Press Association “We always thought he was good. I was delighted when he sent him on down the back straight as we know he stays and we didn’t want a sprint. It’s great to give AP a Grade One.” Eddie O’Leary, racing manager to Gigginstown, said: “He was unlucky at Cheltenham. Things conspired against him, but that’s the real Don Cossack. “He’s a Gold Cup horse. He stays and he’s got class. We’ve also got Don Poli and just hope one of them will be lucky enough to be around next year. We’re pessimistic by nature. We’ve got to get them back sound.” Racebets introduced Don Cossack into the betting at 16-1 on the 2016 Gold Cup. Colin Tizzard was delighted with Cue Card and is thinking of running at the Punchestown Festival. He said: “He’s absolutely fine. He beat the rest easy enough, but he didn’t get anywhere near the winner. He was something else. He’ll go to Punchestown now.” Jonjo O’Neill said of Johns Spirit: “He’s a superstar. He always tries. We’ll look at more of these sort of races next season but might be tempted to head again to the Paddy Power as he loves it around Cheltenham.” Tony McCoy was the star of the show for the second day running with victory in the feature race at Aintree as he struck on Don Cossack in the Betfred Melling Chase. While it was in his boss JP McManus’s colours that he won the Aintree Hurdle on Jezki on Thursday, it was for one of the owner’s big rivals in Ireland, Gigginstown House Stud, that he was triumphant this time. McCoy stepped into the breach due to retained rider Bryan Cooper being suspended, as well as being free himself when Uxizandre was ruled out of the race. The Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack was making amends for an unlucky run at Cheltenham after winning his first four starts of the campaign, including the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase. McCoy chose to race Don Cossack prominently behind the pacesetting Cue Card before taking over early in the straight. The 3-1 joint-favourite was soon away and clear and flew over the final fence to win eased down by 26 lengths. Cue Card ran a creditable race to fill the runner-up spot on his first start since Boxing Day, with Johns Spirit third. There was drama early on when Balder Succes came down at the third, giving Wayne Hutchinson a bang on his shoulder, and last year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Sire De Grugy fell at the sixth. Like Hutchinson, his rider Josh Moore was stood down for the day. McCoy said: “I owe JP’s son Kieran a favour as we knew early in the week Uxizandre wouldn’t be running and I think Kieran sorted it with Eddie and Michael (O’Leary, of Gigginstown). Even though we have a healthy competition with them in England and Ireland, it’s nice of them to put me up in a Grade One given I haven’t got long left. “I got a good ride off him. Fair play to Gordon, he had him in great shape. I gave him a squeeze down the back, as it worked out he’s better with the bit high in his mouth. “Gordon told me he had a high cruising speed and not to be frightened to be positive, and saying that was like a red rag to a bull.” Elliott added: “I’m delighted, he’s always been the apple of my eye and AP gave him a great ride. It’s unfortunate Bryan Cooper got suspended at Cheltenham as he’s a big part of the team, but I’ve got brilliant staff and owners.
The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (5-16, 0-8 Big Ten) couldn’t outlast Indiana (15-6, 5-3 Big Ten) in their game at the Kohl Center Sunday resulting in a 78-54 loss.The Badgers hung close for three quarters and were even able to snatch the lead in the third, but eventually succumbed to the Hoosiers’ onslaught in the final period of play. Wisconsin found themselves fighting from behind in the second half after concluding the first down by six. But with the aid of a couple of three pointers from guards Roichelle Marble and Suzanne Gilreath, the momentum changed hands.Riley Steinbrenner/The Badger HeraldWomen’s basketball: Wildcats await reeling Badgers in EvanstonThe University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team could be looking at an 0-9 start in the Big Ten as they Read…It was still anybody’s ballgame as the final minutes of the third quarter ticked away, but Indiana had already begun their charge. They scored five straight as the Badgers tiredly stumbled, unable to retaliate as they had done so zealously all period long.By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Wisconsin had completely lost its touch. The Badgers ended up only scoring three points while the Hoosiers poured in 21. Among their mistakes, Wisconsin could not limit their fouls. They committed a season-high 27 that forced Indiana to the line 18 times in the fourth quarter alone.Riley Steinbrenner/The Badger HeraldWomen’s basketball: Struggling Badgers look for turnaround win against solid Indiana teamThe Wisconsin women’s basketball team (5-15, 0-7 Big Ten) will play their second straight game at home Sunday as they Read…The theme of inconsistent scoring persisted for Wisconsin, as only junior guard Cayla McMorris reached double figures. An encouraging sign for the Badgers going forward, McMorris, their leading scorer on the season, was revitalized in her efforts. She scored 13 points going 6-13 on the day.Turnover disparity manifested itself accordingly on the scoreboard. Indiana scored 20 points off of Wisconsin’s 17 turnovers, while the Hoosiers only gave the ball away seven times.Considering the major midseason slide they’ve been on, Sunday’s loss was yet another poignant reminder of the potential that this young Badgers squad has.
