Saturday 17 March 2018

O'Brien strikes with Magician

RACING: AIDAN O'BRIEN struck gold in the Breeders Cup Turf last night when Magician rocketed to a sensational victory at Santa Anita.

Ryan Moore's mount flew home to snatch victory from The Fugue in the shadow of the post and collect the winners' cheque of $1,144,200.

Moore was at his coolest as he sat towards the rear in the mile-and-a-half contest on the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, with William Buick bowling along in mid-division on John Gosden's The Fugue, enjoying a perfect passage aboard the Irish Champion Stakes heroine.

Buick appeared to have all bases covered when hitting the front from last year's winner Little Mike, and although Moore began to weave his way through on Magician he had plenty of ground to make up.

O'Brien's colt still looked to have it all to do approaching the business end, but Moore had timed it to perfection, arriving in the nick of time as the line loomed, getting up to win by half a length.

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rugby: Ahead of Saturday's clash with Samoa, Jonathan Sexton remained on the bench throughout as Biarritz produced a massive upset which belied their position at the bottom of the Top 14 table by beating Racing Metro 9-6 in a scrappy affair.

After the player returned to Paris on Friday evening, Ireland boss Joe Schmidt had expressed concerned about his out-half's condition when his club asked him to report for duty for what would have been his 14th match in 13 weeks.

Schmidt admitted that Sexton was "flat" when he arrived from France last week and added that Ian Madigan and Paddy Jackson are on standby to start if the former Leinster out-half is not 100pc next week.

The New Zealander also warned that availability for Tuesday's training session marked the cut-off point for selection for the Samoa clash.

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Gaelic Games: Cork's Graham Canty has announced his retirement from inter-county football. During his 13-year career Canty captained Cork to the All-Ireland title, won three National League titles, four Munster Senior Football Championships and three All Star awards.

The 32-year-old follows Noel O'Leary and Paudie Kissane into retirement. However, Canty will continue to play with his club, Bantry Blues.

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Shinty-Hurling: Ireland claimed the honours in wet and windy conditions with a 1-15 to 0-14 victory over Scotland at Bught Park, Inverness yesterday. A Patrick 'Bonner' Maher goal eight minutes into the second half proved vital.

A Glen McKintosh point had handed Scotland an 0-11 to 0-10 interval lead, following an opening half dominated by two-pointers from Kevin Bartlett, with Neil McManus doing the bulk of Ireland's scoring from placed balls.

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basketball: In the first of three meetings (the two meet in back-to-back cup games) this month Killester turned in a strong second-half performance against Star with Jonathan Grennell's men recording an 87-63 win at the IWA.

Moycullen centre Mike Callaghan (28pts), meanwhile, turned in another big score as the visitors overcame fellow strugglers Templeogue on a 83-78 scoreline.

Mazvydas Cepliauskas (19pts) featured prominently for Dublin Inter who, after a tough run against the big three in Munster, registered their third victory, 88-78 away to Marian.

UCD now face Demons in the first of their two-legged cup affair next Sunday. Demons maintained their unbeaten run on Friday with a 101-75 win at home to rivals Neptune.

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formula 1: Red Bull locked out the front row of the grid for today's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but it was Mark Webber and not Sebastian Vettel who secured pole position.

Four-time World champion Vettel had set the pace for the majority of the weekend and had topped the time sheets until Webber's final qualifying run, as the Australian set a time of one minute and 39.957 seconds to take just his second pole of the year.

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hockey: There were no major shocks in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup with Banbridge topping the high-scoring chart in the men's ties, beating home side Cork Harlequins 8-0. Glenanne, Monkstown, UCD and Fingal all advanced to keep up Leinster's involvement.

UCD women, meanwhile, clocked up the highest tally with a 10-1 win over Corinthians while holders Railway Union also showed little mercy for fledging side North Kildare with a 9-0 win.

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Athletics: Catherina McKiernan will join hundreds of walkers, joggers and runners in the second annual Remembrance Run 5k which takes place in the Phoenix Park on Sunday next.

Remembrance Run 5k –organised by Athletics Ireland in association with – is a unique event that gives participants an opportunity to remember family and friends passed, or others who may be currently struggling with illness or other life challenges.

"I will be running in the Remembrance Run 5k with my daughter Deirbhile in memory my father John, who passed away on September 4," McKiernan said. "Running with my daughter will be my way of saying thanks to my father for being such a powerful driving force behind my career.''

Entry and other details are available at

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