Hayley Turner gained a fourth Royal Ascot success after producing Docklands with a tremendous rattle up the stands rail to collar New Endeavour in the closing strides of the Britannia Handicap.

The field split for the mile event with the far side looking most likely to prevail, as New Endeavour and David Egan looked to have poached a winning lead inside the final furlong.

Yet Turner’s mount, who had gone up a stone in the handicap after the Harry Eustace-trained colt had won on handicap debut on the all-weather at Kempton, powered up the rail to prevail as the 6-1 favourite.

New Endeavour, sent off a 22-1 chance for trainer Roger Varian, won his race in the far side, with Urban Sprawl (50-1) and Thunder Ball (66-1) following him home and filling the minor honours.

Turner said: “I honestly didn’t know until they called the photo whether I had won or not because the two horses were so far apart.

“It’s such a thrill and today a lot of history has been made, so to look back on today is amazing.”

Eustace – brother of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer David Eustace – said: “Terry Henderson of OTI Racing (owners) has been a supporter of mine, and of my brothers in Australia, from the get-go, really, and to be able to repay him with a Royal Ascot winner is very special.

“It’s always a team effort, but it’s a family business as well, but having my brother here from Oz, and my cousin and aunt and uncle – it’s very, very special. You can’t ask for more.”

William Haggas has won the Derby, his best horse Baaeed won 10 of his 11 races and he has plundered Group One prizes around the world. Yet even the softly-spoken Yorkshireman conceded that providing the King and Queen with their first Royal Ascot winner was one of the highlights of his career.

The race itself, the King George V Stakes, may ‘only’ be a handicap. But the fact it is a handicap named after Queen Victoria’s grandson, who reigned from 1910 to 1936, just added to the occasion.

Without the presence of the royals, Ascot would be just another big racing festival. The quality of the racing would be the same, but the sense of magic which sets it apart would be lost.

On Wednesday the crowd cheered home a Frankie Dettori winner at what is his final Royal meeting, and he was given a great reception.

But that paled into insignificance when Tom Marquand, perhaps one of those best equipped to fill Dettori’s shoes next season as part of racing’s golden couple with his wife, Hollie Doyle, found a tiny gap on Desert Hero to win by a head – and reward those who backed him at 18-1.

When the late Queen was alive Royal Ascot could bask in the knowledge that the ruling monarch had its back. She loved racing and made no secret of it. The pictures of her cheering home Estimate in the 2013 Gold Cup are still widely used to this day.

But following her death, there were fears inside the sport the new King and Queen were not quite so keen, and a dispersal of some of their stock only served to fan the flames.

As it has turned out, the King has been caught up by the Queen’s enthusiasm and a win at their first Royal Ascot as monarchs was certainly not lost on Haggas, who was understandably taken aback by the reception.

Haggas said: “What a thrill. It’s great that in the first year that the King and Queen are here as the King and Queen they can have a winner.

“It didn’t matter who it was, as long as they could have one – but I’m delighted it is us.

“They have been looking forward to Royal Ascot for a long time and they hoped to have as many runners as possible. I think they will be absolutely delighted.

“It’s very important for horse racing, but it’s also important that the King and Queen enjoy it, which they clearly appear to do. Long may that continue.”

The result did not look likely until half a furlong out when suddenly there was a guttural roar from the grandstands. It clearly worked.

“To do it in that style, in such a close finish. I didn’t really watch the race properly so I’ll have to watch it again, but the horse really stuck his neck out,” said Haggas.

“He wasn’t 6-4 favourite, so I think expectations were relatively low, but hopes were high, and it came good. It was a beautiful ride, a bit of a bob and a weave up the straight, but he made it and fair play to Tom.”

Haggas is having a relatively quiet year by recent standards, but that is perhaps unsurprising following the retirement of the brilliant Baaeed, who won six Group Ones in the space of 12 months.

Shaamit secured him a Derby in 1996, Dancing Rain landed the Oaks in 2011 and Mukhadram, Sea Of Class and Addeybb all won Group Ones – but Haggas puts Desert Hero’s success right up there with them all.

“This is a big moment for us, of course it is, it’s a huge moment,” he added.

“I always thought when Sir Michael (Stoute) won the Gold Cup with Estimate here for the Queen that it must have been the pinnacle of his career, to have the trophy presented to him by the Duke of Edinburgh at the time.

