winner of a Group Three at Naas over this six-furlong distance on her previous start, the daughter of Caravaggio put her experience to good use with a professional display in Berkshire.

Having cruised stylishly into contention passing the two-furlong marker, the well-backed 5-1 winner responded gamely to her rider’s urgings in the closing stages as Dettori pushed his mount out with vigour to hold off the Aidan O’Brien trained Matrika, who finished second having been up with the pace throughout.

The trainer enjoyed many big days in the saddle, but was securing his first winner at the summer showpiece in the training ranks, joining his father and brother Joseph on the Royal Ascot roll of honour.

Canada-born defender Luke Singh is set to make his international debut for Trinidad and Tobago after being drafted as replacement for Daniel Phillips for the Concacaf Gold Cup, which gets underway on Saturday.

The Soca Warriors, who will bow into Group A action on Sunday against first-timer St Kitts and Nevis at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, lost the Scottish-based Phillips to an injury, which dealt somewhat of a blow to Angus Eve's squad that only includes two out and out strikers in Kadeem Corbin and Malcolm Shaw.

It is understood that Reports indicate Phillips, a midfielder, who represents Scottish Premiership outfit St Johnstone, sustained a Grade one quadriceps injury during the second half of the Soca Warriors practice match against Haiti recently and will be out of action for approximately three weeks.

As such, the 22-year-old Singh, who is currently on loan with Canadian Premier League club Atletico Ottawa from Toronto FC, found favour with the coaching staff and joined the team on Thursday with expectations high that the towering defender, standing over six-foot tall, will add value to the Soca Warriors charge.

Trinidad and Tobago will start favourites for Sunday's fixtures scheduled for 2:30pm, having defeated St Kitts and Nevis 2-0 in their lone meeting during the World Cup qualifiers in 2021.

Their group also includes reigning seven-time champion United States and title aspirants Jamaica, who will lock horns on Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago at 8:30pm.

The twin island republic secured their spot in this year’s tournament after initial qualifiers Nicaragua, was booted for using an ineligible player during their 1-1 Nations League stalemate, which aided the qualification process.

Trinidad and Tobago squad: Marvin Phillip, Denzil Smith, Nicklaus Frenderup, Aubrey David, Sheldon Bateau, Luke Singh, Leland Archer, Kareem Moses, Shannon Gomez, Alvin Jones, Triston Hodge, Joevin Jones, Ryan Telfer, Ajani Fortune, Kevin Molino, Real Gill, Neveal Hackshaw, Andre Rampersad, Kaile Auvray, Molik Khan, Kadeem Corbin, Levi Garcia, Malcolm Shaw

Following Courage Mon Ami’s memorable Gold Cup triumph, bookmakers have revealed just how popular Frankie Dettori has been with Royal Ascot punters this week.

Entain, parent company of leading firms such as Ladbrokes and Coral, has highlighted how the ‘Frankie Factor’ has been in full force during his final Royal meeting.

Over the opening three days of Royal Ascot, 11 per cent of the overall volume of single bets have been placed on Dettori and his mounts have featured in 38 per cent of all multiple bets .

Queen Anne Stakes runner-up Inspiral was the best-backed horse on day one and attracted 23 per cent of single bets placed on the curtain raiser, despite being second favourite behind Modern Games.

On Wednesday, Dettori featured in 38 per cent of all accumulators and heavily-supported Queen’s Vase winner Gregory was forced into evens favourite.

Despite going off at a generous 15-2, Courage Mon Ami was the third-best backed horse across all races on Ladies’ Day and Dettori led the way in total Thursday wagers at 12 per cent.

Entain chief commercial officer Dominic Grounsell said: “There has been even more of a buzz around Frankie Dettori since the beginning of the Flat season. The world is watching his final season as a professional jockey to see if he can finish in style.

“Our customers have been weighing in on him in all the big meets so far this year, and Royal Ascot has been no different.

“He brings excitement, swagger and a huge following wherever he races, and racing will lose one of its most famous faces and infectious characters this year.

