O'Brien surges to Dundalk double
Champion jockey Joseph O'Brien was at his strongest as he landed a double under the Dundalk floodlights on Antiquus and Our Manekineko.
The Joanna Morgan-trained Antiquus landed just the second victory of her career in the Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Rated Race.
O'Brien got her away smartly and she eventually ran clear of Under Review to win by a length and a half.
Caroline Murtagh, daughter of top jockey Johnny, came home well on the outside to finish fifth with Regal Power on her first ride in a race.
O'Brien completed his brace when driving the James Nash-trained Our Manekineko (5/1) into the lead to take the www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap (division one).
IRISH middleweight Matthew Macklin has dismissed talk that Lamar Russ is just a 'stay busy' fight ahead of another world title shot.
The Birmingham-born fighter meets the American on the Guillermo Rigondeaux versus Joe Agbeko undercard in Atlantic City tonight.
Two-time Olympic champion Rigondeaux, who is managed by Cork's Gary Hyde, puts his WBA/WBO world super bantamweight titles on the line on the HBO broadcast.
Russ was Gennady Golovkin's sparring partner before the Kazakh brutally KO'd Macklin in the third round in Connecticut in June.
World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan threatened to withdraw from next month's Masters – before stating that he has taken up his place after all.
O'Sullivan (38) earned an automatic qualifying place for the event with his Crucible triumph in May, but wrote on Twitter yesterday that he was "unsure" as to whether to appear at Alexandra Palace from January 12.
He posted: "thinking about entering the masters at ally pally – what ya think – yes or no – so unsure".
A reply from World Snooker's official account simply read "yes", and O'Sullivan wrote around an hour after his original post: "entered and done – let me entertain u ally pally".
Irish interest at the Carlton Irish Badminton Open in Baldoyle ended when Chloe Magee went out to Chinese American Beiwen Zhang in straight sets.
Magee had no answer to Zhang's range of shots and her skill around the court. Zhang will play Beatriz Corrales of Spain in today's women's singles final.
Scott Evans' bid to retain the men's singles title ended when he lost his quarter-final to German Lukas Schmidt 21-16, 19-21, 19-21.
In the doubles, both Irish pairs lost their last-eight matches. Jonathan Dolan and Sam Magee went out to Germans Fabien Holzer and Mark Lamsfuss, while in the mixed doubles, Sam Magee and Chloe Magee lost to Jacco Arends and Selena Piek of the Netherlands.
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* Due to pressure on space, both Rachel Wyse and Vincent Hogan's columns have been held over.