Morning Sports Update

GOLF

The 42nd Ryder Cup is underway.

Europe are attempting to regain the trophy following defeat in Minnesota 2 years ago.


American are hoping to win the tournament on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

SOCCER

Dundalk will look to reach a fourth successive F-A-I Cup final this evening.

The Premier Division champions-elect take on the First Division winners U-C-D at Oriel Park.

Championship leaders Leeds United make the short trip to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday tonight.

Aston Villa play Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

RUGBY

Two sides who had contrasting fortunes against Irish sides last week have home games in the Pro 14 tonight.

Cardiff will look to build on last week’s win over Munster with the Cheetahs visiting the Arms Park.

While Edinburgh will need to bounce back from their loss to Leinster, with Benetton coming to Murrayfield.

Both games kick off at 7.35.

MOTORSPORT

Practice takes place today ahead of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Lewis Hamilton holds a 40 point lead over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the driver’s standings.

BOXING

Billy Joe Saunders may avoid sanction, despite testing positive for a banned stimulant.

A voluntary sample has shown traces of oxilofrine.

However, the substance is only deemed to be banned when an athlete is “in competition”.

CYCLING

Maeve Gallagher and Ben Healy were the top Irish finishers on day five of the World Road Championships.

Gallagher finished 26th and Healy 25th in the Women’s and Men’s Junior Road Races, respectively.

RACING

There is racing this evening at both Dundalk and Downpatrick.

Downpatrick startS at 1.55pm where Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins has three runners on the card.

Koroleva is his representative in the opening ITBA Northern Region Supporting Local Racecourses Maiden Hurdle (1.25). Since winning her bumper last July in Cork, she has reached the frame in all three outings over jumps and Paul Townend is reunited here for just the second time since the pair proved a costly failure at Kilbeggan last month. Townend is also on board the ex Paul Deegan inmate Eight And Bob who was a warm order on her first start for Mullins on the Flat at Navan when unseating Colin Keane after stumbling badly leaving the stalls. Afterwards she started favourite again reverting to hurdles at Clonmel so it’ll be interesting to see how she fares in the Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle (2.30) where she faces 13 rivals.

Mullins’ third and final runner on the card is Mid Day Gun in the concluding Molson Coors-sponsored bumper (5.20) where among his six rivals is recent Kelso runner-up Miss Aloud from the in-form Gordon Elliott stable and winning pointer Salty Boy who has shaped with promise in two subsequent starts over hurdles over longer trips for Doninga trainer Mags Mullins.

The going at Downpatrick is good with watering taking place beforehand to maintain current underfoot conditions.

The Group 3 Recruit Island Diamond Stakes (7.30) over an extended ten furlongs is the richest race on an eight-race evening card at Dundalk.

The six-runner field includes two British-trained challengers with Ed Dunlop sending over Global Giant, runner-up in a Windsor Group 3 last month, and Hugo Palmer represented with recent Kempton handicap scorer and three-time winner Mootasadir. The Joseph O’Brien-trained Ming, successful here on his debut last April, is going in search of his fourth career win and looks the pick of the domestic challenge while his father Aidan runs Ballet Shoes. The field is completed with the Mick Halford-trained duo Massif Central and stable companion Kalaxana, who looks the pick of the pair with regular pilot Chris Hayes in the plate again and they cannot be discounted lightly.

The first of eight races at Dundalk gets underway at 5.30pm and the going on the Polytrack is standard.