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Lewis Hamilton delighted with his recovery after taking pole at the British Grand Prix

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lewis hamilton delighted with his recovery after taking pole at the british grand

Lewis Hamilton couldn’t hide his delight after taking pole at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver was made to work for his victory though, as he spun in Q2 after struggling for rhythm with Valtteri Bottas at the front of the pack.

Though Hamilton recovered to register the 91st pole of his career, with Bottas behind him in second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was delighted to take pole in the British Grand Prix qualifying race

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was delighted to take pole in the British Grand Prix qualifying race

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was delighted to take pole in the British Grand Prix qualifying race

Speaking after the qualifying race, Hamilton said: ‘It was real struggle out there. We had that spin and qualifying is about confidence.

‘I was down in the first sector, too, so I don’t know how but I managed to compose myself for Q3.

‘Q3 started off the right way, it was a clean first lap and the second one was even better. It never gets old qualifying on pole.’

The Mercedes driver found the Silverston race difficult as he was spun early on in Q2

The Mercedes driver found the Silverston race difficult as he was spun early on in Q2

The Mercedes driver found the Silverston race difficult as he was spun early on in Q2

The qualifying race at Silverstone marks the third Grand Prix to be held since the coronavirus pandemic, yet the six-time world champion is still feeling the impact of holding Formula One competition behind closed doors.

Hamilton added: ‘Normally you have the sirens going off, the flags, the smoke and the atmosphere is buzzing. 

‘We miss the fans here but hopefully they are happy with my turnaround watching at home.’

But Hamilton (left) recovered to take the 91st pole of his career ahead of Valtteri Bottas

But Hamilton (left) recovered to take the 91st pole of his career ahead of Valtteri Bottas

But Hamilton (left) recovered to take the 91st pole of his career ahead of Valtteri Bottas

Outside of the podium, it was another good day for fellow Briton Lando Norris, of McLaren, who finished in fifth spot behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. 

Meanwhile, 22-year-old George Russell made it to Q2 as he continues his qualifying hot form, while London-born Thai Alex Albon finished 12th in qualifying. 

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Monday’s Racing: Tips, news, betting and all the latest for Chester, Southwell and Leicester

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mondays racing tips news betting and all the latest for chester southwell and leicester scaled

THE world of racing never sleeps. Keeping track of it all is akin to a circus juggling act.

In a new daily column, ‘The Great Game’, I’ll do the best I can to keep punters in the loop – Monday to Friday. Winners are the priority, but we’ll have races and horses to note and other useful tit bits along the way.

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Credit: Getty Images – Getty

In tandem with ‘The Early Bird’ and ‘The Weekend Punt’, you need go nowhere else for your racing fix.

So let’s get going and how good is it to see racing back at Chester?

Monday’s card is a good’n, too. Moved from Sunday to try and stop people taking advantage of the views, the Listed Queensferry Stakes (6.30) is the feature, with some hot handicaps added in to the mix.

Southwell goes jumping again, and there’s afternoon racing from Leicester – albeit quite an uninspiring card.

Monday’s Bets

You’ll have to be patient on Monday I’m afraid. I struggled to pin anything down at Leicester, but SPIRIT WARNING (5.30, Chester) is worth a bet on the Roodee.

Andrew Balding does well here and this horse has gone well at Chester in the past.

He ticks plenty of the necessary boxes. Draw, check. Mark, check. Conditions, check.

Heading the betting is Mick Appleby’s Lincoln Park – who has finished first and second here on two visits. But he’s far too short given his current form and especially if the rain does hold off.

Spirit Warning loves a turning track and has been given a real chance by the handicapper. He was winning off 2lbs higher this time last year and his Goodwood spin last week should have him stripped fitter.

With the jolly drawn far from ideally in seven, Balding’s four-year-old has to be chanced at 8-1.

There is pace on from stall one and seven, meaning David Probert should be able to sit in just behind in three. Things don’t always go to script, but we can chance the storyline at 8-1.

