Jockey banned, his winning horse disqualified and runner-up named winner amid photo-finish controversy at Yarmouth - Godz
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Jockey banned, his winning horse disqualified and runner-up named winner amid photo-finish controversy at Yarmouth

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A JOCKEY has been banned, his winning horse disqualified and the runner-up named winner after a dramatic photo-finish controversy at Yarmouth.

Daniel Muscutt saw his win wiped out and was then slapped with a two-day suspension for his ride on Beat The Storm.

PA:Press Association

Muscutt was hit with a two-day ban and saw his winning horse disqualified[/caption]

Beat The Storm looked every inch the winner before veering offline

The William Knight-trained runner was first past the post by a short head in the 3.10pm contest over 1m3½f on Thursday.

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Cieran Fallon was close behind on 5-1 chance Hesperis.

But just as it looked like Muscutt had pulled off a nice win on his 7-2 shot, TV replays showed his mount veering into Hesperis as the finish line approached.

Head-on footage showed Beat The Storm moving to the left before careering right and into the path of Hesperis, making contact.

That forced Fallon off a true line, throwing the result into doubt.

And the stewards took a dim view of Muscutt’s riding, dishing out a ban and demoting him to second.

Their report read: “An enquiry was held to consider the placings in this race after interference inside the final half furlong involving the winner, BEAT THE STORM (IRE), ridden by Daniel Muscutt, and HESPERIS, placed second, ridden by Cieren Fallon.

“The Stewards found that the interference had improved BEAT THE STORM (IRE)’s placing as the gelding had shifted right-handed and in so doing, had given HESPERIS a bump causing the filly to become unbalanced and lose momentum.

Beat The Storm bumped into Hesperis, forcing the filly to lose momentum
A photo was needed to separate the runners – but a stewards’ enquiry reversed the placings

“It was considered that although both horses were flat out at the time of the interference, HESPERIS had managed to rally after the interference and the momentum she lost was more than the diminishing short-head by which she was beaten.

“The placings were revised as follows: HESPERIS, first, BEAT THE STORM (IRE), second.

“Muscutt was suspended for two days for careless riding for allowing his mount to drift right-handed without sufficient, timely correction.”

Sky Sports pundit Seb Sanders commented: “I don’t think Danny did an awful lot wrong, but if the stewards give him a couple of days for carelessness I don’t think he has much of an argument.

“I don’t think the horse was helping matters.”

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Israel Adesanya hasn’t added ‘any new tools’ ahead of UFC 263, says Vettori as he bids to make Italian MMA history

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MARVIN VETTORI reckons Israel Adesanya hasn’t made any major improvements to his game ahead of their eagerly-anticipated rematch.

Vettori, 27, will bid to end the Nigerian-born Kiwi’s dominant reign as middleweight king early on Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona.

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Marvin Vettori will rematch Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 263 in Arizona[/caption]

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The pair locked horns with one another three years ago at the very same arena where they’ll renew their rivalry[/caption]

The Italian Dream suffered a split-decision defeat to Adesanya three years ago but hasn’t seen too much in the way of progress from the City Kickboxing standout since their first clash.

Vettori told SunSport: “He’s got sharper in some things. But he didn’t add new tools or anything.

“He’s just got sharper, yeah. He’s been training, but that’s about it.”

Kings MMA’s Vettori believes he’s come on leaps and bounds since their fight, adding: “I’m a whole different animal.

“I really believe I’ve improved way, way more than what he’s improved.”

Victory over Adesanya – who is returning to middleweight following an unsuccessful bid to claim the light-heavyweight strap – will see Vettori become the first Italian to win UFC gold.

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Vettori believes The Last Stylebender hasn’t added any ‘new tools’ to his Arsenal[/caption]

The Mezzacorona mauler is all too aware of the potential accolade and is relishing the opportunity to further grow the sport of MMA in his homeland.

He said: “It’s awesome because it’s not just another sport. I’m able to represent the fighting spirit of an Italian and of Italy.

“So I just want to show these guys and I want to show every Italian and I want to show to Italy that we’re warriors to the fullest and that we’re going to do it regardless of all the obstacles.

“So it’s an honour and I can’t wait.”

Just being on the cusp of becoming Italy’s first UFC titleholder has seen Vettori receive recognition from a number of celebs.

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Vettori is giddy at the prospect of becoming Italy’s first UFC champion[/caption]

He said: “Italy actually came together.

“More than actually the mainstream media, a lot of famous personalities from Italy.

“They came together to wish me good luck and strength and are showing me their support. They’re making sure I feel their support.”

Vettori has been overwhelmed by the support he’s received so far but admits it’ll be for nothing if he doesn’t dethrone The Last Stylebender.

The former Venator star said: “It’s awesome, but I’ve gotta get the job done.

“If I don’t get the job done, it means nothing.

“I’m really focused – focused on what’s next. And after I make weight, I’m going to focus on getting that belt at any cost.”

BT Sport 1 will show UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2 exclusively live on Saturday 12th June with coverage of the main card featuring Leon Edwards v Nate Diaz from 3am. For more info go to bt.com/sport/ufc

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Leeds star Patrick Bamford’s long-term girlfriend Michaela Ireland stars in PrettyLittleThing shoot

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MICHAELA IRELAND looked at ease in a flowing white dress in a shoot for Pretty Little Thing.

