** Thursday 3 May 2018 Sport telegraph.co.uk/sport RO M A 4 - 2 L I V E R P O O L ( LI V E R P O O L W I N 7- 6 O N AG G ) Roman heroes Liverpool survive late scare to reach final in Kiev Klopp: We must now go on and beat Real Madrid Furious backlash Angry fans hit out at Sale’s bid to sign Irish pair ed Brailsford shock ‘I have considered resigning as head of Team Sky’ Rugby Union, pages 11-13 Page 10 2 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Football Liverpool’s final chance after C H A M P I ON S L E AGU E S E M I-F I NA L 4 Roma Milner 16 og, Dzeko 52, Nainggolan 87, 90 pen 2 Liverpool Mane 9, Wijnaldum 26 Liverpool win 7-6 on agg. Att: 61,889 Jason Burt CHIEF FOOTBALL ALL CORRESPONDENT ENT at the Stadio Olimpico The clock ticked slowly, the time almost suspended. In the Eternal City, it was an incredible, nerveshredded, almost eternal occasion, but Liverpool have what they will believe is their hour of destiny: they are in the Champions League final where they will face Real Madrid. These two grand clubs are imbued with such rich European history that it is a final to savour, and not least because both glory in attack, rather than defence. Jurgen Klopp’s full-throttle football will be taking on the self-proclaimed, revved-up kings of this competition, hoping to deny them a third successive Champions League trophy. Long after the end here, with the large wedge of 5,000 Liverpool fans held back for their own safety, the players broke through the ranks of officials to celebrate with them. Captain Jordan Henderson asked for a banner dedicated to Sean Cox, the Anfield supporter who remains in a coma after being so viciously attacked, to be handed over so they could unfurl it. After that, Mohamed Salah emerged on his own with the fans singing their song about their Egyptian king. Salah did not score in this match, but it felt like everyone else did. Such is the high-wire nature of Liverpool’s football that Roma, unbelievably, eventually fell just one goal short of forcing extra time – something no one envisaged, surely – and turning around the emphatic score from the first leg. At the final whistle, the Liverpool players slumped to the turf, spent, emotionally and physically, as Klopp sprinted on in celebration. Match data Roma 60 6 15 7 10 3 526 81 6 100 Liverpool Possession % Shots on target Shots off target Corners Fouls committed Offsides Total passes Pass success % Tackles Tackles won % 40 5 1 3 14 5 373 69 13 54 “It sounds crazy because it is crazy,” the manager said of the scoreline, the feelings, the scene, and coming through from a Champions League play-off to the final. Ultimately, it was a pyrrhic victory for the Romans but even with just a couple of minutes to go it was unbearably tense. It could have been even worse had Roma been awarded another penalty that they should have got (maybe they could have had two more?) soon after scoring their second goal, when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled. After the celebrations Klopp will have to dwell on his team’s sloppy defending and not least how Roma – through Stephan El Shaarawy – mercilessly attacked 19-year-old Alexander-Arnold. There’s no doubt Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will have taken note, although Virgil Van Dijk and Andrew Robertson were both excellent. It meant this semi-final accrued 13 goals – the most ever in a match at this stage of the competition – while, gloriously, Liverpool have scored 46 goals in this wonderful campaign, more than any team ever. And, at the end of it all, Liverpool reached their first Champions League final in 11 years, and their eighth in all, and are the first Premier League side to contest the final since Chelsea in 2012. They deserve to be in Kiev on May 26 for what will be a re-run of the 1981 final. Liverpool won that in Paris and, as then, will not fear Real. Do not expect another 1-0 though. This semi-final brought Liverpool back to the stadium where they won the European Cup for the fourth time in eight years, in 1984, and against the club they beat that day, on Bruce Grobbelaar’s spaghetti legs penalties, in Roma. Liverpool also won their first European Cup here, in 1977, and while respectful of the past Klopp had urged his players not to dwell on it. Yet his declaration that “no one remembers losers” would have proved spectacularly wrong if they had blown it. They were never going to dwell on the statistic that Roma went into this match having not conceded a goal at home in the Champions League all season and not, in fact, since February 2016. That proud record went in nine minutes as Liverpool scored a trademark goal of counter-attacking purpose, precision and coolness. It also stemmed from an error by Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, who inexplicably played a pass infield straight to Roberto Firmino who snaffled it up, strode forward and picked out Sadio Mane as he peeled away to his left and was Job done: Liverpool players celebrate after surviving a nervous finish to seal their place in the final; and (right) Jurgen Klopp savours the moment with Roberto Firmino (left) and Danny Ings The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 ** 13-goal thriller afforded the space to steer his shot beyond home goalkeeper Allison. So, was this tie already over? Soon there was another Liverpool player on the scoresheet. Just as it seemed hope had already gone for Roma they profited from an own goal. It seemed innocuous enough when El Shaarawy headed back a deep cross, with Dejan Lovren hoisting his clearance – only for the ball to smash into James Milner’s head and rebound into the net. It was cruel luck for Liverpool and re-fired Italian belief, driving up the decibels and the desperation. That belief stemmed from the quarter-final comeback when they were 4-1 down to Barcelona and won 3-0 through what coach Eusebio Di Francesco called a “miracle”. Did Liverpool need some divine intervention? Well, they got it. They scored another goal and the inadvertent involvement was that of Edin Dzeko who tried to head a corner clear under pressure from Van Dijk but sent it back towards his own goal where Georginio Wijnaldum stole forward to nod home and restore Liverpool’s lead and extend their advantage. It was Wijnaldum’s first away from home for Liverpool. Good timing. Roma had to push on and did so with El Shaarawy cutting inside and shooting, with his deflected effort smacking off a post. Then there was controversy. Firstly, Dzeko was brought down by Loris Karius, who could have been red-carded, but instead of a penalty Dzeko was flagged offside. It was an extremely tight call. Minutes later El Shaarawy’s close-range shot was blocked by Alexander-Arnold with an outstretched arm. But still no penalty was given. Before that, Roma had drawn level when danger man El Shaarawy cut inside and forced Karius to push out a curling shot, with the rebound dropping to Dzeko, who drove it smartly back across the goalkeeper. The clock ticked. Slowly. Karius was beaten again when the ball was squared to Nainggolan, outside the area and he drove a superb shot in off the post. Liverpool nerves were stretched to breaking and, in injury time, substitute Ragnar Klavan was punished for handball as he cut out a crosscum-shot. Nainggolan powered home the penalty. Surely Roma could not do it? Finally, though, time did run out. It was the last kick. Man marking By Sam Dean Roma 4-3-3 Liverpool 4-3-3 6 Alisson Appeared hesitant as Mane raced through for Liverpool’s opener, but did make amends soon after with a fine save from close range. 6 Loris Karius Could do nothing about Milner’s own goal but will blame himself for palming El Shaarawy’s shot into the path of Dzeko, who scored. 5 Alessandro Florenzi Overpowered whenever he was confronted by Mane or Robertson. Limited in possession and posed minimal threat in attack. 5 Trent Alexander-Arnold Looked nervy and lost the elusive El Shaarawy more than once. Blocked a certain goal with a hand. 6 Federico Fazio Disappeared from sight for Liverpool’s second, when he was caught beneath the ball. Needed the help of Manolas to shackle Salah. 6 Dejan Lovren A little frantic, and could have done better with the clearance that struck Milner’s face. Booked for a challenge on El Shaarawy. 6 Kostas Manolas Lucky to get away with a ludicrous push on Mane early on, but did more than anyone to thwart the Liverpool strike force. 8 Virgil van Dijk If Liverpool had two Van Dijks, they would probably never concede again. A defensive leader who shackled everyone. 6 Aleksandar Kolarov Could not get forward too often, but still played a series of fine passes from deep. Allowed Roma to control the left flank. 7 Andrew Robertson Slid through the gears with a couple of breathless runs down the left wing. Utterly dominant in his contest with Schick. 5 Lorenzo Pellegrini Had minimal impact with the ball, while a comically bad free-kick encapsulated Roma’s early struggles. Hooked early in the second half. 7 Georginio Wijnaldum In for the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and scored his first away goal for Liverpool. Composed and dynamic. 6 Daniele De Rossi A classy operator in possession, playing passes from deep. Far less comfortable without it, though. Overrun by Liverpool’s attacking trio. 6 Jordan Henderson Busy and bustling, but never found his passing range in a disjointed game that did not settle into any rhythm. A professional display. 6 Radja Nainggolan His horrific misplaced pass opened the door for Mane’s early goal. Long-range strike and late penalty changed nothing. 7 James Milner Painfully unlucky with the own goal but otherwise as energetic and mature as he has been throughout this European run. 5 Patrik Schick His finest work came deep in his own half as he struggled to make an impact against the leftsided defensive duo of Van Dijk and Robertson. 6 Mohamed Salah Overshadowed for once. At times he appeared to be trying too hard against his former side, but he was still a constant threat. 7 Edin Dzeko Predator and permanent threat going forward. Took his goal well, but it was his botched header that allowed Wijnaldum to score. 7 Roberto Firmino So omnipresent in the first half that it was hard to believe there was only one Firmino on the pitch. Created Mane’s goal. 7 Stephan El Shaarawy Roma’s most menacing player. Created their first, then struck a post with a deflected effort. Lucky to avoid a booking for a horrendous dive. 8 Sadio Mane A Formula One car against Italian hatchbacks. Too fast to catch, too powerful to stop. His clinical finish put his team in control. Substitutes Under (Pellegrini 53), Gonalons (De Rossi 69), Antonucci (El Shaarawy 75). Not used Skorupski (g), Juan Jesus, Peres, Gerson. Substitutes Klavan (Mane 83), Solanke (Firmino 87), Clyne (Alexander-Arnold 90). Not used Mignolet (g), Moreno, Ings, Woodburn. Referee Damir Skomina (Slovenia) 3 4 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Job done Liverpool do enough in first half to progress after another thriller Roma change shape but Liverpool have a plan First-half average positions Roma Liverpool Direction of play Roma switched from a back three to a back four, and their average positions in the first half show how they tried to flood the midfield. Liverpool mirrored their setup, though, with their front three dropping deep to help outnumber the hosts in a key area of the pitch. Direction of play Hosts' sloppiness helps Liverpool 0-1 Mane 9min Misplaced passes by Roma’s midfielders in the first half Congestion in midfield meant Roma struggled to keep the ball, as shown by the misplaced passes in the first half by midfield trio Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini. The worst of those was by Nainggolan (in bold) which led to Sadio Mane's opener. Direction of play Milner unfortunate but Alexander-Arnold enjoys a slice of luck Liverpool scored a bizarre own-goal when Dejan Lovren's clearance hit James Milner in the face and looped into the net (left), but they were more lucky when Trent Alexander-Arnold blocked Stephan El Shaarawy's shot with his hand (below). It could have been a penalty and red card but wasn't seen. Anfield boys fight fire with fire to show they are turning into men When Liverpool play, entertainment is guaranteed This was the highest-scoring semi-final in European Cup history and after Real Madrid's entertaining 4-3 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich this was easily the highest-scoring pair of semi-finals in recent history. It made for fabulous entertainment. Goals in the two Champions League semi-final ties 9 2009/10 2010/11 11 2011/12 11 Liverpool’s free scorers earn final place the hard way as tension rises 14 2012/13 9 2013/14 13 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 PAUL HAYWARD D AT THE STADIO OLIMPICO O 7 2008/09 1-1 Milner (og) 16min 5 11 20 T o understand it, you just had to look at Trent AlexanderArnold, 19 and Liverpool born, celebrating in front of the away supporters with his shirt off. Jurgen Klopp’s right-back was surrounded by kindred spirits but also in a world of his own. Mark Lawrenson recalled that the Roma manager knew his side were beaten in the 1984 final here when Liverpool’s players walked round the pitch beforehand singing a Chris Rea song. No team that confident were going home without the European Cup. Klopp’s side are still a leap away from being European champions but Alexander-Arnold, who comes from West Derby and joined the club aged six, is one of several in this squad who are turning from boys to men. Thus, Liverpool are already winners in the developmental stakes: Champions League finalists in Klopp’s second full season in charge, with individual improvement all across the field. Back in ’84, Liverpool had class, history, aura, built up over two decades. This time, they came to Rome as revelations. They also The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 FINAL 5 ‘There is still a job to do and we will be ready’ By Chris Bascombe in Rome 1-2 Wijnaldum 26min 2-2 Dzeko 52min came with an abundance of goals. If this year’s Champions League semi-finals have resembled basketball at times, you can hardly ask Liverpool to apologise for being the first team to reach 46 goals in a single Champions League campaign. Their prolific scoring is only partly explained by the defensive frailties in front of them. The biggest cause is their irresistible movement and finishing. Sadio Mane can be the least celebrated of the trident and still open the scoring stylishly. Georgi Wijnaldum can start the game badly and still head Liverpool’s second en route to a 7-6 aggregate victory. This was not a semi. It was an arms race. Liverpool, of all clubs, know the value of not giving up, from the final in Istanbul 13 years ago. Eusebio Di Francesco’s team also know it well. They fought to the end, almost chasing another lost cause down, until the final whistle released Liverpool from their “suffering”, as Klopp called it. A minority of Roma’s fans had displayed the dark power of dysfunctional tribalism, turning the Stadio Olimpico into a security compound, a week after the appalling injuries suffered by a Liverpool supporter, Sean Cox, outside Anfield. But the majority 3-2 Nainggolan 87min 4-2 Nainggolan (pen) 90min brought a more benign kind of pressure to bear on Liverpool, the new hot ticket in European football, from a position in the Premier League table 21 points behind Manchester City. There was a strange kind of madness about this tie, with Liverpool losing their No 2 coach, Zeljko Buvac, who left the party just as it was getting really good, Steven Gerrard being courted by