Mishriff wins 2021 Saudi Cup

Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the Saudi Cup riding Mishriff. (Reuters)
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Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the Saudi Cup riding Mishriff. (Reuters)
Irish Jockey David Egan, left, rides his horse Mishriff as he wins the final race of the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP)
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Irish Jockey David Egan, left, rides his horse Mishriff as he wins the final race of the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP)
Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the Saudi Cup riding Mishriff. (Reuters)
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Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the Saudi Cup riding Mishriff. (Reuters)
Irish Jockey David Egan, left, rides his horse Mishriff as he wins the final race of the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP)
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Irish Jockey David Egan, left, rides his horse Mishriff as he wins the final race of the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP)
Irish Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the final race of the $20 million, the Saudi Cup, at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP)
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Irish Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the final race of the $20 million, the Saudi Cup, at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP)
 Saudi-owned Mishriff won the $20 million Saudi Cup on Saturday at Riyadh's King Abdulaziz Racetrack. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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 Saudi-owned Mishriff won the $20 million Saudi Cup on Saturday at Riyadh's King Abdulaziz Racetrack. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 21 February 2021

Mishriff wins 2021 Saudi Cup

Jockey David Egan celebrates with the trophy after winning the Saudi Cup riding Mishriff. (Reuters)
  • Crown prince patronizes prize ceremony for world’s richest race on behalf of King Salman
  • The John Gosden-trained horse, which is owned by Prince A A Faisal, ran the perfect race over nine furlongs

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman awarded the Saudi Cup to the winner of the final race of the world’s most valuable race meeting on Saturday at the King Abdul Aziz Racetrack in Riyadh.

The crown prince was patronizing the prize ceremony for the world’s richest race on behalf of King Salman who is honorary president of the Kingdom’s Equestrian Club.

Saudi-owned Mishriff won the $20 million Saudi Cup and the crown prince awarded three trophies to the owner of the horse Prince Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Faisal, jockey David Egan and Thady Gosden, on behalf of his trainer father John, respectively. 

The colt beat out American horse Charlatan to land the world’s most valuable race.

The John Gosden-trained horse, which is owned by Prince Faisal, ran the perfect race over nine furlongs as the two American rivals, Charlatan and Knicks Go, battled it out in the early stages.

READ MORE: Hollie Doyle makes history by becoming first ever female winner on Saudi Cup day

Jockey David Egan was able to stay with them and push on as they turned for home.

Charlatan, ridden by Mike Smith came into the race as a heavy favorite, but in the end could not hold off supreme ride by Egan on the four-year-old Mishriff. Great Scott, ridden by Saudi jockey Adel Alfouraidi, came in a distant third.

“It’s a privilege to be connected with such a class horse, I’d like to thank Prince Faisal, John Gosden, all his team back in Newmarket,” said the winning jockey, minutes after securing the top prize. 

“Everyone in connection with this horse has done a great job.”

“Going into the race I didn’t feel any pressure, it was just like going out on a normal race,” Egan added. 

“It’s only when you pass the line, it all sinks and you realize what a big deal it is.”

Speaking via Zoom from Newmarket, Gosden said: “David rode a positive race and in the end basically outstayed the American horses on what wasn’t a crazy pace.” 




Irish jockey David Egan celebrates with the family of Prince Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Al-Faisal, the owners of Mishriff, the winning horse of the $20 million Saudi Cup, at King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh on Saturday.  (SPA)

Hollie Doyle earlier made history on Saturday by becoming the first female jockey to win a race on Saudi Cup day when she stormed to victory in the $1 million Neom Turf Cup, the first race of the day.

At a rainswept King Abdul Aziz Racecourse, Doyle’s victory on True Self got the action at the $30.5 million meeting off to a memorable start and there were also victories for the Dubai-owned Space Blues and Gifts of Gold of Godolphin.

At the International Jockeys Challenge on Friday, the early cloudy conditions had made way for sunshine by the time of the first of the afternoon races, but there would be no such respite on the day of the world’s richest horse race.

The conditions however did not seem to affect the brilliant Doyle, who came from behind with 100 meters left to win dramatically, with Channel Maker and Emirates Knight finishing in second and third respectively.

“The track’s beautiful, the dirt track rides great as does the turf,” Doyle said. “It’s obviously a huge privilege to be on the world stage with plenty of rides on a day like today. As a jockey, it’s what  I strive to do. I feel very lucky to be where I am today.

Doyle, who finished third in the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, also highlighted the importance of taking her profile on the international stage.

