Legatissimo on course for Oaks

first_img Press Association The other contender from Ireland is the Jessica Harrington-trained Jack Naylor, who took the eye when making late headway to occupy fourth spot in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Musidora winner Star Of Seville is one of two possibles for John Gosden, with stablemate Jazzi Top also in the field following her Pretty Polly win. Andre Fabre could send Al Naamah over from France, while Bellajeu, Lady Of Dubai and Local Time round out the possible field. Legatissimo remains on course for a Classic double after pleasing trainer David Wachman in her latest work. She heads a list of 14 fillies to stand their ground at the confirmation stage for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday. The daughter of Danehill Dancer bagged the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month and is set to step up to a mile and a half for the second leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown. Wachman said: “She worked this morning and went well. The Oaks is the plan at the moment, and we’re taking it day by day. She’s a big filly and will only get stronger.” Richard Hughes is ready to roll should he pick up the ride aboard leading contender Crystal Zvezda. The jockey partnered the Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly in a piece of work for the first time on the Limekilns in Newmarket on Saturday morning. With Ryan Moore set to ride Legatissimo, the mount on the impressive Newbury Listed winner has become vacant. Hughes said: “If I receive the call I am ready to ride her. She gave me a lovely feeling this morning and really moved well. “She was very impressive at Newbury, but she may not be quite as streetwise as some of the others as she has not really been seen in a battle, so that is a bit of an unknown. “It would be great to pick up a ride like this in the Oaks, which has been a lucky race for me.” The Aidan O’Brien-trained Found, who finished second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, is still in the running for the Ballydoyle team along with Cheshire Oaks winner Diamondsandrubies, Musidora second Together Forever, Wedding Vow and Qualify. last_img read more

Keshi: I am yet to decide on Eagles return

first_imgCoach Stephen Keshi has revealed that he was yet to make up his mind whether to return as the Super Eagles coach.Keshi’s reinstatement was sanctioned by President Goodluck Jonathan as part of the measures by government to resolve the crisis which has disrupted the effective running of Nigerian football.The coach who led Nigeria to victory at the last Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 was on October 15 relieved of the Eagles job by the NFF board owing to the shaky performance of the national team in the qualifying race to Morocco 2015.But after a meeting with Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, in his office yesterday morning, Keshi told reporters he still need to take a long reflection on the presidential directive before deciding to take a plunge with the national team.“It is a very, very difficult decision. I am not sure I would say ‘no’ for now or ‘yes’ to the order. I still have to think about it because we all want peace. I want a settled mind before making the decision.  I don’t have issues with anybody because life is too short. This is my country. I am always willing to offer my service. If I desperately wanted a contract, I would have opted for the offer made by Equatorial Guinea because the offer they made was bigger than what Nigeria offered.  But this is my country and I want to serve it,” said Keshi.He has not succeeded in tying down an offer since he left the Eagles post. Instead, he has been speculated to be on the radar of Ethiopia and of late Ghana. Both countries have since denied making any overture to the reigning African coach of the year.Also yesterday, interim Head Coach of the senior national team, Coach Shaibu Amodu, pleaded passionately with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to allow Keshi return to his post to lead Eagles in the two remaining matches of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. In a letter dated 27th October, 2014 and addressed to NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, through the chairman of NFF Technical Committee, the 56 –year old tactician who was named as new head coach penultimate week, said he wanted Keshi reconsidered for the two matches as the time –frame was too short to tinker with the fabric of the squad or start to build a new one altogether.“Following wide consultations that I have carefully made within the past two weeks since the appointment, and for the sake of professionalism, I want to specially appeal to you to reconsider the matter and allow Stephen Keshi to finish the project that he has started – the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying race.“Sir, my opinion also is that the time –frame is too short to start tinkering with the fabric of the team or attempt to build a new team altogether.“As Technical Director of the NFF, I am ready and willing to help build a better relationship among Keshi (with whom I have enjoyed good working relationship in the past and who is still very close to me), the players and the NFF Technical Committee.“I am assuring you, Mr. President,  that I will offer whatever assistance required by Keshi and his crew for the remaining two matches, and also be there to offer advice, suggestions and efforts towards building a stronger Super Eagles’ team after the qualifying race,” observed the former Orlando Pirates of South Africa gaffer. Nigeria plays Congo Brazzaville in Pointe Noire on November 15 before taking on South Africa in Uyo four days later, needing to not only win both matches but defeat Congo by a margin of two goals away, to stand any chance of qualifying for the 2015 finals.last_img read more