Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment

first_img The Willie Mullins-trained grey has won twice and finished second in three visits to the meeting. He currently has three entries with the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase seen as the most likely option. Ruby Walsh believes Champagne Fever’s course form will be an asset when he lines-up at the Cheltenham Festival. If he does drop down to two miles, instead of going for the Ryanair Chase or the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, then Walsh expects Champagne Fever to be in the mix despite taking on top-class opposition headed by Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre, the last two winners of the race. “He’s in good form. Until he’s declared I suppose you never know, but that (Queen Mother) looks like where he’s going,” Walsh told Racing UK. “There are a few class horses in there – Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy. They are very good horses and both have had difficult campaigns. “Dodging Bullets is the standard bearer and Mr Mole is a massive improver, but Champagne Fever’s record over two miles is very good – two from three and he was impressive last week so in what looks an open enough contest, he’d be a very good ride.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Doheny Library evacuated after students sprayed with fire extinguisher

first_imgA man wielding a fire extinguisher sprayed students and damaged property in Doheny Library Friday evening before being taken into custody by police.The event is not related to a fatal stabbing on campus only an hour and a half prior.According to the LAPD dispatch, officers responded to reports of a man moving through the library with the extinguisher just before 6 p.m. DPS evacuated the library and apprehended the suspect shortly thereafter. At least three victims were treated for breathing complications resulting from the extinguisher. A USC alumna, who asked that her name not be used to protect her privacy, said she was studying on the bottom floor of the library when she saw white powder appearing out of the corner of her eye. When she looked up, a man dressed in black sprayed her in the face with the extinguisher. She described him as looking “completely calm,” and said she was thankful that he had not been armed. “I ran up the stairs and was screaming for someone to call 911,” the alumna said. “It got all blurry and I was waiting to get hit by a bullet – but I’m so thankful to be alive right now.” The witness said that she had seen the same male about 30 minutes earlier, walking around outside the library and flipping benches over. She said he had appeared calm throughout.last_img read more

‘Thunder and lightning’ backfield key to West Virgina’s offense without Will Grier

first_imgPowered by the arm of senior quarterback Will Grier, West Virginia boasted the ninth-most-prolific scoring offense (42.3 points per game). But during the Camping World Bowl, the Mountaineers will be without their offensive leader, who will sit out to prepare for the NFL draft.With Grier and standout offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste sidelined, the No. 16 Mountaineers (8-3, 6-3 Big 12) may have to rely on their junior tailbacks — Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway — to keep up with No. 20 Syracuse (9-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast). McKoy, a physical runner, averages 66.27 yards on 11.6 carries a game, and Pettaway, a more shifty back, has the ability to stretch runs to the outside. Through the pair, SU head coach Dino Babers still expects the WVU offense to be “explosive.” “Even with their two players (not) playing, I don’t think the point spread has changed,” Babers said.During the regular season, WVU’s high-flying offense relied extensively on Grier’s ability to make plays down the field. It averaged the third-most passing yards per game (358.1) while its rushing offense ranked 74th.Even though just over 68 percent of the Mountaineers total yards came from the air, WVU’s backs supplemented Grier. Brian Flynn, who served as McKoy’s offensive coordinator at North Davidson High School in North Carolina, says Pettaway and McKoy complement each other “like thunder and lightning.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDale Sparks | West Virginia AthleticsMcKoy often lines up alongside the quarterback in the shotgun or behind him in the pistol. WVU will also split him out into the slot to create a mismatch against a linebacker, which allows him to use his versatility as a physical, “downhill” runner in both the running and passing game, Flynn said. Pettaway, McKoy’s backfield partner, wears No. 32 in memory of his older brother, Devinne, who unexpectedly passed away in 2008 because of cardiomyopathy — a previously undetected enlarged heart. He has 12 pounds on McKoy and makes defenders miss with “good cuts” coming from his agility and footwork, McKoy said. “(Pettaway) is dynamic, man,” Tyrone Spencer, one of Pettaway’s high school coaches said. “When the ball gets in his hands, he makes some plays.”As the season progressed, the Mountaineers committed to the run more, McKoy said. Pettaway scored all six of his touchdowns in the final five games, and McKoy found the end zone five times in WVU’s last three contests. In the Mountaineers’ last regular season game, Pettaway carried the ball 15 times for 76 yards and two touchdowns in West Virginia’s eventual 59-56 loss to Oklahoma.Pettaway and McKoy may be the key to keeping senior quarterback Eric Dungey and his SU offense off the field. Syracuse has struggled at times this season at preventing big running plays because players in the secondary have had trouble bringing down running backs with a head of steam. Cajuste’s absence may also affect the running game, as a backup offensive lineman will be tasked with protecting WVU’s passers and opening holes for Pettaway and McKoy. Since the Mountaineers won’t have their star quarterback under center, Babers said the Orange have had to game plan for “everything.” With SU allowing 163.8 rushing yards per game, 63rd in the country, the Orange may load the box and commit to stopping the run. But no matter how Syracuse plans to stop the run, Pettaway and McKoy’s approaches won’t change.“Our biggest thing is to just take what the defense gives us,” McKoy said “… I guess we’ll have to find out.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm Contact Danny: dremerma@syr.edu | @DannyEmermanlast_img read more