“Let’s enjoy the final few months of Frankie Dettori racing on our screens and follow how the ‘Frankie Factor’ continues to drive fan favourites up and down racecourses this summer.”

Dettori’s popularity was previously on full view in this season’s Classic contests at Newmarket and Epsom.

Entain reports that Chaldean generated 19 per cent of bets placed on the day of the 2000 Guineas, the biggest percentage of any horse in that race, before powering to victory.

Following his success on Emily Upjohn in the Coronation Cup and Soul Sister in the Oaks, Dettori’s Derby mount Arrest was backed into favourite for the Epsom Classic.

Over 19 per cent of 168,000 bets placed on the blue riband event with Entain were for Arrest, but he could only manage 10th place.

John Quinn is happy to “roll the dice” and give Highfield Princess a second shot at Royal Ascot glory this week in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.

The six-year-old won three times at Group One level last season and following a narrow defeat on her reappearance at York, she was a hot favourite for the King’s Stand on Tuesday.

Highfield Princess came off second best in a battle with Bradsell and while she was undoubtedly impeded when delivering her challenge, a subsequent stewards’ inquiry deemed it did not affect the result.

Several horses have contested both of Royal Ascot’s Group One sprints before, with Blue Point doing the double in 2019, and Quinn can see no reason not to let his stable star take her chance.

“We left her down (at Ascot) all week and looked at her on Thursday morning and she seems fine, so we’re quite happy to roll the dice,” said the Malton-based trainer.

“Plenty of horses have run well in both races, so it’s doable. She seems bright and she’s no travelling to do, which is important.”

Highfield Princess finished sixth in the 2022 renewal of the six-furlong contest, three places behind Australian challenger Artorius, who this year heads the betting.

Anthony and Sam Freedman’s speedster has already won a Group One prize in his homeland this year and confidence is high that he can go two places better than 12 months ago on his return to Ascot.

“I am a bit more relaxed than last year and not under as much pressure,” said Sam Freedman.

“He is a lot shorter in the market and there is a bit more expectation, but last year it was the unknown and whether he was going to measure up – this year we know he is good enough.

“If you look at the form, he looks to be the horse with the best credentials and I think he has improved into his four-year-old season.

“I am not so concerned about the opposition, but more where he will end up and where he will get to in the run. I am confident taking on any of the sprinters in the world, but it is a case of getting the right transit and a bit of luck.”

Richard Gibson’s Hong Kong raider Wellington is another major player from overseas, while the home team includes the William Haggas-trained Sacred and Kinross from Ralph Beckett’s yard.

Connections of Sacred admit she may be more effective over a furlong further, but they are nevertheless keen to let her line up for a race in which she was beaten just a length into fifth place last year.

Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “I think seven furlongs is is probably her optimum. We were hoping we might be able to stretch her to a mile, but we’re not convinced so we are dropping back.

“She ran one of her best races in this last year and we’ll roll the dice and see how she goes, but she’s in good form.”

Kinross enjoyed a fantastic campaign last season, winning at the highest level in the Prix de la Foret and the British Champions Sprint before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

He has not been seen in competitive action since his trip to Kentucky, but is nevertheless a leading contender in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

“I think he handles firm ground but I think six on firm ground is a little bit quick for him, so you would prefer some rain,” said owner Marc Chan’s racing manager Jamie McCalmont.

“He only got beat two lengths in this last year (finished eighth) and he’s fresh and in great shape and ready to run.

“Hopefully it will set him up for his most important date when he tries to get Frankie his full house in the July Cup.”

Quickening conditions are the only concern for trainer Owen Burrows ahead of Hukum’s intended appearance in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

The full-brother to the brilliant Baaeed bagged a Group One victory of his own in last season’s Coronation Cup at Epsom, but in doing so suffered a career-threatening injury.

He looked better than ever when defeating Derby hero Desert Crown on his return from nearly a year off the track in last month’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown – but Burrows insists no chances will be taken if the ground is deemed unsuitable on the fifth and final day of the meeting.

“It’s all been very straightforward since Sandown, so we’re just keeping our fingers crossed it doesn’t get too quick,” said Burrows.

