Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Bournemouth have climbed to seventh-place in the Premier League.

Junior Stanislas’ 87th minute goal from the penalty spot gave Eddie Howe’s side a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last night.


Palace remain 13th after suffering their first defeat in three games.

Sergio Aguero is expected to shake off a knock to start for Premier League champions Manchester City in their Champions League game at Hoffenheim this evening.

Aguero limped off in the second-half of City’s win against Brighton on Saturday but he returned to full training yesterday.

City make the trip to Germany after suffering a shock defeat to Lyon in their Group F opener last month.

The other match in the group sees Lyon host Shakhtar.

Manchester Untied are without injured trio Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young and Ander Herrera for their group H clash with Valencia at Old Trafford.

The visitors arrive to Manchester with just one win from seven games so far in La Liga and on the back of a 2-nil defeat to Juventus in their opening game in the Champions League.

United are hoping to bounce back from their weekend defeat at West Ham and manager Jose Mourinho says his players have responded well in training ahead of this evening’s game

At the same time in the group, Italian champions Juventus host Young Boys.

Also tonight holders Real Madrid are without the injured Gareth Bale for their trip to CSKA Moscow in Group G, while five-time champions Bayern Munich host four-time winners Ajax in Group E.

Leicester City await the winners of this evening’s Carabao Cup third-round tie between Everton and Southampton.

RUGBY

Sevu Reece’s move to Connacht hangs in the balance.

He has been granted a discharge without conviction over an incident of domestic violence against his partner.

The 21-year-old winger is due to arrive in Galway next month, after agreeing a two-year contract in May.

Reece was discharged without conviction and Connacht and the I-R-F-U says they’re now ‘seeking to clarify information around the situation’ before commenting further.

Meanwhile Connacht’s Dominic Roberston-McCoy will face a Guinness Pro14 disciplinary panel later this week.

The tighthead prop was shown a red card for a stamp on Josh van Flier’s head in the westerners’ 20-points to 3 defeat to Leinster in Galway on Saturday.

The 24-year-old is expected to be handed a lengthy ban.


GAELIC GAMES

Mike Solan looks set to continue as Mayo under-20 football manager for 2019.

He withdrew from the race for the senior job last Friday – paving the way for James Horan to succeed Stephen Rochford.

Horan will be put forward for ratification on Thursday night.

DARTS

The second round gets underway at darts’ World Grand Prix at Dublin’s CityWest Hotel this evening.

Defending champion Daryl Gurney faces Ron Meulenkamp while top seed Michael van Gerwen goes up against Darren Webster.

The opening match of the evening pits Raymond van Barneveld against Dave Chisnall.

RACING

There is racing this afternoon at Naas with the first of a eight race card underway at 2.15.

Kieran Cotter has been training horses for over two decades but he hasn’t had many more fulfilling days than last Saturday at Navan when Polly Douglas beat stablemate Dash D’Or to complete a first ever forecast for the trainer whose stable is located between Monasterevin and Portarlington.

Three days later and Cotter will try to repeat the feat with the same two horses in the opening Naasracecourse.com Handicap.

Cacique Royal’s recent Down Royal win saw his handicap mark raised from 60 to 79 and the three-year-old gelding tries to defy that hefty hike in the Naas Golden Ticket Handicap (6.05), the same course and distance where his winning spree began last month off a mark of 62.

Henry de Bromhead was tearing his hair out when Dylan Robinson elected to sit off the pace in the feature Ballymore Irish EBF Novice Chase aboard Ornua at Roscommon but it proved an inspired one by the jockey.

Ornua, a proven front runner, settled off the pace today and came away clear in the finish for the €40,000 contest.

Eoin Griffin looks to have a potentially decent horse on his hands judging by the performance of his Castletown Quary in the bumper at Roscommon.

Ridden by Jamie Codd and owned by the Great Palls Partnership, Castletown Quarry won easily.

If last Saturday is any guide, when two Group 1s were tucked away at Newmarket in 35 minutes, anything is possible for Donnacha O’Brien, although the 20-year-old riding sensation believes beating his brother Joseph’s record of 126 wins in a season will be impossible – at least this year.

That is not to say he won’t be trying again in 2019, as O’Brien revealed he will definitely be riding next year, and is taking it one year at a time as regards his long-term future.
Joseph O’Brien broke Mick Kinane’s 20-year record of 116 winners in an Irish Flat season in 2013, a figure his younger brother does not think he has any chance of eclipsing this year. Paddy Power have more belief by making him 9-2 to rewrite the record books.

The champion jockey-in-waiting reached a century for the campaign at Dundalk last Friday, but reckons another 27 winners is beyond him.

Donnacha O’Brien said: “I’ve no chance of beating Joseph’s record. I know there’s another month left in the season but with us having so many runners outside of Ireland in the next couple of weeks, I’d say I’ll have only another ten to 15 meetings to try to ride winners. If I got to 110 winners I’d be happy. Any more I ride this season are a bonus in any case. We’re at a time of the season when there are a lot of big races away from home, so I’ll have to concentrate on those. If you’d told me at the start of the season I’d ride over 100 winners I’d never have believed you. It’s been incredible. I don’t think I’ve changed too much over the course of the season but the one thing that’s a big help is big-race experience. It’s invaluable.”