Willie Mullins has eight of the 115 entries for the first £1million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on April 5. Press Association Successful with Hedgehunter in 2005, the champion trainer’s team includes the Graham Wylie-owned trio of On His Own, Prince De Beauchene and Boston Bob. The other members of the County Carlow handler’s squad are Paddy Power Chase winner Rockyaboya, Up The Beat, Vesper Bell, last season’s Irish Grand National runner-up Away We Go and Quel Esprit. Martin Brassil struck with Numbersixvalverde in 2006 and could be represented in this year’s showpiece by Double Seven, who was last seen completing a five-timer at Wexford in October. Leading hunter chaser Mossey Joe, now trained by Enda Bolger, has been entered after being purchased by Barry Connell. Ted Walsh, successful with Papillon in 2000, could be represented by Colbert Station and Seabass, who was third in 2012. Only two of the first six home last year have entries this time – the third Teaforthree, trained by Rebecca Curtis, and the sixth, David Pipe’s Swing Bill, owned by Halewood International, parent company of Crabbie’s. With last year’s 66-1 winner Auroras Encore retired through injury, trainer Sue Smith relies on Mr Moonshine and Vintage Star. Paul Nicholls secured his first National with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and has seven entries this year, headed by the 13-year-old Tidal Bay. The Ditcheat trainer is also responsible for Welsh Grand National runner-up Hawkes Point, There’s No Panic, Rocky Creek, Kauto Stone, Mon Parrain and Sire Collonges. Jonjo O’Neill, successful with Don’t Push It for principal patron JP McManus in 2010, has also made seven entries, headed by the same owner’s Sunnyhillboy, beaten a nose by Neptune Collonges in 2012, Alfie Sherrin, Merry King, Burton Port, Lost Glory, Storm Survivor and Twirling Magnet. Pipe, who sent out Comply Or Die to win in 2008, has six engaged, with Swing Bill joined by Standing Ovation, Our Father, Goulanes, Junior and The Package. Last season’s Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude, trained by Michael Scudamore, and Hennessy Gold Cup victor Triolo D’Alene are among the ante-post market leaders. Triolo D’Alene, winner of last year’s Topham Chase over the famous fences, is with UK champion trainer Nicky Henderson, who has yet to win the race. The Lambourn handler has also entered 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Long Run, Hunt Ball, Shakalakaboomboom and Quantitativeeasing. Other notable entries include Scottish Grand National scorer Godsmejudge from the Alan King yard and Kim Muir Challenge Cup winner Same Difference, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies. The latter has been on the roll of honour twice, with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).
Rory McIlroy endured a nightmare start to his bid to make it four wins in a row as he reached the turn in a four-over 40 in the first round at The Barclays. The world number one came into the first leg of the four-tournament FedEx Cup play-offs as a hot favourite following victories at the Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship. But his form deserted him during the early stages at Ridgewood Country Club as he registered a double-bogey on the 12th, his third hole, and followed that with bogeys on the 13th and 18th to leave him last of all players on the course. That meant the Northern Irishman was nine shots adrift of the early lead of five under held by Ryo Ishikawa and Steven Bowditch, who had played 14 and 12 holes respectively. Scotland’s Russell Knox was the only European making any sort of impression as he sat three under after 11 holes and two shots off the lead. In-form Rickie Fowler was also three under through 11, while two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson was two under through nine. Defending FedEx Cup champion Henrik Stenson was among the afternoon starters as were European Ryder Cup hopefuls Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. The top 125 players in the standings have qualified for The Barclays, with the field being trimmed to 100 for the Deutsche Bank Championship, 70 for the BMW Championship and then 30 for the Tour Championship, with the man finishing top of the standings claiming a 10million US dollars bonus. McIlroy led the FedEx Cup standings coming into the tournament followed by Jimmy Walker, Watson, Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk. Press Association
