Wednesday 25 April 2018

Equestrian: Swail maintains top form in Toronto

Conor Swail's run of fabulous form continued at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, where he secured a win and three strong placings.

The Dublin-based rider who hails from Crossgar, Co Down, won the World Cup Qualifier with Game Ready at the recent Washington International fixture. And at the Canadian fixture he started out with a win with the same horse in Tuesday's international opener.

He then steered Ariana into third in the Power and Speed competition, before bringing Game Ready out once again to clinch fourth spot in the $100,000 Toronto World Cup Qualifier won by America's McLain Ward and Rothchild. Swail's time was good enough for the win, but a pole down in the jump-off pushed him down the order this time around.

He was back in business again when third with Arista in the McKee International Challenge.

* The Green Glens Eques-trian Centre in Millstreet will host the European Pony Champion-ships next year from July 16-20.

A razor-sharp Roger Federer got back to winning ways at the ATP World Tour finals with a 6-4 6-3 defeat of Richard Gasquet to keep his last-four chances alive.

Under pressure after losing to favourite Novak Djokovic in his opening Group B match, the six-times former champion looked much more like his old majestic self.

Despite losing the opening six points, the 17-times grand slam champion quickly found his stride and treated the large Swiss contingent in the capacity crowd to some silky drop shots and his usual array of flowing passes.

Second seed Djokovic beat Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 3-6 6-3 in last night's other Group B match to guarantee his place in the semi-finals.

England have selected a new front-row of Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley and David Wilson for tomorrow's match against Argentina at Twickenham.

Marler replaces loosehead Mako Vunipola, who started the 20-13 victory over Australia, but been sidelined by a knee ligament strain.

Hartley comes in for Tom Youngs at hooker, while Wilson is promoted to the starting XV ahead of Dan Cole, who drops to the bench alongside Youngs and Alex Corbisiero.

The fourth change, and the only adjustment to the backline, sees Ben Foden named on the left wing after Marland Yarde and Christian Wade were ruled out through injury.

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Irish Independent

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