Evening Sports Update

HORSE RACING

Trainer Gordon Elliott has confirmed that Don Poli has been ruled out of next week’s Cheltenham Gold Cup through injury.

The 2015 R-S-A Chase winner had been a 16-1 shot for the big race.

“Unfortunately Don Poli has picked up an injury and will not make it to this year’s Festival. We are all very disappointed as he was in great form and we were really looking forward to him running”, Elliott said in his Betfair Column this afternoon.

“We may reshuffle our deck but I will discussing that with Eddie and Michael in the coming days.”

Favourite Un De Sceaux is one of 18 horses confirmed for next Thursday’s Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

The 2015 Arkle winner is unbeaten this term with victories in the Tingle Creek and Clarence House Chase.

Empire Of Dirt and Sub Lieutenant will carry the colours of race sponsor Michael O’Leary while the Willie Mullins-trained duo Douvan and Vroum Vroum Mag are also entered.

MOTORSPORT

Stages 2 and 3 of WRC Rally Mexico have been cancelled.

WRC.com reports how the action has been delayed after the convoy of transporters carrying the cars was held up following an accident which led to a motorway being closed for almost six hours.

Motorsport legend John Surtees has died, aged 83.

He won the F1 drivers’ championship in 1964 – four years after winning his fourth world title as a 500cc motorcyclist.

He remains the only man to become world champion on both two and four wheels.

ROWING

Over 100 crews will tomorrow participate in the Kerry Head of the River on the River Laune in Killorglin.

Racing can be viewed from 3 to 6 and will start at the historic Ballykissane Pier and will move upriver to finish at the Killorglin Rowing Club.

Categories range from junior 14 quads to senior singles with the biggest entry in the men’s and women’s junior 15 quads and the mens junior 18 singles.

RUGBY

England defence coach Paul Gustard says Owen Farrell’s a doubt for their match with Scotland tomorrow.

The Saracens centre’s suffering from a leg injury – and didn’t kick a ball during a training session earlier.

Farrell’s already been named in the team for the match at Twickenham.

Head coach Eddie Jones said yesterday he was confident the player would be fit in time.

Jared Payne’s set to start at full-back for Ulster in their Pro-12 match against Zebre at Kingspan Stadium tomorrow evening.

Payne scored a try on his comeback from injury last weekend but wasn’t selected in the Ireland squad to face Wales.

Stuart Olding gets the nod at out-half with fellow Ireland internationals Craig Gilroy and Luke Marshall also selected in the backs.

SOCCER

Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge have been ruled out of Liverpool’s Premier League meeting with Burnley this Sunday.

But manager Jurgen Klopp says forward Roberto Firmino could feature.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Joe Hart’s future won’t be discussed until the summer.

The England goalkeeper’s currently on loan at Italian side Torino.

CYCLING

Ireland’s Dan Martin is in fifth place in the general classification after the sixth stage of the Paris-Nice.

The Quick-Step rider was fifth today as his teammate Julian Alaphilippe maintained the leader’s yellow jersey.

Dave Brailsford insists he won’t be resigning as boss of Team Sky over a mystery medical package being sent to Bradley Wiggins in 2011.

The team say ‘mistakes were made’ but claim it was a legal decongestant and that they didn’t break anti-doping rules.

Brailsford has told Cycling Weekly that he has ‘confidence’ in Team Sky and doesn’t believe there was any wrong-doing.

Meanwhile, British Cycling admits it put winning medals ahead of showing enough “care and attention” to its athletes and staff.

It’s after a draft version of an independent investigation into the culture at the governing body was leaked.

Published in the Daily Mail, it claims the board “sanitised” a separate report into allegations of bullying and sexism.

British Cycling says it disagrees with “the factual accuracy” of some points – but is embracing any recommendations.

GOLF

Defending champion S-S-P Chawrasia is the half-way leader at golf’s Hero Indian Open.

He had a flawless 67 to move to five-under, one ahead of the field, before bad weather disrupted play for the second day in-a-row.

Michael Hoey shot his second successive 71 and is two-under into the weekend.

Paul Dunne’s two-over after his second round.

CRICKET

Ireland have suffered a 17-run loss to Afghanistan on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Afghanistan set a commanding total of 184 for 8 for Ireland to chase in the T-20 International before heavy-rain hit in Delhi.

Paul Stirling got 34 runs from just 15 balls to put Ireland 12 runs ahead when play was halted at 65 for 2 from 6.1 overs due to a heavy downpour.

However, on the resumption a revised target of 111 from 11 overs saw the Irish needing a further 46 from 29 balls, which proved beyond them as leg-spinner Rashid Khan wreaked havoc.

The 18-year-old showed why he has been snapped up on an Indian Premier League contract by taking five wickets for three runs, as Ireland lost 7 wickets for just 14 runs.