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Edwulf progressing well
March 15, 2017 (06:15) [ Indexed from Sky Sports
Joseph O'Brien issued a positive update on Edwulf on Wednesday morning after the horse collapsed at Cheltenham on Tuesday. More...
Triumph update from O'Brien
January 25, 2017 (13:15) [ Indexed from Sky Sports
Bhutan, a general 25/1 chance for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, might not even make it to the track this season. More...
Shalaa 'impressing everyone'
September 12, 2016 (11:15) [ Indexed from Sky Sports
Connections of the long-absent Shalaa have issued a highly encouraging update on his well-being ahead of his intended return to action at Ascot next month. More...
Dunlop welcomes return Trip
March 22, 2016 (06:00) [ Indexed from Sky Sports
Ed Dunlop is looking forward to welcoming Trip To Paris back into training in May after issuing a positive update on his sidelined Gold Cup hero. More...
Super Bowl pick against the spread: Broncos make Panthers sweat it out
February 04, 2016 (16:45) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au
SAN FRANCISCO " The Panthers will win Super Bowl 50 (Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS). That doesnt mean the Broncos won't make them sweat a little for it.
Carolina is favored by 4.5 points, and should be , as the better all-around team in contrast to Denver.
MORE: Straight-up pick | Super Bowl odds update | Most-bet Super Bowl props
The week leading up to the game has been all about the quarterbacks, and that should be the case. But its not Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning. Its two talented passers against two loaded, playmaking defenses.
The Broncos are loaded on every level with big, fast players. They should feel confident that they can take away Newtons wide receivers with Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby.
That will leave defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to get creative with his linemen, linebackers and safeties to put pressure on Newton, but they cant afford to leave anyone else one-on-one. In that scenario, it can expose a linebacker or a safety in single coverage against Greg Olsen, after the team struggled despite double coverage against another big athletic tight end, Rob Gronkowski, in the AFC title game.
The Panthers cant expect to go nutsrushing inside with Jonathan Stewart, but the threat of Newton running out of the zone read will help free Stewart for a few chunk gains, especially in times that Phillips decides to get aggressive.
At some point, they will look for Newton to extend a playlong enough that one of his wideouts can break free for a big play. Otherwise, theyll look to be effective with their bread and butter playmakers, Stewart and Olsen.
Manning will have a much bigger problem working against the Panthers defense. Carolinas defensive line has a huge advantagerushing the passer against Denvers offensive line, inside and out.
MORE: Josh Norman: Self-made superstar | Cam Newton,Von Miller collide
Manning will need to get the ball out quickly to avoid the pressure the Panthers can get with rushing four often. Thats when linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis have preyed on quarterbacks who have neither the time nor the pop to stretch the field.
The Broncos will need to mix it up with two tight ends and three wide receivers to try to give Manning theshort-to-intermediate matchup he likes. That wont ofte be Demaryius Thomas, who is bound to see the shutdown coverage of cornerback Josh Norman most of the game.
The Broncos will stay in the game, because their defense is built to force turnovers against anyone, and it will help Manning with a short field or two. Its just hard to expect them to have more scoring opportunities than the Panthers.
Thats been the case all season. While Denver will grind out field goals, the Panthers will score a little bit more because of Newtons ability to create something out of nothing, which Manning no longer is capable of doing.
The Panthers will bring hometheir first Lombardi Trophy, and Newton will add Super Bowl MVP to his probable regular-season MVP. While Manning is left mulling retirement, Newton will take his next step toward being the new unquestioned best QB in the game.
Pick: Panthers win 23-20 but fail to cover the spread, but they probably wont care one bit. More...
Super Bowl pick straight-up: Newton, Panthers take the 'D' out of Denver
February 04, 2016 (16:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au
Either Peyton Manning rides into the sunset with that legacy-cementing second Lombardi Trophy, or Cam Newton gets the win that fulfills the destiny set for him when he was picked first in the draft just five years ago.
The NFL couldnt have asked for a better plot for the landmark 50th Super Bowl than what the Panthers and Broncos have written.
By now, theres nothing you don't know about both teams. You just want to know who will win.
MORE: Super Bowl odds update| Most-bet Super Bowl props
As usual: Newton and Manning, understandably and fairly, are the two marquee names, yet defense will decide who wins.
The Broncos have become exactly the team John Elway wanted them to be two years ago after they got dragged by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl: defense-first, loaded with talent that has paid off (first in the NFL in yardage and sacks). They put a historic beating on, of all people, Tom Brady, in the AFC title game. They won individual and scheme match-ups everywhere. The Patriots line was overwhelmed, and the Panthers line can be beaten and has weaknesses (whichever side Von Miller lines up on, either tackle, Michael Oher or Mike Remmers, will probably need help, or need to play the game of his life).
