Auroras Encore Wins the 2013 Grand National at Aintree

As an avid football fan, I have felt inclined to sometimes place a bet on a team, likely to win. This has of course, seen highs and lows with perhaps more losses than victories despite the odds.

Aintree is always a spectacle for many, like me who don’t follow Horse Racing. It is of course the Grand National, with 40 of the best jockeys and horses, competing over a 4 mile course in Liverpool.

The focus is mainly on the stakes from the bookies, and from today’s result, the shock at the horse that came in at first.

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At 66/1, Auroras Encore, trained by Sue Smith and ridden by Ryan Mania eventually won the John Smith’s Grand National.

All of the 40 runners sustained no injuries so the plaudits and memories will lie solely on a rank outsider.

For the bookies, a brave man would have initially placed a bet on Encore. Other runners such as Ap McCoy on Colbert Station and the favourite Seabass ridden by Katie Walsh failed to record a win.

As a viewing sport, Horse Racing will always be unfamiliar to me and will appear very rarely on my blog. However, as widely acknowledged event, The Grand National does interest many.

For me, it is the conduct held at the event. It is one of the many sporting events where there is a certain tradition and pride held at Aintree for over 100 years.

It is for this reason why The Grand National will always hold a special place in British sporting history and the beauty of National debutant Ryan Mania winning means that there will be some rare smiles on very happy faces.

Photo Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/grand-national/9976698/Grand-National-2013-66-1-outsider-Auroras-Encore-takes-it.html

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Rafa Benitez Confirms Chelsea Exit

Since replacing Roberto Di Matteo in November, Rafael Benitez has not enjoyed his time at Chelsea.

The Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich set Rafa up for a fall, but nevertheless the performances throughout his time have simply not been good enough.

As a manager in general though, Benitez has somewhat proved himself. In 26 years he has won the 9 major club trophies on offer in Football and has a pedigree in the Champions League, winning the trophy with Chelsea’s bitter rivals, Liverpool, in 2005.

Abramovich’s agenda is particularly shocking. Throughout his tenure, he has rid of frequent managers. On this appointment, Benitez was set as ‘Interim Manager’ until the end of the season.

As an experienced professional, Benitez has a right to take dislike to his job title and finally has expressed this as a “mistake.”

Perhaps due to his recent managerial tenures combined with the frustrations of the sacking of Di Matteo, the Chelsea faithful have been defiant in expressing their dislike towards Benitez. This has been expressed since November with banners being paraded and chanting of hatred.

It can surely come as no surprise that Benitez has had enough. Speaking to Radio 5 Live, he demanded more respect than what he currently receives. He expressed his dissatisfaction at the title of his appointment. And he confirmed he will leave Chelsea at the end of the season.

Chelsea currently lie far adrift in the Premier League. As a major club in the game, this is simply unacceptable. They are currently competing in Europe’s minor Cup competition, the Europa League after winning the Champions League under Di Matteo last season.

Rafa’s outburst has come off the back of a Fa Cup victory where Chelsea will go on to face Manchester United in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup; a Cup Chelsea also currently holds.

As an avid fan of football, though this may not come as a surprise regarding Chelsea, it is a shame that Benitez’s relatively illustrious career is being tarnished under the Roman Abramovich regime. Whether or not Benitez ‘won the dressing room’ or even the fans, he was trying to do an almost impossible job from the start and he has finally crumbled.

Benitez’s outburst can be heard here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21611064

Haven’t you Run Before? – Mo Farah

The title of this Blog Post may seem alarming, but in fact these were the words uttered by LaTanya Norton, a Journalist in America for WDSU after Mo Farah won the New Orleans Half-Marathon in a British record 61 minutes.

The mistaken anchor could not have been more wrong. As a representative of Great Britain, Farah brought home two Olympic Gold’s in distance running and is now considered a national hero. When asked this stunning question, Mo Farah hesitated and to his credit, took the mistake on the chin and carried on the interview as normal.

I have linked the sensational clip below.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/video/2013/feb/26/mo-farah-us-tv-video

Ever Fantastic Bale Continues to Rock the Premier League

Gareth Bale has done it again, this time in a thrilling London Derby against West Ham. Having opened the scoring for Spurs in the 13th minute, Bale proved to be the answer once more as he scored the winner in the 90th minute to break the hearts of West Ham and give Tottenham all three points.

West Ham had initially come back into the game before two late goals, including Bale’s screamer gave the game to Spurs.

For Bale, his 19th of the season, in my eyes secures and continues to prove his worth as the best British player currently in the League with his eighth goal in just six Premier League matches.

Bale’s skill, and magical left foot, has helped lift Tottenham to third in the League table, with the biggest clubs keeping a watchful eye on him.

The brilliance of Gareth Bale, is his ability as well as humbleness; very much a fantastic trait to have. This alongside with the sheer quality of his strikes is why the Welshman is considered one of the best in the game.

For Tottenham, the task in the summer is keeping hold of him. With reports going round of £60m being offered to take him away from White Hart Lane, Spurs and their Chairman will do well to keep hold of him.

However, the lure of European football awaits for Tottenham next season, and Bale, as a major representative in the squad is now playing in a more free position compared to his usual left-side approach.

His brilliant speed and ability has led to brilliance and throughout the whole of football the name ‘Gareth Bale’ will definitely be one to look out for; particularly in the summer.