All three impressed, but it was the contribution of Di Maria which perhaps deserves the greatest praise. The Argentinian gave United fans a glimpse of his potential in the drab 0-0 draw at Burnley two weeks ago, but on his home debut he was simply irresistible. The £59.7million signing stretched the away defence with a series of brilliant passes and he had a hand in all four goals. Van Gaal, who had gone four games without a win, will want to use this victory as a springboard for the rest of the season. This certainly felt like the start of a new era at Old Trafford. United, playing in a 4-4-2 diamond, passed the ball quicker, they were more clinical in front of goal and the atmosphere inside the ground was jubilant. With £150million of new talent available to him, and players like Mata, who had an outstanding game, Van Gaal has the potential to achieve a top-three finish, as outlined by his employers, at the very least. Despite the public excitement surrounding the arrival of Falcao, Rio Ferdinand received the biggest reception from the home fans before kick-off. Manchester United’s stellar squad trounced QPR to hand Louis van Gaal his first win as manager. Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata all got on the scoresheet as Van Gaal’s team of Galacticos hammered Harry Redknapp’s shell-shocked side 4-0 at Old Trafford. Van Gaal gave Radamel Falcao a second-half debut off the bench while Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo made their first starts in the red of United. Press Association The former United centre-half, who complained he was not given a proper send off in the summer, received a huge ovation as well as a present from Sir Bobby Charlton just before kick-off. After the first whistle sounded, it did not take long for Ferdinand’s old team-mates, and United’s new signings, to put him under immense pressure. Mata raced down the left and whipped in a perfect ball for Rooney, but mis-controlled and Ferdinand hooked the ball clear. Van Gaal wrote in his pre-match notes that he was worried about nervousness gripping his players at Old Trafford, but that was certainly not the case on Sunday. United passed the ball quickly and confidently, and they tested the away defence with a series of teasing crosses. Herrera pulled the ball back to Mata after a clever nutmeg from Rafael, but the former Chelsea man skied his shot. Down the left, Rojo lobbed the ball to the back post where Herrera cocked his right leg back ready to fire a volley at goal, but Van Persie clumsily nicked the ball away from the Spaniard. With so much pressure on them, it only seemed a matter of time before QPR conceded, and they did in the 23rd minute. After a needless foul on Herrera by Clint Hill, Di Maria whipped a curling ball over the heads of four players and the ball drifted in past Robert Green at his far post. Within a few minutes of Di Maria’s first United goal, the hosts almost handed QPR a route back into the match. David De Gea, usually such a calm operator, raced out of the box trying to clear a long punt up field from Niko Kranjcar. The goalkeeper failed to communicate with Jonny Evans and the ball fell to Matt Phillips, but he failed to turn the ball into the empty net and United’s fans breathed again. Those same fans were up on their feet moments later when United moved 2-0 ahead. Once again Di Maria played an important part, racing 50 yards down the left before playing Rooney in with a lovely pass between two defenders. The striker’s shot was blocked, but he then squared to Herrera, who drilled the ball past Green. The Stretford End demanded United attack and they did. Just before half-time Rooney made it 3-0. Herrera played a delicious one-two with Mata and he touched the ball off to Rooney, who powered a low shot past Green. QPR boss Redknapp replaced Hill with Armand Traore at half-time and the former Arsenal defender made an immediate impression, driving at the United defence with a long run. He squared to Kranjcar, who shot at goal, but De Gea stuck his right foot out just in time. A large number of United fans rose to applaud Falcao as he warmed up on the touchline. Those whose focus remained on the game watched United bag a fourth. Di Maria adventurously attempted a 25-yard effort which instead landed straight at Mata’s feet. The Spaniard, three yards clear of his nearest marker Ferdinand, tucked the ball past Green from 10 yards. Falcao came on with 23 minutes to go to link up with Rooney and Van Persie in a devastating front three. United’s defensive vulnerabilities were highlighted when Tyler Blackett moved aside to allow Eduardo Vargas to shoot on goal, but he dragged his effort wide. Di Maria cramped up and had to come off with 10 minutes to go. Green spilled Blind’s long-range shot in the dying minutes, but Falcao could not get there in time to score a debut goal, not that it mattered.
