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VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 10

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									G24
                           | pdf edition | Tuesday April 2 2013                                                           Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 11:00 GMT




Rafael Benítez says Chelsea’s ‘great
season’ could get even better
Rafael Benítez has set Chelsea a target of winning the FA Cup and
Europa League in addition to a top-four Premier League finish
Page 2


Paolo Di Canio refuses to let fascism row
get in way of Sunderland survival
Sunderland’s new manager Paolo Di Canio has refused to expand
on his political views after being asked during his first press
conference since taking the job whether or not he is a fascist Page 3


George North row escalates Wales split
between WRU and the regions
A Welsh Rugby Union accusation that Scarlets hawked George
North around has deepened the row with Wales’ four regions
Page 4



Andy Murray climbs                           Magnus Carlsen sets                          Michael O’Leary                 Jamie Shaul’s debut
to world No2 and has                         up chess showdown                            donates €200,000 to             lays foundations
Novak Djokovic in his                        Page 6                                       JT McNamara fund at             for Hull recovery at
sights Page 4                                                                             Fairyhouse Page 7               Wakefield Page 9
                                             Laura Trott goes on
Australia request                            the attack in road                           Chess grandmaster               Henrik Stenson
secrecy over ICC                             debut for Wiggle                             loses but still wins            banks on the Masters
squad list Page 5                            Honda Page 7                                 Page 8                          to replenish ranking
                                                                                                                          and savings Page 10




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                                  guardian.co.uk
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                                         Tuesday April 2 2013           11:00 GMT

                                                                       are 22 points adrift of Manchester United and now compete in
                                                                       Uefa’s secondary club competition. Yet Benítez will continue
Rafael Benítez says Chelsea’s ‘great                                   to juggle his resources in the hope of winning trophies and
season’ could get even better                                          a place in the top four from the games that remain. He made
                                                                       six changes to the line-up beaten 2-1 at St Mary’s and was able
• Benítez targets FA Cup, Europa League                                to savour an industrious performance capped by Demba Ba’s
and top-four finish                                                    sublime volleyed winner four minutes into the second half and
                                                                       a staggering save from Petr Cech to deny Javier Hernández an
• Chelsea upbeat despite Gary Cahill and
                                                                       equaliser.
Ashley Cole absences                                                       Their pursuit of a fifth FA Cup in seven years remains on
Dominic Fifield at Stamford Bridge                                     course, even if the loss of Cahill and Cole represents a blow.
                                                                       The centre-half, who had initially been hopeful of playing for
                                                                       England in Montenegro last week, has suffered a setback in his
                                                                       recovery from the knee injury sustained against West Ham.
                                                                       Cole limped off midway through the first half on Monday after
                                                                       damaging a hamstring while chasing Danny Welbeck.
                                                                           “He’ll be missing for at least two weeks which, for us, means
                                                                       20 games,” Benítez said. “Cahill will be out for another 15 days
                                                                       at least, probably two or three weeks, so we’ll have to manage
                                                                       the players we have. Our squad is not that big but, if we don’t
                                                                       have more injuries, we’ll be fine [with the pursuit on three
                                                                       fronts]. We’ll have to approach it all carefully.”
                                                                           United, whose centre-half Rio Ferdinand was booed
                                                                       throughout by the home support, are set to secure the title in
                                                                       the weeks to come, with the derby against the holders due on
Rafael Benítez said Chelsea ‘have to try to win every
                                                                       Monday. Wayne Rooney is expected to be fit to face City, having
competiton’ after booking their place in the FA Cup semi-
                                                                       missed the Cup game with a groin injury picked up on England
finals. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
                                                                       duty last week.
Rafael Benítez has claimed Chelsea have already enjoyed a                  Sir Alex Ferguson shook hands with Benítez before and after
“great season” after the reigning European champions, who              the game, despite the fractious relationship the pair have had in
slipped to fourth in the Premier League at the weekend,                English football over the past nine years.
knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup to secure a semi-              The United manager was left frustrated by his team’s
final against Manchester City.                                         performance. “To be honest with you, I thought we were too
    The interim manager will have defensive concerns                   rushed in that second half,” he said. “We just lacked a bit of
before that match at Wembley on 14 April, with his England             composure to create the proper openings.
internationals Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole unlikely to play any            “Robin [van Persie] had a couple of headers and another
part in the cluttered schedule of the next two weeks.                  chance he really should have scored but he put it over the bar.
    Chelsea will have top-flight and Europa League matches to          But it was disappointing because we are better than that.
play in the interim, with Rubin Kazan due at Stamford Bridge               “We didn’t play as well as we should have done. It was
on Thursday and the return leg only three days before the semi-        disappointing but we have to forget all about it and move on to
final, and yet Benítez claimed the campaign to date should             the game against City next Monday. We are in a good position
already be considered a success.                                       and I think a positive result for us on Monday will just about
    “We had a turning point two weeks ago [against West Ham]           seal the title.
and then, after one game, it seemed everything had changed,”               “The players are down because they know they can do better
said Benítez, referring to the reaction to Saturday’s untimely         – only Antonio Valencia reached the standard we expect of them
defeat at Southampton that jeopardised their pursuit of a top-         – but we will kick on.”
four finish. “But it’s the same. The race for the top four will go
until the end of the season. We’re in the top four with a game in