Can Novak Djokovic win all four Grand Slam titles this year?

first_imgWe look at the prospects of Novak Djokovic becoming only the third man in history to win all four Grand Slams in a season after his latest dismantling of Andy Murray.–World number one Novak Djokovic heads into the European clay court season in ominous form after his victory over Andy Murray in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday.Djokovic looks in such command of his game and his opponents that there is already the feeling he could enjoy a similar year to his remarkable 2011, where he won 41 straight matches and claimed three of the Grand Slam titles.The Serb, who won at both Indian Wells and the Australian Open, was asked after Sunday’s victory if he felt that kind of streak was on the horizon. While he was careful not to make bold predictions, his response revealed his confidence. Andy Murray fades again as Novak Djokovic wins fifth title”I hope so, but it’s just the beginning. I don’t want to predict anything. I don’t want to put some additional unnecessary pressure on myself,” he said. “There is already a lot of expectations of course. Everywhere I go I have to deal with it.”But he is enjoying the moment.”I could not ask for a better start of the season, winning three big titles,” he said. “Hopefully I’m able to use this for the clay court coming up. That’s extremely important for me obviously leading up to French Open.”MURRAY ON NOVAKCertainly Murray, who has now lost his last seven encounters with Djokovic, sees little weakness in his rival’s game. “He serves well, he runs well, he moves exceptionally well. Physically he’s in great shape; he hits the ball well off both sides,” the Scot said.”So, yeah, he does most things on the tennis court well. That’s why he’s the number one player in the world.”Djokovic will be 28 next month and knows that he needs to take full advantage of his current form to add to his tally of eight Grand Slam tournament wins – five in Australia, two at Wimbledon and the 2011 US Open.”I’m trying to enjoy the moment and also utilise this time of my career where I’m probably playing the tennis of my life and I’m feeling confident and physically fit,” he said.”I am aware that this cannot go forever. There is going to be eventually a change of generations, some players that are going to start playing better and be stronger. “But until that time comes, I’m going to try to stay as long as I can on the top and fight for biggest titles.”WHO HAS DONE IT BEFORE?Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have career Grand Slams to their name, but winning all four of the sport’s biggest events in one year remains a feat of mind-boggling proportions.Don Budge did it in 1938 while Rod Laver snared all four in 1962 and 1969 – he has a court named after him in Melbourne to mark his contribution – but neither of those two men had to compete with Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Murray, four of the greatest figures to pick up a racket who have somehow been thrown together to snarl across the net at each other in his golden era of tennis.Nadal intimated that the season feat was impossible when he lifted the US Open two years ago. “To win all four Grand Slams in one year I think today is impossible for anyone. That`s my feeling.”Djokovic could be the one man who could prove such a prediction wrong. He was one short in 2011, but at the peak of his powers in 2015, Djoker could easily go one better this year.–last_img

As GM meetings approach, Angels’ Billy Eppler not likely to be shopping for high-priced pitchers

