Former Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz offered Iran contract extension

Carlos Queiroz looks set to lead Iran at the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2018
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Former Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz offered Iran contract extension

HONG KONG: Carlos Queiroz has been offered a contract extension to remain as head coach of Iran beyond the World Cup finals in Russia, a source close to the Portuguese coach has told to Reuters.
Queiroz, who qualified the country for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and will lead the nation again in Russia this year, has been offered an extension until the end of the Asian Cup finals, which will be played in the UAE in early 2019.
The former Real Madrid and Portugal head coach, who also served as an assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, took the helm of the Iran team in April 2011 but was widely expected to step down following the World Cup.
“The Iran Football Federation has presented Carlos Queiroz with a proposal for a contract extension until January 2019,” said the source.
“Carlos is honored by this approach because it not only shows recognition of the job he has done for seven years in Iran, but also confidence in the future.
“Carlos recognizes the will of Iranian football to continue with him as national team coach and he is obviously touched by this proposal from a country that shows unique passion for the game and where the fans show great support.
“Therefore, he will carefully analyze this propose and take into consideration the technical and structural conditions that are important for the team.”
Iran last won the Asian Cup in 1976, the third of three consecutive titles, and Queiroz has been credited by many with restoring the country’s football fortunes.
He was in charge when Iran last appeared at the Asian Cup finals in Australia in 2015, only to see his side eliminated in a dramatic quarter-final penalty shoot-out by neighbors Iraq.
Iran have been drawn to face Morocco, Spain and Queiroz’s native Portugal at the World Cup in June and are aiming for a place in the knockout rounds of the tournament for the first time in their history.
The Asian Cup, which will feature 24 nations for the first time, will be played in the UAE, kicking off on Jan. 5 with the final to be played in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 1.


Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

Updated 25 March 2019
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Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

  • Five-year old bidding to become first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups.
  • $12 million race takes place at Meydan on Saturday.

LONDON: Thunder Snow is preparing well as he bids to become the first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups, according to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The five-year-old memorably won the showcase $12 million race at Meydan by five and three-quarter lengths, winning in a track record time last year. He returned to the track on Super Saturday two weeks ago, finishing second in the Group 1 Al-Maktoum Challenge Round Three.
And Godolphin are expecting big things from him in the famous race. Bin Suroor, the most successful handler in the history of the 2000m dirt feature with eight winners to his name, is feeling confident.
“He did his final serious piece of work on Saturday and went very well indeed,” the Godolphin trainer said. “He needed his Super Saturday outing — his first run since November — badly and has come on a lot for it. We expect him to run a big race under conditions we know suit him, but obviously it is a good race.”
Thunder Snow has already made history as the only horse to win both the Group 2 UAE Derby and Group 1 Dubai World Cup, but if he is to win this Saturday then he will be revered for years to come.
One of his big rivals in the race will be Yoshida. Trained by Bill Mott he arrived in Dubai on March 19 in preparation for the cash-rich race. The Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry landed in the Emirate off a sixth-place finish in the inaugural Group 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
He won the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, as well as the prestigious Woodward at Saratoga last year and Riley Mott, assistant to his father Bob, said Yoshida is looking good ahead of the big race.
“He’s settled in really well,” he said. “He traveled great and we’re very happy with him. The facilities here are top class. This is my seventh time over here and we’re treated very well.”
Yoshida went out just after 7:00 a.m. in Monday to stretch his legs over the famous dirt track.
“He just had a routine gallop this morning and we let him stand in the gate. Nothing too serious,” Mott said.
Jose Ortiz, who has piloted Yoshida though his last two starts and was aboard for the Grade 1 score at Churchill Downs, will make his first appearance in Dubai. Mott said he expects Ortiz, who guided Yoshida to a closing fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, will have plenty of options in the 2000m race.
“It sounds like there’s a lot of pace from the local horses, but we have a horse that’s pretty versatile in the way he runs,” Mott said. “He’s able to adapt to the pace scenario. It’s just a matter of how the race develops in front of him.”