Gordon Elliott eyes Galway glory; GAA clubs shouldn’t shut down after one positive case

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Gordon Elliott has a handful of runners in this evening’s big race in Galway. Photograph: Inpho

Gordon Elliott has a handful of runners in this evening’s big race in Galway. Photograph: Inpho

Saltonstall joined an exclusive Galway club when pulling off back-to back victories in a heart-stopping finish to claim Tuesday’s festival feature - the Colm Quinn BMW Mile - for a second year running. Across the Irish sea, Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori secured a record fourth victory in the Group One Goodwood Cup, with Aidan O’Brien’s Santiago, last month’s Irish Derby winner, only third. In the unique circumstances of a behind-closed-doors Galway, many punters tuning into this evening’s big race – shown live by RTÉ2 at 6.45pm – will still seek reassurance in Gordon Elliott’s handful of runners. He’s dominated the summer’s most coveted steeplechase prize with three Tote Galway Plate victories in the last four years. Jockey Colin Keane is prepared to swap a 14-day isolation period on his return to Ireland in order to try to maintain Siskin’s unbeaten record in The Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Malachy Clerkin writes this morning that the GAA needs to ensure its message is heard loud and clear by clubs - they are not required to shut down on the discovery of one positive coronavirus case. “A positive case is precisely that,” he explains. “One case. No GAA club tests positive for Covid. But when a club takes it upon itself to shut everything down, people will take their own meaning.” The Club Players’ Association (CPA) has called on the GAA to re-engage on the matter of the fixture impasse over the coming two weeks, requesting a special congress, “remote if necessary”, before the end of 2020 “so that any agreed change may be implemented in time for 2021”.

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