first_imgExpect the Angels to remain interested observers, rather than fierce bidders, when it comes to the pitching market this winter.As General Manager Billy Eppler was preparing to head for next week’s GM meetings in Orlando, he reiterated that the primary goal is finding more bats.“We’d still like to address more offense,” Eppler said, “while keeping an eye open on the pitching market, both starting and relieving.”Eppler said the Angels will “look for value, similar to what we did last year,” when it comes to adding pitching. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If that sounds like the Angels will be on the sidelines when it comes to the pursuit of marquee starters like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta or Shohei Otani or closer Wade Davis, it’s probably a fair assessment.Never one to paint himself into a corner, Eppler left some wiggle room that they still may end up acquiring an established pitcher: “You can get good deals on a Mercedes. It’s possible. You just understand what you’re willing to allocate toward a certain player, and if your expectation and their expectation intersect, you try to get something done.”While it may disappoint many fans that Eppler views pitching as a secondary need, it’s understandable. Eppler believes the Angels have plenty of good pitchers. The problem was they weren’t healthy last year.As of now, starters Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker, Nick Tropeano and Parker Bridwell are all fully cleared. JC Ramirez, who underwent stem-cell therapy to treat a sore elbow, has another ultrasound scheduled for the end of this month, after which the Angels are hoping he too will be cleared.“I feel good about it because of what we were able to see from Garrett down the stretch and Andrew coming back and showing where he’s at from a health perspective,” Eppler said. “Last year we didn’t know we’d have Heaney and we knew we wouldn’t have Tropeano.”center_img Ramirez, who was a reliever, and Bridwell, was with the Baltimore Orioles, are both additions to the starting pitcher depth chart from a year ago.“There are a number of names there for us that we did not have last year,” said Eppler, who added prospects Jaime Barria, Osmer Morales and Vicente Campos into the mix to help in 2018.Obviously, most of those pitchers have been question marks because of injuries or even mixed performance. But Eppler appears to believe that there is enough quantity there that they can piece together a winning rotation.As for the bullpen, two of the Angels most valuable relievers in 2017 — Yusmeiro Petit and Bud Norris — are free agents. Eppler said it’s too early in the process to know if either will be back.Otherwise, the top holdovers for the bullpen include Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian, Jose Alvarez, Keynan Middleton, Noe Ramirez and Blake Wood. Although Ramirez and Wood made only September cameos with the Angels, their combined 32 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings have Eppler feeling good about their role going forward.While there are plenty of pitching names on the Angels’ board that they like, they still have at least one gaping hole — at second base — on the offensive depth chart, which is why that’s where Eppler believes the resources are best spent now. The Angels also could upgrade at third or first.Otani, of course, could help the pitching and the offense.Otani has starred on the mound and at the plate in Japan. The Nippon Ham Fighters announced on Friday that he will be made available to major league teams this winter, and he’s hired a U.S.-based agent.Eppler wouldn’t say how hard the Angels would go after Otani, since he’s not even officially available yet. The process of signing him won’t be simply a matter of offering the most money, though. Under the terms of baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, Otani, 23, falls under the same rules as international amateurs, so his bonus is limited by the international spending pools. No team has more than about $3 million left, and the Angels have less than $1 million.That means Otani’s decision is likely to come down to where he wants to play, which could be based on a franchise’s history with Japanese players, his marketing opportunities and a club’s willingness to let him play both ways.With Albert Pujols locked in as the Angels’ designated hitter, it would seem to limit the team’s flexibility to let Otani hit regularly.AlsoEppler said the Angels are still having conversations about hiring a new third base coach to replace Ron Roenicke, who left to be the Boston Red Sox bench coach…Sal Fasano, the Angels’ Double-A manager, left to become the catching coach for the Atlanta Braves.last_img read more