The model is the partner of Leeds forward Patrick Bamford, who she has been with for around three years.

PrettyLittleThing

Michaela Ireland starred in a shoot for PrettyLittleThing[/caption]

The couple often post photographs together onto Instagram, where Ireland has 14,500 followers.

Among her snaps are poses with Bamford and his Championship winners’ medal for the 2019-20 season and with a selection of the Leeds squad and their partners on holiday.

Ireland posted a pic of herself cuddling the player at Elland Road last year captioned: “My champ.”

With 17 goals in Leeds’ return to the Premier League, Bamford earned a nomination for the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award.

He had hoped to win a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad having turned down a call-up with Republic of Ireland.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has admitted his pessimism at convincing the 27-year-old to move back to the nation he played for at youth level.

He said: “It’s unusual for players to switch nationality – I’m not saying it never happens – so quickly after a situation of just being left out of a tournament.

“There are not many instances of that. Normally it’s over a long period.”

Leeds do have one player in Gareth Southgate’s squad however in Kalvin Phillips.

Ex-Chelsea talent Bamford praised the midfielder for his opportunity and told England they are in for a treat this summer.

He remarked to Sky Sports News: “I think that Kalvin can definitely offer something special to that England squad.

“Nothing really fazes him to be honest. He’s a really laid-back kind of lad, in terms of not letting the pressure get too much for him. But when it’s game time, you’re not taking him out the zone.”

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

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Bellator 260: Paul Daley putting off retirement as feels he’s ‘better than this new generation of fighters’

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PAUL DALEY put off retirement from mixed martial arts because he still believes he’s one of the best welterweights in the world.

The 62-fight veteran entertained the prospect of hanging up his gloves before his Bellator 257 clash with Sabah Homasi last month.

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MMA veteran Paul Daley still feels at the peak of his powers at the age of 38[/caption]

Getty

And the UK MMA pioneer feels like he’s head and shoulders above the majority of the fighter’s in Bellator’s welteweight division[/caption]

But bringing down the curtain on his legendary career couldn’t be any further from Daley’s mind following his second-round TKO of the American Top Team welterweight.

Semtex told SunSport: “As well as the martial arts aspect, there is what I the George Foreman aspect. George Formean came out of retirement and won the heavyweight champion at 40-plus.

“I just feel like I am better than this new generation of fighters.

“I’m watching them and I’m like, ‘I don’t have to retire. I can beat these guys.’ Even at the age of 38, I’m just better than they are.

“I’m just better than the current crop of fighters that Bellator has in their welterweight division. And that is something encouraging.

“I can just beat all these guys. The only person of real danger in that mix being Douglas Lima. I think the champion is the most dangerous guy in the division, as he should be.

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“But the rest of them, I’m just better than all of them. And that’s what keeps me going.”

Although he believes he can compete with the creme of the crop in Bellator‘s 170lb division, Daley – one of the pioneers of UK mixed martial arts – is by no means eyeing a title fight.

The former UFC star said: “I just want to keep beating this young guys and whatever will come after that will come after that.

“I’m not screaming for a title shot, I’m not screaming no names. I just think that I’m better than the guys there at the moment. And that is simply it.”

‘That, with the fact that I want to improve as a martial artist, that’s what keeps me going. I’m better than they are.”

Retirement may be on the backburner for now, but Daley, 38, admits he’d love to close out his career with a fight on British soil.

The Nottingham native said: “Ideally, that would be the dream come true.

“The SSE Arena in Wembley is a great venue. I like the surrounding venue, the hotel all the shops and the atmosphere.

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Paul Daley would love to have one more fight on UK soil before hanging up his gloves[/caption]

“If you get daylight like the days we’ve been having when the sun’s put, it’s hard to beat. It would be nice to have a final fight in the UK before all is said and done.

“But at the moment, we’ve just got to beat up Jason Jackson.”

Before Daley can think about a UK swansong, he must first get through his Bellator 260 clash with the in-form Jackson – whom he’ll face in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Sanford MMA‘s Jackson is currently riding an impressive four-fight win streak, in which he’s racked up victories over the likes of Neiman Gracie and Benson Henderson.

Daley, however, has been far from impressed by what he’s seen of the Henri Hooft disciple.

He said of the 30-year-old: “He’s winning fights, I guess, but he’s not impressed me as such. He’s got better and he’s winning fights, but he’s just not a fighter that I fear as such.

“With each fight, there’s a little danger element to some opponents. And I don’t really get that from him. He’s capable of winning, but I just don’t get the danger element from him.

“I just don’t think that he’s of my calibre. If you put a washed-up Ben Henderson in there with me, even though we’re of similar ages and he’s a big 155er – he’s not a 170 fighter, I smash him. I put him away.

“I don’t go to a decision, I finish Ben Henderson. It’s things like that, that I see with Jason Jackson, that makes me think that he offers very little for me.

“He’s lacking that killer instinct and that ferocity to beat me in any aspect of the game.”

Despite believing Jackson offers ‘very little’, Daley is expecting a thrilling scrap with the Jamaican.

He said: “I see it being a hell of an entertaining fight and I see me knocking him out within two rounds.”

Watch Bellator 260: Lima vs. Amosov live on BBC iPlayer from 10:30pm BST on Friday, June 11

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