Uncle 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.
Published on October 29, 2019 at 10:08 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @MikeJMcCleary Syracuse closed out its preseason with a 77-58 win against Carleton in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday. The Ravens, who have won 14 of the last 17 Canadian national championships, were led by center Biniam Ghebrekidan who scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. Elijah Hughes led the Orange with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Girard III finished with 14 points and Buddy Boeheim added 12 points and four assists. Below are three takeaways from Syracuse’s final preseason tune-up before the Orange begin their season hosting defending national champion Virginia on Nov. 6 in the Carrier Dome. Halfcourt offenseWhen Carleton pressed its guards forward, Brycen Goodine couldn’t break free. He dribbled left and right, lost the ball a few times and double-dribbled. Running a full court game, due to tight defense in the backcourt, the Orange struggled. After some rough, sloppy play in the early part of the game, Syracuse controlled the pace of the game and broke down defenders off the dribble. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHughes demanded the ball after the Goodine double-dribble and patrolled the offense with a steady pace. When he worked between the elbows, he showcased an improved crossover dribble, which drew defenders in. As Syracuse started to beat people to the rim, the defense crashed in, leading to wide open shots from beyond the arc. “(Hughes) can run it,” Boeheim said about Hughes taking the ball up the court after Jalen Carey and Goodine struggled. “If he runs it we have a different attack… so we will have him do that.In the halfcourt, SU can highlight its strength — shooting — and get to the rim with off-ball movement. Several times, Syracuse players broke down defenders at the top of the key, which drew attention away from the wings. Because defenders cheated up to stop the Orange’s shooting threat, SU players cut to the rim. Sophomore Robert Braswell and Hughes, among others, scored baskets backdoor.Buddy buckets Buddy Boeheim is a dangerous option out of the baseline inbound set. He knocked down three-pointers in that situation twice in the first half against Carleton. On the first, Buddy passed the ball into Marek Dolezaj who had boxed his man out. Buddy then stepped quickly to the corner, snatched a handoff from Dolezaj and swished a 3-pointer. His second was more straight forward. A bounce pass brought the ball into Boeheim on the wing and he sank another triple. Buddy finished with three long balls. Through two scrimmages, he’s established himself as the likely second scoring option behind Hughes. With limited time on the shot clock, Buddy often found himself with the ball dribbling for an open shot. On one drive in the second half, he forced movement from the Carleton defense and swung the ball down low to Quincy Guerrier for a basket. Buddy established himself as an outside threat last season. With more offensive responsibility this year, his ability to dribble off shot fakes and distribute could be critical to the Orange’s success.Rotation still unclear Jim Boeheim said in the postgame press conference after Daemen that SU “can’t play 12 guys.” Due to exhibition play, SU has run with a deep rotation to give minutes to players who might need to earn them. But, aside from the starting-five, SU’s quest to find the typical seven-to-eight-man rotation it typically employs is unclear. “It possibly could get to ten,” Boeheim said of his rotation. “But it’s more likely that it’s going to be eight or nine in actuality…somebody goes in and plays well like Robert [Braswell] did the first game, he played more. He didn’t really get hot tonight.”The Orange have depth at a lot of spots on the floor, but Boeheim noted that deep rotations aren’t conducive to players gaining a rhythm on the floor. Girard III, Goodine, Jesse Edwards, Guerrier and Braswell have all contributed solid minutes for SU. Girard III and Goodine are vying for minutes in the backcourt, where SU’s most productive offensive players occupy the roles, and Guerrier, Braswell and Edwards are all looking to rotate in for forwards minutes, where all three getting significant time is unlikely. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+