Dodgers win tense, wild one over San Francisco Giants

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner was walking off the field in the seventh inning Monday when a disagreement erupted. The cause: Yasiel Puig, having run out a groundout, was looking at him.“Don’t look at me,” Bumgarner said to Puig, walking off the field.“What?” Puig appeared to bark back, then wondered aloud what Bumgarner intended to do. If his intention was to provoke a benches-clearing incident, Bumgarner succeeded. If his intention was to convince his manager to remove him from the game, he did that too. And if Bumgarner simply wanted to add drama to a 1-0 game, equal parts crapshooter and provocateur, then maybe he went out on his own terms. Unfortunately for him, the Giants have no closer and the Dodgers went out on their terms too, staging a ninth-inning rally to win 2-1 before the announced crowd of 43,435 at Dodger Stadium.Both teams have 12 games remaining in the regular season, including five against each other. The Dodgers have a five-game lead in the National League West. Their magic number to eliminate the Giants in the division race is seven.Don’t look now, but the Dodgers can clinch a playoff berth this week. “When the benches clear, everyone gets fired up,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “I guess it makes you want it more.”With Bumgarner out of the game, the Dodgers rallied for four hits and two runs against three pitchers in the ninth inning. Adrian Gonzalez delivered the game-winning hit against Hunter Strickland, a fly ball that caromed off the glove of right fielder Hunter Pence as he leaped on the warning track.The San Francisco bullpen has blown 30 saves this season, including eight in the month of September. So why did Bruce Bochy remove Bumgarner after the heated incident with Puig?“He and I talked,” Bochy said. “I’ll leave it at that.”The near-brawl renewed a rivalry between two teams that began their existence in New York in the 1900s. It also continued a narrative that seems to follow Bumgarner. After a benches-clearing incident earlier this year in San Diego, Bumgarner told reporters that he “just wanted to be mad for a minute.”Such was the case again Monday, or so it seemed.“There’s a history there between those two,” Turner said of Puig and Bumgarner. “I guess looking at someone or staring in that direction might offend some people.”Said Gonzalez, “if everybody just minds their own business and goes to the dugout and comes out, nothing happens. I think it was just a matter of some people not walking to their dugout like they should have.”Where, though, is the fun in that? Certainly the Dodgers had no fun against Bumgarner. Though he hit two batters, the left-hander allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings, a harmless double by Puig. Bumgarner did not walk a batter and struck out 10.Clayton Kershaw was nearly equal to the task.The 28-year-old left-hander allowed three hits, all singles, in six innings, walking one batter and striking out seven. With the pitcher’s spot due to lead off the seventh inning, Kershaw was removed in favor of pinch-hitter Rob Segedin. He threw 88 pitches — the most he’s thrown in three starts since returning from a long detour on disabled list.The Giants broke through in the third inning when Eduardo Nunez reached on an infield single, stole second base, went to third base on a throwing error by Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, then trotted home on a wild pitch that bounced to the backstop.“I’ve got to do a better job on that pitch to (Angel) Pagan,” Kershaw said. “That was pretty impossible to block. There’s nothing you can do.”Holding onto a 1-0 lead, Giants needed two relievers, Will Smith and Derek Law, to get through the eighth inning unscathed. Pinch-hitter Andrew Toles lined a single to right field against Law to begin the ninth inning. Southpaw Javier Lopez, a left-handed specialist, was summoned from the bullpen to face Seager, who squirted a ground ball under the glove of diving Giants second baseman Joe Panik.Strickland was the next man out of the ‘pen. The burly right-hander allowed the single to Turner that scored Toles from third base. The next batter, Gonzalez, belted a curveball to the warning track in right field. Pence hesitated to recover the baseball, and Seager scored all the way from second base with a superfluous slide.For the second time, the Dodgers’ dugout emptied onto the field — this time, to embrace each other.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

England Golf invites applicants for university scholarships

first_img England Golf is pleased to announce that a limited number of university scholarships are available for talented young amateurs attending British universities.The annual golf scholarship of £3,000 aims to help support English players of national standard at a time when the pressure on personal finances often prevents many players from competing at the highest levels of the amateur game.Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s Director of Coaching, commented, “The recent increase in tuition fees and the financial demands on students are often a deterrent for some of our best amateur golfers, it makes it very difficult for them to commit to a high performance amateur programme. Many of our better players that wish to continue their studies are often successful in attracting scholarships from U.S. colleges and compete successfully in the NCAA divisions. Whilst the option of studying in America will always be the right decision for many, there is no doubt the standard of amateur golf in British universities has improved. The aim of the England Golf University Scholarship is to assist the best amateurs in British universities to continue to improve and to give them every chance of breaking in to the full England team.”The closing date for prospective applicants for the 2012/13 academic year is Friday 31st August 2012. 9 Jul 2012 England Golf invites applicants for university scholarships last_img read more

Okay Yokuslu plays it all since the visit of his agent

first_imgThis Sunday Okay will start again against Seville and the ottoman revealed that he could change partners in the core. In yesterday’s session he formed a partner with Filip Bradaric: “It was the first time we played together and we did very well.” The one sacrificed for the Croatian’s debut would be Fran Beltrán.Improvement. “In the last two games I have been much better,” acknowledges the Turk, who before the Eibar and the Valencia It set two sensational performances. Despite the bad Celtic streak, Okay is also satisfied with the team’s performance: “In recent weeks we have played very well. We just need to score goals.”“I’m not a politician, I just want to talk about football”During his first campaign in Vigo the 25-year-old midfielder was only news for football reasons, unlike his countryman Emre Mor However, last fall two extra-sport episodes placed him in the eye of the hurricane. At the conclusion of the match played with Turkey in ParisOkay and his companions made a military salute in support of the bombings carried out by their country on Kurdish territory in northern Syria. “I am not a politician, I just want to talk about football. That is past,” he limited himself yesterday to answering the midfielder when he was reminded of that controversy. The Ottoman also had to face the question of why his photos with Celta had disappeared from his social networks during the weeks he did not enjoy minutes in LaLiga: “It was a reaction after a game, a personal reaction. I never stopped work. There were offers, although they were not official. I said no. Here I am happy. “ The pivot broke his silence yesterday and in his first press conference in Spanish he pointed out that his role change in the team was due to a talk held with Oscar Garcia: “The coach told me how I had to work.” At the beginning of December the season of Okay Yokuslu He lived a turning point. His agent visited the soccer player and the club in Vigo. Although the midfielder had not had minutes for a month and a half, his representative left the olivine city, assuring ACE that that week was going to be headline before the Leganés. Said and done. Since then the Turk has not missed a minute in The league and returns to be the leader of the center of the celestial field.last_img read more