“But this is a big thing for us. We’ve won a few nice races, especially recently, but this takes some beating.

“It’s not just a big moment for us but for the sport as well. The late Queen was so passionate about racing but the King and the Queen have already been to Newmarket to see us so it is exciting moving forward.

“I wouldn’t like to say it has been a long-term plan, but…possibly!

“We will appreciate this very much. We really appreciated the horse last year (Baaeed) – and we are really missing him now.”

Marquand was also well aware he had been part of history.

“That will be hard to top,” he said. “I grew up watching Ryan (Moore) on Estimate and royal winners at the Royal meeting are extremely special, especially this one.

“I think it’s a poignant one and to be a part of that, for William and Maureen (Haggas) and the whole Somerville Lodge team to bring a horse to the Royal meeting and have that perfect prep – it’s an insanely special day. It will live high in my career, probably at the top for the rest of my days in the saddle at least.

“You can see from William and Maureen how much it means to them, we all feel privileged to have anything to do with royal horses and we want to do the job. Doing the job is winning and we’ve done it.

“It’s a hard game breeding horses and racing horses and to have the Queen’s legacy carried on is immensely special. Everybody appreciates the magnitude of what’s just happened and it’s a special day for everyone.”

One member of the royal family who has long been involved in the equestrian world is Zara Tindall, the late Queen’s granddaughter, and she was the first person on her mind.

She said: “I just think how excited my grandmother would have been. To have a winner for Charles and Camilla and to keep that dream alive was incredible, and what a race – asides all of that, what a race. I was stood with Sheikh Fahad (owner of the second, Valiant King) and the horses were either side, pulling their way up to the line, and it was incredible.

“I think it is a new excitement (for the King), like all those owners here who come here with horses, they have dreams and hope, and to follow it is incredible. Horses are the main game here – that’s why we get involved, we love them, the competition, the feelings are indescribable.”

King Of Steel has the chance to pick up some compensation for his Derby near-miss when he lines up in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Roger Varian’s imposing son of Wootton Bassett was making only his first appearance of the season when finding just Auguste Rodin too good at Epsom, but having highlighted his supreme potential on that occasion, will carry the hopes of owners Amo Racing who crave success at this meeting.

It is just 20 days since the colt’s huge effort on the Surrey Downs, but the Carlburg handler believes he has taken his first outing of the year in his stride and is excited to see his talented middle-distance performer back on track.

“He has looked great from the day he got back from Epsom and is in good form,” said Varian.

“He looked a good horse at Epsom and hopefully he can confirm that on Friday. He looked very good in defeat and that bodes well for this week, the rest of the season and beyond hopefully. We hope he is a consistent Group One performer – they are the horses you want in the stable and hopefully he is one of them.

“It’s exciting to have a good horse and be involved in the big races. They are not easy to win, but he looks like a horse who will take us to the big spots and we look forward to Friday.”

Chief among the opposition is the John and Thady Gosden-trained Arrest, who disappointed when sent off favourite for the Derby in the hands of Frankie Dettori, but will be attempting to bounce back to the form that saw the son of Frankel claim the Chester Vase on his penultimate start.

Charlie Johnston’s Dubai Mile and Ralph Beckett’s Artistic Star will also attempt to better their respective showings in the premier Classic.

Varian also has a strong hand in the Albany Stakes that kicks off proceedings, with Jabaara, who made an impressive debut at Newmarket in the race the trainer used to prepare Daahyeh for Royal Ascot glory in 2019.

“She’s a good filly, I think, and has been training really well,” said Varian.

“She will like the fast ground if it stays that way and six furlongs looks her trip for the moment. She’s an exciting filly, I think.”

Simon and Ed Crisford’s Carla’s Way and George Boughey’s Soprano both arrive with a similar profile having won in taking fashion first time, while Porta Fortuna brings added experience and Group Three-winning form from Ireland having defeated the reopposing Navassa Island at Naas last month.

The daughter of Caravaggio is the mount of Frankie Dettori on this occasion and is one of two in the race for Donnacha O’Brien, who also saddles Curragh scorer Do It With Style.

“She’s done nothing wrong yet and won nicely first time out on heavy ground, then stepped up to six on better ground and won a Group Three,” said O’Brien.

