Morning Sports Update

MOTORSPORT

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton had to settle for a second placed finish at the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the race – while Hamilton’s new Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third.

Vettel’s victory secured a first triumph for his team since 2015.

SOCCER

The World Cup qualifiers continue this evening with Northern Ireland, England and Scotland all in action.

In Group C Northern Ireland face Norway at 7.45, where a win for Michael O’Neill’s side would see them pull 7 points clear of their qualification rivals.

In Group E Gareth Southgate takes charge of England in a competitive game as permanent manager for the first time as they host Lithuania at Wembley.

Kick off is at 5.

Also in Group E at 7.45, Scotland face Slovenia.

RUGBY

Ospreys hopes of winning the Pro12 title took a huge blow after they suffered a surprise defeat to Treviso.

They went down 13-5 in Italy – and are six points off leaders Leinster.

Glasgow were 35-24 winners over Connacht.

GOLF

It’s semi-finald day at the WGC Match-Play Championship.

Top ranked DustinJohnson will face 60th-ranked Japan Tour star Hideto Tanihara.

US 42nd seed Bill Haas will go up against 22-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm.

The LPGA Kia Classic is being headed by Mirim Lee.

She’s 13 under after a 67 and 1 in front of Mi Jung Hur.

BOXING

Katie Taylor claimed her fourth professional win last night.

The Bray native dominated her lightweight bout against former world-title challenger Milena Koleva at Manchester Arena last night, claiming a 80-72 verdict after an eight-round fight.

Britain’s Anthony Crolla failed to win back his WBA world lightweight title after losing his rematch with Jorge Linares in Manchester.

He came back from being knocked down in the seventh round, before being beaten by a unanimous points decision.

The Venezuelan also won after the two went the full 12 rounds in their first fight in September.

HORSE RACING

THE weather gods had conspired to make World Cup night a true test but, while other favourites faltered, Arrogate showed he is a true champion with a jaw-dropping display.

Torrential rain fell in the desert in the build up to the World Cup and one-by-one the other hotshots lining up at Meydan failed to deliver. Nevertheless, Arrogate was still expected to prevail where others had failed and live up to his billing as the best horse in the world. He did, in quite exceptional style.

All was in order as the horses were loaded into the gates, but as they crashed back Arrogate was slow to exit and he was horrendously hampered by rivals coming across him to get a better position and ended up at the rear of the field. Things had just got a whole lot harder for the world’s best.
Unpanicked, jockey Mike Smith let Arrogate find his feet and moved up steadily on the outside as his compatriot, and main danger, Gun Runner sat poised at the head of the field.
Smith made his move on the turn for home, eager to get his superstar partner rolling but not in an all-out drive for glory. What happened next was incredible.

In just a matter of strides Arrogate went from nowhere to the front, running past opponents like they were selling platers and not contenders for a $10 million race. It was remarkable and in the end a win that was a shade cosy.

During his incredible career trainer Bob Baffert has handled some of the biggest names in racing, but the performance his Arrogate put in left him stunned. “When he missed the break, I gave him no chance at all. I was mad at myself for bringing him,” he said. “That’s the greatest horse I’ve ever seen run. I can’t believe he won. That is a great horse right there. When they turned for home, I told myself ‘If he wins, this is the best horse we’ve seen since Secretariat.'”