Breeders’ Cup classics, cross-country mayhem and punishing former clubs

1) One of the highlights of the racing season is upon us with the Breeders’ Cup. Still arguably one of the greatest races of all time, Tiznow’s win by a nose over Sakhee in 2001 is not a bad place to start. If that was close then there was literally no separating High Chaparral and Johar in the 2003 Cup Turf, not even a flared nostril. Winners rarely come at much longer odds than Arcangues’ 133-1 but Lester Piggott coming out of retirement in 1990 aged 54 to win on Royal Academy in the Mile is arguably the best story in Breeders’ Cup history.

Not many will fondly remember the now-defunct Marathon but what about some jockey-on-jockey action?

2) Danny Ings returns to Southampton on Friday with Aston Villa and you would not bet against him finding the net. The Winchester lad is unlikely to celebrate if he scores, but here’s some who were more than happy to stick it to their former clubs.

Carlos Tevez enjoyed his double when Manchester City hosted United in the January after the Argentinian crossed the divide. Zlatan Ibrahimovic let the Internazionale fans know when he beat Júlio César from the spot against his former club in the first derby since his return to Milan. If a Panenka penalty was not enough salt rubbed into the wound, Sergio Ramos made sure Sevilla fans were clear who their tormentor was in 2017. While these are all strong entries, nothing tops Emmanuel Adebayor running the length of the pitch to knee slide in front of a jilted ex.

3) The buildup to Canelo Álvarez and Caleb Plant’s super middleweight title fight has been spicy. The bookies are not giving the American much of a shot against Álvarez and it is easy to understand why, not only does the Mexican hit hard but he is fabulous in defence. Still, Plant is pretty slippery himself.

4) Runners – it’s cross-country season! Here’s an epic finish in a 2016 NCAA women’s race, 16-year-old Holland Reynolds with a gut-wrenching crawl to the line to give her school a state championship title in 2010; a substantial pileup after a tumble near the start line in Alaska, two ways of embracing the mud, trying to retrieve a lost shoe embedded in a mud-bank … and – ouch – victorious Jimmy Gressier fluffing his finish-line knee slide.

5) AFC Sudbury of the Isthmian League Division One North are the lowest-ranked team in the FA Cup first round proper. The eighth-tier club have come through the preliminary round, the first qualifying round, a second qualifying round replay, the third qualifying round and the fourth qualifying round to earn a tie with their League Two neighbours Colchester.

6) Putting together the ultras of Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray is a recipe for disaster but in 2013 they were united by a common cause. Copa 90’s Istanbul United documentary tells that story wonderfully.

7) Some more forgotten goals: Trevor Brooking for England v Hungary in 1981; Cyrille Regis for West Brom v Norwich in 1982; Brian McClair for Manchester United v Chelsea in 1987; Roy Wegerle for QPR v Leeds in 1990; Rod Wallace for Leeds v Spurs in 1994; and Niclas Jensen for Manchester City v Leeds in 2003.