Two horses die at Aintree
Grand National pre-race favorite Synchronised was one of two horses to die on Saturday during the world’s toughest steeplechase, which was won by 33-1 shot Neptune Collonges in the closest finish in the history of the race. Synchronised went down at the sixth fence of the 30-fence race, considered one of the most prestigious jumping races. According to Pete went down at the same fence, but later in the race. The start was delayed when Synchronised, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, unseated jockey Tony McCoy. Race organizers said the horse was “thoroughly checked” by a veterinarian and allowed to lineup in the 40-horse field. “In both cases the horse incurred a fracture to the leg and the humane option was to put the injured horses down,” Tim Morris of the British Horseracing Authority said.
Rios remains unbeaten
Brandon Rios of the US remained unbeaten with a split-decision victory over Cuban Richard Abril on Saturday, but the World Boxing Association lightweight title remained vacant. Rios failed to make weight on Friday for the fight and so as a result was ineligible to claim the crown, instead he was only able to deny Abril the title. Two judges gave the 12-round decision to Rios by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 to provide the margin of victory, while the third judge saw Abril a 117-111 winner. Rios improved to 30-0 with one drawn with his 12th consecutive triumph, while Abril fell to 17-3 with one drawn. It was the second time in a row that Rios cost himself the crown by failing to make the weight, having stopped Britain’s John Murray in December last year.
Oosthuizen bounces back
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen bounced back from last week’s US Masters heartbreak by romping to a three-stroke win at the rain-hit Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Oosthuizen, who finished runner-up at the Masters to Bubba Watson of the US in a playoff, registered a total of 17-under 271, three ahead of Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher. The Open champion in 2010, who made a 30-hour journey from Augusta National to take part in the US$2.5 million event in the Malaysian capital, fired a four-under 68 in the final round to win his fifth European Tour title. The 29-year old Oosthuizen had to return to the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club early yesterday to complete the remaining eight holes of his third round after thunderstorms and rain had ended play early on Saturday. Gallacher, 37, hit a bogey-free round of two-under 70.
Pettersson leads by a stroke
Sweden’s Carl Pettersson fired five consecutive birdies in a sparkling five-under 66 that elevated him one stroke ahead of Colt Knost after the third round of the Heritage Classic on Saturday. With one round to play, Pettersson leads on 12-under 201 after overturning an overnight two-stroke deficit on Knost, who slipped back with a 69. The fast-starting Pettersson started his birdie streak on the second hole under sunny skies at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. “I didn’t know how many I had made in a row,” the four-time USPGA Tour winner told reporters. “I was in my own little world for a while.” Bogeys on the 11th and 15th holes halted his charge, but the Swede concluded his round with a birdie on 18, his seventh of the day. He and Knost were paired together again in the final round. “It is always tough playing with the lead, but I look forward to the challenge,” he said.