However, while that might have been satisfaction enough for Cisse, it was Gutierrez and his ongoing battle with testicular cancer which was at the forefront of his thoughts. Cisse, who revealed a t-shirt bearing the message “Always looking forward, Jonas” after each of his strikes, told nufcTV: “These goals are for Jonas because this man for me is a big man. I remember my first goal in England was down to him giving me a good cross and I scored. “It’s just for him because I believe in this man and the time we spent together in this team, he is a very, very nice person and a good person. I love that he smiles all the time and makes people happy. “That’s why today, I say: ‘Jonas keep going. Life is not finished, it’s just an obstacle and you need to keep going. Thank you for everything’.” While Cisse’s efforts on the day will undoubtedly have been appreciated by Gutierrez back in Argentina, they were no more welcome on Tyneside on a day when Pardew’s critics had attempted to rally the troops for an onslaught. In the event, the protests were lukewarm and fleeting even at 2-0 with placards and banners demanding the manager’s exit in evidence, but in relatively small numbers and infrequently. Both Pardew and skipper Fabricio Coloccini had appealed to supporters to back the team in advance, and the vast majority did just that for much of the game. Many would not have been aware at that point that owner Mike Ashley had let it be known privately that Pardew would be given the chance to turn things around and had urged patience. Press Association The 29-year-old Senegal international had not kicked a ball in anger since fracturing his kneecap in a 2-1 home defeat by Swansea on April 19 when he was thrown into the midst of a deepening crisis for Pardew with Hull leading 2-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday. By the time the final whistle sounded some 21 minutes later, he had claimed his first goal since March 22 and then added another to it to snatch a draw and spare his manager a fresh deluge of abuse. That particular quality, however, appeared to have run dry when, despite turning in one of their most enterprising displays of the season to date, Newcastle found themselves staring down the barrel thanks to two strikes of supreme quality. Midfielder Jack Colback was partially culpable as the visitors took a 49th-minute lead when his failure to clear allowed former Sunderland team-mate Ahmed Elmohamady to cross, but the volley with which Nikica Jelavic dispatched the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul was breathtaking. In truth, Holland international Krul had little to do for most of the afternoon, but he was beaten once again with 68 minutes gone when Mohamed Diame blasted a left-foot piledriver past him off the inside of the post from 22 yards. Cisse had been standing on the sideline waiting to be introduced when his international team-mate struck, and he finally entered the fray with boos for his manager echoing around the stadium. But within five minutes, he had dragged the Magpies back into it with a well-struck shot which beat Allan McGregor at his near post, and he saved the day three minutes from time with a close-range finish after Yoan Gouffran had headed Moussa Sissoko’s cross back across goal. Cisse said: “The first (Hull) goal, I was inside having a massage and when I came back, I said, ‘What’s happened?’ and when they said 1-0, I said, ‘No, come on’. For a minute, I didn’t believe it was 1-0 and the (substitute) goalkeeper (Rob Elliot) said, ‘I swear, I swear on my life it’s 1-0’. “After the second goal – my friend scored that one, Mohamed Diame, he’s my captain in the national team – it was hard. “But I had my chance to come on to the pitch and I was happy just to work hard and maybe score one goal, and thank you God, I scored two, so I am happy.” Tigers boss Steve Bruce was hugely disappointed to see his side pegged back when he felt they had victory within their grasp. He said: “We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to see it through. We performed admirably and were probably good enough to win the match. But if you make mistakes at this level, you will get punished, and we certainly did on Saturday.” Papiss Cisse’s mind was on team-mate Jonas Gutierrez as he came off the bench to drag Newcastle boss Alan Pardew out of the mire.