However, pressuring Brady and pressuring Newton are two completely different things. Newton is now playing at such a level that a defense can do everything right and still not keep him from making whatever play he needs to, from the pocket, outside of it or on the run. His NFC title game against a Cardinals defense thats as elite as the Broncos is, proved that.
Plus, the Panthers can and will run the ball, with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert and that same line, which is outstanding on run blocking. The Broncos didnt face anywhere close to that quality of running game in the AFC playoffs.
MORE: Historical 1-2 punch: Cam vs. Von |History is not on Manning's side
If Newton defuses the Broncos defense, then, its up to Manning and the Broncos offense to do damage to the Panthers defense " which will have Thomas Davis playing with a broken arm, but otherwise is superlative.
Worth noting: they led the NFL in takeaways with 39, and had seven against the Cardinals. Manning has no turnovers in the playoffs so far but threw 17 picks in the nine games before he got hurt, and has kind of a rep about that in his playoff history.
Thats a bad combination for the Broncos. There are a lot of bad combinations for them in this game. Its been said many times throughout this shocker of a season, but the Panthers didnt get here by luck. Theyre 17-1 on merit.
Theyll get to 18-1 the same way.
Prediction: Panthers, 31-17
Championship games: 2-0
Postseason total: 7-3
Carolina Panthers (17-1) vs. Denver Broncos (14-4), at Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, Cal.
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS More...
Blake Griffin fight investigation to end soon; suspension coming
February 04, 2016 (15:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au
It wont be much longer until we know the repercussions of Blake Griffins right fist repeatedly meeting an equipment mangers face, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday.
The only update right now is we're continuing to investigate, Silver told USA Today. There (are) a lot of people that we want to talk to, and ultimately ensure that we have as complete an understanding as possible as to exactly what happened.
Griffin broke his hand in a fight with Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi last week and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Pictures of his surgically repaired hand surfaced Thursday.
MORE: Ranking every player in the All-Star Game| Midseason awards
BLAKE GRIFFIN's HAND " 1st look, post fight... & it's f'ed up. Swollen, scarred... https://t.co/fHcZDJSwFx pic.twitter.com/kNNDQ3SI3e
" mike babcock || tmz (@michaeljb1) February 3, 2016
Griffins recovery time from hand surgery, coupled with a quadriceps tear thats kept him sidelined since late December, is allowing the NBA to take its time investigating the incident.
Because of Blake's (quad) injury, we probably could have moved faster if we had needed to, Silver said. But because we knew he was going to be out for an extended period anyway, we thought, 'Let's make sure we have as complete an understanding as possible as to what happened. But I'm hoping we can wrap this up relatively quickly.
According to USA Today, Silver said there will likely be discipline handed down from the league, adding Griffin recognizes that there are consequences of his actions. More...
Joseph Randle arrest video: 'This is the end of my career'
February 04, 2016 (00:15) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au
Former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle came to terms with his mistakes during his latest arrest.
TMZ Sports obtained footage from the incident in which the 24-year-old acknowledged his NFL career was likely over, saying "They're going to put this all over the place ...'Randle arrested again.'"
Randle was arrested early Monday in a Dallas suburb on aspeeding warrant. He was booked at 3:39 a.m., and his bail was set at $359. The arrest occurrednear the home of Randle'sex-girlfriend.The former Oklahoma State star rang the doorbell but was not welcome there, so the residents called police.
MORE: Disgraced athletes | Best, worst of Jerry Jones' Cowboys ownership
Here's the video from the arrest:
It wasthe latest incident for Randle, whose trouble beganinOctober 2014, whenhe wascaught on videoattempting to steal underwear and cologne from a Dallas-area department store.
In February, police responded to adomestic violence call from his hotel room in which he allegedly threatened the mother of his son with a gun.He did not face charges in the latter incident due to a lack of evidence, but the NFL handed down a four-game suspension for violating the league'spersonal conduct policy.
That discipline came days after the Cowboys waived the running back. Weeks later, he was arrested at a Kansas casino after allegedly scuffling with security guards who had asked him to leave the building. More...
Tony Stewart injury raises questions about drivers participating in other sports
February 03, 2016 (23:30) [ Indexed from Sportal.com.au
Team owner Rick Hendrick got a bit of a surprise during the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour last month when he found out what two of his Sprint Cup drivers had been up to during the offseason.
Kasey Kahne had been racing sprint cars, first in Australia and then at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. He raced sprint cars 11 times in 20 days, "which was a great offseason," he said.
MORE: Best 2016 driver lineups | With latest injury, Stewart's bad luck continues
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick's six-time Cup champion, then revealed that he had been downhill skiing in Aspen, Colo., where he now has a home. Johnson, already a triathlete and avid mountain biker, raced in the Audi Ajax Cup, a fundraiser for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
"The boss didn't know about the ski racing," Johnson said sheepishly.
