AFL/Athletics/Racing – Sun, 17 Feb 2013

AUSSIE RULES

Aussie Rules talent scouts are in Ireland looking for the next generation of stars to hit the southern hemisphere.

Twenty-three athletes from Ireland and Britain will face agility, endurance, jumping and skills testing at Dublin City University.

All-Ireland and AFL Premiership winner Tadhg Kennelly explains the AFL’s reasons for having a look at Irish potential:

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AFL Europe General Manager Ben MacCormack has done recent scouting in Denmark and the UK:

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ATHLETICS

Race-walker Olive Loughnane has announced her retirement from international athletics.

The 36-year-old was a four-time Olympian, whose greatest achievement was winning silver at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009.

Commentary from Will Downing:

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RACING

Ireland’s Champion Trainer Willie Mullins says he’d dearly love to win another John Smith’s Grand National and will send a strong team to Aintree for this years race.

Mullins, who won it with Hedgehunter in 2005 has the biggest part of 31 Irish entries for the big race, with Prince de Beauchene and Quel Esprit both handed 11stone 3 as the highest weight of his potential runners.

Mullins has been talking to Mike Vince about his early thoughts on the 2013 National:

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Irish trainers look set to field their strongest field for some years in the Grand National at Aintree in April according to senior Handicapper Noel O’ Brien.

The Colm Murphy trained Quito de La Roque, a Grade One winner, is the highest weighted Irish horse amongst 31 possibles for the big race.

Here’s Senior Irish Handicapper Noel O’Brien.

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Gordon Elliott – a past winner – reflects on his team for 2013:

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Wexford trainer Paul Nolan is set to run former Grade Two winner Joncol, and has been telling Mike Vince the prospects:

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In Tidal Bay’s absence, Albertas Run will be asked to shoulder top weight if trainer Jonjo O’Neill and owner Trevor Hemmings give the veteran the green light to run in the Aintree spectacular – here’s Jonjo speaking to Kel Mansfield:

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David Bridgewater counts down the days to yet another big-race assault for his upwardly-mobile Cotswold stable. Wyck Hill is his Aintree possible. He’s speaking to Kel Mansfield:

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Young Welsh trainer Tim Vaughn on his possible runners at Aintree:

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Philip Hobbs has a number of options available for Aintree:

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Sussex trainer Richard Rowe, speaking to Kel Mansfield

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