“He wants an ease, but Shane said it is very extreme out there. He relaxed well and seems to have grown up and will get an entry in the Ballysax Stakes next.” Paul Deegan’s 8-1 shot Papa’s Way ran over extreme distances last season but the drop down to 10 furlongs proved no hindrance in the Cork Handicap, Chris Hayes making full use of his stamina to lead all the way and win by two and three-quarter lengths. Rory Cleary brought Never Again (28-1) with a long run from the rear to grab the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap by a head, though he picked up a four-day whip ban, and he completed a double when leading all the way for a gutsy half-length success on Cash Or Casualty (14-1) in the Newmarket Handicap. The Dermot Weld-trained filly ended 2014 with two wins and was the 8-11 favourite to make it a hat-trick stepping up to Listed class. As the front-running Queen Of Alba came back to the field, Massinga and Altesse could be spotted travelling best, and after a brief tussle from two out the market leader asserted in the final 200 yards in the hands of Pat Smullen. Massinga continued where she left off last season as she recorded an authoritative success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes at Cork. Press Association Weld said: “The way she got home there we have a lot to look forward to and possibly the Munster Oaks back here in June will be her next race. Whatever she does in the spring of this year it is only in the autumn that you will see her, she is going to be very good. “We’ve won this race several times and hopefully this filly is as good as any.” It was a double for Weld and Smullen in the Aga Khan silks after Shahzeena (4-6) impressed on her debut in the Like Us On Facebook Median Auction Fillies Maiden, winning by two and three-quarter lengths in some style. Weld said: “She’s a nice filly and worked very well before coming here and did what I thought she’d do. I hope she progresses to get black type, and that will be her next plan. She has a Guineas entry, but will run in a Classic Trial before then.” The hat-trick came up for the trainer, jockey and owner when Summaya (10-1) led all the way in the Blackwater Maiden, seeing off the odds-on Hans Holbein to score by six lengths. Weld said: “She was fit, goes on that ground and they were both factors in her favour. She will go for handicaps now.” Ken Condon’s 7-2 shot Success Days came out on top in a tricky little contest for the www.corkracecourse.ie Rated Race, beating off long-time leader Postulation after a sustained duel and asserting to score by a length in the hands of Shane Foley. The trainer said: “It’s good to see quite a few of these races and this was the plan all spring and winter. We ran him in a Listed race at the end of last season but he got trapped out wide. These races are important for the development of horses like him and there are eight or 10 of these races.
Press Association European champions Real Madrid have been monitoring De Gea’s contract negotiations with United and are ready to pounce if the Spaniard does not sign an extension to his current deal, which expires at the end of next season. A fortnight ago manager Louis van Gaal said negotiations had been ongoing for “a long time”, but De Gea has yet to commit his future to United despite being offered “a lot of money”, in the words of his manager. Phil Neville fears David de Gea will leave Manchester United this summer. “He is the best around. He has won Manchester United games, he is up there with (Edwin) Van der Sar and (Peter) Schmeichel in terms of winning games so that would be my one worry this summer.” De Gea is the overwhelming favourite to win United’s player of the season award, which he also won last year. The Spain international believes he is yet to reach the peak of his powers despite two impressive seasons at Old Trafford. “Yes, I have (improved this year),” the 24-year-old told Inside United. “I’m very young and I always try to keep getting better, in every training session, every match, and I think it’s been a very productive season for me. “I’m still growing as a player; I’m very satisfied with the season that I and we have had.” Neville, meanwhile, has revealed he is looking to go into management. The former left-back was United first team coach under David Moyes last season, but left the club last summer following Van Gaal’s appointment as manager. The 38-year-old has been taking his coaching badges while working as a BBC pundit and hopes to find a suitable club in the near future. “Yes, it’s something I want to do,” Neville said when asked if he wanted to go into management. “I am taking my (UEFA) Pro Licence, which is the last qualification. “I am learning. I had a fantastic learning experience as first-team coach at Man United. “You can do all the training courses in the world but the experiences I learned last year – it’s something you can’t replicate. “I want to take that on, I want to continue to learn. “I have got 25 years left of work in me so I am not going to rush into something but hopefully in the next 12 to 18 months the right opportunity will come up.” And former United left-back Neville admits the club could lose their star goalkeeper at the end of the season. “My biggest fear in the summer is David de Gea,” Neville told United’s official website. “I want him tied up on a long-term contract.” Although his form has tailed off slightly of late, De Gea has enjoyed a fine season for United and was named in the PFA team of the year last month. Few would have thought De Gea would turn into such a formidable goalkeeper at the start of his time at Old Trafford when he made a number of costly errors. But four years on from his debut, the former Atletico Madrid stopper now ranks among the greatest goalkeepers in the club’s recent history, according to Neville. “He is the best developer I have seen for a number of years,” Neville said. “From where is when he first signed to where he is now, the development and the improvement he has shown has been nothing short of incredible.
