Sunday 28 May 2017

In brief: O'Brien hopes fade as ban extended

Racing

Joseph O'Brien faces an uphill battle to capture the apprentice title after losing his Turf Club appeal last night against a four-day careless riding ban from Listowel -- despite having earlier had a similar two-day Dundalk suspension revoked.

And he was given an extra two days for a whip offence on Battleoftrafalgar at Listowel, so he now has to miss at least six of the remaining 15 race days.

The 17-year-old, in a three-way tie with defending champion Gary Carroll and Ben Curtis, must sit out the meetings at Cork and Naas this weekend as well as Dundalk and Navan the following week.

He also fell foul of the Curragh stewards on Monday, incurring a separate three-day suspension for excessive use of the whip on Battleoftrafalgar, whose maiden win left him sharing top spot on the 33-winner mark.

O'Brien, who has until later today to lodge an appeal on that issue, gave evidence, along with his father Aidan, during yesterday's lengthy hearing.

Boxing

NORTHERN IRELAND'S boxers will be hoping to celebrate five golds -- and a hat-trick against England -- at today's Commonwealth Games finals.

European champion Paddy Barnes, Eamon O'Kane, Patrick Gallagher, Tommy McCarthy and Steven Ward are all through to today's finals.

Gallagher, O'Kane and Ward will meet English opponents in the welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight finals, while McCarthy will fight Scottish light-heavyweight Callum Johnson.

Barnes takes on defending Commonwealth light-flyweight champion Jafet Uutoni of Namibia.

Meanwhile, world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will defend his IBF, IBO and WBO titles against Briton Dereck Chisora on December 11.

Cricket

Ireland captain William Porterfield has switched counties from Gloucestershire to championship Division 1 side Warwickshire on a three-year deal.

The 26-year-old opener topped Gloucestershire's championship averages last season with 531 runs at 37.92 in Division 2, including two big centuries. He spent three seasons in the west country.

Porterfield has played 44 one-day internationals and 17 T20s for Ireland. The Tyrone man is the second significant signing for Warwickshire in a week after securing former Pakistan captain Younis Khan.

Elsewhere, India ended day four of the second Test against Australia on top as their bowlers shone to leave the visitors on 202-7 in the second innings at stumps in Bangalore, with spinners Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh claiming three and two scalps respectively.

On a day when Sachin Tendulkar notched up his sixth Test double hundred, Ricky Ponting's 72 kept alive Australia's hopes of levelling the two-match series today as the lead reached 185.

Irish Independent

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