“She’s a classy filly and we’re looking to see her run. It’s great to have Frankie on board, he obviously brings plenty of experience and has had a lot of success so it’s great to be able to get him.”

He added: “Do it with Style is a lovely filly, she won nicely at the Curragh and has always worked like a nice filly. She’s only had the one run compared to the other filly, but she’s nice and we hope she will run a good race.”

Amo Racing’s retained rider Kevin Stott has chosen Persian Dreamer out of the owners’ four runners as Dominic Ffrench Davis’ filly attempts to bounce back from defeat in the Marygate at York.

Before that she created a deep impression on debut at Newmarket and connections are hopeful of a return to her best now stepping up in trip.

“I haven’t lost any faith in Persian Dreamer, she was very impressive on debut,” said Tom Pennington, racing and operations manager at Amo Racing.

“The sharp five furlongs on quick ground at York in the Marygate has probably played against her and she didn’t let herself down. She’s a big, strong filly and just didn’t enjoy the ground.”

Flaccianello, Komat and Mapmaker are the others to line up for Kia Joorabchian’s operation, with the latter picked out by Joorabchian himself at the sales as a yearling.

“She’s a nice filly and won well last time at Newbury in a good time,” continued Pennington.

“Kia bought her on spec in the ring at Tattersalls so it will be a nice story if she can run well.

“She’s bounced out of Newbury in good form, whether she is good enough is another question, but Darryll (Holland, trainer) is very happy with her.”

Everything looks in place for Tahiyra to add the Coronation Stakes crown to her victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

The daughter of Siyouni has had just four runs, her sole defeat coming by half a length when beaten by Saeed bin Suroor’s Mawj in the English equivalent at Newmarket.

With Mawj unfortunately an enforced absentee, the Dermot Weld-trained three-year-old takes on six rivals in the Group One contest, including Meditate, who has finished behind in both mile Classics this term.

Chris Hayes’ mount looked to have a bit in hand when scoring by a length and a half on the last occasion and Pat Downes, manager of owner the Aga Khan’s Irish Studs, says it is unfortunate Mawj, who scoped dirty earlier this week, will not be taking her on again.

“It’s a rematch for the Irish Guineas and it’s a shame the other filly hasn’t been able to run,” said Downes.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes. We are very happy with out filly and all has been very well since the Irish Guineas.

“We are really happy with her. She is doing very well and is a very good place and is ready to go.”

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Meditate, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland in November, is a proven top-class performer and has finished runner-up on three occasions at the highest level.

In contrast the John and Thady Gosden-trained Queen For You is unexposed, with just two career starts. The beautifully-bred daughter of Kingman did not make her debut until May 3, when taking a novice race over a mile.

She was then beaten a short head in the Listed Michael Seely at York by Sounds Of Heaven, who reopposes.

“She is the least experienced in the field and did not run as a two-year-old,” said Thady Gosden.

“She has had experience of running at Ascot as she won on debut here. She stepped up on that and though she didn’t win, she improved when upped in class at York and stayed on nicely once the penny dropped.

“She was only beaten a short head and has taken that in her stride. We’re very pleased with her and she’s in good form.

“This is another major step up, but we feel she has every right to take her chance in what obviously is a tough Group One.”

Sounds Of Heaven was a relatively unfancied 14-1 chance when winning that race at York on her first outing since breaking her duck at the second time of asking in a Leopardstown maiden in October.

Kate Harrington, assistant trainer to her mother, Jessica – who won this race with Alpha Centauri in 2018 and again three years ago with Alpine Star – is hoping she will make light of her underdog status again.

“She is in good form,” she said. “She came out of the York race very well. We go there taking a big step up in class, but she goes off the back of a very good run and we hope she runs a massive race.

“She is lovely filly and a very underestimated filly, and only does as much as she has to. She has a great mind and I think Ascot will really suit her. We’re hopeful of a big, big run.”

There is further Irish interest in the form of Comhra, who was beaten a length and a half into third in the Irish Guineas when sent off at 150-1.

Jim Bolger feels she will get her ideal conditions and will again be equipped with blinkers that served her well when fitted for the first time at the Curragh.

William Buick come in for the ride for the first time and Bolger quipped: “Rory Cleary rides most of mine and he’ll be in action at Down Royal – he doesn’t have bilocation!

