Uncle sparks Mullins five-timer

first_imgUncle Junior (6-1) saw off Quantitativeeasing in a barnstorming finish to the FBD-sponsored La Touche Cup, sparking a five-timer for trainer Willie Mullins at Punchestown. Press Association “I didn’t know if he’d handle the ground but he obviously likes it a bit faster,” said the trainer. “Now we have to decide whether to give him the summer off or keep going and maybe go over fences.” After Un De Sceaux landed the Ryanair Novice Chase, Mullins made it four in emphatic fashion in the Orchid Transport Mares Novice Hurdle, as the Paul Townend-ridden Whiteout (8/1) led home a one-two-three for the handler, ahead of Uranna and Lyrical Theatre. Mullins said: “They don’t all have to be big money horses, she was a very modest price. She has been surprising me. “We were hoping she’d win races but didn’t think she’d be coming to Punchestown and it’s a pleasant surprise. “She looks half decent and will hopefully keep improving.” Yorkhill gave Mullins senior his fifth win and Patrick Mullins his second in the saddle with an easy victory in the Kildare Post INH Flat Race. The 5/4 favourite opened up a commanding lead after the home turn and though OK Corral ate into that lead, Yorkhill was still two and a quarter lengths up at the line. “Patrick was full of this horse after his last few bits of work,” said Mullins. “He was keen to keep him apart from Bellshill and got his wish so it worked out. “He’s clearly a nice horse. He’s been giving Patrick plenty of vibes and I haven’t done much with him.” There was little to choose between the pair jumping the final fence, after which Quantitativeeasing went a length up, but Uncle Junior roared back bravely to win a thriller by a neck, with Keep On Track third. Mullins said: “He’s some hero in our yard. At 14 to run a race like that is fantastic. “He always makes one bad mistake and hadn’t throughout so I said coming to the last ‘here it comes’, but he only lost half a length. “He appreciates the drier ground and the sun on his back. Normally he drops out and it takes three and a half miles for him to warm up, but today after half a mile I was hopeful he’d run a big race. “You saw Patrick after passing the winning post. He really enjoyed it and he’s a fantastic horse to have in the yard. “There is no talk of retirement as he’s in good form and there are those type of races for him. I can’t see the point of putting him out in a field as he gets bored. “A horse like him is entertainment and he certainly gave us entertainment today.” Mullins also landed the Donohue Marquees Handicap Hurdle with 20-1 shot Avant Tout, with Danny Mullins doing the steering. Quantitativeeasing was the 13-8 favourite to gain compensation for his luckless run at the Cheltenham Festival where he was carried out in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase when primed to deliver his challenge. The market leader moved sweetly throughout under Nina Carberry around the banks circuit, but Patrick Mullins appeared equally confident aboard the 14-year-old Uncle Junior, who finished third at Cheltenham, and the two swept clear to fight it out from the home turn. last_img read more

