Monday 14 October 2019

Stewards hand bonus to Mullins

There was controversy aplenty at Sligo last night when Willie Mullins claimed a 1-2 in the featured conditions hurdle after the intervention of the stewards.

The Mark McNiff-trained Seskinane ran out a decisive winner of the two-and-a-half-mile contest, but jockey Derek Fox was deemed to have impeded Twigline when making his move rounding the home turn and was disqualified.

This meant the spoils went to second-placed On His Own (evens), which finished just ahead of stablemate Twigline. Fox was subsequently banned for 10 days for dangerous riding.

Another well-backed favourite, Miss Palm (5/2) struck for trainer Darrell Deacon in the opening mares' maiden hurdle under Barry Geraghty before the Andrew Lynch-trained Zabana (13/8) edged out Sunsetstorise by a length in the Brendan Morris Memorial Maiden Hurdle.

Favourite-backers had further cause to cheer when Christy Roche's Stop The Clock (13/8) landed the Ellen's Pub Maugherow Handicap Hurdle.

AUSTRALIA have suffered an injury blow with first-choice winger Digby Ioane unlikely to start the first test against the Lions after undergoing a knee operation.

The 27-year-old had looked a certainty to make the team – having scored 11 tries in 34 Tests since his debut in 2007 – and was showing good form in Super Rugby.

Ioane injured the joint in the Queensland Reds' loss to South Africa's Cheetahs last weekend and is now "touch and go" for the June 22 Test in Brisbane, according to the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

Coach Robbie Deans has named him in his preliminary 25-man squad for the series, and Ioane is the most experienced of three specialist wingers alongside Nick Cummins and Joe Tomane.

The versatility of Australia's backline players means Adam Ashley-Cooper and James O'Connor are also options on the wing, while uncapped full-back Israel Folau could also come into contention as he has played wing in rugby league internationals.

World No 7 Juan Martin Del Potro has pulled out of next week's French Open after failing to recover from a virus.

The Argentinian, who reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year, flew home after losing to Benoit Paire in the Rome Masters last 16 last week.

"I am sad to miss such an important tournament, one that you always dream of winning," Del Potro stated.

Del Potro is the second top-10 player to withdraw from the French Open, which starts on Sunday, after Andy Murray announced he would miss the tournament because of a back injury.

Former world No 7 Mardy Fish, 41st in the ATP rankings, has also pulled out.

Irish Independent

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