                                                                         *
hand [on Tottenham Hotspur]. We’re in the semi-finals of the
FA Cup and the quarter-finals of the Europa League. It’s a great
season. It could be even better.
    “My priority is the top four and trying to win the next game,
in the Europa League, against Rubin Kazan. We know the                   From Beirut to Big Brother, Murdoch to
priority has to be the top four but as a top side you have to try to     Millionaire,
win every competition. The problem we had between these two              discuss the hot topics in the media on
games was that we had less than 48 hours between them, and
                                                                         not one, but two blogs Organ Grinder and
we don’t have the biggest squad. We don’t need to justify [the
selection last Saturday]. We had to manage those we had. You
                                                                         Greenslade
cannot kill players by making them play two games in a row all           blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/
in that time.”                                                           blogs.guardian.co.uk/greenslade/
    The assertion that Chelsea have already enjoyed a “great”
campaign may perplex the team’s supporters, given the side
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 2 2013             11:00 GMT

                                                                    the words they wanted. I can’t keep going on about my life and
                                                                    my family. The people who are talking in this way, they don’t
Paolo Di Canio refuses to let fascism row                           understand Paolo Di Canio.”
get in way of Sunderland survival                                       Asked if the focus on politics is making his job more difficult,
                                                                    he said: “No. Because always there is an issue if people try to
• New manager declines to expand on                                 put you in difficulty for a ridiculous and pathetic situation
political views                                                     which doesn’t represent Paolo Di Canio. So I’m not worried.”
                                                                        Di Canio’s appointment has divided opinion gu.com/p/3ep3a
• ‘Mad Italian’ says he can save club from
                                                                    among the Sunderland supporters but the Italian is confident
relegation                                                          he will win them over. He said: “At Swindon, there were many
Press Association                                                   people that couldn’t believe Di Canio was the right man for the
                                                                    club. After two months, at the end of the game 9,000 people
                                                                    were there, clapping the players and singing my name. I don’t
                                                                    expect the Sunderland fans to sing my name because it’s more
                                                                    important they sing the names of the players.”
                                                                        There were repeated calls for Di Canio to clarify his views
                                                                    on fascism at the end of the press conference but he swatted
                                                                    them away. “The fans have to think my life speaks for me,” he
                                                                    said. “Call Trevor Sinclair, call Chris Powell, call [my agent] Phil
                                                                    Spencer, he’s Jewish. Call them – who is Paolo Di Canio?”
                                                                        Di Canio has forged a reputation as a colourful and
                                                                    controversial character on and off the field, and his
                                                                    appointment has been seen as a risk by some.
                                                                        The 44-year-old does not see it that way, though, and
                                                                    said: “It is obvious that in the past people have been sceptical
Paolo Di Canio poses for photographers after being unveiled
                                                                    because it was my first job as Swindon, League Two, League
as Sunderland’s new manager on Tuesday. Photograph: Owen
                                                                    One, the mad Italian, he will fight his players, but at the end
Humphreys/PA
                                                                    I won the league. I am young, people say the same, I have no
Sunderland’s new manager Paolo Di Canio refused to expand           experience in the Premiership but I am not worried.”
on his political views after being asked during his first press         Sunderland’s owner Ellis Short approached the former West
conference whether or not he was a fascist.                         Ham forward after dispensing of the services of Martin O’Neill
    The 44-year-old has previously admitted in a 2005 interview     on Saturday and Di Canio thought the American businessman
with an Italian news agency to being “a fascist, but not a          was joking when he called him. “Late in the afternoon after the
racist” and his apparent political leanings have already led to     Manchester [United] game, I received a phone call and I was
the resignation of the club’s vice-chairman David Miliband          surprised because many times it was happened that a manager
gu.com/p/3ezjx , the departing Labour MP for South Shields and      was sacked and my name, Di Canio, was 5-1 odds,” he said.
a former Foreign Secretary.                                             “When I received the phone call from Mr Short, I thought it
    The club were keen for Tuesday’s press conference to be         was a joke and I was ready to say a bad word – I thought it was
purely focused on football, but inevitably the question of          a friend and I would have lost my job. But it was a big surprise
just what Di Canio stood for came up again. He said: “I don’t       and I had the fire in my stomach. I said yes after a second and I
have to answer any more this question, there was a very good        said I come by swim, no problem.”
statement from the club, [with] very, very clear words that             Di Canio inherits a side dealing with relegation worries, but
came out from me. I don’t want to talk any more about politics      he is confident he can make sure any concerns are put to bed.
for one reason because I’m not in the House of Parliament, I’m      When asked how much he would bet on a Sunderland survival,
not a political person, I will talk about only football.”           he said: “You call me the mad Italian so I bet what I have got.
    Di Canio released a statement on Monday which he hoped          People are sceptical, it’s not Paolo Di Canio who makes the
would clarify his views, in which he said: “I expressed an          statistics, I hear people talking about my statistics but it doesn’t
opinion in an interview many years ago. Some pieces were            mean anything. I see managers with more experience than
taken for media convenience. They took my expression in a           Paolo Di Canio, they are relegated. Why not change this habit
very, very negative way – but it was a long conversation and a      one day?”
long interview. It was not fair. Sometimes it suits their purpose
to put big headlines and a big story.