“It’s really important, I don’t just want to be (just) a jockey, I want to be the best that I can be so getting leg up on these international trips is amazing,” she added.

In the second race of the day, the $1 million STC 1351 Turf Sprint, Godolphin’s Space Blues claimed the $600,000 top prize, with Al-Adiyat racing-owned Dark Power coming in second and Prince Faisal bin Khaled’s Urban Icon in third.

Doyle was back riding Red Verdon at the highly anticipated Red Sea Turf Handicap, but a surprise victory went to Godolphin’s Gifts of Gold, ridden by Pat Cosgrove, with Spanish Mission and Secret Advisor — also owned by Godolphin — finishing second and third.

Gifts of Gold’s trainer Saeed Bin Suroor was delighted with the win and revealed that preparation for the race had been challenging for his horse.

“He’s big strong horse, and it wasn’t easy for him to lose some weight, it took him some time,” Bin Suroor said. “But he ran well. In the race today, I said if we can keep him second, it will be good for him. It suits him really well and the last two furlongs, I thought he had a chance and he finished really well.”

The trainer also highlighted a special relationship with Cosgrove.

“He’s good jockey, he’s done a good job for us in Australia, and in England and also in Germany, we’re happy,” Bin Suroor added.

On the Gifts of Gold he said: “We’ll take him back to Dubai and maybe run him in the Gold Cup, two miles, give him a chance.”

“I’m sure he will lose some weight.”


Malaysia’s top badminton player Lee Zii Jia quits national team

Malaysia’s top badminton player Lee Zii Jia quits national team
Updated 5 sec ago

Malaysia’s top badminton player Lee Zii Jia quits national team

Malaysia’s top badminton player Lee Zii Jia quits national team
  • Lee Zii Jia being held up as the heir to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian badminton ace Lee Zii Jia, ranked seventh in the world, has quit his country’s national team to play as an independent, reports said Thursday.
Lee has been held up as the heir to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, rising rapidly up the rankings and scoring a breakthrough victory at the prestigious All England Open last year.
But the 23-year-old has performed poorly in recent months. He lost to China’s Chen Long at the Olympics and retired with an injury in the world championship quarter-finals.
After weeks of speculation, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Norza Zakaria confirmed that Malaysia’s top player had quit the body earlier this month.
“We see Zii Jia as an asset and we tried to persuade him (to stay) because we have groomed him since he was 13,” he was cited as saying by The Star newspaper.
“Now that he has reached this stage, winning the All England, we certainly didn’t want to lose him because he has a bright future.”
“However, he told us that he’s no Lee Chong Wei and he cannot cope with the pressure,” added Norza.
BAM did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It was not clear why Lee cut ties with the body, and there was no immediate comment from the player, but he could face sanctions.
Previously, BAM banned Tan Chun Seang from playing in Asian countries for two years after he quit the national team.
However world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark voiced support for Lee’s decision.
“If a player ... feels it’s best for him to follow another path where he is more independent as a player, then that is what he should do,” tweeted the Olympic gold medalist.
“It’s his career and his life after all.”
Badminton is one of the few sports in which Malaysia performs well internationally.
Three-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei, who retired in 2019, was one of the greatest players of his generation.

Tottenham stages latest-ever comeback to win an EPL game

Tottenham stages latest-ever comeback to win an EPL game
Updated 20 January 2022

Tottenham stages latest-ever comeback to win an EPL game

Tottenham stages latest-ever comeback to win an EPL game
  • As an extra reward for Tottenham, the victory took the team above fierce rival Arsenal and into fifth place in the league

LEICESTER, Britain: Tottenham staged the latest-ever comeback to win a Premier League game on Wednesday.
Manchester United’s second-half turnaround was quite the surprise, too.
On a dramatic night in England’s top flight, Tottenham was losing to Leicester after 94 minutes and 52 seconds. Within two minutes, Steven Bergwijn had scored two goals to seal a 3-2 win pretty much out of nowhere.
As an extra reward for Tottenham, the victory took the team above fierce rival Arsenal and into fifth place in the league — only one point off the Champions League positions with games in hand.
“My team showed they don’t want to give up and until the end we have to fight,” said Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, whose unbeaten league record at the London club was preserved.
The previous latest comeback came in arguably the Premier League’s most famous game, when Manchester City scored in the 92nd and 94th minutes to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 and clinch the title in May 2012.
As for Man United, Ralf Rangnick’s under-pressure team put in a wretched first-half display at Brentford and was lucky to be 0-0 at halftime, only for Anthony Elanga — with his first Premier League goal — Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford to score after the break in a 3-1 win. Ivan Toney pulled a late goal back for Brentford.
United stayed seventh but is one point behind Tottenham having played two games more.