“This was the obvious race for him, our only slight worry is the ground being a bit quick for him, so I think we’ll walk the track at midday on Saturday and make sure we’re happy with it.

“He’s won on a range of grounds, but I know speaking to Sheikha Hissa (owner) after he won at Sandown that Jim (Crowley) had mentioned to her that he’s so much better on good ground and we want to look after him this year – we won’t risk him on fast ground.

“It’s a long year and there are plenty of races for him.”

Even if he is given the go-ahead, Hukum is unlikely to have things all his own way, with several high-class rivals lying in wait.

Free Wind has won her last four races for John and Thady Gosden and saw off Wednesday’s Duke of Cambridge heroine Rogue Millennium in the Middleton Stakes at York, while the James Ferguson-trained Deauville Legend has been off the track since finishing fourth in November’s Melbourne Cup.

Pyledriver must overcome an even longer absence, having been sidelined by injury since his popular success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes over the course and distance 11 months ago.

William Muir, who trains the six-year-old in partnership with Chris Grassick, said: “Everything has gone good up to now and we’re looking forward to getting him started.

“As I’ve said all the way through, this is hopefully a prep race for the King George. It sounds stupid, but this will put the edge on him, which is what we want.

“I’ve got no doubt his ability is all still there, I’ve got no doubt whatsoever, but he’s been off the course for a long time and we just want to get through this race and move on to the next race.

“It’s a tough place to start, but what else have we got? As long as he goes through the race nice and comes home nice we’re laughing.”

The final afternoon gets under way with the seven-furlong Chesham Stakes Stakes, in which Navan scorer Pearls And Rubies is the likely favourite for Aidan O’Brien.

The Richard Hannon-trained La Guarida appears a major contender for the Amo Racing team, having built on the promise of a debut third at Newmarket with a taking victory at Goodwood on her second start.

“She did nothing wrong at Newmarket and then backed up impressively at Goodwood,” said Amo’s racing manager Tom Pennington.

“The form is looking all right now with the second, third and fourth all winning since.”

The Amo team also have high hopes in the Group Three Jersey Stakes, with Roger Varian’s Olivia Maralda bidding to supplement victory in the Listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom.

Pennington added: “She clocked a very good time at Epsom and I think at one stage she clocked a sub 10-second furlong. I know the ground was quick there and it is the right track to be posting those sort of times, but she has come out of the race really well.

“Roger is adamant she has improved again from Epsom. She hadn’t quite come in her coat then but she has thrived since and the warm weather has helped.

“I would say seven furlongs is her optimum, Kevin (Stott, jockey) is adamant that is the case and she will go there with a big chance.”

Varian also saddles the unbeaten Enfjaar and O’Brien is represented by highly-tried The Antarctic, but the clear favourite is the rapidly-improving Covey.

The son of Frankel completed a hat-trick with a dominant front-running display in the Silver Bowl at Haydock and is strongly fancied to make it a four-timer under Frankie Dettori.

Juddmonte racing manager Barry Mahon said: “He’s a very exciting horse and we look forward to seeing him out again.

“He looks to have plenty of pace for seven furlongs and he gets a mile, so the stiff seven in Ascot should be fine for him.”

Standout Jamaican jumpers Jaydon Hibbert and Carey McLeod of the University of Arkansas are among the 10 semi-finalists for the 2023 Bowerman Award.

The Bowerman – collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – will be awarded in December at the USTFCCCA Convention in Denver, Colorado. Only marks from the 2023 indoor or outdoor collegiate track & field seasons are to be considered for the award.

The 10 were selected from 41 athletes, who made the Bowerman men’s list.

Hibbert, who hails from Kingston, Jamaica, is the undisputed King of the Triple Jump in collegiate history. The Arkansas freshman phenom recently completed the NCAA title sweep with a victory at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.

Hibbert only needed 12 jumps to win all six of his collegiate competitions this year and unified the indoor and outdoor collegiate records with a 17.54m effort indoors followed by a majestic 17.87m outdoors. This is the fourth year in a row that a first-year freshman has been a semifinalist for The Bowerman.