Embracing fatherhood – ‘Family man’ Mattocks ready for commitment

first_imgHelping Jamaica to a 2018 FIFA World Cup berth may be high on his agenda, but Reggae Boyz and Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks has other things on his mind these days. Mattocks, a former schoolboy star with Bridgeport High School, is looking forward to becoming a first-time father. The 25-year-old, who is currently in Jamaica on a break from his professional duties in the Major League Soccer (MLS), beamed with excitement as he confirmed the news. He noted that he is anxiously awaiting the birth of his firstborn, expected to be delivered later this year. “The child is not yet born,” a smiling Mattocks told Saturday Sports during a Red Stripe Premier League match between his former local club Waterhouse and Montego Bay United earlier this week. Clearly in high spirits, Mattocks, who has scored 12 goals in 31 appearances for the Reggae Boyz, says he feels absolutely ready for the commitment. “I think from a young age, I have been a responsible person as I have been living on my own since age 18,” said Mattocks. “As I get older, there are different things I want in life, and this is one of them. I’m looking forward to being a father for the first time,” Mattocks noted, while sharing a bit about his relationship with his significant other. “I’m with a special female. She is a wonderful person, someone to spend my life with, so I’m really excited. I know that I’m going to do a very good job. I take care of my entire family, so this (baby) is an extension,” he said. Mattock is a graduate of Bridgeport High in Portmore and also spent two years at Akron University in the United States. He was drafted into the MLS in 2012 and has represented Vancouver Whitecaps based in Canada since. He has made 93 appearances and scored 19 times for the MLS outfit.last_img read more

Preparing for Afcon 2017: The Beginning

first_imgLFA President Musa Bility may have the ability to dream big and like many other ambitious persons, need to be told that there is a price to pay if any ambitious project would become successful.At the recent take-all at the LFA elections, he told visiting CAF member and others in Buchanan that Liberia would be at the finals of the African Cup of Nations in 2017.Today, the presence of many radio stations make the transmission of information widely achievable but the question is how many remember what was said yesterday to hold speakers accountable for their actions? How many remember correctly what was said at the last LFA elections?So with the dismissals of the senior and junior national teams from all CAF and FIFA competitions, Musa Bility now has the chance to make his dream come true if he plans properly, with 2017 Afcon as his target.The national team represents Liberia at the Afcon and the World Cup levels. There are also the Under 20 and U-17 versions where several West African countries have made major achievements.In fact Nigerian and Ghanaian junior national teams have made great impacts that they are always mentioned by FIFA and CAF, and less successful nations have been asked to emulate their examples. In fact most of the players who have succeeded in the junior World Cup levels have moved up to Europe.How come that Nigeria and Ghana could do it and we are not able to do it? What is the problem? Do we not have more soccer talents in this country? Admittedly, a country that could produce super stars like George Weah and James Salinsa Debbah should be able to produce more.True, there are abundant of players, skillful ones, too who, when properly groomed, can make all the difference. Please note I said when they are properly groomed. But the problem is, due to circumstances of war and its resultant negative impact, many young boys are active in what their brothers in the last generation waited till they were mature enough to get involved: women and booze.For example, if a member of the U-20 national team has a child, it means that the LFA will have a problem to request discipline from him. After all he is a father and a parent and not a child anymore. And there is a level that a coach or an administrator can instruct him to accept discipline, which is the case of the Liberian experience. How do you instruct a man with a family, though 18 or 19, to be told how much he would be paid, without the player requesting how much he must be paid?The impossible issue here is that such a player would need funds for his family before embarking on any assignment abroad. Since many a young player is no longer a child but a parent, it means if Bility’s LFA will be successful in preparing a team for the 2017 African Nations Cup, then his best bet will be in the younger generation.To begin with, the LFA must recruit from the lower divisions to build a team for the next two years. And with all due respect the recent document prepared by its technical department under Henry Brown must be followed to the letter.It is extremely disheartening that despite many skillful young players in Liberia, we are not able to gather the best for the defense of the nation in soccer. Team Bility must begin the new transformation from the beginning.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more