Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend notes

In a strongly-run Irish Derby earlier this afternoon, Fame And Glory gained some compensation for his Epsom defeat by beating stablemate Golden Sword five lengths.This was Aidan O'Brien's seventh Irish Derby and Johnny Murtagh's third. In post-race comments Murtagh identified the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown as a possible target for the winner. Riding in his first classic, the winning trainer's son, J P O'Brien, finished tenth of the eleven runners on 200/1 shot Byzantine.

Michael Owen's wife, Louise, has recently been gainfully employed promoting next Saturday's Coral Eclipse at Sandown. That race has been given an extra fillip with the news that Epsom Derby winner Sea The Stars now goes for that prize, having been withdrawn from the Irish Derby on account of the easy ground.

There were plenty of footballing links at Newcastle's meeting on Saturday, links Derek Thompson wasn't slow to point out. Before the Pitmen's Derby, former Magpies' player Peter Beardsley and Hull City manager Phil Brown tipped up Som Tala from the stable of ex-England international Mick Channon. The beast, a 16/1 shot, won with something in hand. Roker Park won the 2.35 and Horatio Carter the 3.45; both are owned by Sunderland fan Mr T Alderson. Roker Park was the ground Sunderland used to play at while Horati Stratton Carter, better known as Raich Carter, captained them to the league title and their first FA Cup final victory. By the way, just in case you missed it, Derek Thompson originates from these parts...

Following on from recent match-fixing posts, I'm grateful to the Wrexham Supporters Association Blog for bringing to my attention two links that add some detail to the circumstances surrounding the Histon v. Lewes game in September 2008. Cambridge News Online reported the Histon team were threatened by a gambling ring while in May 2009 the Daily Mail made reference to five non-league games that were under investigation. Of course, fixing is a worry in all sports - the first-round tie at this year's Wimbledon Championships between Jurgen Melzer and Wayne Odesnik has been been in the news and has been reported to the authorities. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for its part has welcomed the recent announcement by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe that he is to set up a Sports Betting Integrity Panel.

Mrs Tips and I were at Wimbledon on Thursday, having been allocated two Centre Court tickets through the public ballot system. The crowds were big, the weather hot - I found it all jolly tiring. I was left wondering whether the tennis product is better consumed through the medium of television. Mrs T. enjoyed it though, so I've asked her to file a report; she says she'll do that when she has fully recovered...

No comments: