Wednesday 24 April 2013

Special Real Face Clever Klopp

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Real Madrid will be hoping this year will be third time lucky when they travel to Borussia Dortmund in the opening leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Jose Mourinho has led his charges to the last four stage of Europe's top club competition for the past two seasons only to see them crash out at the hands of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Real will be aiming to go one step further in their tie against Bundesliga side Dortmund on Wednesday as they target a much-coveted spot in the final at Wembley in May.

They will also be looking to beat Dortmund at the third time of asking this season after suffering a 2-1 defeat at Signal Iduna Park and drawing 2-2 at the Bernabeu in the group stages.

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his side can pull off a repeat of their home triumph over Los Blancos back in October last year, when Robert Lewandowski and Marcell Schmelzer scored either side of Cristiano Ronaldo's strike for the win.

Should they pull off a first-leg win they would become the second German side to do so this week after Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the opening leg of their semi-final on Tuesday night.

All eyes are likely to be on Dortmund youngster Mario Gotze after the club confirmed on Tuesday he will be joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in a £32million deal in the summer, with reports suggesting he could receive a hostile reception from the home fans.

But Klopp has urged supporters to "leave all negative emotions at home" as Dortmund eye a spot in a European Cup final for the second time - while Madrid are aiming for their 13th decider.

The nine-time European champions have overcome Dortmund at the semi-final stage before back in 1997-98, playing out a goalless draw in Germany before seeing off their opponents 2-0 on home turf.

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Monday 8 April 2013

Super Saturday at Irish Open

The world of horse racing and professional golf came together at the Curragh races at the weekend for the exciting Irish ‘Double Ticket’ initiative was officially launched by famous faces from the two sports which will form part of a ‘Super Saturday’ of world class action in County Kildare on June 29.

European Tour champions Peter Lawrie and Damien McGrane, who will next be seen competitively in Ireland during the Irish Open at Carton House Golf Club, together with last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winning combination of trainer Aidan O’Brien and his jockey son Joseph, were on hand to launch the innovative ticket package and present the prizes to the winning connections.

One ticket costing just €50 will permit fans of racing and golf to enjoy one of the best sporting and social occasions of the year in the third round of the Irish Open at Carton House during the day followed by the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh in the evening.

With the golf commencing early in the day, and the Derby meeting starting in late afternoon, sports enthusiasts will have the perfect opportunity to experience what promises to be two of the great summer events, both taking place in Co. Kildare and close to the capital of Dublin.

To add another touch of fun and excitement to an already packed programme, The European Tour will be opening the facilities within the Tented Village at Carton House from 7.30am on the day in order for early arrivals to the Irish Open to enjoy a hearty ‘Lions Breakfast’ and watch the second rugby union Test between Australia and the British and Irish Lions (kick-off 10.00am) live on the big screens located in the village.

To get the initiative off the first tee and out of the starting stalls today, The European Tour sponsored the inaugural Irish Open Alleged Stakes (Listed), one of the main features on the competitive seven-race card, with many well known personalities from golf and racing attending a reception which took place before the first race. 

Meanwhile, Irish Derby sponsors, Dubai Duty Free, have kindly extended an invitation to the Irish Open competitors, their wives and partners to enjoy the spectacle of Ireland’s Classic race once they have completed their ‘day job’ at Carton House.

Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager of the Curragh Racecourse, commented: “The Irish Double initiative is an extension of the very good partnership that we enjoyed with The European Tour during The 2006 Ryder Cup and it is a fantastic opportunity to strongly link both events in order to maximise the potential to attract visitors from all over the world to come to County Kildare for two fantastic events as part of the Gathering.” 

He added, “In addition to the joint ticket we plan to unveil other exciting promotions between us over the coming months.”

Antonia Beggs, Irish Open Championship Director, commented: “We are thrilled to be participating in one of the great days of sport on June 29. ‘Super Saturday’ is an appropriate name for a day which starts with the Lions at breakfast, continues with the all-important third round of the Irish Open at Carton House and concludes with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

“We believe that €50 to gain access to two world class sporting events represents tremendous value for money and we are delighted to be working once again in partnership with the Curragh following the success of The Ryder Cup initiative in 2006. Fans of golf and racing alike are sure to have a day to remember.”

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