                                                                      *
    “When I was in England [as a player] my best friends were
Trevor Sinclair and Chris Powell, the Charlton manager – they
can tell you everything about my character. Talk about racism?
That is absolutely stupid, stupid and ridiculous.”
    The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) has asked
Sunderland to return a symbolic banner which is kept at the
                                                                      Compare and buy
Stadium of Light if Di Canio remains in the job, describing the       Use our free independent comparison
Italian’s appointment as a “betrayal and a disgrace”.                 services to switch suppliers and save
    Asked if he had a message for the DMA, Di Canio said: “I          money on all your household bills.
have said many, many words in the past and people have picked
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                           Tuesday April 2 2013         11:00 GMT

                                                                      investors would use it to offset some of their loans. England had
                                                                      Rob Andrew to negotiate a meaningful deal between their clubs
George North row escalates Wales split                                and the Rugby Football Union five years ago to end years of
between WRU and the regions                                           warfare and Wales need to find an equivalent.
                                                                         The regions’ initial response to the WRU statement on
• Union accuses Scarlets of hawking North                             Sunday night was to condemn it as a defensive reaction from a
around                                                                “body which should be setting standards” but they will explain
                                                                      their position in full later this month to the WRU board.
• Four regions ask to meet union’s full
                                                                         “My fear is that the WRU would rather see the regions go to
board                                                                 the wall and then move in because they would not be taking on
Paul Rees                                                             any liabilities,” said a regional official, who spoke on condition
                                                                      of anonymity. “The lack of funding is affecting not just regional
                                                                      rugby but the club game that underpins it. The union seems to
                                                                      think that it only needs to focus on the national team and the
                                                                      academies, but that is a dangerously narrow view.
                                                                         “We want to speak to the full board of the WRU because we
                                                                      want to be sure that they know directly what our position is.
                                                                      The game board needs to get to work very quickly but that will
                                                                      only happen if the union is prepared to concede ground rather
                                                                      than try to claw it back.”
                                                                         Elsewhere, Stephen Donald, the Bath outside-half whose
                                                                      penalty won the 2011 World Cup for New Zealand, is leaving the
                                                                      club at the end of the season and moving to Japan.


Scarlets’ George North has had talks with Northampton over            Andy Murray climbs to world No2 and
possibly switching to the Aviva Premiership this summer.
Photograph: Andrew Hone/Getty Images
                                                                      has Novak Djokovic in his sights
Wales’s four regions have asked to address the full board of
the Welsh Rugby Union this month after the escalation of an           • Hopefully I can go higher, says Scot after
already bitter war of words over the weekend culminated in an         Miami Masters
extraordinary accusatory statement from the governing body.           • Murray now focusing on Monte Carlo and
   It had been intended to be a weekend of celebration, with          clay-court season
the Millennium Stadium hosting the four regions on the same
day for the first time. The double-header on Saturday was             Staff and agencies
watched by a crowd of more than 36,000, double the number
that would have been expected at the two home sides, Cardiff
Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons. The event marked a
successful collaboration between the four and the WRU.
   But the following morning the WRU issued a statement with
the intention of “giving the public the facts” after some critical
reporting of its failure to keep leading players in Wales, with the
Scarlets wing George North in talks with Northampton.
   In the statement, the WRU accused the Scarlets of hawking
North around from the end of the year and said it had tried
to place him with one of the other regions (believed to be
the Blues) and had agreed to assist financially. The union
also blamed the regions for the lack of progress made by the
professional regional game board, a body that was set up              Andy Murray takes to the beach after his victory in the Sony
in December under an independent chairman to find a way               Miami Masters lifted him to No2 in the world. Photograph:
through the regions’ financial problems but which has yet to          Virginie Bouyer/Panoramic/Photoshot
meet because of a failure to agree its terms of reference.
                                                                      Andy Murray is hopeful he can eventually overhaul Novak
   The regions want the board to have the power to deal
                                                                      Djokovic at the top of the rankings after rising to world No2
with any issue affecting the regional game, including the
                                                                      after defeating David Ferrer at the Miami Masters.
fourth international game played by Wales every autumn and
                                                                          The 25-year-old climbed above Roger Federer with the 2-6, 6-
commercial issues, such as the television deal for RaboDirect
                                                                      4, 7-6 victory in the final in Miami gu.com/p/3ezkn and although
games which is being sought by Sky after its loss of Aviva
                                                                      his points tally of 8,750 is a long way off Djokovic’s 12,370,
Premiership rights.
                                                                      Murray is confident he is on the right path.
   Trust has broken down between the two sides, with the
                                                                          When asked about his return to the world’s top two, Murray
regions fearing that the WRU does not want to commit itself
                                                                      told atpworldtour.com: “For me it doesn’t change a huge
financially to the four, other than the money provided centrally
                                                                      amount, but the fact that I’m moving up the rankings is a good
under the terms of a participation agreement, for fear that
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                          Tuesday April 2 2013           11:00 GMT

