Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Sporting Life - June

These days I am mostly watching racing. The World Cup is a buzzing sound in the background. I'm sure I'll start taking an interest at the quarter final stage. So far, from what I saw, Argentina played the most interesting football.

This week we have the annual glorious coincidence of Royal Ascot and Bloomsday - and sunshine to boot. Yesterday the Queen Anne Stakes opened the royal meeting with the best race of the 5 days - no keeping the good wine until last here. The French super mare Goldikova beat the English colt Paco Boy thanks to Richard Hughes waiting a few strides too many before launching his challenge. Aidan O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle performed like most of O'Brien's horses this season - badly below par.

The Irish rugby team are jaded. They should not be touring - it's purely a money making gig and is unfair on the players. By the way, what has Alan Quinlan done to Kidney? There is hardly a back row forward left standing in the country (Ferris, O'Brien, Leamy, Muldoon, McLaughlin, etc. all out) and yet he picks some pimply adolescent from the under 20s rather than someone who was selected for the Lions last year. It can't just be the gouging incident as Jennings was found guilty of the same offence. And our craven rugby journalists seem unable to address the issue directly. Given his lineout prowess Quinlan was an obvious choice to tour in the first place and was fit and fresh. Why was he ignored? Will no one ask the costive Pres boy?

I am sulking with the Tipp hurling team after their spineless display against Cork. Like a disaffected lover it will take something special to win my love back. They will now have to do it the hard way - maybe Galway in the quarter-finals and Kilkenny in the semi-finals. So be it. I am waiting for something to rekindle my faith. Otherwise Sheedy may have to go. Declan Ryan watches from the wings - his hour come round at last?

Although I backed Workforce to win the Derby and he obliged by 7 lengths in a record time, I am not convinced that he's a great Derby winner - in the Sea the Stars, Shergar, Nijinsky mould. The record time means little. Some of the best Derby winners had relatively slow times. He took advantage of O'Brien's pace maker and the going was very fast. I think it was a weak Derby. Time will show us the wiser.