I was hoping Major Jumbo may have been a bigger price in the feature Listed heat. He’s been well found in the market though and can be watched.

Monday Bets

SPIRIT WARNING (5.30, Chester) – 1pt win 8-1 (Betfair, Paddy Power, Coral, Ladbrokes)

Rolling P&L: EVS

Be there, or be square

There are two races I’d be keeping a close eye on on a humid Monday.

Firstly at Leicester, STUNNING BEAUTY (4.30 Leicester) is far, far from a betting proposition but should cement herself as a filly to keep a close tabs on.

Saeed bin Suroor has Group 1 plans for his debut winner, and judged on her run at Newmarket you cannot blame him.

Later on, at Chester, the British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (6.00) is one to have the binoculars out for.

Debut winners Mystery Smiles and Regional, the latter who stuffed recent Sandown winner Politics on debut, both take on impressive Goodwood winner Zamaani. Group races await a few of these, you would think.

Monday Going Reports

Chester – Good, Good to Firm in places

Southwell – Good

Leicester – Good to Firm

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Collin Morikawa holds off challenge from Paul Casey to win US PGA Championship

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collin morikawa holds off challenge from paul casey to win us pga championship

The next great American golfer is a mantle to terrify the vast majority but it has always sat easily on the slim shoulders of the nerveless Collin Morikawa.

The 23-year-old Californian confirmed his fitness for the title with a thrilling victory in the 102nd USPGA Championship at Harding Park on Sunday over the luckless Englishman Paul Casey, who shot 66 and hardly put a foot wrong.

A thrilling day’s golf deserved to be decided on a stroke of genius and it came from the undemonstrative Morikawa at the driveable par four 16th. There might not be a better stroke played all year than his tee shot that finished 9ft from the hole, and he knocked in the eagle putt. 

Collin Morikawa celebrates chipping in for birdie on the 14th hole at Harding Park

Collin Morikawa celebrates chipping in for birdie on the 14th hole at Harding Park

Morikawa, who shot a faultless, bogey-free 64, only earned his first PGA Tour victory last month and now he has his first major. The only other players to win the PGA so young are Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Rory McIlroy. Not bad company to keep.

Casey finished joint runner-up by two strokes alongside Dustin Johnson, with a quintet comprising Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Matt Wolff and Scottie Scheffler a further stroke behind.

The final round got off to an explosive start thanks to – who else? – the irrepressible DeChambeau. Is there any way of keeping him out of the news these days? Not when he has tap-in birdies on the first two holes and two more at the 4th and 7th. Bogeys at the 8th and 9th, however, left him with too much to do.

Who could have foreseen from the grouping of Brooks Koepka and Casey that it would be the man from Surrey who would challenge so hard for the Wanamaker Trophy? This was the 43-year-old’s 64th appearance in a major and, since 2002, no-one has played so many without a win. This was one of those days which make you wonder why he hasn’t contended for more. He played beautifully in his quest to become the first Englishman to win this title in more than a century.

England's Paul Casey provided the sternest challenge for young American Morikawa

England’s Paul Casey provided the sternest challenge for young American Morikawa

By Casey’s side was John McLaren, the caddie who has done so much to calm his man down on pressure days like this. Casey’s driving was fantastic, but then the rest of his game wasn’t far behind. He ought to have no regrets.

What an extraordinary day, one where so many players had a chance and so many had a share of the lead at some point. One minute you looked at the leaderboard and there was a sole pacemaker and the next there would be a six-way tie. It was a gripping welcome back to major championship golf after 13 long months, and one that showed just what we had been missing.

In addition to Casey, two more Englishmen began the final round right in the thick of contention. Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose simply never got going. Fleetwood, indeed, was spilling shots on a day when birdies were the requirement, and slipped to a disappointing 73. Rose’s chance came and went with a double bogey at the 13th but he responded with three birdies in his last four holes for a 67 for seventh place. Ian Poulter recovered from an opening 73 with a final round 69 to sneak inside the top 25.