Rangers and away fans having to observe elaborate travel plans to ensure their safety. Outside the ground, the notorious bridges over the Tiber stood like crossing points from a nightmare, even with the swarms of carabinieri. Seldom has a 5-2 starting point felt so tantalising, and Liverpool could never relax This kind of tension sits badly with the beauty of Rome, but maybe the two are indivisible. Turmoil is expressed in every Roman street, some of it merely emotional, other parts of it political and much darker. Football feeds this need for melodrama, but Roma were trying to feed it from an impossible position, against opponents who were also expected to fall long before this stage. The script was that Virgil van Dijk’s defensive unit would pick up where Mohamed Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino left off at Anfield. Liverpool would probably pinch an away goal to ease the pressure, but the main aim was stopping Roma doing what they did to Barcelona in the last round. Roma’s fans came here thinking a second miracle was possible. Liverpool’s fought against their own belief that a 3-0 Roma win was impossible, given the effervescence of their own front trio, which reflects the modern cult of forwards working in gangs of three. Seldom has a 5-2 starting point felt so tantalising, and Liverpool could never relax on their seemingly commanding position. The threat was always there. Salah, meanwhile, now knows the pointlessness of not celebrating goals against former clubs. At Anfield, Salah was apologetic about his two first-half goals, raising his palms and avoiding the group hug. His reward was to be jeered by Roma fans on his old hunting ground – a more rational approach, if a little ungracious. Roma have been derided as semi-final impostors. But you could hardly question their spirit as they chased the game from 7-4 down. They pressed and hustled, hounding Liverpool’s two young full-backs, Andy Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, and giving Van Dijk the biggest test of his Liverpool career, four months in. Not unreasonably, Roma went direct, whipping diagonal balls forward and trying to create mayhem in Loris Karius’s penalty box. With eight minutes left, Klopp sent Ragnar Klavan on as a fifth defender in place of Mane, but even then the tension was maintained – and intensified when Radja Nainggollan struck from long range with five minutes left, and then scored from the penalty spot to make it 7-6 overall. Desperation, of different kinds, gripped both teams. Football ceases to be academic at this point. It becomes a ferocious battle of wills. You either stand or break. Purists will say that no tie with so many goals can be hailed as a classic. But it is too early in Liverpool’s return as European heavyweights to be throwing academic caveats at them. They were forged by fire in this tumultuous semi-final, which propels them into a final against another team, Real Madrid, who made it to Kiev the hard way. Liverpool earned another stroll round the pitch and a song. Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to the Champions League final with a forceful message to his heroic players: “Now go and win it.” Liverpool head to Kiev seeking a sixth European Cup triumph. Real Madrid are chasing their 13th, having only ever been beaten in a final by Liverpool, Alan Kennedy securing a 1-0 win in Paris in 1981. Progress is a reward for Liverpool’s attacking mastery, the five goals at Anfield and two in the Stadio Olimpico fending off Roma’s attempts at the most unlikely of fightbacks. But Klopp, beaten in his past five major finals as a coach, including two as Liverpool manager, now wants the ultimate victory. “We were in the League Cup final and we were in the Europa League final, we didn’t win it. People don’t tell me in the street since then, ‘Thank you for bringing us to the final’. “I see no trophies after these games. They don’t hang silver medals at Melwood. That’s a pity, that’s the game. There’s still a job to do, but that’s how it is. Going to a final is really nice, but winning is even nicer. “We will be ready then, but you cannot be more experienced in this competition than Real Madrid. I think 80 per cent of the team of Real Madrid played all these finals. They are four times in the last five years and still together. They are experienced, we are not, but we will be really on fire. We have to play two more Champions League semi-finals in the Premier League, that’s the first job to do, but we have two weeks to prepare the final and we will use that time.” Klopp said his team have defied expectations to progress. “You cannot plan a Champions League final if you are not Real Madrid or Barcelona or Bayern Munich,” he said. “They are always in the last four. We had to play a qualifier, [against] Hoffenheim, but I knew the football in the competition would suit us. But the boys still had to do the job. It was so difficult.” The Liverpool manager accepted there will have to be much improvement in the final to defeat the champions. “It was not our best game, but is there anything to criticise? No. These boys go constantly over their limit,” he said. With Liverpool fans kept behind for several hours after the final whistle, Klopp returned pitchside 30 minutes after the game to further celebrate the achievement. “It was a fantastic moment. Seeing all these happy faces is the best thing football can do,” said Klopp. “These people followed us all over Europe, come to Anfield to create atmosphere, and we all know how big the desire is to come back on the winning track. They had such a big part in the season so far, so if they want to see me they can see me. That’s no problem. It was really nice.” 6 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Champions League Next stop, Kiev, as Klopp’s exhilarating journey gathers pace Chris Bascombe ico, at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome Sealing final place shows how far Liverpool have come since bleak days of boardroom turmoil ‘T his is just the start.” It is a familiar claim in the aftermath of a monumental result. Liverpool players and managers have often expressed it, particularly after landmark European performances. Then, you consider the prospect of Real Madrid. In a Champions League final. Every player who ever struck a football would script a fantasy career to climax at that point, never mind make it the first chapter. This Liverpool team are no longer starting their journey, they are in the midst of one that is most exhilarating, their passports stamped at the most picturesque destinations. There is a tendency, a psychological need perhaps, to not only assess success for its immediate emotional impact, but also long-term consequence. What does it mean? What is the limit for these courageous sides? The trail of memories marked on manager Jurgen Klopp’s map should be valued for what they are, ensuring that the reflections of what it all means for the future defer to the here and the now. If Liverpool’s more recent forays in Europe have taught anything, it is that it is wise to savour these moments, for they are precious. Embrace and cherish them. It might not get any better than readying to take on the 12-time European Cup winners in Kiev – regardless of how flawed was the second half in Rome that got them there. That is not stated to sound cantankerous, nor defeatist about what is to come against Zinedine Roma chief vents fury at referee over ‘missed’ decisions Zidane’s habitual winners. It is more to ensure this monumental achievement of reaching the final is not diminished. In the build-up to Rome, Klopp was asked whether such triumphs had any meaning unless there was a shiny cup at the end. As is often the case, his answer was thoughtful but inevitably conflicting. Of course they have meaning. Of course they will not mean so much if Liverpool do not “have something in the cupboard”. But whatever happens from now, the two-legged victories over Porto, Manchester City and Roma cannot be contaminated, only enhanced by ultimate success. Prior to Liverpool’s past two Champions League appearances, there was an obsession with Champions League final Liverpool Real Madrid Saturday, May 26 7.45pm, Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev TV BT Sport broader meaning prompted by the demand to build on the foundations. Both, it must be remembered, were played amid turbulent backgrounds. The Liverpool team heading to Istanbul in 2005 did so in the knowledge it could be their captain’s final game for his club. “How can I leave after this?” So declared Steven Gerrard in the immediate aftermath of victory over AC Milan. Two months later, he nearly did join Chelsea, the delay in a contract offer meaning the feel-good momentum of victory was short-lived. Despite the resolution and subsequent Premier League improvement under Rafa Benitez, the expectation and ambition of Liverpool using their fifth European Cup to elevate to another level on and off the pitch was never realised. The search for overseas By Chris Bascombe Roma owner James Pallotta launched a stinging attack on the officials after Liverpool’s triumph last night, claiming they cost his side a place in the Champions League final. The Boston-based owner suggested his side were denied several penalties against Liverpool by the Slovenian referee, Damir Skomina, with the Italian side particularly upset that an apparent handball by investment was ongoing, as was a solution to stadium expansion. The miracle of Istanbul came to be perceived as a missed opportunity. In many aspects, it was, but tell that to those who witnessed it, or the players whose legendary status was secure. Istanbul was not the start of that era, but its highlight. Benitez almost replicated it, of course. Two years later, Liverpool arrived for another final in Athens seemingly more equipped to cement their traditional place among the grandees of Europe. Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett had just assumed control, making lavish promises about team investment and a new stadium. The facade was blown apart within 24 hours of the 2-1 defeat by AC Milan when Benitez complained about the lack of pace in moving for transfer targets. So began three years of boardroom turmoil, at the end of which every senior figure at Anfield would be gone, from the owners down. You could argue, in terms of the overall psyche of the club and sense of distrust bred between club and supporter, that only now does it feel the debris is being thoroughly cleared. Mercifully, Liverpool look and feel like a different club today. Veterans of the European campaigns can be comfortable pronouncing Anfield in healthier shape now than in 2005 and 2007. It will not make it any easier to repeat what Bob Paisley’s side achieved against Real Madrid in 1981, but it gives them a great chance. Klopp spoke of Liverpool’s history forever poised to “kick you in the ass”. Inside the Stadio Olimpico, only the Roma players seeking vengeance were left with bruised backsides, despite their heroic efforts. Real Madrid wait, seeking payback for events in Paris, 1981. Alan Kennedy’s phone will not stop ringing for another month. As Klopp said, at Liverpool, the weight of the past hangs around every corner. Trent Alexander-Arnold from a Stephan El Shaarawy shot was missed by the officials. Pallotta also argued that Edin Dzeko was incorrectly flagged for offside before he was brought down by Loris Karius early in the second half. And despite Roma being awarded two contentious penalties for handball over the two legs, Pallotta felt they should have had more. “It is very clear VAR [Video Assistant Referee] is needed in the Champions League because you How the heavyweight contenders compare Mane Robertson Possible line-ups Milner Van Dijk LIVERPOOL 4-3-3 Firmino Karius Lovren Henderson Wijnaldum Alexander-Arnold Salah Liverpool 25 years 8 months Average age A 181 Total goals for the club TTotal trophies won by possible starting XI ((all comps, club and country) TTotal international caps 20 346 £245m TTotal cost of possible starting XI Head to head Nov 4 2014 Champions League Group stage, Madrid Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool Oct 22 2014 Champions League Group stage, Anfield Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid Mar 10 2009 Champions League Last 16 second leg, Anfield Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid Agg 5-0 Feb 25 2009 Champions League Last 16 first leg, Madrid Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool May 27 1981 European Cup Final, Paris Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid Played 5 Liverpool wins 3 Goals Real Madrid wins 2 6 4 Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen celebrate beating Real Madrid in 1981 Most European Cups 12 Real Madrid 7 AC Milan Barcelona Bayern Munich Liverpool 5 5 5 just can’t let stuff like this happen,” he said. “You can all look at it yourself. Potentially in the 49th minute he [Dzeko] wasn’t offside and he gets taken down by the goalkeeper, the 63rd minute was a handball that was obvious to everyone probably in the world except people on the pitch, the 67th minute [Patrik] Schick gets taken down in the box. “I know it is difficult to ref but it is really embarrassing that we lose on aggregate like that. “By the way, it should have been Unhappy: James Pallotta watches the second leg in Rome last night The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 ** Carvajal Kroos Benzema Varane Isco Casemiro Navas REAL MADRID 4-4-2 Ramos Ronaldo Modric Marcelo rc Why Real’s monopoly of Europe is built on sand SAM AC CE WALLACE Real Madrid 28 years 11 months 794 192 Club’s reliance on a loan to cover soaring wages suggests their success may not be sustainable 799 £233.4m How Spanish sides have dominated past decade Since three English sides reached the semi-finals in 2008/09, Spanish clubs – and Real Madrid in particular – have ruled the roost in the Champions League. English Spanish Last 16 Other Liverpool Quarterfinals Real Madrid Semifinals Final Win 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 Cristiano Ronaldo with the trophy after Real Madrid's 2016 Champions League win 2009 Most European Cups by country 17 Spain 12 12 England Italy 7 Germany Holland 6 a red card which would have been 10 men in the 63rd minute.” Liverpool were inevitably unconcerned about the complaints, feeling that they had grievances of their own over both games, especially with the two penalties that were given against them for handball. The joyous Liverpool players were busy celebrating their achievement, however, regardless of how agonising the final moments had been. “I don’t know what to say after that,” said the Liverpool midfielder, James Milner. “We know how to make it interesting, don’t we? “We know we need to do better to see out games. Nobody said that getting to the Champions League final is easy and we have beaten some great teams on the way. “It was about getting the job done and now we’re through to the final. We have to enjoy this – but not for too long because we have another important game this weekend [against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday].” 7 T he 13th European Cup for Real Madrid in Kiev on May 26 would put them six titles ahead of their nearest rival, Milan, who are not even in the competition next season, and so far in front of the rest of the pack that you would have to wonder if we would ever see them caught in this lifetime. A 13th title would also be the seventh won in the Champions League era, proving that, while Real were the dominant power in the Fifties, the first European super-club to mobilise in pursuit of football’s new prize, they have won even more in the modern age. Only three clubs have won three consecutive European Cups, and Real Madrid are one – but none have ever done it twice – and we are reaching the kind of levels where one club stand alone. Win in Kiev and the doubts about Zinedine Zidane’s suitability as a coach will fade into the night air, Barcelona’s domestic league and cup double will look like so many pots and pans and all will be right with the world at the planet’s most successful club. It does beg the question, why, in this era of unprecedented success, Real need a loan facility to pay wages? Perhaps it is as simple as saying that the unprecedented success has required the bank loan because the growth in their wage and bonus bill has been extraordinary. The 2015-2016 season, the first of this run of three Champions League finals, cost them €306 million (£206 million) in salaries, with €40 million of that paid in bonuses. Last season, in which they won the domestic and European double, it was €406 million, including €68 million in bonuses. By way of comparison, Manchester United and Manchester City’s wage bills for last season were around €303 million, and the only true comparable with Real are Barcelona, who paid around €404 million for the same season. The financial picture looks even more unmanageable for Barcelona, who have predicted a €114 million increase on their salary and bonus expenditure last season, taking them over €500 million. This season, Real had budgeted for a five per cent reduction in wages to €395 million, although all the signs in Spain are that wages have increased yet again. The club made much last June of their €178 million positive cash balance, although it was evident where that was to be spent. Real pay their players twice a year, in July and January, and June’s cash balance went on salaries. The best-informed coverage in Spain suggested that, by December, that balance had recovered to only Happy return: James Rodriguez scores for Bayern against parent-club Real €133 million, which would not have been enough to meet January’s obligations. Hence the loan which is referred to in page 13 of the club’s financial statements, as “undrawn facilities” which, “coupled with” the cash balance gives Real what it describes as “the financial strength to comfortably meet its scheduled payment obligations”. You might wonder why a club with an annual revenue that is second only to that of Manchester United requires a loan to cover their wage bill, but that is a problem that Real have not yet solved. The club has been able to post profits for the past two seasons only by virtue of selling players, most recently Alvaro Morata to Chelsea, Danilo to Manchester City and, to a much lesser extent, the academy striker Mariano, who went to Lyon for around €8 million. Either way, it does not seem a model that is sustainable for a club who made their name buying the world’s best players, no matter the price. There has been no new contract for Cristiano Ronaldo, and whether you think a man who could already afford to have gold-plated Ballon d’Or replica tap heads in every bathroom, deserves one, it was what he was promised after the final in Cardiff last May. Then there was the strange saga of the non-transfer of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao in January that mysteriously fell through at the last moment. He then had a €30 million release clause and Athletic, with their Basque-only policy, are famously resistant to attempts to cut deals. James Rodriguez was shipped out on a three-year loan deal to Bayern Munich that only really favours the German club – to the extent that he was even permitted to play against his parent club in the Champions League semi-final and scored for them. Ideally, Real would like the move to be made permanent, but Bayern seem quite happy with the deal they negotiated. There is no great clarity on what terms Real took their most recent loan, despite the club being owned by their members – any of whom can be president just like Florentino Perez, as long as they can provide a personal wealth guarantee of €75 million. Perez, 71, has complete control and you wonder how he views the future as wage bills continue to grow and the clamour for new players is never-ending. Perez controls the process by which elections take place, and thus how the club is run – and although he owns no more than the single socio share of his comrades, no one is under any illusions about his influence. One suggestion to ease Real’s situation has been a change of the rules to allow a partial sell-off so that they are owned by a plc over which the membership retain control but in which other, trusted corporate partners are given the option of buying equity. The same was done at Bayern, where Adidas, Allianz and Audi co-own the shares now under control of the membership. That would be as unpopular at Real Madrid as it is at Barcelona, especially amid this great era of success for both teams who have won six of the past nine Champions League titles between them. The supporters must believe anything is possible, although the accounts will tell you otherwise: success comes at a price. Wembley cash may not be grass-roots salvation A mid all the calculations about how the sale of Wembley will save grassroots football, there has been little thought given to where exactly the money will go and what the nature of those grass roots themselves will be. We have to presume that the Football Association will spend much of Shahid Khan’s money on continuing its frenzy of 3G pitch building despite the concerns over links between cancer and the rubber-crumb infill. But how much do they cost? 3G pitches do not last for ever – some might reach 10 years and heavy use can take them out of service in six. They need brushing and cleaning regularly and, when time is up, a new surface costs £150,000, with £25,000 to dispose of the old one. Four years ago, the Pitch Care website estimated that £1 million would buy and maintain five 3G pitches for 10 years. What happens when the money runs out? 8 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph FINAL Sport Football Wenger hoping for a happy ending to Arsenal love affair Coach wants legacy of Champions League spot Simeone says stadium to ‘explode with passion’ By Jeremy Wilson in Madrid The one remaining ambition, said Arsene Wenger, was “to finish this love story well”. Arsenal and Arsene will formally separate in either 10 days or two weeks, and Wenger is acutely aware that the importance of tonight’s Europa League semi-final second leg stretches well beyond whether he bows out in a major European final or at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield. Arsenal have been a Champions League club for the overwhelming majority of Wenger’s 22-year tenure as manager and, having always set himself the target of leaving his successor equipped for even greater success, the regret at departing outside European’s elite would be deep. “A man must give his maximum commitment and energy as long as he is somewhere,” said Wenger. “Until the last day, I will focus on Arsenal. I want to finish this love story well. The next game is always the most important in life. “This influences the future of my club. It’s a very, very big game for us. Whether we qualify for the Champions League or not, the future of Arsenal is not exactly the same. I did it for 20 years and I want to achieve it for Arsenal.” Wenger knows that the impact would be felt at numerous levels. There is the simple financial boost that Champions League football delivers of around £30 million each year, but also the more intangible impact on Arsenal’s standing in world football. A year-long absence can happen to all the giants but a second season would begin to look like a trend and could conceivably have a direct impact not just on the calibre of player Arsenal might attract but also the identity of the next manager. Would the likes of Max Allegri or Luis Enrique, who have respectively managed in Champions League finals for Juventus and Barcelona, really be drawn to a season in the Europa League? Wenger’s chances of attracting an offer from a Champions League club himself would surely also be greatly enhanced by overseeing one last big win against one of the titans of European football, especially after all the recent defeats against Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Upon his arrival in Madrid last night, Wenger was reminded that this match would see him join only Sir Alex Ferguson on the list of managers to have overseen 250 games in European competition. One of the greatest highlights came on Arsenal’s last visit to Madrid, way back in 2006, when they overcame a truly “galactico” Real team containing David Beckham, Ronaldo, Raul, Roberto Carlos and Zinedine Zidane to reach the semi-finals. “We came here with a very young team – I will try to repeat it,” said Wenger. “I don’t feel too much my age, and I’m still as excited. In football, you think you have seen it before but every game can surprise you. It’s always a new adventure.” The challenges this time still somehow feel greater. Arsenal themselves have clearly regressed and, after so dominating against Atletico last week, it was hard to escape the suspicion that Antoine Griezmann’s late away equaliser had turned the tie. Atletico know that a clean sheet will see them progress and they have not conceded at their new Wanda Metropolitano since January. One potential advantage for Arsenal is the absence from the dugout of Diego Simeone after Atletico’s inspirational but volatile manager was sent to the stands last week for abusing the match officials. Simeone led Atletico to the Europa League title in 2012 and has also twice since taken the club to the Champions League final. “Every manager has his own personality and he is doing extremely well,” said Wenger. Simeone described Arsenal as a “great team” and said that Mesut Ozil was the “brains” in how he played between the defensive and midfield lines but he was adamant that his assistant, German Burgos, would be able to convey his wishes. “We don’t even need to look at each other to know what we want,” he said. “Maybe they will have more anxiety as they need to score – we need the stadium to explode with passion and positive energy. “We will try to be very blunt, direct and live every second to the maximum intensity – that is what we are about.” Frenchman reaches 250 European club contests Sir Alex Ferguson Arsene Wenger Mircea Lucescu Gio’ Trapattoni Carlo Ancelotti Jupp Heynckes Champions League 210 202 131 82 160 71 Europa League 15 29 65 100 26 92 Super Cup 5 0 2 1 3 0 Cup-Win’ Cup 38 18 22 17 0 0 Intertoto Cup 0 0 2 0 6 12 InterTotal continental 1 269 0 249 0 222 1 201 1 196 0 175 Costa ready to resume hostilities with old foe By Jeremy Wilson Diego Costa is ready to return to Atletico Madrid’s line-up tonight and resume his volatile relationship with Arsenal. As a Chelsea striker, he scored three times in six games against Arsene Wenger’s men and was central to a fractious match in 2015 when opposition players Gabriel and Santi Cazorla were dismissed. Time to reflect: Arsene Wenger takes to the Atletico pitch (above), Jack Wilshere and Alex Lacazette on the flight (right), and Shkodran Mustafi in training (left) Costa was himself banned for three matches for raising his hands at Laurent Koscielny during another game in 2015. “Costa has shown he can make a difference and was very successful in England,” said Wenger. “Our job to keep him quiet and the way to do that is to play more in their half. “We need to score – our way to behave is clear and that is an advantage sometimes.” Costa was only a substitute last week after coming back from a hamstring injury but is fit to start, while Arsenal have been boosted by the availability of both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. Mkhitaryan scored on his comeback on Sunday against Manchester United following a knee-ligament injury but then came off after taking a blow to the same knee. Colombia international David Ospina will continue as Arsenal’s goalkeeper ahead of Petr Cech. Atletico Madrid v Arsenal Three things to fear ar 8.05pm. Probable teams. BT Spt 2 Diego Costa’s ta’s n aggression Costa has ee scored three x goals in six games against Arsenal and represents a more aggressive and direct threat than Kevin Gameiro. Arsenal’s defence do not enjoy facing big, physical t, players and Costa (right, n) with Antoine Griezmann) will hunt down the ball.. Atletico Madrid Arsenal 4-4-2 13 Oblak 5 Partey 24 Gimenez 2 Godin 19 Lucas 6 Koke 8 Saul 14 Gabi 23 Vitolo 7 Griezmann 18 Costa 4-3-3 13 Ospina 24 Bellerin 20 Mustafi 6 Koscielny 18 Monreal 8 Ramsey 29 Xhaka 10 Wilshere 11 Ozil 9 Lacazette 7 Mkhitaryan Referee Ginaluca Rocchi (Italy) 1 The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 ** 9 Leeds owner may bid for Premier League TV rights Radrizzani snatches La Liga coverage from Sky Eleven Sports network eyeing more packages By Sam Dean Andrea Radrizzani, the owner of Leeds United, could make a move for the Premier League’s unsold television packages after snatching the rights to show Spain’s La Liga from Sky Sports. Eleven Sports, the network founded by Radrizzani in 2015, yesterday announced that it had won the rights to show La Liga after Sky, which has broadcast Spanish football for more than two decades, had a bid rejected this year. And the company is considering other options, which may include a potential swoop for the two unsold packages of Premier League games. The asking price for the packages, which contain entire rounds of matches in England’s top flight, has not been met since the auction began for the Premier League’s domestic rights earlier this year. Eleven, which holds La Liga rights in Belgium and Poland, could sell matches back to broadcasters such as Sky or BT. It is not active in the UK but it may broadcast La Liga Sky high: Andrea Radrizzani‘s options may include a Premier League bid coverage, which it has secured exclusively for the next three seasons, on a television channel of its own or via digital services. Eleven would not say how much it had paid for the rights to La Liga, but the move comes after Sky had a bid of less than £18 million rejected by the Spanish league. The weakening of Sky’s offer was an indication that the broadcasting giant no longer believed the rights to be worth the £18 million it had paid per season since 2015, a deal it had agreed following pressure from BT. The loss of La Liga still represents a blow to Sky, especially after it was beaten to the Champions League rights by BT in 2013. The company has been forced to make savings across its business in recent years, and in February it struck a deal for domestic Premier League rights which meant it would pay 16 per cent less per match than on the existing agreement. Sky had previously been forced by the arrival of BT to pay 83 per cent more for Premier League football, which led to cuts across the company and contributed to the loss of sports rights such as tennis. Eleven’s announcement comes ahead of the meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid in El Clasico on Sunday. The company said the last two fixtures between the sides were watched by a combined audience of one million people in the UK, citing this as proof of the country’s strong “appetite for Spanish football”. Eleven’s executive chairman is Marc Watson, who had helped launch BT Sport as chief executive of BT TV and had played a major role in BT’s assault on Premier League rights in 2012. Watson had previously worked for the consultancy Reel Enterprises, which advised the Premier League on its rights auctions. He said it was an “incredibly exciting time for our young and dynamic company”, adding: “The way people, especially young people, watch live sport is changing and we always try to reflect that in the ways we make our product available.” Fellaini: United contract delay helps me By Simon Peach Marouane Fellaini believes that Manchester United made a mistake not offering him a contract extension sooner, leaving the midfielder in a “strong position”. A divisive figure since swapping Everton for Old Trafford in 2013, the 30-year-old has become a key member of Jose Mourinho’s squad. But despite the United manager expressing his public desire for Fellaini to stay, his future may lie elsewhere given that his deal is up this summer and contract discussions have been at an impasse throughout the campaign. Mourinho indicated there had been a breakthrough in negotiations after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat of Arsenal, when Fellaini dropped hints about another term at Old Trafford by making comments looking ahead to next season. However, a deal has yet to be tied up and the Belgium international believes United are ruing their decision not to agree terms sooner. Strong position: Marouane Fellaini is out of contract in the summer “The entire staff is doing everything [they can for me] to stay,” he told Sport Voetbal magazine. “The club did not renew my contract last year. Now I am in a strong position, especially since Mourinho has stated that he wants to keep me. Last year I went to the coach and I said that I wanted a new contract. I then had a second meeting, but I will not ask it 10 times. “Afterwards I became important for the team … and a good player costs at least €50 million [£44 million]. The club know that they went wrong there.” Fellaini insists he is “open to everything” and “would not have a problem with life in China” as talk of a move east persists. Juventus, Paris St-Germain, Fenerbahce and Besiktas have also been linked with an offer to move in the close season. “I am now 30 years old, at the end of my contract and negotiating with Manchester United,” Fellaini added. “There are several clubs that show interest. I’m waiting for what’s going to happen.” In brief Arsenal struggle against the low block Arsenal have to score and that p ays perfectly to Atletico’s pl plays stron strongest suit. Diego Sime Simeone’s team will dig in, put up u walls of defence and force their rivals to attack aroun them, closing down around the m man on the ball, break breaking up the passing rhythm with fouls and launch launching counter-attacks. 2 Antoine Griezmann is really good As Atletico absorb pressure, Arsenal’s soft underbelly will become exposed. Atletico are at their most dangerous on the counter-attack, when they can utilise the pace, skill, lethal finishing and accurate decisionmaking of their star player, Griezmann. He is the kind of striking talent that Arsene Wenger’s best teams could rely on to change a game. 3 West Brom eye Bees’ Smith West Brom are set to make official approaches for Brentford manager Dean Smith and Leicester’s No 2 Michael Appleton as they ramp up their search for a new head coach. Albion want an appointment in the next fortnight. Caretaker manager Darren Moore will be part of the new coaching team and could still be considered for the top job. Wolves split £8 m bonus Wolverhampton Wanderers’ squad will land an £8 million bonus after clinching promotion to the Premier League. Regular starters will pocket £500,000 each. investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour towards the Under-18 team. Burnley in for £6 m Bryan Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed staging what would effectively be a mini-World Cup with eight teams every two years on top of the traditional competition. The “Final 8” tournament would be the climax of a global Nations League competition. Burnley are ready to offer £6 million for Bristol City’s utility player Joe Bryan. Palace’s Issott cleared Crystal Palace academy director Gary Issott is free to return to work after being cleared by an Fifa wants mini-World Cup 10 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport C YC L I N G Team Sky chief says he considered quitting role Salbutamol dominates questions to team leader By Tom Cary CYCLING CORRESPONDENT in Jerusalem Sir Dave Brailsford, the Team Sky principal, admitted for the first time last night that he had considered resigning, as the squad made a hugely uncomfortable start to the Giro d’Italia here, with Chris Froome having to fend off questions over his salbutamol case. The race does not start until tomorrow but, if this was a sign of things to come, it promises to be a difficult three weeks for Sky. Principal: Sir Dave Brailsford insisted Team Sky is about the riders and it is not about him Sitting on a dais in the incongruous surrounds of the Waldorf Astoria – the race HQ for this Grande Partenza – Froome repeated what he has said many times since his adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug was made public; that he could understand all the questions, that he felt he had done nothing wrong, that he was confident he would be fully exonerated and would be riding in the Tour de France this summer. But that did not make the atmosphere any less awkward. Of the dozen or so questions put to Sky, 80 per cent concerned Froome’s salbutamol case or other recent contro- versies, and 100 per cent were put to either Froome or Brailsford. Sky’s seven other riders for this race, and sporting director Nicolas Portal, could only watch on helplessly. It was Brailsford’s admission that he had considered his future as Sky principal that was of most note. The former performance director of British Cycling has kept a low profile this season. This was the first time he had spoken since the publication of the Digital, Culture Media and Sport select committee’s stinging report into doping in sport in March, which concluded that Sky had effectively “played the system” by giving Therapeutic Use Exemptions to Sir Bradley Wiggins before three of the biggest races of his career, including his victorious 2012 Tour de France. MPs labelled those treatments “unethical”, while slamming Sky’s medical record-keeping. After a brief dispute with a journalist over exactly how accessible he had been this year – Brailsford insisted he had been at all the races and would have been willing to speak with anyone – he was asked whether he had considered resigning. “I think anybody in this game considers their position every day,” he replied. “I would say that I’m constantly asking if I’m the right man to lead these guys. Because it’s not about me, let’s be honest. My role is to help these guys not just to perform but to perform optimally, and there’s a difference. “I think that regardless of the select committee or anything else, there’s a constant sense of selfquestioning about whether I’m appropriately placed or do I have the right skills to be able to do that. It’s something you ask yourself all the time. “Some things come and go, things change, the situation and context around you changes. But REUTERS Brailsford and Froome given a rough ride In demand: Chris Froome answers a barrage of questions in Jerusalem ahead of the Giro d’Italia, which starts tomorrow I’m here because I think I am still in the position where I can help these guys be the best they can be.” Brailsford is going to need to keep Froome focused on the task in hand if he is to stand any chance in this Giro. The pre-race favourite went into yesterday’s press conference just hours after his major rival Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) stoked the flames of his controversy by repeating that it was “not good for cycling” and Cavendish targets two Yorkshire wins By Tom Cary Mark Cavendish believes he can win two out of four stages at this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, which begins in Beverley today. The Manxman, 32, has suffered dreadful luck this year, having been caught up in crashes at the Tour of Dubai, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Milan-Sanremo, where he was sent over his handlebars and had to miss the Commonwealth Games with rib and ankle injuries. Cavendish also crashed at the end of stage one of the 2014 Tour de France in Harrogate, dislocating a shoulder. But this year’s Tour de Yorkshire does not visit the spa town. Instead, it takes in Barnsley, Doncaster, Halifax, Ilkley, Richmond and Scarborough before finishing in Leeds on Sunday. It is today’s finish in Doncaster and Saturday’s finish in Scarborough which are of most interest to sprinters such as Cavendish. “There are sprint opportunities on the first day and the third day I Sprint finish: Mark Cavendish says the first and third days of the Tour de Yorkshire suit him will be looking to make the most of,” Cavendish told BBC Radio 4. He will also be trying to help his Dimension Data team-mate, Serge Pauwels, defend his title. “We will look forward to try to defend it as a team with him,” said Cavendish. “Yorkshire is a hard place to ride a bike. Hopefully, Team Dimension Data can go and be successful over the four days.” He added: “I am lucky in my career. I have had good luck and I have had bad luck, but I am able to ride my bike again. I am not in top, top condition but I am in good enough condition that I know I can go to some tough terrain around Yorkshire and be competitive.” that if he were in Froome’s shoes he would not be racing. “If I was in the same situation, I would not be here, because my team is part of the MPCC [Movement for Credible Cycling],” the Dutchman said. “Maybe he’s going to win the Giro and then a few weeks later he loses the title. It’s not good for anyone, but I can’t change it.” Mind you, focus is not usually Froome’s weak suit. The Briton, 32, has faced hostile crowds, particularly in France, and come through with flying colours. If Froome does do it, he would become the first since Bernard Hinault in 1982-83, and only the third man in history after Hinault and Eddy Merckx, to win a “Tiger Slam” of grand tours; to be reigning champion of the tours of France, Spain and Italy at the same time. Tomorrow’s opening stage is a 9.7 kilometre individual time trial. Australia name Langer coach CRICKET Justin Langer will begin his stint as Australia’s new head coach in England after being named as successor to Darren Lehmann last night. The former opener will coach Australia in all three formats of the game over the next four years starting with this summer’s ODI series. Langer, 47, will be charged with restoring the team’s reputation after the ball-tampering scandal which led to bans for Steve Smith and David Warner and to Lehmann’s resignation. “There will be some significant challenges ahead for our group,” Langer said in a statement. “I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with all players, as we strive for a successful men’s team across all formats,” he said. Langer played 105 Tests over nearly 20 years, scoring 7,500 runs, including 23 centuries. He has been the head coach of Western Australia state and the Perth Scorchers T20 team since November 2012. “Justin was the clear standout, particularly based on his recent coaching and player development achievements,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said. “Justin’s work ethic, leadership and values are among his strongest attributes and he is widely respected.” The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 11 ** Sport Rugby Union Sale backtrack over Irish signings Daniel Schofield Social-media outrage prompts club to rethink Jackson and Olding were cleared in rape trial Hostile: The social media section on Sale’s website, which features posts mentioning the club, included a link to a petition against signing ‘misogynists Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding’; and (below) how we broke the story The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 2 May 2018 *** 13 Sport Rugby Union Sale to sign Jackson despite rape case E XC LU S I V E Ulsterman to join Sharks on cut-price deal Olding also in talks as club prepare for storm Sale Sharks have agreed a cut-price deal to sign controversial Irish flyhalf Paddy Jackson, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. The Aviva Premiership club are also close to agreeing another deal with centre Stuart Olding. Jackson, 26, and Olding, 25, had their contracts terminated by Ulster last month despite being acquitted of rape after a nine-week trial. Jackson, who won 25 caps for Ireland, later apologised for what he described as “degrading and offensive” WhatsApp messages regarding the woman in the case. However, the verdict attracted huge protests in Ireland while Ulster’s leading sponsor, the Bank of Ireland, declared itself “highly concerned” by the pair’s conduct before the province cut their ties with both players. Sale would not publicly comment last night and will delay the announcement until after the end of the rugby season Jackson was Centre of controversy: Fly-half Paddy Jackson kicks a conversion for Ulster during a Pro12 match in May 2017 view.” Rather unfortunately from Sale’s perspective, the petition appeared on the home page of the official club website under the social media feed. It is possible that Sale underestimated the scale of feeling surrounding Jackson, the 26-year-old fly-half who has won 25 caps for his country and Olding, the 25-year-old who has made four Test appearances. Jackson had agreed terms for less than £200,000, well below his market value, before the controversy. Steve Diamond, the director of rugby, is a specialist in rehabilitat- ing other players considered untouchable and was recently linked with a bold move for Israel Folau, the Australia full-back who himself is at the centre of a homophobia controversy. However, the firestorm surrounding Jackson and Olding may be too hot to handle. During the nine-week trial, the court heard that messages were exchanged on a WhatsApp group containing Jackson and Olding that referenced “pumping a bird”, “spit-roasting” and “sluts”. Their acquittal caused huge protests in Ireland, with the hashtag #Ibelieveher trending across the country, and around 250 people protested outside Ulster Rugby club before they were released. There were, however, counter protests by Ulster supporters upset that the club had bowed to pressure, despite both men being declared innocent by a court of law. A key factor in Ulster’s decision was the disquiet voiced by some of its leading sponsors. It is understood that some of Sale’s leading sponsors immediately sought talks with the club in light of the revelations, with one company describing itself as PA By Daniel Schofield GETTY IMAGES Sale Sharks last night attempted to backtrack after facing a furious response in their attempt to sign Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who were at the centre of a highly controversial rape case. The Daily Telegraph yesterday revealed that Sale had agreed terms with Jackson and were close to following suit with centre Olding. Both players were found innocent of raping the same woman at Jackson’s home in June 2016. However their conduct, particularly a string of highly misogynistic WhatsApp messages, led to Ulster terminating their contract and the prospect of Sale signing the pair has ignited further protests. Barbara Keeley, the MP for Worsley and Eccles South, where Sale are based, said that bringing in Jackson and Olding would send “entirely the wrong signal to fans and to the local community” while the End Violence Against Women Coalition reiterated its demand that they should never play rugby again. “The behaviour of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding is not in line with the values that Sale Sharks should be projecting to our community,” Keeley wrote in a statement released to The Daily Telegraph. “When the Irish Rugby Union decided to revoke the players’ contracts, they acknowledged that they have a responsibility to uphold the values of the game: respect, inclusivity and integrity. Sale Sharks need to remember that their athletes are role models and the club should promote these values.” A petition was also launched on change.org, which stated: “Winning trophies is not worth sacrificing the club’s values and ethics for. A rugby club should be inclusive and welcoming, not implicitly endorsing a vile misogynistic world Controversial: Although Paddy Jackson was found not guilty of rape, his recruitment will almost certainly be criticised accepted terms on less than £200,000 with Sale. Olding is likely to agree terms on a similar bargain deal. If any director of rugby is capable of dealing with the firestorm that signing Jackson will create it is opinion is all that matters. He previously stuck his neck on the line to defend Denny Solomona who was found guilty of directing homophobic abuse towards Jamie Shillcock, the Worcester Warriors fly-half, in a Premiership match on March 24 Danny Cipriani in 2012 when the player’s reputation was at all-time low following a controversial spell with the Melbourne Rebels while this season he has signed Australian bad boy James O’Connor, who was arrested last year on suspicion of the fallout that will follow Jackson’s arrival may prove to be his biggest challenge yet. Meanwhile, Bath have warned Eddie Jones not to consider selecting flanker Sam Underhill for the summer tour to South Africa after returning to the club “broken” from the last England training camp. Underhill is only inching his way back to full fitness after tearing tendons in his toe at an England training camp in March after a debut season in which he has made just four Premiership starts. England have already lost at least six leading players, including back-row options Nathan Hughes and Courtney Lawes, while head coach Jones has previously hinted that he intends to rest some of his Lions contingent. Yet with the squad to face South Africa in a three-Test series due to be announced a week tomorrow, Bath first-team coach Toby Booth says rushing Underhill back into action would be an unnecessary risk. “Sam hasn’t even started training yet,” Booth said. “He’s still got a lot of work to do. He returned to us broken and he’s not set one foot on the training pitch. He’s still at the rehab stage so I’d imagine he’s got a long way to go yet. “Everyone knows what international rugby is like and going to South Africa is not going to be for the faint-hearted. You need to be at your best for those sorts of tours so “concerned”. While most major rugby club sponsors do not possess a “morality” clause in their contracts, it could irrevocably damage Sale’s ability to attract future partners. Despite a senior club source describing Jackson as “a done deal” on Monday night, Sale released a statement at 6pm yesterday that contradicted its earlier stance. “Sale Sharks can confirm there is no substance to the rumours currently circulating in relation to the signing of the two international rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding,” the statement read. “Our search continues for top-class players to bolster the squad for next season.” In April 2017, Sale released another statement declaring that speculation that they were trying to sign James O’Connor and Faf de Klerk was “incorrect”. Diamond said: “I have not spoken to either player and don’t know where the speculation has come from.” Within two months, the club had signed both players. Sale did not respond to repeated requests for clarification on their latest statement last night. Vunipola’s injury curse strikes again as South Africa tour looms No 8 hurt three days after return from long break Saracens still hope he may make play-offs By Mick Cleary RUGBY CORRESPONDENT Billy Vunipola’s injury nightmare continued yesterday when the Saracens No 8 pulled up with a hamstring problem halfway through a routine training session only three days after his long- awaited return from a broken arm. With the England squad for the tour to South Africa to be named a week today this latest setback could not have come at a worse time for the 25-year-old, who won the last of his 34 caps in March 2017, against Ireland in Dublin. Vunipola has managed only two Tests in the past 17 months, missing the Lions tour to New Zealand as well. It is no coincidence that England’s fortunes have nosedived in the absence of the Saracen, who lends so much go-forward power to their game. Head coach Eddie Jones will be monitoring bulletins on Vunipola’s progress closely as Vunipola has had a wretched 18 months, with knee and shoulder injuries. Last Sunday’s 20-minute cameo from the bench against London Irish took his total game time for the season to just 249 minutes. At this stage, Saracens regard the hamstring issue as the type of problem that can crop up when a player is coming back from injury and has put extra strain on his body as he pushes for fitness. Vunipola immediately went for treatment and is expected to miss the last game of the regular season at home to Gloucester on Saturday. Saracens are already through to the play-offs and will have a two-week break before their home semi-final against either Wasps or Newcastle Falcons on May 19. Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is awaiting updates on Vunipola’s condition but refused to be too downbeat about his fitness for the play-offs. “It is unlikely we would risk him this weekend,” said McCall. “He had some awareness [tightness] in his hamstring last week but has trained well with us and looked good against London Irish. Nothing happened [in training]. Billy just felt some tightness. It is not pulled or anything. “When you have been out for a very long time you try to get some volume into the legs. Billy was being sensible. It is mature of him not to try to plough on. “We would not play him if we thought that he would pull a hamstring in a game. If we have to scan the hamstring, we will. That is likely to happen. The semi-final is 2½ weeks away so there is time.” Jones is already missing players for the three-Test South Africa tour. Out are hooker Dylan Hartley, locks Courtney Lawes and George Kruis, back-row forward Nathan Hughes, as well as backs Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph. 12 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph *** Sport Rugby Union Paul Tupai has retired after a professional career that lasted 28 years. Daniel Schofield meets the 43-year-old ‘I loved every minute of it. I loved the contact, the changing sheds, the people. It scares the hell out of me how much I am going to miss it’ How rugby’s last survivor from the amateur era is going out in style A small chapter in rugby history closed last Saturday at Goldington Road as Paul Tupai, in all probability the last survivor from the sport’s transition to professionalism, played his final competitive match for Bedford Blues in their 28-12 victory against Richmond. His career as a loose forward spanned 28 years, including more than 1,000 games, scores of yellow cards, but just two serious injuries, ation last year and a shoulder operation a broken thumb which, he ts, came from a sheepishly admits, h. The 43-year-old misplaced punch. lles. His ears could is not quite Achilles. win rosettes in a county show’s ompetition. A long, best vegetable competition. deep scar runs underneath his chin. His knees creak getting up. But those are all badges of honour ll fought. from a battle well “I have loved every minute of it,” ve the contact, I Tupai said. “I love ng sheds, I love love the changing ares the hell the people. It scares out of me how much I am going to miss it.”” mbers He still remembers the day professionalism y became a reality in 1995, back when he was playing for Bay of Plenty in his native New nt Zealand. “It went thing, from getting nothing, d a couple like a T-shirt and ng a couple of of beers to getting s,” Tupai said. thousand dollars,” “We were made up.” n days did not last. Those halcyon eason, players The following season, eir contemporaries realised what their ealousy and were earning. Jealousy ted fermenting. resentment started ar because they “You wanted a car lse a car and then gave someone else ays I want a car, another player says too,” Tupai said. Rugby is still wrestling with ame issues 23 years many of these same Final agony: Paul Tupai reacts after Bedford’s championship play-off defeat to Newcastle in 2013 which saw the Falcons promoted to the Premiership later, as the links to the amateur game grow ever weaker. Tupai, in his two years at Northampton Saints and a further decade with Bedford, saw it as his job to educate the younger generations on the old-school values he learnt. “Look after the changing sheds. Look after the bus. Know what the club means to the supporters. Give the supporters time. “You are there because the supporters paid money to come through the gate, don’t just jump into your car the moment the game is over. Show respect to someone who has been there and done that. Respect the back seat. s Don’t expect just to sit there.” th Even when Tupai Tup retires, this legacy will live o on, primarily through his son Connor – a half-back who h has just signed a ac professional academy contract at Northampton – but also through Englan England captain Dylan Hartley, who whom he considers family. On the day that The Te Daily Telegraph visited, Tupai was looking after Hartle two-year-old Hartley’s daug daughter, Thea, retu returning the favour for the years of ba babysitting Hartley d with Connor. did Speaking at his testimonial dinner last Friday, Hartley spoke of the invaluable debt he owed Tupai for taking him under his wing. Despite both ha hailing from Rot Rotorua, where Tup Tupai’s father used to d drive Hartley’s fath father to work, they me met for the first tim time only at N Northampton ttraining. “As an aacademy player, he was always in and amongst it and so was I,” Tupai said. “I JOHN LAWRENCE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW was like him at his age. He was testing himself against the big dogs. After that, we invited him over for a lasagne and then he was looking after Connor. Dyls and Connor are like brothers now. He’s a good boy, massively misunderstood. He is one of the nicest guys you will meet. “He is polite, respectful and people still throw s--- at him.” The academy structure that Connor is entering is a world away from the environment that his father entered in a farming community just outside Rotorua on pitches that were caked in cow and sheep excrement. Soon enough, he made his first senior appearance as a 16-year-old in 1990 alongside a collection of farmers and policemen. Despite the presence of law enforcement, anything could, and did, go in those days. “I remember when I first started playing senior rugby at 16-17, boys Picking up the baton: Paul Tupai jokes with his son Connor who has recently been recruited to the Northampton Saints academy The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 *** 13 Twickenham joins war on plastic waste GAVIN MAIRS THE TALK OF RUGBY BY New scheme aims to tackle the ‘throwaway culture’ on match days T he Rugby Football Union is to wage a war on plastic at Twickenham in response to concern about environmental damage. In an attempt to reduce the “throwaway culture” at major sporting events, plastic bottles, straws, cutlery, stirrers and packaging items are all expected to be phased out this year and replaced by biodegradable items once stock is exhausted. Pints of beer and cider are already sold or recycled through an “eco-cup” system which has cut around 150,000 plastic glasses from the waste stream since its introduction in 2014. That amounts to a reduction of more than one tonne of plastic waste per Test. Food waste is to be placed directly in bins for composting, instead of being put in plastic refuse bags. Waste plastics will be sent for recycling. Twickenham generated more than 88 million tonnes of plastic waste in the 2012-13 season. While that figure was down to 56 million tonnes in 2016-17, the RFU hopes the new policy will enable it to become a leader in dealing with waste and plastics. An RFU spokesman said: “The ‘eco-cup’, which we introduced in 2014, is very popular, and we are constantly looking for ways to reduce the ‘throwaway culture’ on match days, and across our wider business.” The drive to improve rugby union’s impact on the environment is also being rolled out across grass-roots clubs. The RFU last week won the Sports Industry Award for “sustainability initiative of the year” for its rugby energy club project. Under the scheme, clubs are encouraged to reduce running costs by introducing energy-saving technology, with the RFU having already handed out grants of almost £150,000. “Sustainability as a theme is often overlooked in sport, but the feedback we’ve received has shown its value to both our clubs and our sport,” added the spokesman. Six Nations and Lions split draws closer T would just dive on the ball and you would get six or seven guys standing on you,” Tupai said. “Someone would get rucked and spat out the back and that would turn into a fight. In the showers, you would see some of the old boys and they looked like they had been whopped. Their back and their legs were covered in scars.” Having won the Ranfurly Shield for the only time in Bay of Plenty’s history under Joe Schmidt and Vern Cotter, Tupai was about to retire from competitive rugby when a call came from Michael Jones, the All Blacks legend, asking if he would join Samoa on their 2005 tour. It was while playing in a particularly bad-tempered match against England that Tupai caught the eye of Budge Poutney, then Northampton director of rugby, who was in the market for an enforcer. “I thought this is the best thing. I am paid good money to smash people, this is Christmas,” Tupai said. “I only ever knew how to play rugby one way. I got a few yellow cards, but they didn’t care.” Tupai quickly earned cult status at Franklin’s Gardens but he found the demand of full-time training suffocating, having always previously held a job alongside rugby. So, despite Northampton offering him a new deal in 2008, he opted to sign for Bedford Blues while picking up a gig driving a front-end loader at a quarry. Connor, too, will be instructed to learn a trade or start a degree alongside his rugby commitments. “What a lot of these academy kids miss out on is the life skills,” Tupai said. “The dangerous thing is when they do get to 26 and start getting these knees and shoulders, that’s when they are thrown into the outside world and they don’t have anyone telling them how great they are and wiping their arses. They don’t know what it is like to do an eight-hour shift. It can be brutal.” Tupai does not preach that everything was better in his day. The violence, as enjoyable as it was, needed to be curbed to make the game more attractive. Player welfare standards are also much higher. The rewards are also considerably greater, but when asked if he would like to be starting over in Connor’s shoes, his answer is instant. “Nah mate. He might earn more money in his, but I know I had more fun.” On Sunday, Hartley will coach a Northampton XV against Bedford in Tupai’s testimonial match at Goldington Road. The match promises to be great fun, the night out even wilder. And, with that, the baton will be passed from rugby’s Last Tommy to Connor, Hartley and others to keep the amateur flame burning. he separation of the running of the Six Nations and the British and Irish Lions now appears to be inevitable following the departure last month of John Feehan, who acted as chief executive for both. The RFU is pushing for an independent chairman to be appointed to the board of the Six Nations following the governance review carried out by Ian Ritchie, the new chairman of Premiership Rugby. While a final decision has not yet been taken on a proposal to move the Lions organisation from Dublin to London, the RFU is keen for the bodies to be run separately. The Six Nations and the Lions have been run from the same office in Ballsbridge in Dublin since 2000. “I think, ultimately, they need to be a bit more standalone, actually,” said Steve Brown, the RFU’s chief executive. “I think that will change. The reason for that is logic rather than any insight again. One of them happens every four years and one of them is a recurring event that is significantly greater, three times the size just in one year. “There is a scale to it, so you want your focus on this one major product and different attention to the Lions at appropriate points. The Lions is important to us as well. It has great heritage, fantastic following and fantastic reach. We want to make sure that is strong and robust and governed in an equally good way.” Poulton-Palmer to be welcomed ‘home’ S oil from the grave of Ronnie Poulton-Palmer, captain of England’s 1914 Grand Slam side, who was killed in action during the First World War in Flanders, is to be sprinkled on the pitch at Twickenham ahead of the Army versus Navy match on Saturday. Poulton-Palmer was widely regarded as the best player of his generation before volunteering as an Army officer at the start of the First World War. He played his final game at the front in Flanders before being shot by a sniper. As he lay dying, he said: “I shall never play at Twickenham again.” As a mark of respect, soil from the Twickenham pitch was recently taken to his grave in Belgium and on Saturday, a box of soil from his grave will buried beside the pitch. “We are proud to welcome Ronnie home,” said an RFU spokeswoman. 14 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph *** Sport Racing Heffernan on Gustav Klimt in Guineas Seamus Heffernan looks set to take the place of Ryan Moore on antepost favourite Gustav Klimt in Saturday’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Moore will be at Churchill Downs to ride Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby. Aiden O’Brien was pleased to get a prep run into Gustav Klimt at Leopardstown last month as the colt had been off the track since winning the Superlative Stakes in dramatic fashion at Newmarket last July. “We were anxious to get a run into him. We think and hope he’s in good form,” he said yesterday. Richard Spencer is delighted to have booked Adam Kirby for Rajasinghe in the Guineas, saying: “Adam is one of the best and we’re thrilled he has taken the ride. He sat on him today for the first time and said the horse gave him a great feel. His last bit of work was extraordinary.” Jockey plans for Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas are less fixed with William Buick undecided as to which of the Godolphin pair Soliloquy or Wild Illusion he will ride. “They are two high-class fillies and nothing we know splits them. That [Soliloquy having a run] could be a deciding factor,” said Buick. Soliloquy was certainly the best-backed of the pair yesterday and is a 6-1 chance. Torcedor impressed when winning the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot yesterday and the progressive stayer has the Ascot Gold Cup as his prime target. Colm O’Donoghue was very positive on the six-year-old, making all and kicking on a long way from home. He said: “He is from the same family as Yeats and has got that sort of body [big and strong] to him.” Lingfield Park 2.00 188Bet Handicap (5) 1m 4f £3,752 1 563 Golden Nectar (29) Mrs L Mongan 4 9 7 P Bradley (5) 1 D Probert 4 2 66- Earthly (183) (CD)(C) B J Llewellyn 4 9 6 3 232 Smiley Bagel (22) (CD)(D) Ed Walker 5 9 6 P Cosgrave 2 A Kirby 5 4 1-7 Iballisticvin (61) (CD)(D) G L Moore 5 9 6 5 116 Attain (22) (CD)(C) Archie Watson 9 9 4 Pierre-Louis Jamin (7) 8 S Donohoe 6 6 321 Paddy A [V] (22) I Williams 4 9 3 L Morris 3 7 343 Fanoulpifer [H,T] (27) M Attwater 7 9 2 8 251 Widnes [T,V] (30) (CD) A Bailey 4 9 2 Darragh Keenan (7) 7 S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Smiley Bagel, 4-1 Widnes, 9-2 Paddy A, 13-2 Others. 2.30 Median Auction Maiden Stakes (6) 3YO 1m £3,105 1 634 Fleeting Fame (17) J Portman 9 5 Nicola Currie (5) 4 Greaves Ed Walker 9 5 P Cosgrave 6 2 D Probert 3 3 45- Gripper (219) R Beckett 9 5 Honourbound M Tregoning 9 5 Hayley Turner 12 4 O Murphy 9 5 4- Mercury Rising (217) (BF) A Balding 9 5 S Donohoe 10 6 8-5 Paco’s Prince (22) C Fellowes 9 5 H Crouch 11 7 9 Vlannon (15) M Madgwick 9 5 D O’Neill 2 8 3-2 Angelina D’Or (66) (BF) M Johnston 9 0 Catheadans Gift M Bosley 9 0 P Pilley (3) 8 9 Hyperactive J Fanshawe 9 0 D Muscutt 7 10 Fran Berry 1 11 33- Sweet Charity (134) D Coakley 9 0 L Steward 5 12 40- Zilara (251) R Beckett 9 0 S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Angelina D’Or, 7-2 Mercury Rising, 13-2 Zilara, 8-1 Sweet Charity, Hyperactive, 10-1 Paco’s Prince, 12-1 Others. 1 0-9 Vallarta (22) Mrs R Carr 8 9 8 J P Sullivan 3 2 34- Dawoodi [H,WS] (206) (CD) Miss L Perratt 4 9 7 P Hanagan 9 3 638 See Vermont [P] (28) (CD)(D) Rebecca Bastiman 10 9 3 J Hart 4 4 8-2 Twentysvnthlancers (21) (D) P Midgley 5 9 1 P Mulrennan 11 5 40- Goninodaethat (206) J Goldie 10 9 1 Phil Dennis (3) 2 6 30- Our Place In Loule [WS] (171) (D) N Wilson 5 9 0 C Beasley 7 7 56/ Raise A Billion (624) (D) A Berry 7 8 7 J Gormley (5) 6 B McHugh 8 8 56- Cheeni (229) J Goldie 6 8 7 9 38- Red Forever [H] (205) (D) T Cuthbert 7 8 7 Rachel Richardson (3) 1 J Fanning 12 10 60- Lady Molly [B] (206) K Dalgleish 4 8 7 D Fentiman 5 11 /70 Griffin Street (21) A Whillans 5 8 7 C Hardie 10 12 0-0 Roman Times [P] (94) A Berry 5 8 7 S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Twentysvnthlancers, 5-1 See Vermont, Our Place In Loule, 6-1 Cheeni, 13-2 Dawoodi, 8-1 Vallarta, 10-1 Others. 6.10 Racing UK Handicap (6) 3YO 1m 4f 104yds £3,105 1 -79 Poetic Steps (29) M Johnston 9 9 J Hart 3 J Fanning 4 2 6-6 Birdette (23) M Johnston 9 7 P Hanagan 5 3 531 Amadeus [V] (21) (D) R Fahey 9 2 J P Sullivan 2 4 555 Pretty Moi (44) J O’Keeffe 8 9 D Fentiman 1 5 87- Lever Du Soleil (218) T Easterby 8 7 S.P. f’cast: Evens Amadeus, 5-1 Birdette, Lever Du Soleil, 6-1 Pretty Moi, 13-2 Poetic Steps. 4.00 - Insurgence 4.30 - Playfull Spirit 5.00 - Presence Process (nb) Going: Standard TV: Sky 415. Draw: Low best in races up to a mile 3.00 188Bet Handicap (6) 2m £3,105 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Guards Chapel [V] (33) (CD)(C)(D) G L Moore 10 9 10 H Crouch 4 Southern States [E] (177) Mrs L Richards 5 9 8 T J Murphy 5 Epsom Day (454) (C) Mrs L Mongan 5 9 8 G Downing 8 Gold Chain (47) (C) Clare Ellam 8 9 8 S Donohoe 2 Takeitfromalady [B] (J18) (CD) D Steele 9 9 7 K Fox 1 Nanny Makfi [T] (J25) B Barr 5 9 4 T Whelan 3 Petrify [T] (J213) B J Llewellyn 8 9 4 D Probert 10 Shan Dun Na Ngall [B,T,WS] (110) (CD)(D) Miss Amy Murphy 7 9 3 L De Souza 11 9 /04 What A Party [P] (24) (C) Miss G Kelleway 6 9 1 L Morris 14 E J Walsh (3) 12 10775 Kay Sera (12) A Newcombe 10 9 1 11765 Threediamondrings [P,T] (30) (C) M Usher 5 9 0 Nicola Currie (5) 9 12435 Simply Clever [P] (14) D Brown 5 8 13 J Watson (5) 13 DOUBTFUL 6 13 -09 Archipentura (36) Clare Ellam 6 8 13 D Muscutt 7 14354 Hi There Silver (29) M Madgwick 4 8 12 S.P. f’cast: 5-1 What A Party, 11-2 Kay Sera, 6-1 Others. 867 09673-0 -00 6-9 600-0 3.30 188Bet Claiming Stakes (6) 6f £3,105 4.30 188Bet Live Casino Fillies’ Handicap (5) 3YO 6f £3,752 1 149 Captain Lars [B] (34) (CD)(C)(D) Archie Watson 9 9 11 O Murphy 5 T Whelan 6 2 -80 Mamillius (15) G Baker 5 9 10 3 536 Dutiful Son (27) (CD)(C)(D) Emma Owen 8 9 7 A Kirby 1 L Morris 8 4 794 Locommotion (8) (C) Mat Salaman 6 9 7 5 716 Mishaal (22) (CD)(D) (BF) M Herrington 8 9 6 K Shoemark 3 Kaboobee B Barr 3 9 1 Joshua Bryan (5) 4 6 L Keniry 7 7 68- Twickenham (189) J S Moore 3 8 11 M Dwyer 2 8 0 Jackie Sparrow [E] (14) C Allen 3 8 6 S.P. f’cast: 6-4 Captain Lars, 4-1 Mamillius, 9-2 Dutiful Son, 5-1 Mishaal, 8-1 Jackie Sparrow, 16-1 Locommotion, 33-1 Kaboobee, 1 624 Playfull Spirit (14) J Gosden 9 9 R Havlin 5 G Downing 3 2 38- Shania Says (211) (D) I Williams 9 7 3 738 Flora Tristan [H] (20) M Botti 9 7 G Malune (5) 8 4 531 Belated Breath (50) (D) H Morrison 9 6 O Murphy 1 H Burns (7) 4 5 4-4 Diamond Pursuit (122) J Hughes 9 6 6 664 Precious Silk (26) (D) J Santos 9 4 R Da Silva 2 7 12- Hic Bibi (168) (D) (BF) D Brown 9 1 J Watson (5) 6 8 7-6 Queen Of Dreams (29) W Knight 8 2 L Morris 7 S.P. f’cast: 7-4 Playfull Spirit, 3-1 Belated Breath, 6-1 Hic Bibi, 15-2 Shania Says, 8-1 Flora Tristan, 14-1 Precious Silk, Diamond Pursuit, 16-1 Queen Of Dreams. Twickenham. 4.00 188bet.co.uk Handicap (4) 3YO 7f £5,531 1 1-1 Insurgence (29) (CD) J Fanshawe 9 7 D Muscutt 8 L Steward 6 2 2-2 Central City [P] (20) H Palmer 9 6 A Kirby 9 3 52- Crack On Crack On (162) C Cox 9 5 S Levey 4 4 21- Sergio Leone (206) R Hannon 9 2 O Murphy 1 5 22- Epic Fantasy (132) (BF) C Hills 9 2 D O’Neill 2 6 45- Zaajer (209) Owen Burrows 9 0 7 45- Red Force One [P,WS] (251) T Dascombe 8 13 P Pilley (3) 5 DOUBTFUL 3 8 34- Harbour Vision (153) (D) D Brown 8 13 9 320 Cristal Pallas Cat (29) (D) R Ingram 8 10 Rhiain Ingram (5) 7 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Sergio Leone, 10-3 Crack On Crack On, 7-2 Insurgence, 9-2 Epic Fantasy, 13-2 Central City, 10-1 Zaajer, 25-1 Red Force One, 50-1 Cristal Pallas Cat. 3.10 Novice Median Auction Stakes (6) 3YO 7f £3,493 Marlborough 2.10 - Tarrzan 2.40 - Pretty Baby 3.10 - Robsdelight 3.40 - Completion 4.10 - Shovel It On 4.40 - Firby 5.10 - Plansina Going: Good-good to firm in places TV: Sky 432 & Virgin 536 Draw: Middle to high numbers have a decided advantage on the straight course 2.10 Racing UK Selling Stakes (6) 2YO 5f £3,408 1 8 Hurricane Five [B] (5) D O’Meara 8 12 C McGovern (5) 7 2 3 Tarrzan (27) M Channon 8 12 S De Sousa 1 Bottleared M W Easterby 8 7 Nathan Evans 2 3 R Hornby 5 4 7 Go Annie Go (19) P Evans 8 7 5 0 Lexikon (7) O Pears 8 7 S Gray 6 Screen Queen G Peckham 8 7 E Greatrex 4 6 7 6 Willow Brook [H] (9) G Scott 8 7 Josephine Gordon 3 S.P. f’cast: 15-8 Tarrzan, 7-2 Willow Brook, 4-1 Go Annie Go, 13-2 Screen Queen, 8-1 Bottleared, 12-1 Hurricane Five, 16-1 Lexikon. 2.40 racinguk.com Fillies’ Novice Stakes (5) 6f £4,528 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Foxtrix (10) M Dods 4 9 7 C Rodriguez (3) 4 Thunderbell [B] (150) S Dixon 4 9 7 D Allan 8 Xin Chao (10) B Ellison 5 9 7 Ben Robinson (5) 9 Gold Stone (259) K Ryan 3 9 4 T Eaves 2 Pretty Baby (203) (D) W Haggas 3 9 4 Daniel Tudhope 5 Queen Penn (252) (D) R Fahey 3 9 4 T Hamilton 7 Angel’s Glory (202) (BF) R Varian 3 8 11 A Atzeni 6 Left Alone [P] (190) (BF) H Palmer 3 8 11 Josephine Gordon 3 9 86- The Hoppings (196) J J Davies 3 8 11 S James 1 S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Pretty Baby, 10-3 Angel’s Glory, 7-2 Left Alone, 11-2 Queen Penn, 6-1 Gold Stone, 20-1 Foxtrix, 25-1 The Hoppings, 33-1 Xin Chao, Thunderbell. 8-6 /77 2121313422- 1 9- Alabanza (161) K Dalgleish 9 2 R Scott (3) 10 2 4- Diplomacy (177) D O’Meara 9 2 Daniel Tudhope 6 Ekanse R Varian 9 2 A Atzeni 8 3 4 27- Mr Gent [B] (132) (BF) E Dunlop 9 2 Josephine Gordon 4 S De Sousa 3 5 282 Robsdelight (5) Miss G Kelleway 9 2 6 The Mekon N Wilson 9 2 T Hamilton 5 7 Wicklow Warrior P Niven 9 2 T Eaves 9 8 55- Destinata [H] (174) J Fanshawe 8 11 G Wood (3) 2 9 79- Maggie Jonks (190) A Balding 8 11 R Hornby 7 Orsay C Teague 8 11 Nathan Evans 1 10 S.P. f’cast: 9-4 Ekanse, 7-2 Robsdelight, 5-1 Others. 3.40 Racing UK Handicap (4) 3YO 1m £8,345 1 487 Ghost Serge (44) Archie Watson 9 7 E Greatrex 4 F Norton 6 2 121 Poet’s Prince (28) (D) M Johnston 9 7 3 312 Completion (75) (BF) W Haggas 9 7 Daniel Tudhope 7 4 4-3 Maksab (14) M Channon 9 6 S De Sousa 5 5 2-1 Sha La La La Lee [H] (26) T Dascombe 9 5 R Kingscote 2 6 216 Pak Choi (22) A Balding 9 2 R Hornby 1 P Makin 9 7 3-6 Creel (39) D Brown 8 12 8 33- Star Of Zaam [P] (205) K Burke 8 12 C Lee (3) 3 9 3-0 Bertog (14) J Mackie 8 11 T Eaves 8 S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Poet’s Prince, 3-1 Completion, 9-2 Others. 4.10 Racing UK In HD Claiming Stakes (6) 7f £3,408 1 2 3 4 5 Acrux [H] (108) D O’Meara 5 9 12 Daniel Tudhope 5 Al Khan [P] (48) (D10) K Ryan 9 9 6 Ben Robinson (5) 6 Lord Rob [P] (36) D Thompson 7 9 6 Connor Murtagh (5) 2 Space War [T] (3) (D) M W Easterby 11 9 5 H Shaw (5) 4 Gaelic Wizard [V] (21) (C)(D) Mrs K Tutty 10 9 4 Gemma Tutty (5) 3 6 9-8 Shovel It On (3) (D) (BF) P Evans 3 8 10 S De Sousa 1 S.P. f’cast: 5-4 Shovel It On, 3-1 Al Khan, 9-2 Acrux, 8-1 Lord Rob. -55 353 -02 860 -55 4.40 Racing UK Handicap (5) 3YO 1m 2f £4,722 1 2 3 4 Canadian George (160) K Dalgleish 9 9 S De Sousa 9 Global Style (21) (BF) E Dunlop 9 9 Josephine Gordon 7 Moltoir (29) B Ellison 9 9 Ben Robinson (5) 4 Trump Alexander [P] (14) (BF) Archie Watson 9 8 E Greatrex 2 G Wood (3) 5 5 -62 Nibras Galaxy (14) I Mohammed 9 7 6 15- Champarisi (205) G Tuer 9 7 P Makin 1 7 3-0 Tommy Shelby (19) R Fahey 9 5 T Hamilton 12 8 4-3 Firby (12) J Bethell 9 3 K Stott 3 9 65- Contrebasse (181) T Easterby 9 2 D Allan 10 10 9-2 Cristal Spirit (9) (BF) W Haggas 9 1 Daniel Tudhope 11 11345 Bill Cody (91) Julie Camacho 9 0 C Rodriguez (3) 8 G Lee 6 12 -5D He’s Our Star [P] (10) Ali Stronge 9 0 13 -55 Toohottotouch (83) M Dods 8 9 Paula Muir (7) 13 S.P. f’cast: 4-1 Cristal Spirit, 6-1 Firby, 7-1 He’s Our Star, 15-2 Canadian George, 8-1 Trump Alexander, Moltoir, 10-1 Global Style, Bill Cody, 14-1 Others. 427-5 3-3 -37 5.10 racinguk.com Handicap (6) 3YO 1m £3,493 1 -50 2 353 814 4 565 -72 6 -47 7 0-6 8 8-5 9 9010 5011 -76 12004 Dubai Classic (19) K Burke 9 8 C Lee (3) 3 If We Can Can (310) M Johnston 9 7 F Norton 8 Plansina (4) (D) Roger Fell 9 7 T Hamilton 5 Mafdet (169) B Smart 9 7 G Lee 11 Don’t Cry About It [P,T] (8) Ali Stronge 9 5 S De Sousa 4 Benaras (12) T Easterby 9 5 D Allan 10 Conflagration (15) E Dunlop 9 4 Daniel Tudhope 7 Whinmoor (29) N Tinkler 9 3 T Eaves 9 Glacier (258) N Wilson 9 1 K Stott 6 Thundercloud (125) S Dixon 8 12 R Kingscote 1 Kylie Style (101) Steph Hollinshead 8 7 E Greatrex 2 Voice Of Dubai [P] (37) H Palmer 8 7 Josephine Gordon 12 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Don’t Cry About It, 9-2 Plansina, 5-1 If We Can Can, 13-2 Dubai Classic, 10-1 Conflagration, Mafdet, 12-1 Others. Chelmsford City 5.50 toteplacepot Novice Stakes (Plus 10) (4) 2YO 5f £7,116 Marlborough 5.40 - See Vermont 6.10 - Amadeus 6.40 - Soldier’s Minute 7.10 - Northwest Frontier 7.40 - Seen The Lyte 8.10 - Prazeres 8.40 - Cosmic Tigress Going: Good-good to firm in places TV: Sky 432 & Virgin 536 Draw: In races up to a mile low numbers are usually at an advantage. 7.40 Racing UK Day Pass Just 10 Handicap (6) 3YO 5f £3,105 1 5-1 Seen The Lyte (8) (D) N Tinkler 9 13(6ex) L Edmunds (3) 3 2 152 Carpet Time (8) (D) T D Barron 9 7 Ben Curtis 5 3 -28 Super Florence (36) I Jardine 9 6 Nathan Evans 4 4 7-8 Gullane One (14) T Easterby 9 5 J Hart 2 5 0-6 Orient Princess [V] (17) P Midgley 8 2 C Hardie 6 6 55- Honey Gg (185) D Carroll 8 2 J P Sullivan 1 S.P. f’cast: 11-8 Seen The Lyte, 5-2 Carpet Time, 6-1 Super Florence, 8-1 Honey Gg, 10-1 Gullane One, 12-1 Orient Princess. 8.10 Racing UK Handicap (6) 7f £3,105 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 5.00 188Bet Handicap (5) 1m 2f £3,752 1 2 3 4 5 X Rated (51) (D) M Johnston 4 9 7 A Kirby 4 Bayston Hill (104) (CD)(D) M Usher 4 9 3 J Watson (5) 5 Music Major (19) (CD)(C) M Attwater 5 9 3 L Morris 2 Scoones (22) (CD) J Fanshawe 4 9 2 D Muscutt 8 Presence Process (19) (CD)(C) P Phelan 4 9 2 P Bradley (5) 1 6 2-4 Mac O’polo [P] (113) (BF) T Dascombe 4 9 1 Hayley Turner 3 7 367 Bridge Of Sighs [B] (17) (CD)(D) L Carter 6 9 0 S Levey 7 8 -09 Dragon Dream (29) R Ingram 4 8 7 Rhiain Ingram (5) 6 S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Presence Process, 3-1 Scoones, 5-1 X Rated, 6-1 Mac O’polo, 8-1 Bayston Hill, 10-1 Music Major, 12-1 Bridge Of Sighs, 20-1 Dragon Dream. 4-4 -58 449 -44 531 Southwell 6.40 Novice Stakes (5) 7f £3,234 1 Colonel Forster (J18) C Grant 6 10 0 P Mulrennan 2 2 14- Soldier’s Minute (230) (CD) K Dalgleish 3 9 9 C Beasley 3 J Fanning 1 3 37- Dazzle Gold (190) (BF) R Cowell 3 9 2 4 80- Claire Underwood (193) R Fahey 3 8 11 P Hanagan 5 DOUBTFUL 4 5 9-7 Lady Grigio (121) I Jardine 3 8 11 S.P. f’cast: 2-7 Soldier’s Minute, 6-1 Dazzle Gold, 10-1 Claire Underwood, 16-1 Colonel Forster. Prazeres [P] (27) (D) J L Eyre 4 9 7 J Fanning 6 Lucky Violet [H] (14) (CD) Miss L Perratt 6 9 7 J P Sullivan 11 Semana Santa [B] (12) T D Barron 5 9 6 Ben Curtis 7 Riponian [T] (183) (CD) S Corbett 8 9 6 P Mulrennan 4 Someone Exciting (8) (D) D Thompson 5 9 5 J Gormley (5) 10 Isntshesomething [V] (27) (CD)(D) R C Guest 6 9 4 C Beasley 9 Scotch Myst (32) (D) R Fahey 4 9 3 P Hanagan 1 Harbour Patrol [P] (3) (D) Rebecca Bastiman 6 9 3(6ex) L Edmunds (3) 3 9 6-0 Vintage Dream (12) (BF) N Wilson 4 9 2Phil Dennis (3) 2 10 29- Rebel State [P] (171) J O’Keeffe 5 8 13 J Garritty 12 11 17- Lotara (148) (D) (BF) J Goldie 6 8 10 B McHugh 8 12 60- Jacob Black (216) K Dalgleish 7 8 10 J Hart 5 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Scotch Myst, 11-2 Prazeres, Harbour Patrol, 8-1 Semana Santa, Jacob Black, 10-1 Lotara, 12-1 Others. 7.10 MacRoberts LLP Handicap (5) 1m 4f 104yds £4,399 8.40 Racing UK In HD Handicap (6) 1m 6f £3,105 1 4-4 Artful Rogue (112) (D) K Dalgleish 7 9 7 P Mulrennan 5 2 7-6 Northwest Frontier (12) R Fahey 4 9 6 P Hanagan 6 3 -01 Riviere Argentee [V] (8) (D) K Burke 4 9 4(6ex) Ben Curtis 1 4 340 Theglasgowwarrior (14) (D) J Goldie 4 9 2 B McHugh 4 5 334 Mystikana [P,T] (43) (D) K Dalgleish 5 9 1 J Fanning 8 6 -93 Clemento (8) J J Quinn 4 8 13 J Hart 3 J P Sullivan 2 7 04- Akamanto (195) R M Smith 4 8 10 C Beasley 7 8 30- Hayward Field (161) (D) N Wilson 5 8 9 S.P. f’cast: 2-1 Riviere Argentee, 4-1 Northwest Frontier, 6-1 Artful Rogue, 7-1 Clemento, 15-2 Akamanto, 8-1 Mystikana, 12-1 Others. 2.00 - Earthly 2.30 - Angelina D’Or 3.00 - Kay Sera 3.30 - Captain Lars Redcar Musselburgh 5.40 racinguk.com Handicap (6) 5f £3,105 Marlborough 423 066 536 100-8 9-7 421 561 1 -80 Overhaugh Street (10) E De Giles 5 9 7 Ben Curtis 8 J Fanning 1 2 550 London Glory [B] (14) D Thompson 5 9 2 3 6-8 Cosmic Tigress [H] (23) (C)(D) J J Quinn 7 8 13 J Hart 6 4 41- Elite Icon (232) (D) I Jardine 4 8 12 J Gormley (5) 4 5 00- Titus Bolt [V] (J48) (C) J Goldie 9 8 11 Phil Dennis (3) 7 6 326 Picture Painter [V] (42) K Dalgleish 5 8 8 J P Sullivan 9 C Hardie 5 7 890 Wise Coco (21) A Whillans 5 8 7 8 -57 Rajapur [P] (J16) (D) D Thompson 5 8 6 P Hanagan 3 9 -06 Kazoey (14) (D) C Fairhurst 5 8 3 D Fentiman 2 S.P. f’cast: 2-1 Elite Icon, 4-1 Picture Painter, 6-1 London Glory, 7-1 Cosmic Tigress, 8-1 Titus Bolt, 10-1 Rajapur, 12-1 Others. 1 Dragon Kuza [H] H Palmer 9 2 D Brock 1 Jaayiz R Hannon 9 2 T Marquand 2 2 One One Seven Miss Amy Murphy 9 2 L De Souza 3 3 E J Walsh (3) 7 4 2 Pocket Dynamo [H] (9) R Cowell 9 2 Shellbrook C Appleby 9 2 W Buick 4 5 6 5 So Hi Speed (14) R Cowell 9 2 M Harley 5 P J McDonald 6 7 364 Hard Forest (2) M Johnston 8 11 S.P. f’cast: 2-1 Shellbrook, 7-2 Pocket Dynamo, 4-1 Jaayiz, 6-1 Hard Forest, Dragon Kuza, 14-1 So Hi Speed, 20-1 One One Seven. 6.20 toteexacta Handicap (6) 3YO 1m 2f £3,429 1 2 3 4 Houlton [P,T] (9) M Botti 9 5 M Monaghan (3) 3 Sigrid Nansen [V] (35) G Scott 9 5 P Cosgrave 6 Seaborough (183) A King 9 4 M Harley 4 The Jungle Vip [P] (30) (BF) Miss Amy Murphy 9 4 Jordan Uys (7) 5 S W Kelly 7 5 6-9 Secratario [P] (19) R Hughes 9 4 6 0-8 Storm Jazz (43) R Brisland 9 3 N Garbutt (3) 1 P J McDonald 2 7 -43 Poetic Affair (45) M Johnston 9 2 W Buick 8 8 0-2 Reveleon (12) Sir M Stoute 9 2 S.P. f’cast: 5-4 Reveleon, 7-2 Poetic Affair, 8-1 Houlton, Seaborough, 10-1 Secratario, 14-1 Sigrid Nansen, 16-1 Others. -55 4-8 90453 6.50 totequadpot Novice Stakes (4) 1m 2f £8,086 1 3- Roc Astrale [WS] (390) Mrs A Perrett 4 10 0 P Dobbs 8 R Havlin 5 2 51- Main Street (203) (C) J Gosden 3 9 5 3 -16 Roundabout Kitten [B] (89) (D) D Lanigan 3 9 5 S Donohoe 1 S W Kelly 9 4 0-0 Allied (10) Sir M Stoute 3 8 13 Guardsman J Gosden 3 8 13 N Mackay 2 5 6 Phantom Warrior P Hide 3 8 13 H Crouch 3 James Doyle 7 7 5 Prabeni (14) W Haggas 3 8 13 W Buick 6 8 0- Refrain (152) Sir M Stoute 3 8 13 P Cosgrave 4 9 8- Temur Khan (166) H Palmer 3 8 13 S.P. f’cast: 5-4 Main Street, 9-2 Prabeni, 6-1 Roc Astrale, 10-1 Refrain, Guardsman, Temur Khan, 14-1 Others. 7.20 totetrifecta Handicap (3) 1m £12,938 1 150 Constantino [B] (16) (D) R Fahey 5 9 7 D Nolan 5 2 48- War Glory (198) (CD) R Hannon 5 9 6 P Dobbs 4 3 029 Mythical Madness [P] (34) (D) D O’Meara 7 9 4 H Bentley 2 4 38- Seniority (155) (BF) W Haggas 4 9 2 James Doyle 1 5 4-5 Chiefofchiefs [P] (16) (D) (BF) C Fellowes 5 9 1 S Donohoe 7 6 011 Able Jack [T] (52) (CD) S C Williams 5 9 1 S Levey 3 7 152 Pearl Spectre [V] (7) (C)(D) P McEntee 7 8 11 Nicola Currie (5) 6 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Seniority, 4-1 Able Jack, 9-2 Constantino, 5-1 Chiefofchiefs, 11-2 War Glory, 8-1 Pearl Spectre, 12-1 Others. 7.50 - Mayyasah 8.20 - Billyoakes 8.50 - Yabass Going: Standard TV: Sky 415 [B] Blinkers [V] Visor [E] Eyeshield [T] Tongue Strap [P] Cheekpieces 7.50 toteswinger Fillies’ Handicap (3) 6f £12,938 1 25- Tirania (201) W Haggas 4 9 10 James Doyle 5 2 4-6 Rebel Assault (44) (D) M Johnston 3 9 7 P J McDonald 2 3 -15 Rosina [P] (109) (C) (BF) Mrs A Duffield 5 9 5 R Havlin 6 4 62- Mayyasah (243) (D) (BF) R Hannon 3 9 2 L Dettori 4 5 842 Sandra’s Secret (30) (D) J L Eyre 5 9 0 Jane Elliott (5) 1 6 2-1 Puds (20) (D) C Hills 3 8 8 O Murphy 7 7 1-2 Gold Filigree (30) (D) (BF) R Hughes 3 8 3 Nicola Currie (5) 3 S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Tirania, 7-2 Mayyasah, 9-2 Puds, 5-1 Gold Filigree, 8-1 Sandra’s Secret, 10-1 Rosina, Rebel Assault. 8.20 totescoop6 Rollover Handicap (6) 6f £3,429 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Roys Dream (181) (CD)(D) Paul Collins 4 10 0 Rossa Ryan (5) 4 Billyoakes [P] (22) (CD)(D) C Wallis 6 9 13 W Carson 7 Highly Focussed (40) (D) Mrs A Duffield 4 9 10 James Doyle 1 Arcanista [B] (12) (D) C Dwyer 5 9 7 Jessica Cooley (7) 2 Villa Tora (173) M Johnston 3 9 5 P J McDonald 5 Two Seas (8) G Peckham 3 9 2 DOUBTFUL 9 Blessed To Empress (30) (C) Miss Amy Murphy 3 9 1 L De Souza 8 8 131 Quick Recovery (75) (D) J Boyle 3 9 1 P Cosgrave 3 9 -65 Gettin’ Lucky [P] (86) R Brisland 5 8 9 G Malune (5) 6 S.P. f’cast: 9-4 Highly Focussed, 11-4 Quick Recovery, 9-2 Billyoakes, 13-2 Villa Tora, 7-1 Roys Dream, 14-1 Blessed To Empress, 20-1 Arcanista, 25-1 Gettin’ Lucky. 49415 141 529 047-8 3-6 8.50 Billy Ocean At Ladies Day Handicap (4) 3YO 1m 6f £7,310 1 -21 Yabass (14) Archie Watson 9 11 O Murphy 1 2 1-2 Antonian (29) J Gosden 9 7 L Dettori 5 S Donohoe 4 3 3-4 Jeremiah (12) C Fellowes 9 4 4 31- Austrian School (206) M Johnston 9 3 P J McDonald 2 5 4-2 We Know [T] (28) S Crisford 8 13 James Doyle 6 6 541 Blame Me Forever (21) (C) M Botti 8 13 M Monaghan (3) 3 S.P. f’cast: 11-4 Antonian, 3-1 Yabass, 4-1 Austrian School, 6-1 We Know, Blame Me Forever, 7-1 Jeremiah. Whistler’s Nap Al Khan (4.10 Redcar) is today's nap for Whistler (Marcus Armytage), of The Sunday Telegraph. 2.20 - Go On Gal 2.50 - Serenity Now 3.20 - Victory Wave 3.50 - Monks Stand 4.20 - Best Tamayuz 4.50 - Roy’s Legacy 5.20 - Katie Gale Going: Standard TV: Sky 415. Draw: 5f None, 6f Low best 2.20 freebetting.co.uk Handicap (6) 1m 3f £3,105 1 3/8 Belrog (3) J R Jenkins 7 9 9 Gina Mangan (7) 3 2 992 Slowfoot [H,V] (50) (D) Suzi Best 10 9 7 D Costello 5 3 -24 Lean On Pete (58) (CD) O Pears 9 9 6 A Mullen 2 4 361 Go On Gal (58) (C) Miss J Feilden 5 8 12 Shelley Birkett (3) 9 5 244 Luath (37) (C) Suzzanne France 5 8 11 N Mackay 6 6 /9- Slipper Satin [T,V] (264) S G West 8 8 8 David Egan (3) 7 7 640 Surewhynot [P,T] (10) G Cromwell (Ire) 4 8 8 K O’Neill 8 8 3-0 Master Of Song [P] (98) (C) S Bowring 11 8 7 W Cox (5) 1 9 786 General Tufto [B] (29) (CD)(C1) C Smith 13 8 7 J Haynes 4 S.P. f’cast: 2-1 Go On Gal, 4-1 Lean On Pete, 9-2 Surewhynot, 11-2 Luath, 8-1 Slowfoot, 16-1 Belrog, Slipper Satin, 20-1 Others. 2.50 freebetting.co.uk Claiming Stakes (6) 1m 3f £3,105 1 423 Serenity Now (32) (C) B Ellison 10 9 8 C Shepherd 4 2 367 Bertie Moon [P] (57) (C) M Appleby 8 9 4 A Rawlinson 2 3 000 Bushel [P] (57) (CD) A Newcombe 8 9 2 K O’Neill 1 4 507 Port Lairge (3) M Chapman 8 9 0 N Garbutt (3) 5 David Egan (3) 3 5 006 Topamichi [V] (30) M Appleby 8 9 0 S.P. f’cast: 11-10 Serenity Now, 2-1 Topamichi, 7-2 Bertie Moon, 14-1 Bushel, 50-1 Port Lairge. 3.20 freebetting.co.uk Novice Stakes (5) 1m £3,752 1 17- Hakeem (324) (D) (BF) W Haggas 4 9 9 J Crowley 5 2 1 Victory Wave [H] (21) (CD) S bin Suroor 4 9 4 David Egan (3) 1 3 4-6 Elite Treaty [T] (108) Miss G Kelleway 4 9 2 Aaron Jones (3) 3 4 Nevada (J159) S Gollings 5 9 2 A Mullen 2 5 35 Sketching (36) J Osborne 4 8 11 D Costello 4 S.P. f’cast: 8-11 Victory Wave, 5-2 Hakeem, 6-1 Sketching, 14-1 Elite Treaty, 25-1 Nevada. 3.50 Lindsay Finance Handicap (4) 7f £5,563 Marlborough 5.50 - Pocket Dynamo 6.20 - Reveleon 6.50 - Main Street 7.20 - Able Jack (nap) Marlborough 1 2 3 4 5 Monks Stand [P] (29) (C) J Mackie 4 9 9 J Crowley 4 Florencio [P] (2) (CD) Roger Fell 5 9 7 David Egan (3) 6 Mujassam [B] (32) (C)(D) D O’Meara 6 9 7 D Nolan 2 Sans Souci Bay [B] (8) (D) S Dixon 4 9 0 K O’Neill 3 Kommander Kirkup [P] (21) (C) M Herrington 7 9 0 A Mullen 1 6 635 Angel Palanas [P] (29) (C) K Burke 4 8 12 Russell Harris (7) 5 S.P. f’cast: 5-4 Monks Stand, 7-2 Mujassam, 6-1 Florencio, 8-1 Angel Palanas, Kommander Kirkup, 10-1 Sans Souci Bay. 111 336 541 -58 917 4.20 freebetting.co.uk Handicap (6) 7f £3,105 1 04- Round The Island (161) R M Whitaker 5 9 7 D Nolan 6 2 262 Mimic’s Memory (14) (CD) Mrs A Duffield 4 9 4 D Costello 8 3 402 Best Tamayuz [B] (3) (CD)(C) S Dixon 7 9 4 K O’Neill 1 4 -32 Cryptonite (9) (D) M Appleby 4 9 3 J Crowley 5 5 114 Limerick Lord [P] (9) (CD)(C) (BF) Miss J Feilden 6 9 3 Shelley Birkett (3) 2 6 0-2 Baron Run (32) K Burke 8 9 0 J Haynes 3 7 708 Rebel Sky (37) J R Jenkins 5 8 10 A Mullen 7 8 630 Iconic Figure [P] (3) P Kirby 5 8 6 W Cox (5) 4 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Best Tamayuz, 7-2 Limerick Lord, 4-1 Cryptonite, 5-1 Baron Run, 6-1 Mimic’s Memory, 12-1 Others. 4.50 Mansfield Sand Handicap (6) 5f £3,105 1 147 Fareeq [B,T] (12) (CD) C Wallis 4 9 7 W Carson 2 2 /2- Indian Tinker (382) (D) R Cowell 9 9 7 Jonathan Fisher (7) 5 3 129 Roy’s Legacy (4) (CD)(D0) S A Harris 9 9 3 C Bennett (3) 1 4 49- Tan (154) (D) M Appleby 4 9 0 A Rawlinson 3 5 5-0 Pearl Noir [B] (7) (C)(D) S Dixon 8 8 9 K O’Neill 6 6 407 Tina Teaspoon [H] (9) D Shaw 4 8 7 P Mathers 4 S.P. f’cast: 7-4 Fareeq, 10-3 Roy’s Legacy, 7-2 Indian Tinker, 11-2 Pearl Noir, 8-1 Tan, 20-1 Tina Teaspoon. 5.20 Apprentice Handicap (5) 1m 6f £3,752 1 543 Samtu [T] (J12) (CD)(C) (BF) Mrs M Fife 7 10 2 Faye McManoman (3) 3 9-1 Scrafton (23) (CD)(D) A Carroll 7 9 12 Poppy Bridgwater 5 24- Fair Loch (J61) B Ellison 10 9 9 K Schofield 1 013 Katie Gale (32) (CD)(C) R Brisland 8 9 9 T Ladd 6 -07 Siempre Amigos (26) G Cromwell (Ire) 5 8 12 C Heavey (5) 7 6 066 Clayton Hall [P,T] (28) J Wainwright 5 8 7 Toby Eley (5) 2 7 506 Monzino (3) (C) M Chapman 10 8 7 Jonathan Fisher 4 S.P. f’cast: 11-4 Scrafton, 10-3 Samtu, 7-2 Katie Gale, 4-1 Siempre Amigos, 5-1 Fair Loch, 20-1 Clayton Hall, 66-1 Monzino. 2 3 4 5 The Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 May 2018 ** 15 Sport Masters bigger than Open, says McIlroy GOLF By James Corrigan It might be an interesting conversation the next time Rory McIlroy bumps into the R&A hierarchy. The Ulsterman yesterday declared the Masters “the biggest tournament in the world”, relegating the Open to the lower levels of the podium. “The Masters has now become the biggest golf tournament in the world and I’m comfortable saying that,” he said. “I don’t care about the US Open or The Open, it is the biggest golf tournament in the world, the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype, everything is at Augusta. For me it’s the most spe- cial tournament that we play and it’s the one everyone desperately wants to win.” Of course, it is also the only major McIlroy has yet to lift. Last month he had the career grand slam firmly in his sights, but slipped to a tie for fifth. He remained bullish afterwards, maintaining it had been “a positive week”, but as he prepared to make his return for today’s first round at the Wells Fargo Championship, he admitted that he struggled in the weeks following, with his wife Erica finally persuading him to leave their Florida house. “It was just the quiet moments when you’re staring off into the distance and it got to the point where I needed to see a bit of daylight,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t give a good account of myself on that final day. Under the pressure of chasing Patrick [Reed, the eventual champion] – it never clicked. On the first tee, the Augusta members were saying, ‘We’d love to have dinner with you tonight’. And I said, ‘Don’t be ordering me anything just yet …’ ” McIlroy is the favourite to win at Quail Hollow, the Charlotte course where he enjoyed his first success in the United States and where he has posted six top-10s in eight appearances. However, he flopped when the US PGA was hosted there last August, with a tie for 22nd. Justin Thomas won that week and, should he finish inside the top 12, he will replace the absent Dustin Johnson as world No 1. Tiger Woods makes his first start since Augusta. Database Higgins scents fifth title after edging out Trump to set up tie with Wilson SNOOKER John Higgins moved a step closer to claiming a fifth World Championship title after edging out Judd Trump at the Crucible. The 42-year-old Scot triumphed 13-12 to book a semi-final clash with Kyren Wilson, who had earlier demolished Mark Allen 13-6. The other last-four tie will see Barry Hawkins challenge Mark Williams. Hawkins surprised thirdseed Ding Junhui 13-5, while Williams saw off Ali Carter 13-8. Higgins was 5-3 down heading into yesterday’s action and after a topsy-turvy tussle Trump made it 11-9. However, a 134 helped Higgins take control and he would clinch the deciding frame. Higgins, who last won the top prize in 2011, said: “What probably made my win, it was I enjoyed it. It must be heartbreaking for him [Trump] but for me to come out winning is a brilliant feeling. “I don’t know what it is but we seem to play classics all the time. He was the better player in the match and I was hanging on to his coat tails. He must hate the sight of me.” Wilson, who had lost in the quarter-finals in each of the past two years, said of his conquest of Allen: “It was always a goal of mine to reach the one-table set-up and I just can’t wait to get out there and experience it. “You have to sometimes seize on your opponent when you sense a little bit of weakness.” Sport in brief Champions League Semi-final 2nd leg Roma (1) 4 Liverpool (2) 2 Milner 16 og Mane 9 Dzeko 52 Wijnaldum 26 Nainggolan 87 90 pen Liverpool win 7-6 on agg. 61,889 Vanarama National League Play-offs 1st rd Aldershot (0) 1 Ebbsfleet Utd (0) 1 Kabamba 106 Winfield 119 AET: Score after 90 mins 0-0. Ebbsfleet Utd win 5-4 on penalties. 