LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP): The racing world wondered if there was a worthy successor to last year’s Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. Enter Nyquist. The bay colt who lacks any distinctive markings won the Kentucky Derby by 11/4 lengths yesterday improving to 8-0 in his career as the fourth consecutive favourite to win the race. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist ran 2000 metres in 2:01.31. The three-year-old colt became the eighth unbeaten winner in the race’s 142-year history, and the first since Big Brown in 2008. He the 2-1 favourite in the full field of 20 horses. “We got a beautiful trip from the start to the end,” Gutierrez said. Nyquist delivered a second Derby win for Gutierrez, trainer Doug O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam. The southern California-based team was behind 2012 Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another. “This is such a special horse,” O’Neill said. “You can see it in his eye on a daily basis and he’s such a professional.” The bay colt is from the first crop of sire Uncle Mo, who never got the chance to run in the Derby after being the early favourite for the 2011 race. He was scratched the day before with a stomach illness.
Northern Ireland reached their first major tournament since 1986 after beating Greece 3-1 at Windsor Park on Thursday night. Despite taking on the top seeds of their group, Northern Ireland went into their Euro 2016 clash against Greece with great confidence.Prior to kick off, Michael O’Neill’s side were sitting top of Group F, knowing that a win would see them qualify – and they did just that. The match began with significant hostility towards the hosts, which only subsided once the ball was at the feet of Northern Ireland.Even with the hostility, it began an even affair before Greece came close to opening the score with just a quarter of an hour having been played.After winning a corner, the ball delivered into the box reaches Sokratis Papastathopoulo who headed the ball towards Alexandros Tziolis, but the midfielder’s effort at the far post was palmed away by Michael McGovern.Greece, however, offered little threat after the opportunity, and Northern Ireland quickly began to dictate the play.After a number of chances, just moments before half-time, they finally got their goal.An excellent through ball from Corry Evans played Stuart Dallas in on the right, who delivered a cross into the centre of the box for Steven Davis to slide in and send the ball into the back of the net.Heading into the dressing room with a lead, it really was almost party time for the hosts.Northern Ireland showed no desire to sit back with the one goal cushion, and within just three minutes of the start of the second half, two corners had been conceded by Greece.With such pressure, a second seemed almost inevitable.And in the 50th minute, the hosts doubled their lead and looked to have booked their place in France.Their third cross of the half paid off, as it reached Josh Magennis who, moving away from goal, sent his header over the defender at the near post, confirming that it was now time for the home side’s fans to get the party started.After the goal, Greece did enjoy increased possession of the ball, but as far as the fans were concerned, the game was already won.So, just to rub salt in the wounds of the visitors, Northern Ireland grabbed their third of the game.And it was Davis again with the finest goal of the game saved for last.Once more, a corner paid off. After the delivery was poorly cleared by Greece, from near the edge of the box, Davis superbly headed the ball into the far post.Greece did grab one goal back late on, from Christos Aravidis, but it wasn’t to spoil the final result for Northern Ireland who can finally look ahead to next summer. Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece: Michael O’Neill’s men book historic place at Euro 2016 1