sign. I have been winning a lot of matches. My consistency has
been better over the last few months. The rankings obviously
reflect that, so I will try and keep working hard during the clay
                                                                        Australia request secrecy over ICC
[season] and hopefully I can go higher.”                                squad list
     Murray was far from his best for long periods on Sunday,
losing the first set and seeing his own serve frequently broken         • Cricket board asks for names not to be
by his Spanish opponent. But the Scot clung on for more than            made public
two hours and 45 minutes, staving off a match point late in the
                                                                        • Names must be submitted 60 days before
third set, to claim the Miami title for the second time in his
career.
                                                                        6 June
     “I don’t think either of us played our best tennis. There was      Andy Wilson
a lot of breaks and ups and downs, and quite a lot of mistakes
from both of us. But what I did do was fight hard, showed good
mental strength to get through that match, because it easily
could have slipped away from me.”
     He continued on Sky Sports 1: “That sort of match a couple
of years ago I probably would have lost … I was up a break
three or four times in the third set and kept letting him back in
through some loose shots.
     “I tried to keep fighting, chased down every ball, made it as
hard for him as possible. There was a lot riding on the match
and I was glad to get through in the end.”
     After the match, Murray headed to the beach for a cool
off and to pose with the trophy. There will not be much time
for relaxation, though, with his next tournament, the Monte
                                                                        Ricky Ponting captained Australia to victory in the 2009 ICC
Carlo Masters, beginning on 13 April and Murray keen to start
                                                                        Champions Trophy, but their squad for this year’s tournament
practising on clay, a surface he admits is his worst even though
                                                                        remains unknown. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty
he has reached the semi-final of the French Open in the past.
                                                                        Images
     “My focus now is on Monte Carlo. I’ll take probably four days
off and then start training here [in Miami] on clay,” he added.         Australia have made an unusual request for secrecy over the
“I did a lot of things well this week but I need to serve better.       squad of 30 probables for June’s ICC Champions Trophy in
I served poorly. It’s easier to return on clay so it’s even more        England that they are required to submit to the tournament
important to serve well.”                                               organisers this month.
     Simply achieving the world No2 ranking, though, has given              A spokesperson from the International Cricket Council has
him a bit of breathing space, with the possibility, if the rankings     confirmed that Cricket Australia have asked that their list of
remain as they are, that he could be drawn in the opposite half         names is not made public, which reinforces the impression
of the draw to Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the French         of an organisation, or at least a selection panel, in a state of
Open.                                                                   confusion, paranoia or both. Pakistan had no such concerns
     “It was nice to get there so I can go into the clay-court season   in becoming the first country to submit, and then name, their
just focused on improving and going forward and not worrying            30-man squad over the weekend, from which the veteran
about rankings or seedings or anything like that,” Murray told          batsman Younus Khan is the most notable omission. England,
the BBC. “I can play some decent tennis on it but I need to work        who play Australia in the first of their three group games in the
extremely hard on the clay because I haven’t played on it in 10-        tournament at Edgbaston on 8 June, are expected to announce
and-a-half months now, so it always takes me a bit of time to get       their squad on Wednesday or Thursday. The long lists must be
used to,” Murray added. “It’s the most challenging surface for          submitted 60 days before the start of the tournament – on 6
me and with Rafa coming back it’s going to be very tough, but           June — and then trimmed to 15-man squads in early May.
I’ll give it my best shot.                                                  Australia’s management, and especially the chief selector
     “I didn’t want to overplay too much at the beginning of            John Inverarity, have regularly been at the centre of controversy
the year – a lot of guys this week have been complaining                in recent months, initially for their policy of rotation — which
they’re tired and we saw quite a few guys pulling out. I think          they insisted on calling “informed player management” — and
being fresh helped me and hopefully I can keep managing my              then for disciplining four players including the vice captain
schedule well throughout the year.”                                     Shane Watson for failing to follow orders during their disastrous
                                                                        tour of India. That would be one obvious explanation for their
                                                                        current coyness, which is such a contrast with the brash self-
                                                                        confidence of the past.
                                                                            Australia’s captain Michael Clarke, who was forced to miss
                                                                        the last Test in India last month with a recurrence of back and
                                                                        hamstring problems which raised questions over his fitness for
                                                                        the Champions Trophy, has been in hospital again, although
                                                                        this time for gastroentiritis.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 2 2013            11:00 GMT