LOS ANGELES — While the Lakers have established momentum entering the offseason, it could come at the cost of retaining something that would help their long-term future.The Lakers secured a 98-94 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday at Staples Center, their second three-game winning streak of the season amid promising signs of growth from their young players.“We’re getting team effort from everybody right now,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “They’re rising to the challenge and competing mainly on the defensive end. They’re having fun in there competing. When we were playing well earlier in the year, that’s what we were doing. Losing took that from us. We found that at the last couple of games.”But for NBA teams hopeful to rebuild through the draft, losing now can yield more wins in the future. The Lakers (24-55) further solidified their hold on the NBA’s third-worst record on the same night the Phoenix Suns (23-57) defeated Oklahoma City to end a 13-game losing streak. Though the Lakers currently have 46.9 percent odds of keeping their top-three-protected draft pick, they would have a 55.8 percent chance of landing in the top three if they had the NBA’s second-worst record. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Several of their young players contributed in various ways, including Randle (25 points), Brandon Ingram (14), Jordan Clarkson (12) and D’Angelo Russell (11). Randle and Ingram led the Lakers with aggressive drives to the basket, including a one-handed dunk from Ingram in the third quarter. Randle also made some key plays at the end.After making a pair of foul shots, Randle finished with a layup to give the Lakers a 91-90 lead.with 1:17 remaining. Following a dunk from the Kings’ Georgios Papagiannis, Russell answered with a finger roll for a 93-92 lead with 41 seconds left. Then Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. grabbed a key offensive rebound and made one of two foul shots for a 94-92 cushion with five seconds remaining.Lakers forward Corey Brewer then stole an inbounds pass before making both foul shots for a 96-92 edge with four seconds left. Russell added two more foul shots to clinch the win.“I thought the fans were great,” Walton said. “They were going nuts every time we hit a shot or forced a turnover. It’s obviously a unique situation we’re in. But the fans are behind the guys, at least the ones at the arena.”The game may have featured 17 lead changes and 11 ties. But the Lakers had a slow start as they trailed in first quarter, 31-18. The Kings also featured Skal Labissiere (19 points), Buddy Hield (17), Darren Collison (15), Willie Cauley-Stein (14) and Papagiannis (10). Since that point, Walton saw his players ratchet up the intensity.“They seem to be more comfortable,” Walton said. “I hope that’s from the opportunities they had instead of it being the end of the season and there’s not any pressure on us.”Well, there is some pressure about the NBA lottery, something the Lakers insist hardly enters their mind as they strive to close out the season showing on-court growth. “As a player, we come in here to do our job every single day to win basketball games and to play our role on the basketball team,” Ingram said. “We can’t listen to anyone else. We come in, compete as a unit and listen to the coaches and everybody around us. We can’t listen to anyone else about how we do our job.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“You don’t do that. You have to treat the game with respect,” said Lakers forward Julius Randle, who had a team-leading 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting and six rebounds. “I don’t care. We know what’s going on in this locker room. So we don’t care.”Still, it seems understandable why Lakers fans care so much about the implications.In addition to potentially surrendering their first-round pick to Philadelphia if it’s outside the top three, the Lakers owe the Orlando Magic a 2019 first-round pick, but that obligation becomes a pair of second-rounders if the Lakers keep their top-three pick this year.Yet, the 18,997 fans at Staples Center hardly seemed worried about that. Instead, they cheered after every key play against the Kings (31-48).The Lakers didn’t appear worried about those ramifications against the Kings (31-48).