“I’m hoping she can go two better – she wasn’t beaten far. The going and the cheekpieces made a difference. Her previous runs were in soft and she ran on good last time.

“We hope she’ll have faster ground at Ascot and I’m sure that will help her. She’s very nice. She’s an oil painting!”

Remarquee, a good winner of the Fred Darling at Newbury on her seasonal debut, was 17 lengths adrift of Tahiyra at Newmarket and Ralph Beckett’s filly has plenty to find on that evidence. Mammas Girl was four places in front of her in 11th.

Trained by Richard Hannon, Mammas Girl did not handle the soft ground that day and Tom Pennington, racing manager for owners Amo Racing, feels she will be seen in a better light this time.

He said: “She was an impressive winner of the Nell Gwyn prior to that. The ground went against her in the Guineas. The drying ground will help, but obviously it is very competitive.

“The favourite is obviously a very good horse, but Richard has been happy with her since.

“I think it is very competitive and the favourite will take a fair bit of beating.”

Frankie Dettori recorded a fairytale victory on his final Gold Cup ride, with the aptly-named Courage Mon Ami showing plenty of grit to down Coltrane in a titanic battle through the final furlong of the Royal Ascot showpiece.

It was a ninth Gold Cup for the Italian, who will hang up his boots at the end of the year.

Courage Mon Ami was having only his fourth lifetime start, having won his three previous races for John and Thady Gosden.

Stepping up in trip, the 15-2 chance was settled near the back of the pack as Subjectivist, the winner two years ago, made most of the running.

But Dettori took a risk and waited on the rail before sweeping through beaten horses and switching outside Coltrane’s withers.

The four-year-old son of Frankel kept finding to beat the 11-4 favourite, who was ridden by Oisin Murphy. Subjectivist stuck on well to finish a gallant third.

Warm Heart brought up a hat-trick when storming to an impressive Ribblesdale Stakes success at Royal Ascot.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, the daughter of Galileo arrived at the meeting having won her previous two outings, scooping Listed honours at Newbury last month. This time, she took her form to the next level in the hands of Ryan Moore as she won this Group Two in tremendous fashion.

Moore had Warm Heart close to the pace set by those on the front-end and found himself perfectly placed to strike in the home straight.

Although French raider Crown Princesse and the 5-6 hotpot Al Asifah briefly loomed up dangerously to mount a challenge after the two-furlong pole, there was no passing Warm Heart who just kept finding extra and soon put daylight between herself and her rivals in the closing stages to score at 13-2.

She returned a two-and-a-half-length-winning verdict over runner-up Lumiere Rock, with the mount of Frankie Dettori, Bluestocking, running on for third.

It was a fourth win in the Ribblesdale for both O’Brien and Moore, while it was also Moore’s fourth victory of the week following his treble on the opening day.

Senior Manager for Cricket West Indies (CWI), Roland Holder, has described India as “very peculiar in making their arrangements” after confirming that they have yet to confirm when they will arrive for their tour of the West Indies set to start on July 12 with the first Test at Windsor Park in Dominica.

The tourists will first fly to Barbados before being chartered to Dominica for the first Test. The series will consist two Tests, three ODIs and five T20Is from July 12 to August 13.

Holder, speaking on the Mason & Guest radio show on Tuesday, says India has yet to confirm when they will be arriving for the tour.

“They are still working through their flight options but they are anticipating arriving on July 1,” said Holder.

“It varies from country to country,” he said about teams communicating their plans for tours quickly.

“India are very peculiar in making their arrangements and things are subject to change with them very often. You don’t always get the confirmations you need in your time, you probably get it in their time,” he added.

The former West Indies batsman said the original plan was for India to arrive on July 1 and play a four-day warm-up game at a later date but the Indians had other ideas.

There’s usually a discussion between both countries as to what they want to happen. The FTP has India arriving on July 1 and there was to be a four-day warm-up game. They subsequently said they don’t necessarily want that so they’ll confirm when they will arrive,” Holder said

“They didn’t confirm so we couldn’t confirm when they will arrive. In the last few days, they have come back with some options which have reverted to arriving potentially on June 30th or July 1, which I’ve communicated to the relevant parties,” he added.

Holder added that their lack of confirmation means important logistical matters like booking charter flights and hotels are delayed.