Luke Shaw was due to leave hospital on Saturday after a visit from the PSV defender whose challenge broke his right leg in two places. Hector Moreno broke Shaw’s tibia and fibula when he slid in on the Manchester United full-back in the 15th minute of PSV’s 2-1 win at the Philips Stadion on Tuesday. Shaw had an operation on the leg at the St Anna Ziekenhuis hospital on the outskirts of Eindhoven on the night of the match and stayed there until he was given the all clear to return to Manchester on Saturday. “I just wanna say a massive thank you to everyone at St Anna hospital for all the care and attention they have given me the last few days,” Shaw wrote on Instagram on Saturday morning. ”Something I will never forget! ”Am pleased to be flying back to Manchester today so I can start my journey back onto the football pitch!” Shaw will have another minor operation in Manchester before returning home either Tuesday or Wednesday. It emerged on Saturday that Moreno and PSV manager Phillip Cocu had visited Shaw in the hospital on Thursday. “We first asked whether Shaw would meet us, which he wanted to,” Cocu told a press conference. “We offered him the help of PSV should he need anything in relation to his recovery. “It has affected him (Moreno), it has affected the others and it has affected me.” Press Association The first match Shaw will miss is a trip to his old club Southampton on Sunday. It will be the first time that another former Saints player Morgan Schneiderlin has returned to St Mary’s since his £25million move to Old Trafford. Schneiderlin spent seven years at Southampton, playing a key role in their rise from League One to European qualification last term. But, perhaps mindful of the fact that Shaw and Adam Lallana were booed by Saints fans last term, the Frenchman is unsure what kind of reception he will get on the south coast this weekend. “We will see (what the reception is) but I know, and I think also the fans know, that I gave my best to Southampton,” the midfielder told United Uncovered. “I know there have been some up and downs at the club. In the first two years after I came we went down to League One, but I left the club in the Premier League with their best [points] record in the league ever. “I fought for this team with my team-mates. So we’ll see what the reception is but we parted on good terms.” Schneiderlin admits it will be an odd occasion, but one he believes he can handle. “It will be strange in a way to go in the away dressing room. I’ve never seen the away dressing room,” he said. “I’ll see all the people that I worked with for seven years all behind the scenes. I know all the staff there so it will be strange for me but I need to stay focused on my game and put all those things aside. “I need to just work on my game and be as focused as I can, but it will be very nice to savour.” With Shaw absent, Louis van Gaal has to pick a new left-back. Ashley Young, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo are the main contenders. The good news for the United manager is that captain Wayne Rooney has overcome a hamstring and is fit to start the match.