McLeod, who also hails from Kingston, Jamaica, doubled up on long jump crowns at the NCAA Championships this year.

The Arkansas standout spanned 8.40m to win the indoor title and move up to No. 5 in collegiate history in that venue. McLeod also contested the triple jump at both NCAA Championships this year, finishing sixth indoors and 11th outdoors. This is the first time that McLeod has been a semifinalist for The Bowerman.

On Wednesday, St Lucia’s super sprinter Julien Alfred and Jamaica’s standout sprint hurdler Ackera Nugent and long jumper Ackelia Smith were named among the women’s semi-finalists for the prestigious award.

Three women and men’s finalists will be announced on Tuesday, June 27.

Former West Indies batsman turned coach Robert Samuels has been appointed Interim Head Coach for the West Indies Women’s team for the upcoming CG United One Day International (ODI) Series and West Indies T20 International (T20I) series against Ireland in St. Lucia.

Samuels, a former Jamaica captain played six Test matches and eight ODIs in addition to 106 first-class matches and 77 List A matches. His most recent role was as an Assistant Coach with the West Indies Women team.

“Robert brings continuity and stability to get the team through this period. He has great knowledge of the players and the women’s game in general and strong knowledge of the support staff, so it’s almost a seamless transition with Robert coming in as interim head coach,” said CWI’s High Performance Manager Graeme West.

“He has his own ideas and is trying to implement them now as Interim head coach as opposed to assistant coach. He has made a good impact and start over the last few days and I’m sure it will continue throughout the series.”

Samuels will be supported by interim assistant coaches, former West Indies spin bowler, Ryan Austin and Steve Liburd, the former Leeward Islands batsman and captain. Liburd is the head coach of the West Indies Women's U19 Rising Stars.

The West Indies 18-member squad is in training camp at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia where they are preparing to face Ireland Women in the three-match CG United ODI Series which starts on Monday June 26. ​ This will be followed by the three-match T20I Series from July 4 to 8.

The matches are West Indies Women’s only home fixture in 2023. ​ The three CG United ODIs comprise West Indies’ third fixture in the ICC Women’s Championship where they are pushing to win points to achieve a top five position to qualify automatically for the ICC 2025 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

 

Match Schedule – All matches played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia.

CG United ODI Series:

Monday 26 June: 1st CG United ODI – 10am (9am Jamaica Time)

Wednesday 28 June: 2nd CG United ODI – 10am (9am Jamaica Time)

Saturday 1 July: 3rd CG United ODI – 3pm (2pm Jamaica Time)

 

West Indies T20I Series:

Tuesday 4 July: 1st T20I

Thursday 6 July: 2nd T20I

Saturday 8 July: 3rd T20I

 

All matches start at 5pm Eastern Caribbean Time (4pm Jamaica Time).

 

 

Frankie Dettori has lodged an appeal against the nine-day suspension he incurred on the first day of Royal Ascot.

Dettori partnered Saga, who is owned by the King and Queen, for John and Thady Gosden in the Wolferton Stakes but was found guilty of careless riding after the stewards judged him to have allowed his mount to shift across the track, causing interference to other runners in the process.

The suspension is due to run from July 4-12, which would rule him out of riding Emily Upjohn in the Eclipse on July 8, and Dettori and his legal team have decided there are grounds to appeal the decision of the stewards on the day.

“I put my appeal in yesterday, so it’s fingers crossed,” Dettori told talkSPORT.

“I spoke to my lawyers and they told me to appeal.”

After a disappointing first day, Dettori subsequently won Wednesday’s Queen’s Vase on Gregory before claiming a ninth Gold Cup aboard Courage Mon Ami to the delight of the crowd on Thursday.

With him still riding at the top of his game, it has led to calls for him to delay his retirement, but so far he insists his last day riding in the UK will be Champions Day at Ascot.

“Every day I get asked. At the moment I’m retiring – October 21 (in England) and then abroad. I’m sticking to it,” he said.