Those revelations came on the heels of Dale Earnhardt Jr. posting a video on Twitter of him leaping off a hotel balcony into a swimming pool.
"Sprint cars in Australia, (Jimmie) skiing in Colorado, Earnhardt jumping off the roof in Key West. I hope it's going to be a really good year for us," Hendrick said.
Hendrick was only half joking. Like other NASCAR team owners, he is concerned about his drivers participating in off-track activities that put them at risk of injury " or worse.
It's been an issue that team owners deal with for several years, and it became a hot-button issue again this week when news broke that Tony Stewart injured his back in an ATV accident near San Diego on Sunday. Stewart was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Details of his injuries and prognosis are expected Thursday " just more than two weeks ahead of Daytona 500.
NASCAR drivers are daredevils and thrill-seekers. Their very nature tempts them to try all sorts of daring and risky activities, from biking through the Rocky Mountains to riding dune buggies in the desert.
Teams owners like Hendrick and Joe Gibbs, who have invested millions in the Sprint Cup circuit's top talent, cringe every time they hear about one of their drivers participating in such activities. Even playing pickup basketball can be dangerous " Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin has torn a knee ligament twice on the court and hobbles into the 2016 season after his second knee surgery.
Team owners can curb such risks with contract stipulations that prohibit or restrict drivers from certain activities.
It's tougher, however, to restrict them from racing.
And there is nothing racecar drivers like more than dabbling in other forms of racing during the offseason or their spare time. They enjoy racing sprint cars and late model stock cars. They like racing on dirt. Kurt Busch even raced in the Indy 500 on the same day as the Coca-Cola 600 two years ago, a feat Stewart and others also performed.
To many, such extracurricular racing is their hobby, like other athletes playing golf.
Some, like Stewart and Kahne, have raced sprint cars during the NASCAR season. But that also comes with a big risk.
Stewart found that out the hard way. He broke a leg in a sprint-car accident in 2013 that caused him to miss the final third of the season and required five surgeries.
A year later, he was involved in an even worse accident in a sprint-car race. That one led to the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., who walked onto the track and was struck and killed by Stewart's car. Stewart missed three Sprint Cup races while dealing with grief over Ward's death, and the tragic accident might have had lingering, long-term affects on Stewart's mental state and driving ability.
Now, entering the final season of his Sprint Cup career, Stewart has been involved in another vehicle accident that has left him injured and might impact his season and performance.
Stewart is in a unique situation. As a co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, he is his own boss. He can essentially do what he wants off the track. And no one is going to tell Tony Stewart what he can and cannot do.
Other team owners have more power and control, and it might be time for them to take a stronger stand on what their drivers do away from NASCAR tracks.
Kahne, who like Stewart owns his own sprint-car team, has not run sprint-car races during the NASCAR season since 2012. But last month he said he hopes to run six to 10 during 2016.
Hendrick is not so sure about that.
"I think he and I need to talk about that a little bit," Hendrick told NBC's NASCAR Talk. "I don't think we got any further than (the races in) Australia. I don't think we crossed into this year yet."
Gibbs has at times prohibited Kyle Busch and other JGR drivers from running non-NASCAR events during the season. He has even limited the number of non-Cup NASCAR races his drivers can run.
Busch likes to run late-model cars and race on dirt, but his broken leg and foot last season came while racing in first Xfinity Series race at Daytona. He missed the Daytona 500 the following day while in the hospital and the season's first 11 races.
Busch returned to win five races and the Sprint Cup championship. But last month, he said that he would no longer run restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega in non-Cup events. That was a decision forced on him by his wife and team owner.
It's a tough call for owners to restrict drivers from doing what they love, especially when some believe extra racing helps them stay sharp and maintain an edge. Kahne contends that one of his best Sprint Cup seasons was in 2012, when he raced his sprint car 14 times.
"If anything the more I race my sprint car, the better I raced in Cup," Kahne told NBC.
But participating in other activities might be another matter.
It's hard for a team owner to tell Jimmie Johnson that he can't go skiing or mountain biking " particularly when it's part of his physical training " or riding ATVs. But the risk of injury comes with high costs.
Missing races because of injury not only affects a driver's ability to compete, but the costs trickle down to his sponsors, his crew, other corporate partners and, in some cases, even his teammates.
And the entities that are affected most are NASCAR, which represents the entire industry; and the fans, the sport's lifeblood. If fans can't watch Tony Stewart or Jimmie Johnson or Kyle Busch race because they were injured for any reason, then they are not getting their money's worth or a full return on their investment.
Team owners must protect those entities, just as they must protect the key assets on their teams and organization.
Hendrick dodged a bullet when his three drivers survived the offseason despite risky decisions.
Stewart was not so lucky, and now he and his team and their sponsors might have to pay " again.
Team owners might want to take heed. More...
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