Man United beats Brentford 3-1 after 2nd-half turnaround

Man United beats Brentford 3-1 after 2nd-half turnaround
Updated 20 January 2022

Man United beats Brentford 3-1 after 2nd-half turnaround

Man United beats Brentford 3-1 after 2nd-half turnaround
  • United stayed in seventh place, but is only two points behind fourth-place West Ham in the race for Champions League qualification

LONDON: Manchester United staged a second-half turnaround as goals from Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford earned a 3-1 win at Brentford to boost the team’s top-four ambitions in the Premier League on Wednesday.
It was another less-than-convincing display from United, though, with Cristiano Ronaldo ostensibly far from impressed at being substituted with 20 minutes left.
Elanga, a 19-year-old winger starting only his fourth Premier League match, broke the deadlock in the 55th minute after Brentford had wasted a host of chances to take the lead in the first half.
Greenwood then notched his first Premier League goal since October, tapping in from Bruno Fernandes’ pass, to make it 2-0 in the 62nd and Rashford climbed off the bench to add the third in the 77th for a first league win of 2022.
It was a tough blow for Brentford, which had dominated the first league meeting between these sides since 1946 but only had Ivan Toney’s late consolation to show for it.
United stayed in seventh place, but is only two points behind fourth-place West Ham in the race for Champions League qualification.


Egypt make Cup of Nations last 16 as Cape Verde, Malawi advance

Egypt make Cup of Nations last 16 as Cape Verde, Malawi advance
Updated 20 January 2022

Egypt make Cup of Nations last 16 as Cape Verde, Malawi advance

Egypt make Cup of Nations last 16 as Cape Verde, Malawi advance
  • Egypt defeated neighbors Sudan 1-0 — a result which sent Cape Verde and Malawi through
  • Nigeria finished Group D with a third successive win as they beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0

YAOUNDÉ: Seven-time champions Egypt clinched a place in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16 on Wednesday by defeating neighbors Sudan 1-0, a result which sent Cape Verde and Malawi through as well.
Nigeria finished Group D with a third successive win as they beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0, leaving Egypt to face the winners of Group E in the next round, and a potential clash with Ivory Coast in Douala.
Mohamed Abdelmonem headed home the winner at a corner 10 minutes before half-time in Yaounde to send the Pharaohs through and eliminate Sudan.
Egypt’s victory guaranteed Cape Verde and Malawi will qualify as two of the four best third-placed sides. It is the first time Malawi have reached the knockout rounds of the tournament.
Three-time former winners Nigeria continued their fine start to the competition by sweeping aside Guinea-Bissau courtesy of second-half goals from Umar Sadiq and captain William Troost-Ekong.
The Super Eagles will stay in Garoua to play a third-placed team in the last 16 on Sunday.
Cape Verde will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Bafoussam on January 25, while Morocco await Malawi on the same day in Yaounde.


Tunisia hit by 12 Covid cases at Cup of Nations: federation

Tunisia hit by 12 Covid cases at Cup of Nations: federation
Updated 20 January 2022

Tunisia hit by 12 Covid cases at Cup of Nations: federation

Tunisia hit by 12 Covid cases at Cup of Nations: federation
  • 12 players in the 28-man squad contracted Covid-19, Tunisian football federation said on Facebook
  • Key player Wahbi Khazri is among the players to test positive

TUNIS: Tunisia’s preparations for their final Africa Cup of Nations group match against Gambia were thrown into disarray after 12 players in the 28-man squad contracted Covid-19, the country’s football federation said Wednesday.
Key player Wahbi Khazri is among the players to test positive.
“This evening (Wednesday) the players took part in a training session with 16 players present and the rest absent due to Covid-19 contamination,” the federation said on its Facebook page.
The federation also said: “Tuesday, the tests revealed the contamination of Ali Maaloul, Aymen Dahmen, Ghailene Chaalali, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, Wahbi Khazri, Ali Jemal and Mohamed Amine Ben Hmida who have been isolated from the group.”
Right-back Mohamed Drager has though recovered from the virus and Tunisia are hoping that five other players, positive since the start of the tournament, will test negative before Thursday’s game.
Tunisia, the 2004 winners, need to at least draw their final Group F match to be sure of qualification for the last 16.
The Carthage Eagles bounced back from their controversial opening 1-0 loss to Mali, when the referee blew the final whistle early, by thrashing Mauritania 4-0 in their second game.