3,319 Ladbrokes Scottish Championship Play-offs Semi-final 1st leg Alloa (1) 2 Stewart 23 Flannigan 58 Raith (0) 0 Arbroath (0) 1 Linn 64 Dumbarton (0) 2 C Gallagher 55 Barr 90 892 ATP T’MENT (Munich, Germany).-2nd rd: A Zverev (Germany) bt Y Hanfmann (Germany) 6-7 (12-14) 6-4 6-2; J Struff (Germany) bt Y Maden (Germany) 6-3 3-6 6-3; H Chung (South Korea) bt M Bachinger (Germany) 6-1 6-1; M Klizan (Slovakia) bt M Basic (Bosnia-Herz) 4-6 6-3 7-5. WTA T’MENT (Prague, Czech Republic).-2nd rd: K Pliskova (Czech Rep) bt Q Wang (China) 6-2 7-6 (7-3); M Buzarnescu (Romania) bt A Lottner (Germany) 6-0 7-6 (9-7); S Stosur (Australia) bt D Allertova (Czech Rep) 6-4 6-4; C Giorgi (Italy) bt T Korpatsch (Germany) 6-4 6-2; S Zhang (China) bt E Gabriela Ruse (Romania) 6-4 6-4; J Paolini (Italy) bt A K Schmiedlova (Slovakia) 6-4 6-1; K Siniakova (Czech Rep) bt E Alexandrova (Russia) 6-4 3-6 6-3; P Kvitova (Czech Rep) bt N Vikhlyantseva (Russia) 6-3 6-1. Racing Results Ascot Going: Good to soft-soft in places 1,133 Ladbrokes Scottish League One Play-offs Semi-final 1st leg Stirling A (0) 0 Peterhead (1) 1 Robertson 29 729 VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE.-North playoffs, 1st round: Kidderminster 0 Bradford P A 2-Stockport County 0 Chorley 1. South play-offs 1st round: Hampton & Richmond 3 Truro City 1 (AET)-Hemel Hempstead 0 Braintree Town 0 (AET; Braintree Town win 3-2 on pens). PRESS & JOURNAL HIGHLAND: Fort William 3 Keith 3. FERRARI PACKAGING LOWLAND LEAGUE: Selkirk 1 Civil Service Strollers 1-Whitehill Welfare 1 BSC Glasgow 2-Vale Of Leithen 4 Cumbernauld Colts 4. EVO-STIK SOUTH.-Prem play-off semi-finals: King’s Lynn 3 Weymouth 0-Slough 3 Kettering 1. PREMIER LGE 2.-Div 1: Tottenham Hotspur U23 0 Man City U23 5. FA WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE 2: Tottenham 1 Millwall Lionesses 1. Basketball NBA.-Play-Off, Semi-finals, Western Conf: Golden State 121 New Orleans 116-(Golden State lead best-of-7 series 2-0). Eastern Conf: Toronto 112 Cleveland 113 (OT) (Cleveland lead series 1-0). Cricket IPL.-Delhi: Delhi Daredevils 196-6 (17.1 overs; R Pant 69, S Iyer 50); Rajasthan Royals 146-5 (12 overs, J Buttler 67), Delhi Daredevils win by 4 runs (D/L Method). Ice Hockey NHL.-Play-Off Semi-finals, Western Conf: Winnipeg 7 Nashville 4 (Winnipeg lead best-of-7 series 2-1). Eastern Conf: Pittsburgh 3 Washington 4 (Washington lead series 2-1). Rugby Union PRINCIPALITY BUILDING SOCIETY PREMIERSHIP: Llanelli 43 Swansea 26. Snooker BETFRED WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).-Quarter-finals: B Hawkins (England) bt D Junhui (China) 13-5; K Wilson (England) bt M Allen (Northern Ireland) 13-6; M Williams (Wales) bt A Carter (England) 13-8; J Higgins (Scotland) bt J Trump (England) 13-12. Tennis ATP T’MENT (Estoril, Portugal).-2nd rd: K Edmund (GB) bt A De Minaur (Australia) 6-2 7-5; J Sousa (Portugal) bt P Sousa (Portugal) 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-5; S Bolelli (Italy) bt F Del Bonis (Argentina) 3-6 7-5 6-2; F Tiafoe (US) bt G Muller (Luxembourg) 6-4 7-5. ATP T’MENT (Istanbul, Turkey).-2nd rd: L Djere (Serbia) bt A Seppi (Italy) 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3; P Lorenzi (Italy) bt M Trungelliti (Argentina) 6-2 7-6 (7-5); R Dutra Silva (Brazil) bt V Troicki (Serbia) 6-2 6-3; T Daniel (Japan) bt A Bedene (Slovenia) 6-2 6-2. 2.00 (5f): Getchagetchagetcha (A Kirby 10-1) 1; Vikivaki (20-1) 2; Spell (14-1) 3. The Irish Rover 1-7F. 4 ran. ns, nk. (C Cox). 2.35 (7f213yds): Dathanna (W Buick 1-4F) 1; Agrotera (7-1) 2; Red Starlight (7-1) 3. 4 ran. 1l, 1l. (C Appleby). 3.10 (1m7f209yds): Torcedor (C O’Donoghue 9-4F) 1; Time To Study (11-4) 2; Desert Skyline (7-1) 3. 6 ran. 5l, 3l. (Mrs J Harrington (IRE) ). 3.45 (6f): Invincible Army (R L Moore 11-8F) 1; Eqtidaar (12-1) 2; Enjazaat (20-1) 3. 8 ran. 11/2l, 13/4l. (J Tate). 4.20 (1m): Century Dream (W Buick 5-2) 1; Crazy Horse (25-1) 2; Accidental Agent (2-1F) 3. 7 ran. nk, 21/4l. (S Crisford). NR: Hors De Combat. 4.55 (1m h’cap): Mountain Angel (David Egan 4-1F) 1; Secret Return (14-1) 2; In The Red (16-1) 3; Mr Minerals (5-1) 4. 19 ran. 4l, 2l, 31/2l. (R Varian). NR: Pastime. Placepot: £870.20. Quadpot: £28.40. Bath Going: Good-good to soft in places 5.45 (5f10yds mdn): Big Boots (C Shepherd 9-1) 1; High Horse (5-4F) 2; Greenback Boogie (14-1) 3. 11 ran. 2l, 3/4l. (M Channon). NR: Jaayiz. 6.20 (5f160yds h’cap): Peace Dreamer (Jonathan Fisher 17-2) 1; Powerful Dream (12-1) 2; Bellevarde (4-1) 3. Poet’s Princess 11-4F. 8 ran. 11/2l, ns. (R Cowell). 6.50 (5f160yds h’cap): Cent Flying (M Dwyer 4-1) 1; Give Em A Clump (9-2) 2; Duba Plains (6-1) 3. Grandma Tilly 7-2F. 9 ran. 41/2l, 1/2l. (W Muir). 7.20 (5f160yds h’cap): De Vegas Kid (R Winston 10-3F) 1; Black Truffle (9-1) 2; Dalness Express (5-1) 3. 8 ran. 11/2l, 1l. (A Carroll). NR: Majorette. Majorette, Rule 4 applies to All Bets, deduct 15p in the pound. 7.50 (5f160yds h’cap): The Daley Express (D Probert 7-2) 1; Belledesert (5-2F) 2; Our Lord (6-1) 3. 7 ran. 21/4l, 13/4l. (R Harris). NR: War Whisper. 8.20 (5f10yds h’cap): Who Told Jo Jo (Finley Marsh 9-2) 1; Toolatetodelegate (4-1F) 2; Frank Cool (5-1) 3. 10 ran. 1l, 1/2l. (J Tuite). Jackpot: Not won, pool of £1,897.90 carried over. Placepot: £35.10. Quadpot: £6.00. Brighton Going: Good to soft 4.25 (5f60yds h’cap): Crystal Deauville (S W Kelly 9-1) 1; Forever In Love (10-3) 2; Three Little Birds (9-2) 3. Palmer 13-8F. 6 ran. 3/4l, 4l. (Miss G Kelleway). 5.00 (5f60yds nov): Tin Hat (E Greatrex 1-4F) 1; Swiss Chime (9-2) 2; Coach Trip (14-1) 3. 4 ran. 21/4l, 21/2l. (Eve J-Houghton). NR: Kapono. 5.35 (6f210yds h’cap): Rivas Rob Roy (J Haynes 7-1) 1; Chess Move (7-1) 2; Shrewd Approach (4-1) 3. Sociologist 10-3F. 7 ran. 1/2l, 2l. (J Gallagher). 6.10 (6f210yds h’cap): Live Dangerously (K O’Neill 5-1) 1; Robert The Painter (6-1) 2; Ettie Hart (114F) 3. 9 ran. 1/2l, 21/4l. (J Bridger). NRs: Aye Aye Skipper, Three C’s. 6.40 (1m3f198yds h’cap): Carraigin Aonair (L Morris 11-8F) 1; Tilsworth Lukey (10-1) 2; Penny Poet (111) 3. 11 ran. shd, 11/4l. (Olly Murphy). NR: Royal Hall. 7.10 (1m1f207yds nov): Fayrouz Rose (S W Kelly 2-1) 1; Morning Skye (5-4F) 2; Tesorina (12-1) 3. 6 ran. 41/2l, 6l. (R Hughes). 7.40 (7f211yds h’cap): Shifting Star (K O’Neill 8-1) 1; Buzz Lightyere (7-4F) 2; Muthraab Aldaar (6-1) 3. 5 ran. hd, 4l. (J Bridger). NR: Duke Of North. 8.10 (5f215yds h’cap): Mercers (J Watson 5-1) 1; Krazy Paving (3-1F) 2; Pharoh Jake (6-1) 3. 8 ran. 31/4l, 11/2l. (P Butler). Placepot: £200.20. Quadpot: £33.90. Pontefract Going: Soft 2.10 (5f3yds nov): Celebrity Dancer (K Stott 5-1) 1; Azor Ahai (5-2) 2; Zimazamazoom (14-1) 3. Port of Leith 9-4F. 8 ran. 2l, 1l. (K Ryan). NR: Skeetah. 2.45 (1m2f5yds mdn): Kings Full (S Gray 10-3) 1; Making Miracles (3-1) 2; Allieyf (4-5F) 3. 5 ran. 1 /2l, 23/4l. (K Ryan). 3.20 (1m2f5yds h’cap): Savannah Moon (A Mullen 6-1) 1; Rayaa (2-1F) 2; Stosur (7-1) 3. 7 ran. 11/2l, 8l. (K Ryan). NR: Daisy Bere. 3.55 (1m6yds h’cap): Mutarakez (J P Sullivan 4-1F) 1; Lamloom (8-1) 2; Michele Strogoff (15-2) 3. 14 ran. 1 /2l, 6l. (Mrs R Carr). NRs: Intense Style, Redgrave. 4.30 (6f h’cap): Tawny Port (P Mulrennan 7-1) 1; Van Gerwen (7-1) 2; Cosmic Chatter (14-1) 3. Mr Orange 7-2F. 10 ran. 21/2l, 1/2l. (J Given). NRs: Dandy Highwayman, Kaeso. 5.05 (6f h’cap): The Right Choice (P Hanagan 7-2JF) 1; Shortbackandsides (10-1) 2; Magic Mark (5-1) 3. Northern Angel 7-2JF. 7 ran. hd, 11/2l. (R Fahey). 5.40 (5f3yds h’cap): Foxtrot Knight (S Woods 9-4F) 1; Suitcase ‘n’ Taxi (5-2) 2; Zapper Cass (13-2) 3. 7 ran. 41/2l, ns. (Mrs R Carr). NR: Coiste Bodhar. Placepot: £571.00. Quadpot: £100.70. Wolverhampton Going: Standard 1.50 (6f20yds h’cap): Tasaaboq (D Brock 6-1) 1; Caledonian Gold (33-1) 2; Cruise Tothelimit (11-1) 3. Spitfire Limited 5-2F. 9 ran. 11/4l, 1/2l. (P McEntee). NRs: Kheleyf’s Girl, Napping. 2.25 (1m4f51yds nov): Queen Of Connaught (James Doyle 9-4) 1; Phantasmic (5-1) 2; Sea Youmzain (6-4F) 3. 6 ran. 1/2l, 5l. (M Bell). NR: Kehal. 3.00 (1m4f51yds h’cap): Raashdy (James Doyle 7-4) 1; Costa Percy (6-5F) 2; Retrieve (13-2) 3. 6 ran. 3 /4l, 7l. (P Hiatt). 3.35 (7f36yds h’cap): Summerseat Mist (James Doyle 11-4F) 1; Geetanjali (4-1) 2; Madame Jo Jo (22-1) 3. 9 ran. hd, 11/4l. (H Palmer). 4.10 (1m1f104yds h’cap): Leader’s Legacy (O Murphy 8-13F) 1; Valcartier (3-1) 2; Twin Star (141) 3. 6 ran. 13/4l, 23/4l. (S bin Suroor). 4.45 (1m142yds nov): Desert Diamond (O Murphy 5-1) 1; Dolcissimo (2-1F) 2; Club Tropicana (10-1) 3. 9 ran. 11/2l, shd. (Sir M Stoute). 5.20 (1m142yds nov): Derrymore (James Doyle 7-2) 1; Homeopathic (3-1) 2; Mythical Queen (6-1) 3. Asoof 6-4F. 9 ran. 1/2l, 0l. (J Gosden). 5.55 (1m142yds h’cap): Caribbean Spring (Jane Elliott 11-4) 1; Jeremy’s Jet (9-4F) 2; Cabal (25-1) 3. 8 ran. 1l, 31/2l. (G Margarson). NRs: Misu Pete, Noneedtotellme, Pivotal Dream, Shamonix, Stringybark Creek. Placepot: £41.70. Quadpot: £2.80. Fixtures Football Kick-off 7.45 unless stated UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE SEMI FINAL 2ND LEG Atletico Madrid (1) v Arsenal (1) (8.05) Red Bull Salzburg (0) v Marseille (2) (8.05) VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS, 1ST RD Boreham Wood v AFC Fylde (7) FA WOMEN’S SUPER LGE: Bristol City Women v Man City Women (7). BOSTIK.-Prem, play-off semi-finals: Dulwich v Leiston, Hendon v Folkestone Invicta (7.30). Cricket SPECSAVERS COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP (day 1 of 4).-Division Two: Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Derbyshire (11). IPL.-Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings (3.30). Rugby League BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE: St Helens v Catalans Dragons (7.45). Sport on TV CRICKET: IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings - Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Cricket 3pm. CYCLING: Tour de Yorkshire.Women's Stage 1 - ITV4 8.30am; Men's Stage 1 1345, Eurosport 2 4pm. DARTS: Premier League - Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Action 7pm. FOOTBALL: UEFA Europa League.-Semi-final 2nd leg, Atletico Madrid v Arsenal - BT Sport 2 7.30, Red Bull Salzburg v Marseille - BT Sport 3 7.30; National League.-Play-offs 1st rd, Boreham Wood v AFC Fylde - BT Sport 1 6.30. GOLF: USPGA Wells Fargo Championship - Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Golf Noon; Sky Sports Golf 7pm. RUGBY LEAGUE: Betfred Super League, St Helens v Catalans Dragons - Sky Sports Mix 7.30. SNOOKER: World Championship - BBC Two 1pm & 7pm, Eurosport 1 1pm & 6.45. TENNIS: WTA T'ment, Prague - BT Sport 2 10am. Athletics Asbel Kiprop, the former Olympic and three-time world 1500m champion, has insisted he is a “clean athlete” despite reports emerging that he had failed a drugs test. “I would not want to ruin all that I have worked for,” he said. Olympic Games Athletes who are cheated out of medals by rivals who are then found to have used drugs will get medals within 12 months of the end of any legal procedure and can choose their ceremony, the International Olympic Committee said yesterday. missing the clay court season – the same schedule as last year. Kyle Edmund beat Alex de Minaur 6-2 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the Millennium Estoril Open in Portugal. Tennis England and Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale is out for three months with a fractured kneecap. Roger Federer will return to action at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart in June after Rugby League 16 Thursday 3 May 2018 The Daily Telegraph *** Final whistle Wada is making itself a laughing stock by pursuing Peru’s captain and its rules need ripping up, says James Corrigan How can a pot of tea lead to a World Cup ban? ausanne is a long way L from Lima, but today the Swiss city will feature in every Peruvian news bulletin as a nation waits to discover the fate of its footballing saviour. If the World AntiDoping Agency is successful in its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, then Paolo Guerrero will have his doping ban extended from six months to two years, and the captain and record scorer will miss his country’s first appearance in the World Cup finals in 36 years. Reports from Lima suggest authorities fear riots if Wada prevails. Certainly, an angry sense of injustice would sweep the Land of the Incas and, if one would merely scratch the surface of Guerrero’s case, the grievance would be all the more understandable. The 34-year-old tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine, after Peru’s draw in Argentina last October. Initially, Fifa hit the former Bayern Munich striker with a one-year sanction, meaning he would be absent from the Russia tournament. But, on appeal, this was cut in half after Guerrero’s lawyers convinced the disciplinarians the quantities involved were so small they ruled out cocaine consumption and could probably be put down to drinking tea prepared in a kettle that had previously contained coca leaves. Well, it only seemed fair. To Wada it did not. It fully recognises there was no intention to enhance performance, but is sticking to its strict-liability mantra, which is absurd. So, here we are with this South American cause celebre. Of course, CAS cannot allow emotion to rule the day. It should not matter if Guerrero was the third-choice left-back and in danger of being forced out of the summer CAS appeal: Wada is trying to extend Paolo Guerrero’s current six-month drug ban Perhaps Wada could then direct all its power to catching the real culprits tour to Guatemala. But, at the very least, the spotlight cast by the extraordinary depth of feeling will direct a beam on to Wada, that pompously righteous agency which, on its trusty white steed, gallops ever further from its original remit. Remember, it was set up to unearth cheats? On its formation in 1999, nobody mentioned a crusade against recreational drugs and everyone but the pedantic acknowledges that cocaine is not a performance-enhancer, and the same applies to cannabis, ecstasy and heroin. So, what are they are doing on the list? The answer can be traced back to Wada’s desperation to get the United States on side. The Americans were in the midst of their war on drugs and demanded anti-doping be tied into it. Wada agreed and, in the meantime, despite bodies such as UK Anti-Doping calling for the rules to be relaxed, it has stood firm. All very gallant and noble, but sport has been left with a moral mess in which Dan Evans receives a one-year ban for snorting a line that would have done his tennis career no good whatsoever, and Maria Sharapova receives only three months longer for taking a “heart” drug known to increase endurance. Last week, Zak Hardaker was banned for 14 months, but the doping panel concluded it was “fortuitous” the rugby league player had turned to cocaine instead of continuing his drinking binge, as otherwise he might have died. “There was no performance-related benefit and if he’d had another bottle of spirits instead, he would not be here before us,” the Ukad report read. How ridiculous does that make the ban sound? Yes, Hardaker, Evans and all the rest of the party crowd were wrong and yes, the rules are clear. But the rules are also stupid and should be ripped up. Perhaps Wada could then concentrate catching the real culprits.