Van Gaal blamed the negative tactics adopted by the club’s opponents for their recent difficulties after the game, but Rooney insists scoring goals remains their focus as they prepare for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool. Rooney said: “We’re always trying to create chances. Obviously we know that’s our aim, that’s what we work on everyday at the training ground. “Sometimes it’s difficult, but on nights like tonight we did it so we need to keep working and keep trying to improve.” Wayne Rooney has warned Manchester United they cannot afford to keep throwing away points if they are to hit their targets this season. He told MUTV: “After going 2-0 up, we were in control of the game, and then we’ve let them back into it. To then get our third goal and concede again was disappointing from us. “They were silly goals to concede on our behalf and they were avoidable. They have cost us two points so we’re disappointed. “We can’t keep going on conceding three goals every game, so we have to work on that and create the chances without giving goals away. “You can score as many goals as you want, but if you keep conceding goals, then it’s a problem. We have to keep trying to get that balance right and keep creating chances, scoring goals and keeping them out.” It all started so well for Rooney and his team-mates when the England captain gave them a ninth-minute lead from the penalty spot after defender Chancel Mbemba was adjudged to have handled Daley Blind’s corner and when Jesse Lingard made it 2-0 seven minutes before the break, they looked to be in complete control. But Georginio Wijnaldum pulled one back before half-time and when Aleksandar Mitrovic levelled from the spot with 67 minutes gone after being hauled down by Chris Smalling, the Magpies were in the ascendancy. Rooney’s well-taken second looked to have secured victory with 11 minutes remaining, but Paul Dummett snatched a point at the death when his 90th-minute piledriver was deflected past keeper David de Gea by the unfortunate Smalling. United, who have now won just twice in 11 games in all competitions, went into the game with manager Louis van Gaal having admitted even he had been bored by some of their recent performances and at 2-2, there were chants of “Attack, attack, attack” from the supporters high up behind Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot’s goal. United squandered 2-0 and 3-2 leads at struggling Newcastle on Tuesday evening to draw 3-3, in the process slipping to sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table. Rooney, who edged to within eight goals of Sir Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249 with a double at St James’ Park, admitted that his side had to find a balance between attack and defence after a game which went some of the way towards exciting the travelling fans. Press Association
The midlands club are anchored to the foot of the top-flight table with 15 matches remaining and only picked up a point from a 0-0 draw at West Brom on Saturday when the hosts failed to register a single shot on target. Villa are still nine points from safety despite their mini revival yet Garde thinks their recent performances have shown him they are up for their relegation fight. Pulis revealed the Venezuelan, signed from Russian club Zenit St Petersburg over the summer, may now be granted a short-term break as he is struggling to adjust to the Premier League’s intensity. “Salomon looked tired,” Pulis said. “We gave him blood tests this weekend just to test him because the lad feels tired. “I think it’s a different type of football he’s playing and it’s week-in, week-out. It’s so hard and it’s so tough. He needs this season to get used to it. “He’s got real quality and real talent. If you look at his running stats, his running stats are fantastic, he goes out there and does works hard, but he felt tired again. “We’ll check and see where he is. He might just need a couple of weeks off.” Aston Villa’s players have earned Remi Garde’s trust during their five-match unbeaten run, but the Frenchman knows time is running out to save their Barclays Premier League status. “I know the last three Premier League games in terms of spirit that I can rely on these players,” he said. “It’s a late step but when you arrive in a football club it takes you a little time to know people, to assess their quality as a football player and also as a human being.” Prior to their visit to The Hawthorns, Villa’s last away game was the FA Cup draw at Wycombe where fans vented their anger at their players when they left the ground following a 1-1 draw with the Sky Bet League Two club. And while neither set of supporters left West Brom that appeased on Saturday after watching a bore draw largely devoid of action, Garde hopes the travelling fans were encouraged by the effort shown. “They saw a Villa team who fight, who had collective spirit and I just regret that we started the season very late and now it’s more difficult,” he added. “But I told that as well to my players. If we keep playing with this spirit until the end of the season, everything is still possible.” For the second straight Premier League game Tony Pulis’ Baggies failed to fire a shot on target. Club-record signing Salomon Rondon led the line to begin with following his FA Cup winner at Bristol City in midweek and was a peripheral figure before being replaced 64 minutes in. Press Association
A suspect is facing three counts of first degree murder in connection with a triple shooting in West Palm Beach.The shooting happened Wednesday just after 10 p.m. on Cole Street, just north of Belvedere and North Military Trail.#RightNow: Law enforcement presence on Cole Street in West Palm Beach. @PBCountySheriff & @PBCFR on scene. @CBS12 pic.twitter.com/nDitrRu0EC— Luli Ortiz (@LuliOrtizTV) April 18, 2019 PBSO deputies arrested 41-year-old Yuniel Martinez De La Cortera who was apprehended as he stood next to a car in the road shortly after the shooting.He is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on no bond.