                                                                     in chess.
                                                                         Carlsen said he was unhappy with his play towards the end
Magnus Carlsen sets up chess                                         of the tournament – he lost two of his last three games – but felt
showdown                                                             that in the first 11 rounds he had played with great accuracy.
                                                                     “At the end everyone got tired, the quality got lower, and then
The world number one will play Indian                                anything can happen,” he said, “but overall I think I did pretty
world champion Viswanathan Anand for                                 well.”
                                                                         The auditorium at the Institute of Engineering and
the title in November
                                                                     Technology in central London was packed for the final day’s
Stephen Moss                                                         play, and the tension in the hall was unbearable, with the
                                                                     players pacing round like expectant fathers while waiting for
                                                                     their opponents to make their move.
                                                                         Ivanchuk, who bears a resemblance to the late Frankie
                                                                     Howerd and wears a permanently quizzical expression, sat
                                                                     slumped in his chair; the tall and dignified Kramnik looked as
                                                                     unruffled as ever, despite a dodgy mauve shirt, though even
                                                                     he began to look a little agitated as the game slipped away
                                                                     from him; meanwhile, Carlsen, the weight of the chess world’s
                                                                     expectations on his young shoulders, sat hunched over the
                                                                     board looking uncharacteristically tense.
                                                                         An estimated half a million enthusiasts were following the
                                                                     games on a variety of websites carrying the moves in real time,
                                                                     and as Carlsen’s position against Svidler fell apart, Norway’s
                                                                     biggest news sites collapsed in sympathy.
Magnus Carlsen, left, plays Alexander Grischuk in the
                                                                         The three-week event has been a feast of fighting chess. “It’s
Candidates Tournament at the Institute of Engineering and
                                                                     been the most amazing tournament ever seen in Britain,” said
Technology in London. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
                                                                     John Saunders, the associate editor of Chess magazine, “and
Magnus Carlsen, the favourite to win the epic Candidates             will go down among the top half-dozen tournaments of all time.
tournament that has captivated chess aficionados over the past       Chess is now ready for a generational shift, and potentially we
three weeks, got there in the end, and will now face the Indian      are looking at the first champion who learned his chess in the
world champion Viswanathan Anand for the title in November.          21st century. A page has turned in the history of the game.”
But his success was achieved in the unlikeliest of manners               Carlsen will play Anand for the world title in a match over at
on a day that stretched the nerves of exhausted players and          least 12 games. Anand’s native India has long been mooted as
spectators alike.                                                    the probable location, but officials from tournament organisers
   Carlsen was tied for the lead with former world champion          Agon said New York was also a possibility.
Vladimir Kramnik of Russia at the beginning of the final round,          A confrontation between Anand and Carlsen is a saleable
with both seeking a win that would secure the tournament. But        commodity, and Agon realises it’s now or never to get chess
the tension seemed to affect them more than their opponents,         back on the map. The game might not yet command Madison
and both lost their final games, leaving a relieved Carlsen as the   Square Garden, but after a long period in the doldrums, it seems
victor because of a greater number of wins overall – five against    at least to have escaped the Siberian wilderness.
the Russian’s four.
   The young Norwegian was in the press room analysing
his defeat at the hands of another Russian, Peter Svidler,
when news of Kramnik’s resignation against the brilliant but
erratic Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk came through. Carlsen’s
disappointment at losing to Svidler instantly dissolved, and he




                                                                       *
was mobbed by a large Norwegian contingent, who believe the
22-year-old is now within touching distance of becoming world
champion.
   “A lot of things went wrong for me today,” said Carlsen. “I
lost control at some point.” He got into terrible time trouble,        Fantasy League Classic
and was so flustered that he knocked over a piece as he made
his 38th move, costing him more time. In the scramble, his
                                                                       Manage a squad of 16 players and
position disintegrated, and he resigned soon after.                    a budget of £75 million. £75,000
   That left his destiny in the hands of Ivanchuk, the eccentric       worth of prizes to be won in weekly,
44-year-old considered one of the greatest players never to
have become world champion. Kramnik was unsure whether to
                                                                       monthly and overall competitions.
play for a win or a draw, and the Ukrainian ruthlessly exploited       Beat your nearest and dearest in a
his uncertainty, avoiding the time trouble that has bedevilled         friends league.
him throughout the tournament. Kramnik took defeat with
                                                                       guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague
his customary dignity, but was desperately disappointed to be
denied the chance to regain the world title – a rare achievement
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                     Tuesday April 2 2013           11:00 GMT


Laura Trott goes on the attack in road                             Michael O’Leary donates €200,000 to
debut for Wiggle Honda                                             JT McNamara fund at Fairyhouse

• Trott finishes fourth in the Grand Prix de                       • Ryanair chief makes gift during Irish
Dottignies                                                         Grand National day
• Double Olympic champion stays with                               • O’Leary donation for fund being set up for
breakaway group                                                    paralysed rider
Guardian Sports staff                                              Chris Cook




Britain’s Olympic champion Laura Trott made an impressive          Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, runs his racehorse-
debut on the road for Wiggle Honda in Belgium. Photograph:         owning operation from Gigginstown Stud in Co Westmeath.
Antonio Zazueta Olmos for the Guardian                             Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty
Laura Trott made an aggressive race debut for Wiggle Honda         A fund being raised for JT McNamara, the jockey paralysed by
Pro Cycling as she sprinted to fourth place in the Grand Prix de   a fall at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, received a major
Dottignies in Belgium.                                             boost on Monday when Michael O’Leary, the chief executive
    The 20-year-old joined the 13-rider breakaway who escaped      of Ryanair and a major owner of jumps racehorses, donated
in the first of four 28.4km laps. The two-times Olympic            €200,000 (£168,000). O’Leary announced the gift at Fairyhouse
champion managed to stay in the group as they were reduced to      races on Irish Grand National day.
eight in the final 20km.                                               He had intended to offer the sum to the owner of whichever
    Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies) escaped in the closing         horse won the race before the Irish National, a contest which
kilometres to take a solo victory, with Iris Slappendel            usually features a number of young and promising animals.
(Rabobank-Liv/Giant) second and her team-mate Sanne van            O’Leary has made a habit of offering to buy the winner of that
Paassen third.                                                     race in recent years but, in the event, managed to win it with
                                                                   a horse he already owned and decided to put his money to an
                                                                   extremely popular alternative use.
                                                                       “It’s fantastic,” said Lisa Hancock, the chief executive of
                                                                   the British-based Injured Jockeys Fund, who has been issuing
                                                                   regular updates on McNamara’s condition. “I know that it will
                                                                   mean a huge amount to JT’s wife, Caroline, and the family, just
                                                                   to know that the whole industry is rooting for them.
                                                                       “It’s a dreadful injury and clearly it’s going to be a long
                                                                   haul from here but this is a magnificent gesture, the kind of




