Morning Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

James Horan is once again the Mayo senior football manager.

The Ballintubber clubman was ratified at a meeting of the county board, and has been handed a four-year term succeeding Stephen Rochford.


Horan’s second period in charge will see him assisted by Daniel Forde, Martin Barrett and James Burke.

During a previous near four-year term, Horan led Mayo to a pair of All Ireland finals.


SOCCER

Dundalk can be crowned S-S-E Airtricity League Premier Division champions tonight.

The Lillywhites are on the verge of their fourth crown in five years.

Dundalk are 12 points ahead of Cork City at the top of the table with four games to play.

It means a draw at home to St Patrick’s Athletic will be enough to secure the title.

Cork make the trip to Tallaght to face third placed Shamrock Rovers this evening.

Bohemians welcome European hopefuls Waterford to Dalymount and Limerick entertain Derry.

The First Division playoffs get underway tonight.

Drogheda entertain Shelbourne in their first leg at United Park.

Alvaro Morata hit the back of the net to hand Chelsea a 1-nil win over Hungarian champions Vidi in the Europa League last night.

It is the Spanish striker’s second goal in ten appearances.

Manager Maurizio Sarri hopes it is the start of a turnaround

18-year old Emile Smith-Rowe scored his first goal for Arsenal who sit top of Group E after a 3-nil win away to Qarabag.

Celtic took the lead after 96-seconds in Salzburg, but eventually lost 3-1 to their hosts.

A late James Tavernier penalty helped Steven Gerrard’s Rangers come from behind to beat Rapid Vienna 2-1 at Ibrox.

West Ham can draw level on points with Manchester United in the Premier League tonight.

The Hammers head to the Amex Stadium to play Brighton and Hove Albion.


GOLF

Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington are one shot off the lead heading into the second day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

Both players have spent the night on 3 under par, following opening round of 69

Marcus Fraser and Matt Wallace share the top of the leaderboard.


RUGBY

Ulster and Connacht go head to head in the Pro 14 tonight.

Jacob Stockdale and captain Rory Best make their first appearances of the season for the Northern Province

Jarrad Butler and winger Matt Healy are back in the Connacht side following injury.

1960 was the last time the Westerners won in Belfast.

Coach Andy Friend says that is a statistic that doesn’t need to be highlighted

Kick off in Belfast is at 7.35.

RACING

Kew Gardens, who heads the five-strong Aidan O’Brien raiding party for Sundays’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at the new look ParisLongchamp, has been drawn in stall 14 with the favourite Enable getting a more favourable slot from stall 6.

After two years away while the grandstand was bulldozed and reborn, Longchamp hosts its first Arc since 2015 and O’Brien’s main hope, according to the market, will be ridden by Ryan Moore, on board when the pair landed the Doncaster St Leger last month.

The Ballydoyle trainer also saddles Capri (drawn 4) under his son Donnacha, Hunting Horn (12) ridden by Seamie Heffernan, Nelson (3) partnered by Michael Hussey and Magical (16), the mount of Wayne Lordan.

The John Gosden-trained Enable is the current 11/10 favourite to repeat last year’s success while Kew Gardens is available at 10/1 for the big race due off at 3.05pm on Sunday.

Patrick and Willie Mullins teamed up to land the concluding bumper at Clonmel with newcomer Northern Belle, who found plenty for pressure to oblige as the 9-10 favourite.

The well-bred daughter of Getaway rewarded the Closutton connections’ patience, having been bought two years ago but only racing on the track now.

There is racing today at Gowran Park and Dundalk.

The Gowran Park two-day October meeting begins on Friday at 1.55pm where the Pat Walsh Memorial Irish EBF Mares Hurdle (3.40) is the most valuable jumps race on their seven-race card.

Gordon Elliott’s Make My Heart Fly has won her last four races in Britain but faces a stiffer task against five rivals here, notably five-time winner Good Thyne Tara seeking her fourth win over hurdles for Willie Mullins who has won this race for the last three years. Moone trainer Jessica Harrington is doubly represented with dual winner Holding Patten and The Princetonian who opened her account at Clonmel last month while the field is completed by the consistent Awayinthewest from Pat Fahy’s Leighlinbridge yard and Shane Ryder’s Movingswiftlyalong.

The concluding Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mucklemeg Mares Bumper (5.20) has €35,000 on offer. Ireland’s champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins has won this valuable contest twice in the last three years and his unbeaten Queens Boulevard heads a three-pronged challenge under his son Patrick. Stable companions’ Scaglietti and Yukon Lil cannot be dismissed lightly while Gordon Elliott supporters will be hoping his filly Carrie Des Champs might extend her winning sequence to four following wins at Perth twice since winning at Downpatrick last June.

The going at Gowran Park is good with selective watering taking place beforehand.

DUNDALK
Friday, October 5
First Race: 6.00 (7 Races)

The €60,000 iCopy Irish EBF Star Appeal Stakes (7.30) is the richest race down for decision at Dundalk on Friday evening where the first of seven races gets underway at 6.00pm.
The featured event over seven furlongs has attracted a field of six including Naas maiden winner Old Glory who hails from the yard of champion trainer Aidan O’Brien who has won this race several times including for four consecutive years from 2012 to 2015. This Frankel colt made €1.6 million at last year’ Orbry Sale and duly opened his account on his debut last month under Donnacha O’Brien who teams up again here. The race includes four other previous winners headed by Leopardstown debut scorer Inverleigh trained by Ger Lyons who last won this race with Bible Black in 2011. He should appreciate this step up in trip after doing his best work last time out in the concluding stages when runner-up in a decent Fairyhouse Listed contest. Another previous winner in the line up is the experienced Joseph O’Brien-trained challenger No Needs Never who won his maiden at Down Royal last July.
The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap (8.00) has a prizefund of €30,000 headed by the Mick Halford-trained Surrounding who has reached the frame in all three starts on the Polytrack. The Copper Beach Stables trainer Halford has landed this corresponding race three times in the last four years.
Never No More, an eye catching second behind his better fancied stable companion All The King’s Men at Naas last month, will be a warmer order in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race (6.00) for the father and son team of Aidan and Donnacha O’Brien.

The going on the Polytrack at Dundalk is standard.