Dino Babers: ‘I just need to see something different’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments At his weekly press conference Monday, Dino Babers consistently referred to his desire to see something different defensively. “The big thing is we’re trying to get a change,” Babers said. “I’ve already mentioned previously that I just need to see something different. I just thought we weren’t moving in the direction I thought we should be moving in.”It was his first time addressing the media since firing defensive coordinator Brian Ward after giving up nearly 500 rushing yards to Boston College. Diving straight into questions — and letting reporters bring up the topic of Ward’s dismissal — Babers said he thinks Syracuse (3-6, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) needs to put its best defensive personnel in positions to impact the game more ahead of a matchup at Duke (4-5, 2-3), though he didn’t specify what that might look like. To date, Babers hasn’t seen it and decided that the time had come to make a change.“It wasn’t one thing, but it was a lot of things,” Babers said, “which I’m not going to get into.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCurrently, defensive ends coach Steve Stanard is serving as the interim defensive coordinator. He’ll have a “blank slate” to start “painting a portrait” that Babers will use to judge whether he wants to keep Stanard in the position or seek outside talent. Ward, who served as Babers’ defensive coordinator for the head coach’s entire tenure at SU and Babers’ last year at Bowling Green until his firing, led a defense that’s regressed this year. After pitching a shutout in the opener, the Orange’s defense was missing in action against Maryland, a 43-point drubbing. After a strong start against Clemson the following week, it seemed the beatdown in College Park might’ve been an aberration.But after keeping Syracuse afloat while the offense floundered against North Carolina State and Pittsburgh, the Orange defense finally cracked. In two games against Florida State and Boston College, SU surrendered 93 points, 737 rushing yards and struggled to tackle on first contact, let alone make enough impactful plays. For Babers, it was time for a tough call.“When something like this happens it’s really, extremely personal,” Babers said. “You’re talking about someone that has been a part of our family for a long time.”Ward stuck to the base 4-3 and nickel schemes that have been staples of his time in charge of SU’s defense. And running some of the same sets that the Orange dominated in 2018 with, Syracuse never got the turnovers and impact plays it needed. The stars of last year — Andre Cisco, Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman — haven’t come close to matching prior production, either.It’s unclear what changes in personnel, schemes and play calling tendencies Stanard might bring. But in a season where Babers has already said SU’s “best players have to be our best players,” it’s likely Stanard and the rest of the coaching staff will shake it up to unlock their stars and, hopefully, the rest of the defense.Other notesWith only three games remaining, defensive lineman McKinley Williams, who has missed every game with a lower-left leg injury, will be eligible to medically redshirt — as will center Sam Heckel. Babers said he wouldn’t expect Williams to make a return this season.Babers was barely asked about the Blue Devils, SU’s upcoming opponent, but did laud Duke head coach David Cutcliffe as the smartest coach in the conference, calling him “the smartest guy in the room” when all 14 coaches are together 0n media day. center_img Published on November 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamlast_img read more

Flyers suffer another loss to Hythe

first_imgThe Flyers’ next game is December 5th in Dawson Creek.Larson also confirmed on Friday that the Flyers will host Augustana College for a pair of exhibition games in Fort St. John, on January 2nd and 3rd. The Flyers also host a charity poker tournament on Saturday night at Chances.  Anyone who hasn’t registered for the event can still secure a spot by dropping by Chances Casino, or by calling 793-0272. The Senior Flyers are getting more competition than they bargained for.Last night, the Flyers dropped their second straight game to the Mustangs, losing 9-7 in Hythe. Like last weekend, the Flyers jumped out to an early lead, but the Mustangs outscored the Flyers 5-1 in the third period to complete another comeback win.- Advertisement -Fort St. John led 2-0 after 20 minutes of play, courtesy of goals from Andrew Derton and Adam Horst.A wild second period saw each team net four goals, including Flyers goals from Adam Horst (his second), Ian Munro, Brett Loney, and Nathan Waberski.  Hythe answered with goals from Bob Balderson, Rocky Collins, Ryan Lizotte, and Jay Christie. The Mustangs found another gear in the third period, firing five goals past Flyers goaltender Troy Hunt.  Marty Jones, Kyle Chapple, Dayne Baker, Cole Walker, and Trevor Mazurek found the back of the net, while Todd Alexander had the lone goal of the third for Fort St. John.Advertisement “I think it’s a lack of intensity” Flyers GM Rob Larson said on Friday.  “We dominated the game for 35 minutes, and then just stopped playing our game, and let them back into it.”  Unlike on Saturday, when penalty trouble in the second period sparked the Hythe comeback, the Flyers allowed the Mustangs to come-back while playing even strength.  “Turnovers on the blue line, and stuff like that” Larson said were the problems for his team on Thursday. “It’s unacceptable” Larson said, “playing against a team that’s below our caliber, but we play to their level and give them an opportunity to walk right back in it.”The Flyers outshot Hythe 52-36, with Darren Walker posting his second straight win over the Flyers. The game’s only fight saw Donny Lloyd take on Cole Walker in the final minutes.  Advertisementlast_img read more