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Talking Horses: Paul Nicholls has huge team despite Covid cutbacks

The 11-times champion trainer discusses possible plans for his horses, including big names newly arrived from Ireland Amid all the Covid-related talk of racehorse owners cutting back and getting out of the game, Paul Nicholls’s stable is bucking the trend. New boxes having been added there this summer to house the many animals he has been sent. “We’ve just built up a bit of extra capacity,” the 11-times champion jumps trainer told the Guardian during a pre-season tour of his Ditcheat stable, ...

Talking Horses: Enable is new Arc favourite as rain prompts shake-up

Very soft ground at Longchamp is thought to be bad news for the crack Irish filly Love, who has lost her spot atop the betting Enable is the new favourite for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, when she will try to make history by becoming the first to win the famous race three times. A wholesale shake-up of the betting market took place on Monday as punters cottoned on to the likelihood of a soggy racing surface at Longchamp, which is not expected to suit the erstwhile favourite, Love. Whil...

Novak Djokovic resumes his winning ways in French Open cruise

World No 1 defeats Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 Serb says he has ‘not had any traces of New York in my mind’ Novak Djokovic rubbed his right elbow, winced a little, then hurried through a most pleasing start to his 2020 French Open campaign on Tuesday, a lion looking for mice. His 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 deconstruction of Mikael Ymer’s eccentric but fragile game took him only an hour and 38 minutes, just short of a full‑blown mismatch but certainly an entertaining exhibition. Continue reading...

Essex captain issues apology for team over Lord's celebrations

Alcohol poured over Muslim player on pavilion balcony Tom Westley says ‘we are disappointed we let this happen’ The Essex captain, Tom Westley, has apologised on behalf of his team following the celebrations at Lord’s during which alcohol was poured over a young Muslim player. Westley’s side won the Bob Willis Trophy after a draw with Somerset on Sunday but amid jubilant post-match scenes on th...

California's Kobe Bryant law bans photos of the dead by first responders

Governor signs law covering accident or crime scenes Bryant’s widow sued sheriff’s department for distressing images California will make it illegal for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at the scene of an accident or crime, a law inspired by the death of the basketball star Kobe Bryant. The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, approved the legislation on Monday, which will take effect in January. The bill was authored after reports emerged that some Los Angeles count...

Tottenham beat Chelsea on penalties to reach Carabao Cup last eight

Tottenham advanced in dramatic style to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after a late Erik Lamela equaliser forced penalties – and he and his teammates duly kept their nerves from the spot. It was no more than they deserved. Mason Mount missed Chelsea’s fifth penalty. Related: Tottenham v Chelsea: Carabao Cup fourth round – live! Continue reading...

St Helens crush Wigan after Adrian Lam fields youngsters to keep cup side sharp

Wigan 0-42 St Helens Wigan suffer derby humiliation with frontline players rested Wigan’s youngsters were no match for St Helens, who leapfrogged their great rivals at the top of the table after taking full advantage of a much-changed Warriors side with one eye on Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds. With the opportunity to reach Wembley on the horizon, Adrian Lam left out almost ...

Rúben Dias completes £62m move from Benfica to Manchester City

‘I couldn’t turn down this opportunity’ says centre-back Dias takes Guardiola’s spending on defenders to over 400m Rúben Dias has described the opportunity to join Manchester City as one he “couldn’t turn down” after completing his move to the club from Benfica for a fee in the region of £62m. The 23-year-old centre-back has signed a six-year deal with City as part of a transfer that has seen N...

Sale march on but Tuilagi and Lawes give England injury headache

Northampton 14-34 Sale Tuilagi injures achilles and Lawes damages ankle Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes are major injury concerns for England’s autumn campaign after both limped off in the early stages of Sale’s emphatic win against Northampton, potentially handing Eddie Jones a significant blow. Tuilagi went down with an injury to his left achilles soon after Lawes had hobbled off with an ankle problem and – with Jones naming a provisional England squad, without Premiership semi-finalists, a...

Alarm for British tennis as Watson completes set of French Open failures

Fiona Ferro beats last Brit standing Heather Watson 7-6 (4), 6-4 Watson hits out at LTA for lack of talented British youngsters There can be no disguising the scale of British failure at this bizarre French Open. When Heather Watson joined her five compatriots as Parisian tourists before the start of the second round, her mood matched the grimness of the weeping skies and the wreckage of histor...

Dortmund tell Manchester United €90m is nowhere near enough for Jadon Sancho

United were preparing €90m bid for England international Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé an option but only on loan Borussia Dortmund have told Manchester United there is no point in bidding less than €120m (£109.6m) for Jadon Sancho after discussions between the clubs on Tuesday. United were preparing a €90m offer for the England international but were told that would not be sufficient and that Dortmund do not want to sell. United are desperate to strengthen Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s squad before Mo...

Premier League referees to be more lenient on handball after outcry

Officials allowed more leeway when making decisions Eric Dier incident would still have led to a spot-kick Premier League referees are to take a lenient approach to applying the new handball law after an outcry from across the game. This season there have been five penalties awarded for handball in three matchdays, compared with 19 across the whole of the last top flight season. The change has ...

Leicester agree £36.5m deal to sign Wesley Fofana from St-Étienne

Central defender was also a target for West Ham Fee for 19-year-old includes add-ons Leicester are close to signing Wesley Fofana from Saint-Étienne after agreeing a deal worth up to €40m (£36.5m) for the central defender. The 19-year-old has also been targeted by West Ham but Leicester had the wherewithal to make an acceptable offer that includes add-ons, and personal terms have been agreed. C...

Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara tests positive for Covid-19

29-year-old midfielder is now self-isolating ‘We have followed all the protocols and Thiago is OK’ The Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcântara has tested positive for Covid-19. The 29-year-old, who missed Monday’s match against Arsenal, has exhibited minor symptoms of the virus but is in good health and is getting better, the club said. Continue reading...

Pat Lam happy for Bristol's England players to miss 11 Premiership games

Key players available for only three of first 14 club games Quins v Leicester to kick-off season on 20 November The new Premiership season will start on 20 November when Exeter visit Harlequins but England players are unlikely to feature in more than three of the first 14 rounds because of the autumn internationals and Six Nations. That prospect does not concern Bristol’s director of rugby, Pat Lam, who wants more of his players to join Kyle Sinckler in the England squad, but it will mean a t...
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