Sport in brief: 10/10/2009

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The Independent Online

Whitaker and Kanselier fall short despite much improved ride

Equestrianism: Despite her best efforts on the 17-year-old Kanselier, Ellen Whitaker failed by 0.26 seconds to catch Belgium's Dirk Demeersman on Phaline in yesterday's Dick Turpin Stakes at the Horse of the year Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Whitaker was delighted with the veteran though. "I was beginning to think he must be feeling his age," she said of his lacklustre showing on Thursday. "But then we found a bit of pus in a back foot, so we put a poultice on it and he was 100 per cent different today." Demeersman's winning mare Phaline is not considered particularly fast but the Belgian is now thinking of riding the 10-year-old in tomorrow's Leading Show Jumper of the Year. Matthew Sampson gained his second victory of the show, on Chianti Classico, to win the Young Riders Championship of Great Britain. Genevieve Murphy

Nadal in last four after emphatic win over Safin

Tennis: The World No 2 Rafael Nadal halted Marat Safin's Beijing revival yesterday with a clinical 6-3, 6-1 victory to reach the semi-finals of the China Open. Nadal, playing his first tournament since returning from an abdominal injury, dominatedagainst his fellow former world No 1. Nadal will play Marin Cilic for a place in his first final since May's Madrid Masters on Saturday after the eighth-seeded Croatian beat fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-4. Elena Dementieva joined the exodus of top women's seeds when she was upset 7-5, 6-3 by Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in the last eight.

Garcia and Drysdale share lead in Madrid

Golf: Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Britain’s David Drysdale were joint leaders on 13 under par after the second day at the Madrid Masters yesterday. In cloudy but dry conditions, world No 8 Garcia hit a 67, and he was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Drysdale who carded a 65. “I’d have liked to have played one or two shots less but I am pleased with the overall result so far,” said Garcia, who is chasing a first win this season. Italy’s Emanuele Canonica, Britain’s Ross McGowan and Ireland’s Gary Murphy were tied in second at 12 under.