Evening Sports Update

RACING

The Willie Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Paul Townend rode the 12-to-1 shot to victory 2-and-a-half lengths ahead of 22-to-1 shot Anibale Fly, with the grey Bristol de Mai third at 18-to-1.


It’s Mullins’ 64th winner at the Cheltenham Festival, but his first ever Gold Cup

Townend

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Rachael Blackmore has become the second female jockey in as many days to win a Grade One at the Cheltenham Festival.

She piloted 50-to-1 shot Minella Indo to victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

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20-to-1 shot Pentland Hills was a surprise winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle – the opening race of the final day.

However, Joseph O’Brien says his yard is devastated by the fatal injury suffered by the favourite for that race – Sir Erec.

The Mark Walsh mount sustained the injury while going over a fence.

The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle was won by 12-to-1 shot Ch’tibello.

RUGBY

The roof of the Principality Stadium will remain open for tomorrow’s Six Nations meeting of Ireland and Wales.

Heavy rain is forecast for Cardiff, but Ireland – as visitors – have insisted the stadium remains open to the elements.

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The Ireland under-20s can secure a Grand Slam this evening.

Noel McNamara’s side face their Welsh counterparts at Colwyn Bay, where kick-off is at 7.05.

SOCCER

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has moved a step closer to being expanded to 48-teams.

A second feasibility study will be launched to see if neighbouring countries can share the load of the hosting duties.

Recently, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met with representatives of Oman and Kuwait as he explores the option of an expanded tournament.

A final decision on expanding the World Cup four-years ahead of schedule will be made at FIFA Congress in June.

West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen and Burnley centre-half Kevin Long have both been added to the Republic of Ireland squad for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers with Gibraltar and Georgia.

It follows the news that Ronan Curtis and Alan Browne will miss both games through injury.

Portsmouth forward Curtis recently had part of a finger surgically re-attached following a freak accident at his home.

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Liverpool could meet Manchester United in the Champions League semi finals.

They’re on the same side of the draw, with Liverpool at home to Porto in the first leg of their quarter final, and United away to Barcelona.

Tottenham will take on Manchester City in an all-Premier League tie, with the winners facing Juventus or Ajax in the last-4.

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri’s got his wish of not having to face his former club Napoli until at least the final of the Europa League.

His current side will meet Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals – and either Eintracht Frankfurt or Benfica in the semis.

Arsenal will take on Napoli in the last-eight – with Villarreal ((pron: villa-ray-al)) or Valencia their potential opponents in the last-four.

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SSE Airtricity Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers play host to Sligo Rovers this evening.

Bohemians put their unbeaten start to the season on the line when they travel to Cork.

Dundalk make the trip to Derry.

Waterford host St. Pat’s

And UCD welcome Finn Harps to Belfield.

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