The Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase will take centre stage in County Kildare, with the Grade 2 feature attracting a select field of five contenders.Fethard’s Michael ‘Mouse’ Morris will send out Rule The World when the race goes to post at five to two.The opening race on the card is off at 12.45.
Editor’s note: This is the Dec. 16 edition of the Purple & Bold newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.The latest Lakers’ victory was both scrappy and spectacular, and your guy Kyle Goon was there Sunday in Atlanta to chronicle all of it — including, unfortunately, Anthony Davis’s twisted right ankle.You probably winced as it happened and maybe again when AD continued to play, a decision that, Kyle wrote:… poked at a question that’s been hanging over the Lakers (and the NBA at large): When can stars make such calls, and how do teams balance short-term needs with long-term goals? Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Maybe you’ve noticed? At 24-3, the Lakers have built a pretty substantial 4 1/2-game buffer between themselves and the second-place Clippers (20-8), who have Dallas (17-8), Denver (17-8) and Houston (17-9) nipping at their heels.The Lakers — who get every team’s best shot — wouldn’t have gotten off the line so well this season without their stars on the floor every game (except the one Davis missed with shoulder and rib soreness).Take Sunday: L.A. sure needed ’em in Atlanta, where James and Davis combined for 59 points to save the Lakers from what would have been an ugly loss to one of the league’s bottom-dwellers.King James’ determination to honor his responsibility as a superstar is noble — “I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game and they’re there to come see me play and if I sit out, then what?” he said Sunday. “That’s my obligation. My obligation is to play, play for my teammates and if I’m healthy, then I’m going to play.” — but it might also prove wise, competitively.For all the concern about burnout, maybe the Lakers’ success creating breathing room now will benefit them later, if it gives them an opportunity to rest weary legs closer to the playoffs, should they reach the point when their seeding situation “can’t get any better or any worse”?We might just find out. James is committed to it.– Mirjam SwansonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Purple & Bold newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.No Calling in ClickIn AD the Lakers trust – With the ball — and with decisions about his health.How to counter a case of the blahs? – With a healthy dose of LeBron James.To go or not to go? – You know the answer, but here’s why there was even a question.How ’bout the Jeanie Buss-Friends-and-Family Lakers?! – Mark Heisler marvels at a script flipped.‘The only sucky thing about this season so far’ – Missing Sierra Canyon games.No. 1 fan – Catch James catching Saturday’s Sierra Canyon game.Just like his dad – Tarek Fattal talked to LeBron’s high school coach to scout up Bronny, who has some similar instincts. Fight Night in Miami – “A ‘Foreman-and-Ali’ type atmosphere.” Let if fly – AD has the green light from deep. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThis manifested in a related question on Sunday night, as LeBron James began the day questionable with elbow soreness, and dropped on a flight from Columbus after watching his son play in a nationally televised high school game on Saturday. In a league that seems to be hedging toward resting players more often, James’ goal is to play as long as he’s healthy enough to play.“I mean, unless we’re getting to like late in the season and we’ve clinched and we can’t get any better or any worse, it could benefit from that but why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy?,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally.”Clippers fans might bristle at their perceived subtext of James’ statement, even though the NBA, and then Kawhi Leonard himself, clarified weeks ago that his games off qualify as injury management (for an “ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee”) and not good old-fashioned rest.Not that rest isn’t a thing that NBA players need. It’s just that there’s a whole menu of strategies to achieve it, including curtailing practices, limiting reps at practice or minutes on the floor, or, yes, reducing games played. And there’s continuing debate about when to pull which lever.In Houston, for example, hard-charging guard Russell Westbrook has missed three games, officially, for “rest.” All three were the second game in a back-to-back set, including Saturday’s against Detroit, which the Rockets lost at home, 115-107. That loss left Houston in fifth place in a tightly bunched Western Conference — actually, a mostly tightly bunched Western Conference.