“Potentially, we have them arriving in Dominica on July 7 but I’m waiting on confirmation from them. Without that confirmation, we have them booked for July 9. Until they can confirm when they want to go to Dominica, I can’t necessarily go to the hotel and the charter airline companies and say I need a flight for this day or I need a room for this day. While I can alert them, I can’t confirm. We are working all those options so we can swiftly put plans in place once we know what is happening,” he said.

 

 

Valiant Force caused a 150-1 shock in the Norfolk Stakes, the opening race on day three of Royal Ascot.

Trained in Ireland by Adrian Murray and owned by Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing, he was always up with the pace in the centre of the track under Rossa Ryan and while he had previous experience with two runs, he was unconsidered by punters.

Ryan got into a good rhythm aboard the Malibu Moon colt, who had finished runner-up to His Majesty on his debut at the Curragh before being well held in a Group Three contest over six furlongs at the same track on his second run.

The field split into two and six of the first seven home were in the far side group, up the middle of the track.

Bookmakers were in clover as 66-1 chance Malc finished a length-and-a-quarter second, with well-supported Elite Status, sent off the market leader at 7-4, only third.

Wesley Ward had left no one in any doubt that American Rascal was the star of the show from his American raiding party, yet while briefly threatening, he faded tamely in the final furlong.

Little Big Bear sets an exacting standard in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on Friday.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the No Nay Never colt and he has so far largely lived up to the billing, winning five of his first seven starts.

He edged the Windsor Castle Stakes at this meeting last year, while a stunning display in the Phoenix Stakes on what proved to be his final juvenile start ensured he was crowned champion European two-year-old.

A line can be put through a disappointing run in a soft ground 2000 Guineas and he is better judged on his facile success under Frankie Dettori in last month’s Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.

Little Big Bear is 10lb clear of his rivals on his return to Group One level and will be a warm order to provide O’Brien with a second Commonwealth Cup following the triumph of Caravaggio in 2017.

O’Brien said: “Everything has gone well since Haydock.

“We were keen to give him a race back sprinting before taking him to Ascot and Haydock fitted in well.

“We’ve been happy with everything he has done since.”

The biggest threat to the hot favourite appears to be the Roger Varian-trained Sakheer.

The son of Zoffany was much the best in last season’s Mill Reef at Newbury and like Little Big Bear contested last month’s 2000 Guineas, in which he was beaten seven lengths into seventh place.

Varian, who has already been among the winners this week, expects to see his charge in a better light as he drops back in distance on a sounder surface.

“The stiff six furlongs on what looks like it should be decent ground should suit him,” said the Newmarket handler.

“We’re really happy with the horse. He’s been good since the Guineas and he looks like he is peaking at the right time.

“He had an easy time after the Guineas and we were always going to come to Ascot, but he’s built up over the last few weeks into this race nicely, his work has been on point, he’s been really well and we’re hopeful.

“He actually ran well in the Guineas, but it was a mess of a race for us. He looked very good over six furlongs last year and the plan was always to come to this race when the Guineas didn’t work out.

“He looks like he could still be a high-class colt, we certainly believe he can be, and we’re looking forward to Friday.”

The Ralph Beckett-trained filly Lezoo has a similar profile, having won last season’s Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs but unable to land a blow over a mile in the 1000 Guineas.

Jamie McCalmont, racing manager for part-owner Marc Chan, said: “It’s a very good race and probably the best Commonwealth Cup there has been I would say, there’s no soft spot there.

“To be in the first three I would be very happy in this race.”

Shaquille has won his last four starts for Julie Camacho and connections are happy to roll the dice in this higher grade.

“We’re happy with his preparation, it has all gone smoothly, and he goes there with a progressive profile. We’re looking forward to it,” said the trainer’s husband and assistant, Steve Brown.

“We’ve had to change jockey because James (Doyle) has been claimed by Godolphin (rides Noble Style), but we’re still in very good hands with Oisin (Murphy), so we’re comfortable with that.

“He needs to find another level, but he keeps finding a bit race by race so we hope he can run a nice race for everyone.”

Australian raider Artorius will face 15 rivals when he runs in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

Trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, the four-year-old will be attempting to better his third-placed effort in the contest 12 months ago and has been plying his trade with real credit in top contests domestically recently.

