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Smashing chance for Mullins

first_imgWillie Mullins plans to run Smashing in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. The 130,000 euro French recruit is unbeaten in two starts for Ireland’s champion trainer, following up an impressive Fairyhouse success with a similarly dominant display at Limerick on Boxing Day. The five-year-old is set to travel to Britain for this weekend’s valuable handicap, with Andrew Lynch, retained rider for owners Ann and Alan Potts, due to take the ride. Mullins said: “We were happy with how he worked this morning and he is an intended runner at Newbury on Saturday. “I would imagine Andrew Lynch will travel over to ride and hopefully the conditions should be fine for him.” Dr Richard Newland’s Act Of Kalanisi will be one of the outsiders for the extended two-mile contest and the trainer feels his charge may be in the grip of the handicapper. However, while many of the major contenders want the ground to dry up, Newland would be quite happy for the going to be barely raceable as those conditions bring out the best in his charge. Since reverting to two miles earlier this season, Act Of Kalanisi has racked up wins at Ffos Las and Leicester and ran in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock last month when he unseated Tony McCoy. “He’s in good form and is definitely an intended runner, but it looks a tough race,” said Newland. “He’s high up in the weights for what he has actually achieved, I think. I’m not sure he’s good enough for a race like this off the mark he currently has. “We could have really done with him standing up at Haydock as he would have either picked up some nice prize money or been dropped a few pounds. I think he’d have been in the three. “He stays further than two miles but I think he’s at his best over two miles in bad ground, that seems to bring out the best in him. “The one thing in his favour this weekend will be the ground.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Jones gets advice on life after Joe Gibbs Racing from Logano

first_imgLast Updated: 28th August, 2020 09:23 IST Jones Gets Advice On Life After Joe Gibbs Racing From Logano Joey Logano was sitting in his motorhome watching television when a shell-shocked Erik Jones was interviewed about his firing from Joe Gibbs Racing SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US COMMENT Joey Logano was sitting in his motorhome watching television when a shell-shocked Erik Jones was interviewed about his firing from Joe Gibbs Racing.Logano knew exactly how Jones felt. Logano had been in that exact spot eight years earlier.Logano sent Jones a text and Jones asked if they could meet for lunch. The two aren’t friends and really didn’t even have much of a relationship, but Logano figured he had the experience to help Jones make sense of his situation.“Everything flashed back through my mind of what it felt like to have nobody have faith in you anymore,” Logano told The Associated Press. “You can’t help but to start thinking about what’s next in my life? Am I even going to be a race car driver anymore? All my eggs are in this one basket and what am I going to do the rest of my life?“I felt like I can relate to Erik better than anybody because his story is identical to mine.”Logano was just 15 when he started moving through the Gibbs pipeline. He was in a full-time Cup Series ride at 19, rushed along in part because the team had to fill a seat after Tony Stewart’s unexpected departure. But Logano won just twice in four seasons and was let go at 21.Jones got his start at 16 when he was discovered by Kyle Busch. He won a Truck Series championship, moved into the Xfinity Series and finally a Cup car at 21 years old. The organization told him earlier this month he’s out after four seasons, in part because the team needs his seat for Christopher Bell.Jones had believed talks on an extension had been progressing well — and noted a clause in his Gibbs contract prohibited him from even talking to other teams about a job in 2021 — and was admittedly “blindsided” to learn he was out.His lunch with Logano gave him hope. Logano landed with Team Penske, and has won 23 races and a Cup championship since Gibbs cut him loose.“He got moved on from JGR around the same age that I was and had to find a different opportunity,” Jones said. “He went from not being 100% competitive at JGR to a champion. So I wanted to know what clicked for him after he left. I thought it was an interesting conversation I learned a lot from and I can apply a lot of things from that.”Jones has admittedly been “burning up the phone lines” since he learned he needed to find a new job. His task is much tougher than the one Logano faced during a very different market: Salaries have been slashed, budgets are much tighter and the most attractive drivers are those who either bring sponsorship or don’t command large paydays.Jones has no personal funding and two wins in four seasons makes him a hard sell for top organizations. He’s also a late entrant into a crowded free agent market that spans a wide-range of talent and salary demands.Bubba Wallace is piecing together his own sponsorship package that he can take with him if he leaves Richard Petty Motorsports. Kyle Larson will be a steal for a team owner if he’s reinstated by NASCAR after using a racial slur. The pool is deep and competitive rides may go to the cheapest drivers and not necessarily the top talents.Jones isn’t giving up hope.“There’s still a couple of opportunities out there that are winning cars,” Jones said. “There are still some other dominoes I think to fall in the sport to make decisions for them and what they’re going to do, but I feel good about the couple of opportunities that we’ve got out there right now.”Jones’ immediate focus, though, is on Saturday night’s regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway, He’s trying to race his way into the 16-driver playoffs with Daytona, where he opened this season with a victory in the exhibition Busch Clash.“I don’t think your season is over if you don’t make the playoffs,” Jones said. “I think we’re capable of winning races in the playoffs, even if we aren’t in the playoffs. We want to get in Saturday night. I think we’re capable of winning races.”Image credits: AP Written Bycenter_img First Published: 28th August, 2020 09:23 IST Associated Press Television News LIVE TV WATCH US LIVElast_img read more

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