“Yesterday was unbelievable, the reception that I got. I just have to say thanks for all the support over the years and let’s carry it on over another two days and have some fun.”

 

Though he is still yet to fully absorb West Ham United's UEFA Europa Conference League triumph, Michail Antonio is hoping to add a bit more history to that club success, this time for his country by upsetting the apple cart at the Concacaf Gold Cup with Jamaica's Reggae Boyz.

The 16-team biennial championship for North America, Central America and the Caribbean gets under way at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday, with the Reggae Boyz set to open against reigning seven-time champion United States in Group A, which also includes Trinidad and Tobago and first-timer St Kitts and Nevis.

Antonio, who was instrumental in West Ham's successful run to their first major European honour since 1965 when they defeated Fiorentina 1-0 in the Europa Conference League final earlier this month, said the feeling is still somewhat indescribable, but lifting the Gold Cup would certainly help him snap out of his dreamlike state.

The 36-year-old was the Hammers's top scorer with 14 goals in the season, which he pointed out was the most enjoyable of his eight seasons at the club, and he is now aiming to bring that form to the fore on the international stage.

"Obviously, I know I won the Europa Conference League, but it hasn't set home as yet, but it was amazing feeling celebrating with the Jamaican flag, everyone there was celebrating their country, so I was definitely celebrating mine and the island where my mom grew up and the place where she always brought me from when I was young. 

"So, it (winning the Europa Conference League) was an opportunity for me to have the Jamaican flag around me and I was never going to miss that opportunity. But I'm here now with the Jamaican team and hoping to win another title," Antonio said.

He will have plenty more opportunities to celebrate the black, gold and green, provided all goes accordingly for the Heimir Hallgrimsson-coached Reggae Boyz throughout their campaign.

Should the Jamaicans come out successful at the end of this year’s Gold Cup, it would be their first title in the history of the tournament that started in 1991. They went close in the 2015 and 2017 finals which they lost 3-1 and 2-1 to Mexico and United States respectively. 

Aside from their 2015 upset semi-final win en route to the final, the Reggae Boyz have struggled in games against the United States in the tournament, losing five of their last six meetings, the most recent being in 2019 and 2021, when they went down 3-1 and 1-0 in the semifinals and quarterfinals.

By virtue of those statics, Saturday's opener will by no means be easy, but Antonio seems confident the Boyz will test the mettle of the B.J. Callaghan-coached United States team that is missing some key players, who factored in their recent Concacaf Nations League triumph. 

"It (our build up) has been good, spirits seem high, everyone seems confident, and the training went well. It was my first session with the team and I'm quite positive. Obviously, I've got one cup down and like I said, I am here for another," Antonio reiterated. 

"I am definitely enjoying coming here (into tournaments) and linking up with the boys, we have a good bond now, as the atmosphere and the camaraderie is always good. I enjoy it and we're going to keep going," he added.

With the Reggae Boyz team bolstered by other Premier League attacking talents such as Aston Villa's Leon Bailey, newcomer Demarai Gray of Everton and Fulham's Bobby Reid, Antonio believes the team has enough quality to not only end Hallgrimsson's seven-match winless streak, but more importantly, lay a solid foundation, as they build towards the 2026 World Cup. 

"One thing with the Jamaican team is that there is a lot of potential and quality out there and people are starting to turn up. Obviously quite a few Premier League players are now in the setup, Demarai Gray, Bobby Reid, Me, Bailey, so there are some quality players turning up here," Antonio said. 

"But it is not just the Premier League players, obviously there are a lot of quality players from the Island, Andre Blake, being named keeper of the year last year in the US, so it's a good squad being built," he ended.

 

With some of Jamaica's young female football players being an important phase of their development, Xavier Gilbert believes the upcoming Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games represents a good opportunity for them to express themselves as they continue their growth process.

In fact, Gilbert, who will serve as Head coach for the youthful outfit to the June 24 to July 7 Games in El Salvador, says it important to expose players to competitive tournaments like these, especially since they represent the next generation of senior Reggae Girlz.