There is a truly international feel to the race as fellow Australians Cannonball and The Astrologist are also in the mix, with Hong Kong’s Wellington, Christophe Clement’s American challenger Big Invasion and France’s Coeur De Pierre others from overseas taking part.

The home challenge is led by John Quinn’s Highfield Princess who was runner-up in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday, while Sacred and Kinross – who is the mount of Frankie Dettori – are others who bring high-class form to the table.

Al Suhail represents last year’s winning handler Charlie Appleby, with Sandrine (Andrew Balding), Rohaan (David Evans) and Art Power (Tim Easterby) all returning to Ascot having scored at the meeting in the past.

Hukum will be all the rage to down seven rivals in the Hardwicke Stakes following his comeback victory over Desert Crown at Sandown.

Owen Burrows’ charge had been off the track for almost a year prior to that Brigadier Gerard success, but looked better than ever and now returns to 12 furlongs to take on a stellar cast that includes the likes of Deauville Legend (James Ferguson), Pyledriver (William Muir and Chris Grassick) and Free Wind (John and Thady Gosden).

The day begins with the Chesham Stakes where 17 two-year-olds are headed by Aidan O’Brien’s Navan winner Pearls And Rubies as the master of Ballydoyle attempts to enhance his stellar record in the seven-furlong event, while a high-class field has been assembled for the Jersey Stakes over the same distance.

There will be 15 heading to post including Clarehaven’s talented Juddmonte-owned colt Covey, Roger Varian’s Surrey Stakes scorer Olivia Maralda and unbeaten stablemate Enfjaar plus O’Brien’s Lacken Stakes scorer The Antarctic.

After a week of intense training where they pushed their limits to impress the coaching staff and also had a few off-field issues, Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz capped their 10-day stay in the island in a most fitting way –with fun, frolic, and entertainment on Tuesday. 

The "Goodbye and good luck" session with the Reggae Girlz held at Summit House (formerly Knutsford Court Hotel), hosted by minister of sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange, was the perfect opportunity for the Lorne Donaldson-led technical staff and players to unwind in the company of family, friends and well-wishers.

But beyond that, the sendoff event was also used to raise funds for the Girlz programme with a few corporate entities and individuals committing as much as US$10,000 (just over $1.5 million Jamaican), as their way of rallying around the team ahead of a second-consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup appearance.

Donaldson expressed pleasure seeing the Girlz enjoying themselves just as hard as they trained.

"Yeah, it's good, we had a very successful camp, one of the most successful we have had in a while, we covered a lot of grounds and we saw a lot from the players, as they really dug in and showed that they want to make the team to the World Cup," Donaldson told SportsMax.tv during the event which lasted well over four hours.

"So, this is the ultimate way for them to relax, some things happened over the weekend that would have been a distraction so, again, this is a great way to take their mind off things. Plenty of fun and just generally chilling out because when we get to Amsterdam, it will be all business again," he added.

Having completed their assessments for the most parts, Donaldson and his assistants Xavier Gilbert, Laura Thomas and Ak Lakhani, are expected to name the final 23-player squad to the World Cup in the coming week. The Girlz are drawn in Group F alongside France, Brazil and Panama for the July 20 to August 20 showpiece in Australia and New Zealand. 

"We have seen a lot, especially at this camp here, it allowed us to look at players like Konya Plummer and Trudi Carter, who are both without clubs, so again, it was really good to see where they are at and after this, we will just zone in on selecting the best 23 to represent Jamaica at the World Cup," Donaldson shared.

Sashana "Pete" Campbell was one of those players that came into the camp as a late addition after some time away and the utility was pleased that she had an opportunity to parade her skills for the coaching staff.

"The camp was great football wise, all the ladies left their best on the field as we are all aware that positions for the World Cup are up for grabs, so it is now up to the coaches to decide who they think is best fit for the team. 

"The sendoff party was even better, after a long week and few days, it was good to just unwind and have a great night together. A lot of us have been playing right through, so it was just good to have some fun time," Campbell, who plays professionally in Poland, said.

Left full-back Deneisha Blackwood, echoed similar sentiments.

“We had a great training camp where we focused on preparing ourselves as best as we can and not think about the off-field issues or distractions. So, the main focus was just to get better for the World Cup," Blackwood said.

