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Willie Mullins is confident Vautour’s jumping will not be an issue in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton. Press Association While Vautour is vying for favouritism, Valseur Lido is as big as 33-1, but Mullins sees him as a lively outsider. “It looks like three miles around there (Kempton) will really suit him. We had a chat the other day about the Lexus and it looks like they (Gigginstown) have enough for that, so all being well he’ll be heading to Kempton,” said Mullins. “I see he’d be one of the outsiders, but he’d be no 33-1 shot.” Valseur Lido, runner-up to another stablemate in Djakadam in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, looks set to be the second-string of two King George runners for Gigginstown, along with Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack. Mullins confirmed his intention to field two runners in the Lexus Chase for the leading owners in Don Poli and Sir Des Champs. The Cheltenham winner’s comeback victory at Ascot last month was workmanlike rather than spectacular, with his tendency to edge left at several fences considered by many as a major negative as he prepares to tackle another right-handed circuit in the Boxing Day showpiece. At a specially arranged media morning at his Closutton based in County Carlow, however, Mullins cut a content and confident figure. He said: ” I never worry about what’s in the race, I always worry about getting there and just hope for the best. “Him jumping left-handed is new, he did it at Ascot but I’ve never noticed it before, it hadn’t been something I’ve worried about. “I think in a different run race, where he doesn’t have to lead, it wouldn’t be an issue. “He hasn’t schooled since but he will do. He’s well able to jump. “I think he’s very well, he worked very well here (on Tuesday), I’ve had no worry. When I saw what he did I only hope he can repeat that at Kempton. “All ours were big having their first run, we’d left something to work on, and there’s lots of improvement to come from all of them. “I’m very happy with how the whole yard is at the moment.” The champion trainer is set to be double-handed in the Kempton feature, with the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Valseur Lido being readied to join his stable companion on the trip across the Irish Sea.
Lou Williams poured in 14 of his team-high 24 points in the final period, while Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young filled out a lineup that was rather small, relatively inexperienced and totally unorthodox. The Lakers outscored Denver 37-26 in the fourth.What might Russell and Randle have been thinking as this unfolded?“They sat there on the bench,” Walton said, “and saw five guys give their all.”It should be a wake-up call. The Lakers were better without them Tuesday night. It won’t be that way every night, but on Tuesday the patient coach players love finally revealed what it looks like when he gets tough.“I think it’s really important to have the lesson of you get what you deserve,” Walton said, “the work you put in and nothing’s given to you. You have to earn things in this league. So I think that’s a good, important lesson for them to see. “They should be just as happy for those guys that finished the game as the bench players are for them when they’re doing well.”Randle finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in 25 minutes, while Russell’s numbers were more concerning. He scored just 5 points on 2-of-9 shooting in 17 minutes. Russell has now logged just 3:47 of total game time in the fourth quarters of the Lakers’ last three games.From that void grew something kind of beautiful.“I was really proud of the way that we fought,” Walton said, “and didn’t give in to the easy temptation of just calling it a night and being down 20 and going home.”Up until the fourth quarter, the game had been defined by “lazy defense,” Walton said. He made regular substitutions, and with 7:33 remaining in the third, with the Lakers down 82-66, Walton pulled all five starters after Nikola Jokic jammed home a dunk after the Lakers failed to snare a missed free throw by Emmanuel Mudiay.“Even though they (Russell and Randle) were trying to play hard at that moment,” Walton said, “it’s a group thing and everyone’s got to be responsible, so if one guy messes up at one thing that we talk about all the time, all five are coming out.”Walton set his lineup for the fourth quarter, and did not change it until he replaced Zubac with Thomas Robinson for defense with 24.8 seconds left.“We made subs until we found a group of guys that was willing to commit and fight and gave ourselves a chance,” Walton said.At a certain point it became clear that Russell and Randle had about as much chance of checking into the game for the Lakers as Jack Nicholson. And he wasn’t even at the game.To his credit, Russell continued to say the right things. He acknowledged he hasn’t “been bringing it” and used an expletive to describe his play. He said he applauded Walton for finding a lineup that worked.“They were scrapping, they were running around,” Russell said. “There wasn’t really too many plays getting called, they got stops and scored in transition. It was nice.”Randle echoed the sentiment.“We’re in this together,” he said. “I’m not going to point fingers. The unit that was out there was doing a great job. They got us back in the game. I’m for the team.”In the final minutes of a tense game, Russell and Randle were on their feet with the rest of the Lakers bench, arms around one another’s shoulders, willing shots to go in before they eventually clanked off the rim, sending the Lakers to their fifth straight loss (and 21st in their last 26).It was, finally, a good effort; a game that could have been won.“It’s never fun to lose,” Russell said, “but if you do lose, you’ve got to look in the mirror and say you fought your heart out. And that’s what we did.”If Russell learned anything at all from watching, maybe next time he and Randle will get the chance to contribute. LOS ANGELES — It took 36 ugly minutes, plus many a long December and January night, but the Lakers rediscovered the grit, joy and effort that made them such unlikely contenders for a playoff spot early in the season. And Luke Walton finally found a lineup that provided those things.The Lakers chipped away at a 17-point deficit, crawled within one. They glided back on defense and a certain lanky center challenged shots at the rim. Offensively, the ball zipped from side-to-side, from in-to-out, good shots being passed up for better ones. Denver still won, 127-121, but, as Walton gushed, “We found it again. We found our passion, our fight, our togetherness.”They found it with D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle on the bench. Walton drew a big line in the sand Tuesday night, and it wasn’t hard to decipher who was on the wrong side of it.The two former lottery picks sat for the final 19 minutes, 33 seconds of the game while Brandon Ingram dazzled with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Ivica Zubac, the lean 19-year-old second-round pick whose meaningful on-court time this season has come in the D-League, played a career-high 26 minutes and recorded his first career double-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Dear Editor,On February 13, 2018, Word Radio Day was celebrated. The day was dedicated to the role of radio and sports. Radio is a medium of educating, providing information, and promoting freedom of expression.Very early in my life, I developed a keen interest in radio. I remember my parents purchasing a Panasonic Radio Cassette player in the late 1970s, way before the first television set – a gift from a migrating friend – entered our home in 1990.My fondness for radio remains strong, with an acquired preference for certain stations and programme content.In the 1980s I was an ardent DX-er. Only persons familiar with listening to International Radio via Short Wave would be familiar with the term DX. I listened mostly to English and Spanish broadcasts from the BBC, VOA, Radio Habana, Czech Radio and HCJB, just to name a few. HCJB, which transmitted out of Quito, Ecuador was one of my favourites. That radio station transmitted programmes in English and Spanish.I continue to pay keen attention to both local and international media. It is on such volition that this missive was inspired.In his World Radio Day message, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres posited – “On World Radio Day, let us celebrate both radio and sports as helping people achieve their full potential.”What I hear on many of our local radio stations nowadays is particularly worrying. I often wonder if our radio practitioners ever READ, other than when they are tasked to do so from work scripts. Sometimes, their efforts reveal a lack of familiarity or preparation of what they present. My curious thoughts also ponder if they ever hear or listen to other internationally renowned media outfits; the quality of language, grammatical usage and correctness of pronunciation.Radio is not just informative or entertaining, it is also a learning tool and beacon of who we are and what we represent. In closing, I encourage our radio practitioners to be cognisant of the importance of their roles and thrive to perform professionally and eloquently. For radio impacts lives!Sincerely,Orette Cutting