Olufolasade Adamolekun, Chris-Ann Chambers, Mireya Grey and siblings Mikayla Dayes and Malika Dayes, are the only players in the 20-member squad with senior Reggae Girlz experience.

The rest of the team, stacked with overseas-based players, comprises players who just completed the Under-20 cycle, while Shanhaine Nelson, Sydoney Clarke and Logan McFadden, are making a return to the programme.

The Girlz are drawn in Group B alongside Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and Puerto Rico for the football tournament which begins on June 28.

"As you can see the makeup of the squad is mostly young players so this is just another opportunity for development and should be an excellent stage for those young players to go out and express themselves without fear of failure. Yes, we want to win some games and we hope to give a good account of ourselves but again, this tournament is more than a win at all cost mentality," Gilbert told SportsMax.tv. 

"We want to play in a way that is conducive to developing technical footballers that can dominate possession and stay on the ball under pressure. So, exposing our young players to the competitive cauldron of tournaments like this is only beneficial if as coaches, we stay true to our aim of development, keeping it centered on the players," he added.

Gilbert pointed out that familiarity among the players will be crucial to their competitiveness, as the team will enter the tournament with very little preparation under their belt.

“Unfortunately, we won’t be having a lot of training sessions but whatever we can do, we will make the best of it before the first game against Colombia. The good thing is that a lot of the players are familiar with each other which is good, we just have to ensure that we do everything we can do to make sure there is good camaraderie once we get to El Salvador," he said.

It is for that reason why Gilbert welcomed the addition of some senior players, noting that their experience will be invaluable in not only assisting the younger players to adjust both on and off the field, but from a leadership perspective, they can ensure everyone is on one accord.

Goalkeeper Chambers was an integral part of the Reggae Girlz historic World Cup qualification in 2018 and was the team's ambassador at the 2019 showpiece in France, while Adomolekun and Grey were a part of the squad that paraded their skills against Australia, Italy and Brazil at that same world tournament.

“It is good to have them on board, as they will provide some level of leadership and the expectation again, is just to give the level of exposure to these young players, most of whom might be in the next (senior Reggae Girlz) cycle. So having this level of exposure is really good for them and Jamaica’s football," Gilbert noted.

“I think we should be able to give a good account of ourselves, the teams, especially Mexico will be taking their strongest units so I think that will be our toughest test. Of course, Colombia, El Salvador and Puerto Rico, will have a strong unit as well and are quality opponents. But we remain focused on what it is that we want to accomplish, and I am sure we will have much to be pleased about at the end of the Games," he ended.

Squad: Andrene Smith, Chris- Ann Chambers, Dannique Wilson, Davia Richards, Destiny Powell, Katie Oakley, Kersha Thomas, Lauren Reid, Logan McFadden, Maliah Atkins, Mikayla Dayes, Malika Dayes, Mireya Grey, Natoya Atkinson, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Shaneil Buckley, Shanhaine Nelson, Sheyenne Bonnick, Sydoney Clarke, Theanna Burnett

 

Waipiro gave the Derby form a boost when storming to Royal Ascot glory in the Hampton Court Stakes.

Ed Walker’s charge won on his reappearance at Newmarket before chasing home Military Order in the Lingfield Derby Trial and going on to finish a gallant sixth at Epsom itself.

Sent off at 7-1 dropping back to 10 furlongs, jockey Tom Marquand was never in any rush aboard the son of Australia and his patience was rewarded when Oviedo carried a plethora of the challengers right approaching the one-furlong marker – opening up the perfect gap for Waipiro to gallop on through.

And while some were wearily wandering around in the closing stages, Waipiro kept on straight as an arrow as he sprinted clear to a register a two-and-a-quarter-length verdict over Roger Varian’s Exoplanet.

The victory brought up a memorable double on the day for Marquand, who had earlier struck aboard the King and Queen’s Desert Hero, but he was fittingly repaid by the horse he was aboard at Newmarket earlier this year when suffering an arm injury which ruled him out of both the 2000 and 1000 Guineas.

For Walker it was a second success at the Royal meeting following Agrotera’s Sandringham win in 2018.

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