Thursday Evening Sports Update

RACING

It’s been a memorable afternoon at Cheltenham with jockey Bryony Frost enjoying the highest profile success for a Lady Jockey in racing history.

From the track Mike Vince.


Cork-born jockey Aidan Coleman was thrilled to partner Paisley Park to victory in the Stayers Hurdle, and afterwards Coleman said it was a brilliant day for racing and expressed how a win at the festival can mean so much to a rider….

Barry Geraghty rode the first two winners of the day.

He inspired 4-to-1 favourite Sire du Berlais (PR: Ber-lay) to a late surge to claim the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle for trainer Gordon Elliott.

Geraghty also rode the favourite – Defi du Seuil (PR: Soy) – to victory in the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase.

Another female jockey, Lizzie Kelly enjoyed success in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase.

She steered 9/2 shot Siruh Du Lac home by a three-quarters of a length from the 3/1 favourite, Janika.

Willie Mullins’ third winner of the festival came with 50-to-1 shot Eglantine Du Seuil (PR: Eg-lon-teen doo Soy) winning the Mares Novices’ Hurdle.

While the final race at 5.30 has just been won by No 2 Any Second Now 6/1.

The Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland has issued a plea to the British Government to end the uncertainty over Brexit and pledged to do whatever is necessary to ensure the free movement of Horses and Racegoers between the two countries.

Brian Kavanagh has been speaking at Cheltenham, which has welcomed tens of thousands of Irish pilgrims this week and more than a hundred top jump horses from across the Irish Sea.

Thousands of British travellers are expected at Ireland’s top Festival in Punchestown at the end of April.

Amid as cordial an atmosphere as at any top sporting event, Brian Kavanagh’s praised the Cheltenham Festival and promised to do what HRI can to keep the racing calendar as ‘business as usual’.

RUGBY

Tadhg Beirne has been handed a first Six Nations start for Saturday’s meeting with Wales in Cardiff – he replaces the injured Iain Henderson.

There’s another change to the pack with Sean O’Brien returning at openside for Josh van der Flier.

There’s no place in the match-day squad for Tralee-man Ultan Dillane.

And having been named in last week’s starting line-up but ultimately withdrawing from the side that beat France – Rob Kearney has again been named at full-back.

Kieran Marmion’s likely to make a first appearance of the championship, having been named among the replacements.

Wales are unchanged for the game at the Principality Stadium, as they chase the Grand Slam.

SOCCER

Arsenal trail Rennes by 2 goals heading into the second leg of their Europa League last 16 encounter at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

The Gunners are looking to become only the second team in the history of the competition to progress following a 3-1 defeat in the first leg of a knock out tie.

Chelsea lead Dynamo Kiev 3-nil ahead of the resumption of their tie in the Ukraine.