Tamadhor returned to winning ways when producing an impressive display to land the feature race at Fairyhouse, the Book Tickets On-Line @ Fairyhouse.ie Race. Coming into this on the back of a promising sixth-placed finish in the 1000 Guineas at the Curragh, the daughter of Arcano was sent off the 9-10 favourite and duly justified those cramped odds, readily leaving her rivals behind at the two furlong marker on the way to a two length success from Slipper Orchid who finished well to pick up the silver medal. Trainer Kevin Prendergast is now targeting a return to Group One company: “They went no pace and it turned into a bit of a sprint from the top of the home straight. “She will go now for the Pretty Polly if the boss agrees. That was the plan we had for her, and after that we will see what happens. She is pretty smart and she wants a mile and a quarter.” Mick Halford looks to have another smart juvenile on his hands in Vitello who opened her account at the second time of asking in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden. The 1-1 favourite shaped with an abundance of promise when third on her introduction at the Curragh last month and had clearly benefited from that initial experience, breaking quickly from the gates before recording a cosy pillar-to-post half a length success. Halford said: “She jumped smart and Shane said she was idling a bit in front and he just kept her up to her job. “She likes the ground, is very straightforward, with a good temperament, and could go for the fillies Group 3 (Balanchine Stakes) at the Curragh on Derby weekend.” There was a cracking finish to the Whole Lotta Voltage @ Fairyhouse July 1st Handicap as long-time leader Madame Nobel just failed to deny late challenges from eventual neck winner Ishebayorgrey (7-2 fav) and Split The Atom while 2-1 market leader Stop And Linger continued a good night for favourite backers when running out a two and three quarter length winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. Press Association
Coaches from Bolivia, Albania, Equatorial Guinea, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Kuwait and Vanuatu have alleged that the 2013 Ballon d’Or votes were rigged, according to Catalan outlet La Xarxa and and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. Via Danish paper BT and Norway’s Dagbladet (h/t 101 Great Goals), the aforementioned coaches all suggest their original votes were recorded and published differently from what they had initially submitted. Jorvan Vieira, who coaches the Kuwait national team, reportedly told La Xarxa (via BT), “I think there has been any fraud here. I voted for (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.” That despite FIFA’s official record of the submissions showing that he voted for Lionel Messi as the winner, followed by Neymar and the eventual winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. The same applies to the coach of the Fijian national team, Juan Carlos Buzzetti. FIFA recorded his vote with Ronaldo in first position ahead of Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski. He also insists his votes have been amended, claiming, “I voted for Cristiano, Messi and Ribery. I have in no way voted Lewandowski. He is not on par with the other three.” But the harshest, most colourful of all the criticism came from Albania’s coach, Gianni De Biasi. He didn’t hold back in a statement (NSFW), telling Mundo Deportivo what he thought of the scenario after his first-place vote for Ronaldo apparently changed to one for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “I gave five points to Ronaldo, three to Messi and one to Ibrahimovic. I did not give five to Ibrahimovic,” De Biasi said. “This is bullshit and lies.” These allegations are the second within a week which refer to the Ballon d’Or votes being doctored, as Qatar national coach Fahad Al Zarraa previously claimed his president forced him to vote for Ronaldo, as per sportsfan.com. The showpiece event saw Ronaldo pick up the gong for the second time in his career, staving off competition from Messi and Ribery, who accompanied him on the three-man shortlist. Whilst it would be difficult to deny that Ronaldo deserved the award, these emerging allegations will cast doubts over the validity of the vote, especially after FIFA extended the voting deadline until after Ronaldo’s one-man show in the World Cup playoffs, according to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail. The extension only served to raise suspicions that FIFA were pushing for a Ronaldo win after Sepp Blatter’s unsavoury remarks about the Portuguese winger. The FIFA president claimed back in November that Ronaldo has “more expenses at the hairdresser” than his great rival Messi, per The Guardian. Ronaldo scored a sensational 66 goals in 56 games in 2013, per BBC Sport. He’s started 2014 in excellent fashion too, scoring four times in Real Madrid’s first five games of 2014, per WhoScored.