Press Association “We’re looking at the long-distance races. He has to improve, but the ultimate aim would be the Gold Cup,” he said. “He has to prove he’s a Gold Cup horse. He hasn’t done that yet.” The disappointment of the feature event was Sizing Europe, with Henry de Bromhead’s popular veteran coming home sixth of seven runners. De Bromhead said: “It was disappointing and my immediate reaction is (to blame the) ground.” Champagne Fever completed a double for the Mullins team, with Killultagh Vic getting the day off to a flyer in the opening INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle. Sixth and fifth respectively in the Cheltenham and Punchestown champion bumpers, the 1-4 favourite made short work of his rivals on his hurdling bow, making most of the running and coming home four and a half lengths clear of Virtuoso Rouge. “We thought there’d be a lot more pace. We didn’t envisage having to make the running, but he jumped well when he got to the front,” said Mullins. “He had point-to-point experience up his sleeve and he galloped on up the hill. “Looking at what he did today, he should stay further than two and a half miles.” The Champion Bumper and Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hero was only narrowly denied a Cheltenham Festival hat-trick in last season’s Arkle Trophy and was an 8-11 favourite for his comeback run in a fascinating renewal of this Grade Two event. Paul Townend, standing in for the sidelined Ruby Walsh, appeared keen to get a lead aboard the Willie Mullins-trained odds-on shot, but Champagne Fever was eager to get on with his job and was in front passing the stands with a circuit to go. Some exuberant leaps heading down the back straight kept the pressure on his rivals and when nearest pursuer Realt Mor made a mess of the second fence from the finish, the race was as good as over. Champagne Fever galloped on towards the final fence and another accurate leap sealed his six-length victory over Alderwood. The seven-year-old is a best priced 8-1 with Paddy Power and sponsors William Hill for the King George VI Chase at Kempton and that could be his next port of call. Mullins said: “I was delighted with what he did considering how he pulled in the first half of the race. I didn’t think he could pull like that and still beat a field of horses rated 150-plus. “Last week I wasn’t coming here, but in his final bit of work he sparked and we decided we’d run him. He’s improved over the last 10 days. “We’re looking at the John Durkan (Memorial Chase at Punchestown). However, I think Boston Bob is going to go there, and maybe he (Champagne Fever) is just better being a little fresher. “Maybe no run between now and then (Kempton) might be better for him – just keep him good and strong and well.” The champion trainer hopes Champagne Fever can develop into a realistic contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup back at Prestbury Park in March. All roads lead to Kempton on Boxing Day for Champagne Fever after the flying grey made an impressive return to action in the Clonmel Oil Chase.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, are expected to grace the Gala Night marking the 50th Anniversary of the prestigious Ikeja Golf Club on Saturday, December 1. The Vice President will be the Special Guest of Honour, while Governor Ambode, who is the Club’s patron, will be the Chief Host at the Gala Night.The Gala Night will bring to a close a week of activities to mark the Golden Jubilee of the foremost recreation club in Nigeria.Activities around the occasion began yesterday with a Caddies’ and Staff Competition on the expansive grounds of the club located off Oba Akinjobi Way, beside Archbishop Vining Memorial Anglican Church, Ikeja GRA.Today, there will be a competition of Veterans and Golf Professionals, while the Ladies’ Competition holds tomorrow, November 28 and the Club will host a 50th Anniversary Special Kitty on Thursday.The Men’s Competition for guests and players with Handicap 21 and above will take place on Friday, while players with Handicap 0-20 will play on Saturday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Photo courtesy of Sports InformationGo green · Sophomore Justin Suh and the men’s golf team defeated Georgia Tech in the final round of the Cypress Point Classic on Tuesday to take first place. The final score was 19.5 – 4.5 in favor of the Trojans.While the No. 12 men’s golf team found itself competing under different circumstances this week, Trojan golfers managed to salvage a triumphant finish in their most recent competition. The invitational was played on the world-famous Cypress Point Club course, and the teams competing participated in a match-play scoring system — not the traditional stroke-play scoring system. The Trojans dominated No. 29 Georgia Tech — by a score of 19.5 – 4.5 — in the final round of the Cypress Point Classic, held in Pebble Beach on Tuesday to pick up their first team victory of the season. The two-day tournament included three rounds of golf — 54 holes in total — all of which were scored in different fashion. The first and second rounds were played Monday, and had teams divide their rosters into duets to play Four Ball (best ball) and Foursome (alternate shooting) rounds of golf. The final round, which was played on Tuesday, had golfers compete in singles matches. Teams could score a total of four points on each 18-hole match played throughout the invitational — two points were awarded for winning a match, and an additional point would be awarded to the best scorer from the front-nine, and the back-nine holes, respectively.In the championship round against the Yellow Jackets, USC excelled in its singles matchups. Five of the six individual golfers for USC on Tuesday won their singles matches against opposing Georgia Tech golfers. “Match play is a lot different than stroke play … As coaches, we try not to change too much of the way that we are playing normally because of the different format, sometimes you can read too much into it, and suddenly all the experience you have goes away because you are trying to reinvent the wheel,” head coach Chris Zambri said. “By looking at the way the matches went and asking [the golfers] about their scores, it felt like everybody was performing well.” Redshirt senior Andrew Levitt and freshman Cheng Jin both swept their respective singles matches Tuesday 4-0 as a part of USC’s championship-clinching victory over Georgia Tech. “To see us take 19.5 of a possible 24-points in [Tuesday’s] match means that we were obviously all playing pretty well as a team,” Levitt said. “We didn’t start the season off so hot, but everyone’s been playing better and better as of late, and it feels great for us to go out there and pick up our first win.”Juniors Sean Crocker and Jonah Texeira played significant roles in USC’s winning performance at Cypress Point. As a tandem, Crocker and Texeira nearly swept Alabama (taking three-and-a-half of a possible four points) in the first round. In the second round against UCLA, Crocker and Texeira swept the Bruins’ opposing tandem, 4-0. As individuals in the final round of play on Tuesday, both Crocker and Texeira came away with victories in their singles matches.To advance to Tuesday’s final round, USC defeated both Alabama (9.5 – 2.5) and UCLA (6-6, took the tiebreaker) in the first and second rounds, respectively, on Monday. “We did win, which is great, but to see us do it in stroke-play will really help us see where we are as a team,” Levitt said. “I think that individually, everyone is now starting to really play better.”The team will return to competition on Nov. 7-9 in Napa for the Gifford Collegiate.