Doncaster

Transfer news: Manchester United striker Federico Macheda close to

It appears Federico Macheda’s career with Manchester United is over, with the Italian close to agreeing a season-long loan with Doncaster Rovers in the final year of his contract with the Premier League champions. His agent, Giovanni Bia, confirmed last week that his client will leave on a free next summer when his current deal expires.

Kingsbarns at last set to live up to reputation

The status of Derby favourite proved something of a poisoned chalice this spring, when first Kingsbarns and then Telescope dropped out of the Epsom picture with setbacks. Both are about to start making up for lost time, however, each having been given an exploratory Group Three entry this weekend. Telescope, who made an impressive resumption at Leicester last month, could go to Haydock on Saturday, while Kingsbarns is on course to reappear at the Curragh the following day.

Sir Michael Stoute pulls Telescope out of Royal Ascot return

Those who were looking to Telescope to emerge as one of the stars of the season must wait a while longer to refocus their hopes. After some twinkling homework on the Newmarket gallops, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt galloped as swiftly up the betting for the Derby, only to defect from the Epsom showpiece with nine days to go because of a sore shin. Now he will miss his chance to shine at Royal Ascot, too.

Godolphin in 'shock' as trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni admits steroid use

The Classic-winning Godolphin trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni is to face a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel hearing after samples taken from 11 horses in his care in Newmarket were found to contain traces of anabolic steroids. The horses include Certify, the winter favourite for the 1,000 Guineas, who must now miss the race.

Toronado blows open betting for 2,000 Guineas

This really has been a blasted Heath over the past couple of days, but today the gale was rendered incarnate by a colt named Toronado. His runaway success in the last of its Classic trials crowned a pleasing revival in the significance of this meeting, Hot Snap and Garswood having won their own rehearsals impressively the previous day. But while both arguably owed something to the shelter they found from fierce gusts across the track, Toronado went gliding clear of what had become a tailwind – and blew apart the betting on the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Though Dawn Approach remains favourite, Toronado is no better than 4-1 to beat him back here in a fortnight.

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McNamara out of coma and ready for move nearer home

With the domestic sport’s downtime between the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals exacerbated by cancellations, postponements and congealingly cold weather, there was at least one piece of warming news today. It concerned the improved condition of J T McNamara, the Irish amateur who fractured two neck vertebrae in a fall at Cheltenham 12 days ago.

Charles Hills backs Model Pupil to pass Doncaster's opening Flat exam

The start of a new turf season on the Flat should be a cheerful rite of spring, but Town Moor today is as likely to prove white as green. It is almost as though winter is raging against the coming of the light. With snow forecast this morning, and more overnight, inspections have duly been scheduled for both days of the meeting.