  *
                                                                   thing that makes you proud to be involved in racing.” Hancock
                                                                   added that there was no fresh news of McNamara’s condition
                                                                   after he was confirmed as paralysed on Friday, a fortnight after
                                                                   fracturing two vertebrae in the fall from Galaxy Rock.
                                                                       Dr Adrian McGoldrick, the chief medical officer of the
  Are you getting the best deal on                                 Irish Turf Club, confirmed that a fund had not yet been set
  your mortgage?                                                   up for McNamara but that the club’s senior steward would
  Compare over 8500 mortgages                                      immediately begin arrangements for its creation.
                                                                       Martin Dwyer enjoyed a partial success on Monday in his
  online to find the best deal for you.                            appeal against a 56-day ban given to him by Indian stewards
  guardian.co.uk/money/                                            for his ride on Ice Age at a Mumbai racecourse in February. The
  compareandbuy                                                    Liverpool-born jockey had initially been declared guilty of not
                                                                   riding the horse on its merits but the appeal board decided
                                                                   they were not satisfied with that verdict and ordered a further
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                   guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                        Tuesday April 2 2013             11:00 GMT

investigation.                                                       line.
    Dwyer will be able to ride in the meantime, which counts as          The Irish Grand National once more proved a good friend
good news for him since the ban had been scheduled to begin          to the bookmaking profession when returning a 50-1 winner in
this weekend, but declared himself “fed up” by the lack of a         Liberty Counsel yesterday. The previous nine runnings of the
final resolution. “I had hoped it would be done and dusted           Fairyhouse race featured four winners at 33-1 and others at 25-1
today but I’ve got to take the positives from it,” he told the       and 20-1.
Press Association from India, having made a second journey               Liberty Counsel is trained by the Mullingar-based Dot Love,
there from England in connection with the matter.                    who had never sent out more than three winners in a season
    “It confirms what I have been saying and what I thought.         before this one, in which she has now had seven. The first-place
They reached a unanimous decision and have sent it back              prize money of E141,000 is more than twice what her runners
for another inquiry to see what happens. It’s now up to the          earned in the whole of last term.
stipendiary stewards to hold another inquiry.”                           “I’m over the moon,” Love said. “She’s a super mare and a
    Dwyer said he had “no idea” when that inquiry might be           very good jumper.”
completed and a new hearing arranged but said he had been
told it would probably take at least a month, with the imminent
end of the Indian season likely to cause further delay. “I’ve        Chess grandmaster loses but still wins
flown halfway across the world again and it was only for a
matter of 10 minutes,” he added.                                     Norwegian Magnus Carlsen ends
    The Irish Grand National once more proved a good friend
to the bookmaking profession when returning a 50-1 winner in
                                                                     Candidates Tournament in defeat but tops
Liberty Counsel. The previous nine runnings of the Fairyhouse        leaderboard and goes for world title in
race featured four winners at 33-1 and others at 25-1 and 20-1.      November
    Liberty Counsel is trained by the Mullingar-based Dot Love,      Stephen Moss
who had never sent out more than three winners in a season
before this one, in which she has now had seven. The first-place
prize money of E141,000 is more than twice what her runners
earned in the whole of last term.
    “I’m over the moon,” Love said. “She’s a super mare and
a very good jumper.” in his appeal against a 56-day ban given
to him by Indian stewards for his ride on Ice Age at a Mumbai
racecourse in February. The Liverpool-born jockey had initially
been declared guilty of not riding the horse on its merits but the
appeal board decided they were not satisfied with that verdict
and ordered further investigation.
    Dwyer will be able to ride in the meantime, which counts as
good news for him, since the ban had been scheduled to begin
this weekend, but declared himself “fed up” by the lack of a
final resolution. “                                                  Magnus Carlsen, 22, became the youngest player to be ranked
    I had hoped it would be done and dusted today, but I’ve got      world number one and his current chess ranking is the highest
to take the positives from it,” he told the Press Association from   of all time. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
India, having made a second journey there from England in            In a dramatic and unexpected conclusion to the epic Candidates
connection with the matter.                                          Tournament which has captivated chess aficionados over the
    “It confirms what I have been saying and what I thought.         past three weeks, the two joint leaders – the young Norwegian
They reached a unanimous decision and have sent it back              Magnus Carlsen and the Russian former world champion
for another inquiry to see what happens. It’s now up to the          Vladimir Kramnik – lost their final games.
stipendiary stewards to hold another inquiry.”                          Carlsen who got into terrible time trouble and at one point
    Dwyer said he had “no idea” when that inquiry might be           left himself with just 10 seconds to play five moves, was
completed and a new hearing arranged but said he had been            desperately disappointed by his defeat by another Russian,
told it would probably take at least a month, with the imminent      Peter Svidler.
end of the Indian season likely to cause further delay. “I’ve           But in a final twist, the erratic but brilliant Ukrainian Vassily
flown halfway across the world again and it was only for a           Ivanchuk defeated Kramnik. That left Carlsen and Kramnik
matter of 10 minutes,” he added.                                     tied on 8.5 points each, with the Norwegian declared the victor
    The jockey told The Guardian last week of his gratification      because of a greater number of wins in the tournament – five
about the very high level of support from British racing             against the Russian’s four.
professionals for his position. “Nobody believes I’ve done it,”         The auditorium at the Institute of Engineering and
he said, adding that he would not have been surprised by a ban       Technology in central London was packed for the final day’s
of a few days for the much lesser offence of careless riding.        play, and the tension in the hall was unbearable, with the
    Footage of the race posted online shows Ice Age appearing        players pacing round like expectant fathers while waiting
to bring about her own defeat by hanging dramatically across         for their opponents to move. An estimated half a million
the track. Dwyer says she bled so badly during the race that his     enthusiasts were following the games on a variety of websites
breeches were liberally spattered with blood as he crossed the       carrying the moves in real time, and as Carlsen’s position