"I said in a previous interview that I just want us to be in the best mental state as a group and I think once everybody has the right mindset we will do well. This sendoff party would have done a lot for us where that is concerned, we were able to have some fun, free our minds and we had family and friends here which was good. So, it was good to relieve some tension which is the most important thing for us now," she added.

St Lucia’s Julien Alfred and Jamaica’s Ackera Nugent and Ackelia Smith are among the semi-finalists for the 2023 Bowerman Award.

The Bowerman is the premier award in collegiate track and field, highlighting the top athlete in the sport for both men and women. While the award isn't officially announced until December at the annual USTFCCCA convention, the Bowerman committee releases watch lists throughout the year before the award's final announcement.

Alfred, 22, has been on every watch list update, including the preseason watch list. It's the second time in her career she has been named a semi-finalist having made the list last season. Alfred dominated both the indoor and outdoor season, winning five NCAA titles, four being individual events.

The 14-time All-American completed the indoor double with wins in the 60m dash and the 200m dash where she broke the collegiate record. Her dominance continued outdoors where she defended her 100m title and went back-to-back seasons without losing a collegiate 100m race. She added an outdoor 200m title to her name with the fastest all-conditions time in NCAA history and helped the Longhorns defend their 4x100 relay title on her home track.

Alfred was also named both the Indoor and Outdoor National Women's Track Athlete of the Year honoree this season by USTFCCCA.

Nugent, a transfer from Baylor, arrived at Arkansas with lofty career best times of 7.27 (60), 7.89 (60H), 11.09 (100), 24.13 (200 indoor), 24.18 (200 outdoor), and 12.45 (100H) and proceeded to better her times in four of the five events.

Opening the season with an 8.00 victory in the 60m hurdles, Nugent bettered her career best with a 7.88 victory two weeks later.

In the SEC Indoor Championships, Nugent lowered her 60m hurdle best to 7.81 as silver medalist and her 60m best fell twice – 7.22 in the prelims and 7.20 as the bronze medalist.

Prepared to face the same elite hurdlers she raced in the conference meet during the NCAA Indoor Championships, Nugent broke the collegiate record in the semifinal with a 7.72 to top the previous record of 7.75 set by Kentucky’s Masai Russell earlier in the season.

Nugent also became the Jamaican national record holder, bettering the 7.74 by Michelle Freeman from 1998. On the world all-time list, Nugent ranks as the No. 6 performer with the No. 10 performance.

In the NCAA 60m hurdle final, a 7.73 for Nugent delivered her second gold in the event over a 7.78 for Russell. Nugent previously won the indoor title in 2021.

Outdoors, Nugent opened in the 100m hurdles with a windy 12.95 (3.9) in the Texas Relays prelims but didn’t contest the final. Russell won the final in a collegiate record of 12.36 (2.0) with LSU’s Alia Armstrong runner-up at 12.57.

Racing at the LSU Invitational, on the same venue hosting the SEC Championships two weeks later, Nugent edged out Armstrong for a 12.52 to 12.56 victory.

On the return visit to Baton Rouge for the conference meet, Nugent clocked a windy 12.49 (2.2) in the prelims and set a career best 12.43 to earn a silver medal in the final, moving to No. 6 on the all-time collegiate list.

Armstrong claimed the victory in 12.40 with Russell third at 12.47. Nugent added a fourth place in the 100 with an 11.13.

In the NCAA Outdoor final, Nugent flew down the track to earn the victory with a scintillating 12.25w (3.8), which became the collegiate all-conditions best time ever. A 12.32w for Russell claimed silver while Armstrong finished with bronze at 12.49w.

 Smith finished in the top-three spots in both the long jump and triple jump at both NCAA meets this season. She was the NCAA runner-up in the long jump and finished third in triple jump during the indoor season.

Smith dominated the long jump during the outdoor season, setting the No. 2 mark in NCAA history at the Big 12 Championships with a jump of 7.08m and went on to win the NCAA title at 6.88m. She finished as the runner-up in the triple jump at NCAA with a personal-best mark of 14.54m and became the only Longhorn, male or female, to finish in the top-two of both events at the same NCAA championships.

The Bowerman will announce the three finalists on Monday, June 26.

