Power out to end Meydan hoodoo

first_img “He has been ultra consistent and has thrived once more during his second winter here in Dubai. Few other sprinters can match his consistency.” Caspar Netscher was a further head adrift in third that day and his trainer David Simcock is similarly pleased to have been given a double-figure stall. He said: “I think he has a live chance. The Asian sprinters look very tough but mine has drawn well and he looks to have come forward for his prep run. He showed plenty of speed that day, he’s in very good order and I like the fact he is drawn high (11). “It is the first time we’d had a clear run with the horse since May last year. He had a pelvic problem which made the whole season particularly difficult. Everything was a rush, but he is now much better physically.” Fourth-placed Lancelot Du Lac also reopposes for Dean Ivory after finishing just behind Ahtoug on the first of his three Dubai runs back in January. Ivory said: “He’s been here for a while now and knows the ropes. I feel he goes in with a decent chance. He has never won over 1000 metres (five furlongs) but he ran well (over that trip) at the Carnival. I’m very happy with his draw (15). He is where the speed is, and that’s important because he travels better when they go fast from the start.” Sole Power will tread a familiar path as he tries to make it fourth-time lucky in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan. Eddie Lynam’s charge posted his best effort in the five-furlong heat when a length-and-a-half second to Ortensia back in 2012, before going on to finish fourth and seventh in the two subsequent renewals. The eight-year-old won the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot and the Nunthorpe at York last term, but failed to take a hand in the finish in his three starts at the end of the campaign before posting a disappointing effort when down the field in the Meydan Sprint earlier this month. Lynam told At The Races: “He’s training well and we’re very happy with him. He ran on ‘Super Saturday’ and was a little bit disappointing. Hopefully he’ll put that run behind him and bring his best form to the race. “His best run in the race was three years ago when he was second behind Ortensia. He ran a good race when he was fourth and last year draw-wise he probably saw a bit more daylight. “He seems to have taken a little bit longer to come to hand as he’s got older and we’re just hoping he reproduces his best on the day. “He’s won nearly two million euro in prize-money – he’s a been a lifetime horse and we’re very fond of him. Let’s hope we’ve got another year of him performing at his best.” The Ian Williams-trained Sir Maximilian won the Meydan Sprint to book his place and cement his heady progress, lining up on a mark of 108, some 20lb higher than his rating this time last year. Williams said: “I’m delighted with him. He’s in good nick and Dawn Oxley, who has been with him in Dubai since January, has done a great job. He’s the first horse I’ve run here, so there’s been a lot to learn, but he is at the top of his game.” Ahtoug was beaten just a short head in that Group Three race and trainer Charlie Appleby was delighted to get a high draw in the 16-runner event. “I was pleased with Ahtoug’s draw. In sprints at Meydan, I am always happier when my horses are drawn towards the stands side. There is also plenty of speed around him so I am very happy being drawn 13,” he said. Press Associationlast_img read more

Badgers shock Big Blue

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald PhotoThe Wisconsin men’s soccer team opened its 2006 Big Ten season with a deserved and anticipated victory Sunday as it defeated Michigan 2-1 in a thrilling overtime clash at the McClimon Soccer Complex.Thanks to a little help from Michigan defender Chase Tennant, who lofted the ball over his own goalkeeper’s head for an overtime own-goal, the Badgers won their first Big Ten conference opener in over five years.”We only had two [Big Ten] wins last season. … We started 0-4,” junior Dirk Pearson said of his team’s 2005 conference performance. “We think we can win the Big Ten this year, and just starting off 1-0 is big. We let it almost get away from us there at the end, and we need to get a little more composure … but we have all the talent in the world.”After receiving a pass from freshman Brandon Miller, Pearson snatched the lead for the Badgers in the 76th minute when he dribbled past one defender and squeaked the ball past Michigan goalkeeper Patrick Sperry. Though not the most beautiful goal he’s ever scored, Pearson admitted he was pleased with his good fortune.”I was just trying to center it as I scooped it over the keeper,” Pearson said. “Luckily, from the angle I had, [the ball] went in. I’m not going to say there was a lot of skill there. … Obviously that was pretty lucky, but I’ll take anything that I can get at this point.”With only 14 minutes remaining in regulation, it looked as if Pearson’s strike would stand and the Badgers would hold on to their lead. However, with only 30 seconds left, Michigan senior Brian Popeny blasted a free-kick from 30 yards out past Wisconsin keeper Jake Settle for the late, late equalizer. Though initially demoralized, the bruised Wisconsin squad huddled together and found the strength in each other to not let another match slip out of its hands.With two minutes and nine seconds remaining in the first overtime period, the soccer gods were smiling on the Badgers as a long free kick by senior William Bagayoko was misplayed by Tennant into his own net from 20 yards out.”It’s often said that you create your own luck,” Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “And, you know — wet field, slick surface — when you put balls forward near the box and near the goal, things can happen and we got a break … it was obviously a great feeling to finally have something go our way today.”With an 0-2 overtime record after losing to both SMU and Creighton in extra time this season, Rohrman was more than happy with his team’s overtime performance and the resiliency they demonstrated.”I think the word ‘relieved’ comes to mind,” Rohrman said. “We should have closed [the game] out in regulation, but as disappointed as we were with … giving up the goal, I was really proud of the guys to put it together and find a way to win.”One aspect of Sunday’s match not to be overlooked was the play of Wisconsin’s stellar defensive line led by senior captain Aaron Hohlbein. Hohlbein and company shut down one of the nation’s top-striking duos, Peri Marosevic and Jake Stacy.”[Michigan] has two tremendous, dangerous forwards in Peri [Marosevic] and Jake Stacy,” Rohrman said. “They caused some problems with some great little combinations early in the game, but we talked about that at halftime, and I thought the second half was pretty good.”As the Badgers savor this sweet victory, they look forward to avenging a 2-0 loss suffered to in-state rival UW-Milwaukee last season when they take on the Panthers this Wednesday at the McClimon Soccer Complex.“[UW-M] is not a conference opponent obviously, but they’re definitely our biggest in-state rival,” Rohrman said. “We all want to get something rolling, and if we have confidence I don’t think anybody can stop us.”last_img read more