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                        Tuesday April 2 2013             11:00 GMT

disintegrated Norway’s biggest news websites collapsed in            Westerman’s indiscipline with a skilful finish, Paul Sykes was
sympathy.                                                            unable to land an equalising conversion.
    Carlsen will play the reigning champion, Viswanathan                Instead another dart from Shaul created the position for
Anand, for the world title in November in a match over at            Heremaia to brush aside some feeble defence for a try that the
least 12 games. Anand’s native India has long been mooted            New Zealander’s busy and inventive performance deserved,
as the probable location for the match, but officials from           Danny Tickle kicking the simplest of his five conversions to
tournament organisers Agon on Monday said New York was also          give Hull an eight-point cushion. Crooks, the rangy son of the
a possibility.                                                       former Hull and Great Britain prop Lee, then scored his second
    A confrontation between Anand and Carlsen is a saleable          after more good work from Heremaia – and a comical attempted
commodity, and Agon realises it’s now or never to get chess          intercept from Lee Smith – before providing the final pass for
back on the map. The match might not yet command Madison             the England wing Tom Briscoe to touch down.
Square Garden, but after a long period in the doldrums chess at         “We’ve been filthy all weekend but you saw us evolve as a
least seems to have escaped the Siberian wilderness.                 team there this afternoon,” said the Hull coach, Peter Gentle,
                                                                     for whom this was an especially significant win given the
                                                                     pressure that had been building on him even before the derby
Jamie Shaul’s debut lays foundations for                             defeat. “We know this doesn’t make up for the derby with our
Hull recovery at Wakefield                                           fans but hopefully it will appease them a little bit.” In Shaul, he
                                                                     also has a bright young talent to add to his options for the rest of
                                                                     the season.
Wakefield Trinity 22-34 Hull FC                                          Wakefield Trinity Mathers; Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne;
Andy Wilson at Belle Vue                                             Sykes, T Smith; Poore, Aiton, Wilkes, Lauitiiti, Kirmond (capt),
                                                                     Washbrook. Interchange L Smith, Raleigh, Amor, Annakin.
                                                                        Tries Fox, Kirmond, L Smith, Collis. Goals Sykes 3.
                                                                        Hull FC Shaul; Lineham, Arundel, Crooks, Briscoe; Horne,
                                                                     Heremaia; Watts, Houghton, Lynch, Galea, Tickle, Westerman.
                                                                     Interchange Crookes, O’Meley, Whiting, Johnson.
                                                                        Tries Shaul 2, Crooks 2, Heremaia, Briscoe. Goals Tickle 5.
                                                                        Referee J Child. Att 8,126.




The England wing Tom Briscoe scored the last of Hull’s six
tries in their 34-22 defeat of Wakefield. Photograph: Mark
Wieland/Getty Images