The biggest surprise of the final round was the complete no-show from Koepka, bidding to become the first man in nearly a century to win this title three years in a row.

2018 and 2019 champion Brooks Koepka (left) did not mount the challenge expected of him

2018 and 2019 champion Brooks Koepka (left) did not mount the challenge expected of him

Koepka was never a factor from the moment he started with no fewer than four bogeys in his first eight holes. What happened? Perhaps McIlroy put a hex on him. The Northern Irishman accused Koepka of being disrespectful towards third round leader Dustin Johnson before the final round began. Koepka had applied a few mind games towards his supposed friend Johnson on Saturday night, pointing out the difficulties he’s had in trying to add to his sole major success at the 2016 US Open.

That didn’t sit well with McIlroy. ‘I was sort of taken aback when I heard it,’ said the 31 year old. ‘I try to respect the fact that everyone out here is a great player. It’s very hard to knock someone who’s won 21 times like DJ, which is three times as many victories as Brooks.’

Ouch.

Rory McIlroy hit back at Koepka after he had criticised Dustin Johnson

Rory McIlroy hit back at Koepka after he had criticised Dustin Johnson

If only Rory’s golf right now carried as much edge. There was an eagle late on to add a little gloss to a 68, but he finished outside the top 30 following a week when he had 12 bogeys and a triple. No player can hope to contend making that many mistakes.

McIlroy, who has now gone six years without a major victory, appeared none too happy when asked afterwards why his record was poor in comparison to his younger days. ‘I don’t know, maybe I’m just not as good any more,’ he said. ‘I’m trying every single day to get better and I’ve just got to keep persisting.’

A 44-year-old man playing only his third event of the year closed with a final round 67 to finish inside the top 50. Tiger Woods had only one three putt during the week and only one hole where he marked down something worse than a bogey. He also got through the chilly week without any problems with his fused back. He’s hoping to be present when the FedEx Cup play-offs begin in Boston next week. 

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Watch Collin Morikawa drop the USPGA trophy after nailing incredible eagle to deny England’s Paul Casey

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watch collin morikawa drop the uspga trophy after nailing incredible eagle to deny englands paul casey scaled

COLLIN MORIKAWA won his first Major in style with an incredible eagle on the closing stretch to deny England’s Paul Casey.

The American did not drop a shot all day in a faultless final round at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco… then managed to let the lid go flying off the trophy.

Collin Morikawa won the USPGA with a stunning final-round 64, then lost the lid from the trophy

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Collin Morikawa won the USPGA with a stunning final-round 64, then lost the lid from the trophyCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Morikawa, 23, hit his drive to 7ft 1in on the 290-yard par-four 16th and showed nerves of steel to roll in the putt.

And just two holes before that he chipped in from off the green for a ridiculous birdie – a sign this was to be his day.

Morikawa stormed the field with a blistering six-under final round of 64, good enough for a two-shot win over Casey.

This is just his second Major as a pro and he joins legends Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in winning this event for the first time at 23.

Morikawa was simply sensational as he stormed the field with a 63 to win his first Major

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Morikawa was simply sensational as he stormed the field with a 63 to win his first MajorCredit: Getty Images – Getty

But his ecstasy was Casey’s agony as the 43-year-old Englishman recorded his best finish in his Major – but also just lost out on his best chance to win one.

Casey had just one bogey in a classy final-round 66 – but how he will rue that heavy-handed chip that led to his one dropped shot on the tough par-four 13th.

Surrey’s Casey said: “I played wonderful golf, simple as that. I have nothing to say other than that.

LB PADDY

“Watching Collin come down 18 and hitting a glorious shot, he deserves it. His shot on 16 was awesome golf.

“It’s been a great week but a strange week missing the fans.”

Former US Open champ Dustin Johnson took a one shot lead into the final round and shot two under but still was no match for majestic Morikawa.

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