Come July, it will be five years since Natoya Goule set a national record of 1:56.15 over 800m in Monaco. Goule, 32, a two-time World Championship finalist might just have to break that record if she is to be on the podium in Budapest this summer.

This year, however, she might be closer than ever before given her performances so far this season. The 1:58.23 she ran in Paris on June 9, which makes her tied for third-fastest woman in the world this year, provides a glimpse into what could just be Goule's best season in her storied career.

“My season is heading into the right direction because this is the fastest (800m) time I have ever run so early in June,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

The eight-time Jamaica national champion reveals that despite being injured earlier in the season, a laser-focused approach on racing outdoors underpinned by improved training methods implemented by Coach Mark Elliott have been reaping the rewards, saying, “I worked more in the gym and my coach and I worked on my sprint mechanics. I did a lot of Olympic lifting compared to previous years.”

The improved training manifested in the form of the 51.76 she ran in the 400m at the American Track League meet in Atlanta last weekend. It is her fastest 400m time since she ran a lifetime best 51.52 in El Paso, Texas, 12 years ago.

She has also taken on other a different approach tactically and mentally from her past experiences that she believes will serve her well going forward this season.

“Trusting myself and being patient in the race,” she said. “Being an athlete, self-doubt will occur sometimes and I just need to trust myself more with the pacing of the race knowing that I am prepared for this and I am ready to accomplish my goal.”

With the national championships fast approaching, Goule has yet another opportunity to show Jamaica and the world that she could be a medal contender at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frankie Dettori farewell tour will be a long one – an international affair that is likely to roll on until the Breeders’ Cup and Melbourne Cup in winter, when the British racing scene has, even then, started to revolve around Cheltenham and Aintree.

Though the idea of a sport without Dettori will solidify in the later months, the thick of the domestic season was always going to be a poignant time for a rider who has plied his trade in England since he was a teenager.

Dettori is associated heavily with Ascot and a win at the Royal meeting, which attracts more attention than any other on the Flat, was more or less considered a given owing to the Italian’s book of rides and his ability to shine in the limelight.

On the first day of the fixture it seemed fortune was not going to comply with expectations, however. Dettori was beaten a neck on Inspiral in the Queen Anne, was second aboard Chaldean in the St James’s Palace and was second again on Absurde in the Copper Horse Handicap.

To make matters worse he was handed a nine-day suspension for his ride on the King and Queen’s Saga in the Wolferton Stakes, being adjudged by the stewards to have caused interference shortly after the start.

But Wednesday offered more chances, with another competitive book of rides, none more so than Queen’s Vase favourite Gregory, who went off at even money for John and Thady Gosden after winning both of his previous starts.

This time luck did play ball and Dettori ended any conversation about a potential Ascot drought with a convincing length-and-a-half success that drew racegoers from all over the track to watch the famous flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure.

“You get to the second-last on day two and you start to think…,” he said.

“I’ve had a few favourites and three seconds. I knew this horse was good enough, but I wasn’t so sure about his experience.

“He is very laid-back at home and I thought if he doesn’t jump he will get lost, but he jumped great, I got him to the front and I knew he would stay very well.”

He might even have found a St Leger candidate to add an extra layer of gold dust to a CV that is already bursting at the seams.

“He was like a sleeping giant in the yard, and all of a sudden he’s a Royal Ascot winner,” he said.

“Potentially he could be a nice St Leger horse for the end of the season, but John and Thady Gosden will work something out.

“It’s great, my family is here, it’s the only day they are all here, so to ride a winner is great. Ascot very kindly gave me a box for my family today and most of them are here, so I’m glad I could ride a winner in front of them.

“Now I’m chasing 80 (Royal Ascot winners), so I need two more.”

Asked whether he got a great reception, he said: “Yeah I did – of course, an even-money favourite with me on, of course you’re going to get a big reception! It was good and I’m pleased. I hope everyone was on.”

There may still be an appeal to the nine-day suspension, with Dettori taking legal advice before making a decision.

He said: “I’ve got my lawyers looking at it, I’m sad I’m missing Emily (Upjohn, favourite for the Coral-Eclipse) but it’s one of those things.

“I’m glad nobody got hurt or fell. My lawyer is looking at it, it’s that point of the race where you go into a bottleneck, the false rail is out, we all got together.

“If there is room to appeal, we will, but I’m not going to do it just to waste anybody’s time.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.