Morning Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster are the last Irish province to get their European Champions Cup campaign underway today.

They’re in France for a tricky tie against Castres.


The home side have never reached the quarter-finals of the tournament but they do have an impressive home record, winning 4 of their last 6 European ties at the Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Kick off is at 1 Irish time.

Elsewhere today Toulon face Scarlets at 3.15, and then at 5.30 it’s Ospreys against Clermont and Northampton versus Saracens.

Connacht opened their Challenge Cup campaign with a bonus-point 43-15 win at Oyonnax last night.

Matt Healy ran in two of the five tries for Kieran Keane’s side with Darragh Leader, Cian Kelleher and Eoin McKeown also crossing the whitewash.

SOCCER

Everton look to win on the road in the Premier League for the first time since January this lunchtime.

Ronald Koeman’s side make the trip to Brighton, having failed to take all three-points in their last 11 matches away from home in the top-flight.

Kick-off is at half-one.

Southampton are expected to start Shane Long in their game against Newcastle after the striker sat out the Republic of Ireland’s win against Wales earlier this week with a hip problem.

The game at St Mary’s pits Saints boss Maurico Pellegrino against his former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez – who is in the Newcastle dug-out.

Watford are up to fourth in the Premier League after scoring late to snatch a 2-1 home win over Arsenal.

Wolves are the new leaders of the Championship after a 2-nil victory over local rivals Aston Villa.

Limerick have boosted their chances of staying up in the League of Ireland’s Premier Division.

A Rodrigo Tossi goal from the penalty spot gave them a 1-nil home win against Drogheda which lifts them five-points clear of the relegation places.

GAELIC GAMES

It’s a hugely busy day in the GAA club scene with senior county finals and a provincial club game to be decided.

Among the pick of the hurling finals are in Clare where Clooney-Quin face Sixmilebridge at 3.30, while in the Limerick decider from 4pm former All-Ireland champions Na Piarsaigh face Kilmallock.

In football there are three stand out finals at 4pm.

Omagh take on Errigal Ciaran in Tyrone, in the Galway final Corofin face Mountbellew-Moylough, and in the Cork final it’s Nemo Rangers take on Saint Finbarrs.

A half hour earlier in the Kildare final Celbridge take on Moorefield.

GOLF

Matt Wallace is the man to catch heading into the final day of the Italian Open on the European Tour.

He holds a 2 shot lead on 17 under par.

Paul Dunne is best of the Irish – he’s in a tie for 13th on 11 under while Graeme McDowell is back on 3 under.

HORSE RACING

The action will come fast and furious at Naas today, with the €120,000 final of the Foran Equine series taking centre stage at 3.00 over seven furlongs.

Jockeys’ championship leader Colin Keane kicked five winners clear of Pat Smullen with a double at Cork on Saturday and will be hoping that Ball Girl can provide the Meath rider with another crucial victory in his quest to become champion jockey.

The reigning title holder will be keen to bag a winner from any of his six rides on the eight-race card and Making Light looks to be one of the more fancied runners in the Listed Clodovil Irish EBF Garnet Stakes at 3.35.

The At The Races Irish EBF Birdcatcher Premier Nursery has produced some smart winners in the past and John Oxx’s Miss Zizi shaped with plenty of promise last time at Fairyhouse behind Saturday’s Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes fourth Threeandfourpence.

Partnered by Niall McCullagh, the Curragh-based trainer’s juvenile could well be competitive off a low weight in the €50,000 contest, due off at 2.25.

The concluding Anjaal Irish EBF Bluebell Stakes at 5.20 is an extremely competitive affair in which trainer Joseph O’Brien will look to land a Listed double with Detailed, who showed a good attitude when scoring at Limerick last week.

The first race is due off at 1.20 and the going at Naas is described as soft.

Irish racing previews and news bulletins are brought to you by Horse Racing Ireland and the Racing Post

The jumps are back at Cork Racecourse this afternoon as the second day of the Mallow track’s October meeting sees quality action on offer, such as the feature coopsuperstores.ie Handicap Chase at 3.50.

Dungourney, Co Cork-based trainer James Sheehan’s saddles his stable star Hurricane Ben in the two miles and one furlong event, making his first start since a creditable effort in defeat at the Punchestown festival in April.

The I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle at 2.40 sees Ireland’s leading stables go to war, with Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh teaming up with Minella Beau, while Gordon Elliott runs recent Clonmel scorer Arvico Bleu.

Nina Carberry will be hoping that she can continue her winning form since returning from giving birth to her daughter Rosie in the concluding Crossmore Tyre Recycling Supporting The Rickie Healy Appeal (Pro/Am) Flat Race at 5.30 aboard Secret Legacy.

Robbie McNamara’s Dasmyhoss is another who could prove popular with punters after a solid effort in defeat at Tipperary last time.

The first race is due off at 2.05 and the going at Cork is described as yielding on the hurdles course, yielding-to-soft on the chase track.

Aidan O’Brien’s attempt to break the single-season world record for most Grade/Group 1 victories set by Bobby Frankel in 2003 continues in Woodbine, Canada tonight.

Ireland’s champion Flat trainer is one short on the 24 winner mark at the highest level to equal the record set by the late American legend after his incredible Dewhurst Stakes one-two-three-four led home by US Navy Flag in Newmarket on Saturday.

Later today Rain Goddess, runner-up to the brilliant Enable in the Darley Irish Oaks back in July, represents the Ballydoyle trainer in the E.P. Taylor Stakes at 10.28pm. Third in the Blandford Stakes at the Curragh on her latest start, the daughter of Galileo is ridden by Ryan Moore and faces eight rivals in the Grade 1 event over ten furlongs. Moore later teams up with the O’Brien representative Idaho in the Pattison Canadian International Stakes at 11.10pm. The dual Group 2 winner makes a quick reappearance since his eighth-place finish behind Enable in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triumphe at Chantilly two weeks ago and faces nine rivals in the 1m4f event.