                                                                       *
Jamie Shaul, a 20-year-old who was working as a bricklayer
this time last year, lifted Hull from the gloom following a Good
Friday derby defeat by scoring two tries on a memorable debut.
The first was a 60-metre spectacular which could easily be
remembered in the autumn as the moment which turned Hull’s
season because their injury-hit team were trailing 10-0 and
seemed to be heading for a sixth defeat.                               Mystified by mortgages?
   “I just got in at acting half on the back of a good quick play-
the-ball and ran,” said Shaul, a simple explanation for the speed
                                                                       Perplexes by pensions?
shown by the powerful full-back to dart through Wakefield’s            Confused about your consumer
defensive line, and around the full-back Richie Mathers. “I’ve
grown up watching FC all my life and I never thought I’d get to
                                                                       rights?
pull on the shirt.”                                                    Our experts are on hand to
   Hull never looked back after that, although they were aided
by a Wakefield team who fell well below the standards they
                                                                       answer all kinds of financial
set in making the play-offs last season and in taking that 10-0        and legal questions, so you
lead through tries from Peter Fox and Danny Kirmond. The
try which brought Hull level at half-time was a gift from Tim
                                                                       don’t need to be baffled any
Smith’s ambitious and misdirected pass straight from a scrum           more. Read their advice, or put
near Trinity’s own line, Aaron Heremaia snapping up the loose          a question to them, at
ball and sending Ben Crooks in.
   Shaul then scored a scrappy second early in the second half         guardian.co.uk/money
from a deflected kick. Although Wakefield pulled back to within
two points when their substitute Lee Smith punished Joe
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday April 2 2013            11:00 GMT

                                                                     tied for eighth and moved up to 53rd in the world rankings. I
                                                                     knew a top-10 in Houston would pretty much make it.”
Henrik Stenson banks on the Masters to                                   There has been the odd glimmer of Stenson’s fortunes
replenish ranking and savings                                        improving. He finished third in the 2010 Open. Yet that result
                                                                     was never built on. If there is to be a rebirth, there would be no
• Stenson earns Augusta shot with runner-                            finer place than Augusta.
up spot at Houston                                                       Further positive Masters indicators arrived from Dustin
                                                                     Johnson and Phil Mickelson, who was erratic but generally
• Swede lost large part of fortune in
                                                                     impressive at Redstone. It would be unwise, as ever, to discount
collapse of Stanford Group                                           the 42-year-old left-hander for the season’s first major but he
Ewan Murray                                                          is, nonetheless, experimenting with a putting grip – which
                                                                     highlights a lack of confidence on the greens.
                                                                         “The claw grip gets me in a better address position where
                                                                     I get rid of too much forward press,” Mickelson said. “I want
                                                                     a little bit but not as much as I’ve been getting. As long as I
                                                                     can stay in that same address position with the regular grip, I
                                                                     would prefer to do that but I’ll have to go back and forth as my
                                                                     tendency is to continue to get a little too much forward press.
                                                                     With the claw grip, my hands stay a little bit higher.”



                                                                     Horse racing tips: Tuesday 2 March

                                                                     Kim Tian Road, an Exeter good-ground
Henrik Stenson tees off on the 18th hole in the final round of       winner last month, will have conditions
the Houston Open. Photograph: Patric Schneider/AP                    close to her liking back at the Devon track
Henrik Stenson would have welcomed the $545,600 (£358,000)           Chris Cook
prize he won for finishing second in the Houston Open. More
importantly, the runner-up spot handed Stenson a place in the
Masters and an opportunity to suggest that, finally, he is on the
verge of returning to the top level of the world game.
    The Swede’s story is an unhappy one. He is thought to have
lost millions through investments in the Stanford Group, which
collapsed amid scandal in 2009. “Not all my money,” Stenson
said four years ago. “But I have quite a big part of my savings
and investments with them.”
    Whether through coincidence or not – and the odds would be
in favour of not – Stenson’s professional life has been a struggle
since that point. He was ranked fourth in the world as a winner
of the WGC World Match Play and the Players Championship
but fell as low as No230 last year. He has risen to 42nd by virtue
of his finish in Houston and getting back into the top 50 brought    Hadden Frost is due to ride Kim Tian Road in the novices’
Masters qualification.                                               handicap hurdle at Exeter. Photograph: Andrew Fox for the
    As impossible as it may seem for anyone not to relish a visit    Guardian
to the Augusta National, Stenson lacks nothing in motivation.        Exeter
His quest to rediscover his best form aside, The Swede led              2.10 Royal Mile 2.40 Watergate Bay 3.10 Sandy’s Double
during the first round of last year’s Masters before racking up         3.40 Spirit River 4.10 Robin Will 4.40 Piano Concerto
an extraordinary eight on the 18th.. His confidence, which was          5.10 Kim Tian Road (nb) 5.40 Jupiter Rex
hardly in need of a further whack, suffered again.
                                                                     Kempton Park (AW)
    “I have never felt like I have gone to Augusta playing well,”
                                                                        2.00 Lytham 2.30 Pearl Bridge
Stenson said. “If I can keep what I have got now, at least I feel
                                                                        3.00 Bursledon 3.30 Close Together 4.00 Fleur De La Vie
like I’m going there to hit some nice shots and the game is in a
                                                                        4.30 Divine Rule 5.00 Homeward Strut
nice state. This will probably be the most I ever looked forward
to going, given how late I got in as well.                           Southwell (AW)
    “I am very happy – as I said to my caddie walking up 18, no         2.20 Marshland 2.50 Calculating
matter what happens here, we’re playing for a Green Jacket in           3.20 Flashlight 3.50 Even Stevens (nap) 4.20 Elusive Hawk
a couple of weeks. That will be nice. That was the main goal. It        4.50 Fairy Wing 5.20 Bentley
has been there in my mind all week. It was all about keeping my
head down and doing my business, then I knew I have a good
chance to do it.
    “I put the foundation down at Bay Hill last week. I finished
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk

								
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