Reflecting back on last week’s sporting action threw up a week full of sporting surprises….
In tennis at the Australian Open, we saw the changing of the guard as Naomi Osaka took her fourth major title, defeating 23 major title winners,  Serina Williams in the semi’s going onto defeat Jennifer Brady.
Osaka landed her second Melbourne crown and only the third player in history to win her first four Grand slam finals after Monica Seles and Rodger Federer. She continued a 21-match winning streak, and now could be on that roll of honours to rival the greats that have played the women’s tennis.
“I feel like I’m at the point now where it’s something that I’ve worked for,” Osaka said after winning for a second time in Melbourne.
In the men’s draw Stefanos Tsitsipas caused a  shock defeating Nadal in the quarter finals 3-2, who went onto being defeated by Medvedev in the semi-final in straight sets.
So, it was left to Medvedev and Djokovic to battle it out and Novak Djokovic made light work of Medvedev in the final to claim his 9th  Australian Open title winning 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Medvedev was pulled every which way on court in a dominant display by Djokovic and never stood a chance.
Novak put in a breath-taking all round game performance getting under the skin of Medvedev and showing his wealth of experience in Grand Slam finals.
World number one Djokovic now sits on 18 Grand Slam titles sitting only two behind Federer and Nadal on 20.
Liverpool slipped to another embarrassing home defeat to the hands of rivals Everton winning 0-2 and that now means Champions Liverpool are on the back of a four-game losing run with boss Klopp conceding the title during the week in a somewhat muted by emotional press conference.
Fulham fought off Sheffield Utd at home for a much-needed win to put them within 3pts of survival and any one of six clubs above them being sucked into a relegation dog fight which some thought they were safe but Fulham’s recent form will now leave all above slightly shaking in thier boots in the panic of picking up point quickly, especially Steve Bruce and Newcastle.
Tomas Tuchel’s honeymoon period with Chelsea came to a halting end very quickly as the Blues could only manage a point against Southampton, a game they would have been expecting to collect all three points.
David Moyes and his West ham side compounded more misery on London rivals Spurs defeating them by 2-1 with Lingards on the score sheet again enjoying his new lease of life with the Hammers.
The first leg of the Premier League Double for Bigfoot Backers was at Villa Park where we were looking for over 2.5 goals between Aston Villa and Leicester and that went in just after half time as Villa pulled one back from a 2-0 lead from Leicester in the first half, the match ended Villa 1-2 Leicester.
The second leg of the double was down to Man City in North London as they took the Gunners, City took a 0-1 lead into the break courtesy of Raheem Stirling in the 2nd minute.
In a somewhat uneventful match that’s how it stayed till the end with Sterling’s goal separating both sides and Man City extending their unbeaten run to 18 matches, and the second leg of the Bigfoot Premier League double was landed.
Prolific Cheltenham winning jockey Davey Russel announced this week he is to miss the festival and focus on getting fit for Tiger Rolls attempt at a third straight winning Grand National and Tiger Roll made his return to the track on Sunday at Navan over hurdles, with a very disappointing run after travelling well throughout the race but finished his race off very poorly and would need to improve dramatically to stand any chance at Aintree.
Russel will miss out on rides at the festival such as Envoi Allen after suffering a broken neck in a horrific fall…

Russell said in a statement to the press “I met with my surgeon earlier today and, although he is delighted with the progress I have made, he feels I am not quite where I should be in order to ride at Cheltenham next month.

“It is frustrating as I feel I have made giant strides in recent weeks on the road to recovery.

“However, after talking things through with Gordon, we both feel it is sensible for me to follow advice and miss Cheltenham as it is only weeks away.

“To ride the horses of the calibre of Envoi Allen you have to be 100% fit and I would be doing the team a disservice to ride when I’m not ready.

On a lighter note, the shock of the weekend came in the world’s richest race in Saudi Arabia where 8/1 shot MISHRIFF for John Gosden beat the best the world had to offer on the flat scene to land the Saudia Cup under jockey David Egan, him landing his biggest prize as a jockey to date.

21-year-old jockey Egan mowed down the American raider and hot pot CHARLATON in the home straight to pick up the 14million pound prize and banking 7.3million for connections, and for Egan his cut was 750k for a two-minute ride… Nice work David!!!

 “It’s amazing. Egan said “The Saudi Cup is the richest race in the world”.

“I’ve got so many people to thank, but Mishriff most of all, he’s the champion.

“It is so special to have my dad here. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today. This one’s for him.”

Meanwhile at Ascot for the BETFAIR CHASE Bigfoot Backers couldn’t go a weekend without a big priced winner could they as DASHEL DRASHER advised each way at 9/1 and smashed into 4/1 before the off ran a gutsy performance to hang on and win seeing off big name rivals in MASTER TOMMYTUCKER and the highly rated CYRNAME who looks to now be out of love with the game after failing to fire again at such short odds.

Dashel Drasher is proving to be an emerging talent as he continues to step up the ranks and with his latest and biggest success so far at his much-loved Ascot trainer Jeremy Scott and Jockey Matt Griffiths could not hold back their emotion.

 Jockey Griffiths said “He has done it well in the end. I didn’t really want to go to the front when I did but I knew Daryl was right behind me.

“He has done very well to win as he missed the last but he still picked up.

“If Cyrname turned up he was going to be hard to beat, but I thought I had him beat when got back to where we started.”


Trainer Scott added: “Our task was to try and put Cyrname under pressure. But as soon as we got upsides him and got half a length up, he wilted.

“It’s very special as we bred him as well. I don’t usually get emotional but I’ll admit I was welling up after that.”

It has been and incredible run of big punting results for Bigfoot Backers since the turn of the new year and long may it continue…

The big race on Sunday’s re arranged card came from Newbury in the DENMAN CHASE where Favorite CLAN DES OBEAUX was turned over on the line by stable mate SECRECT INVESTOR ridden by Bryony Frost, so a 1st and 2nd from trainer Paul Nicholls.


All the best