The History of Aintree Racecourse

Aintree Racecourse is one of the most famous racecourses in the world and is located on the A59 at Ormskirk Road, Aintree (Anglo-Saxon for 'one tree'), in the northern suburbs of Liverpool, just 6 miles from the city center.

The racecourse occupies more than 250 acres and has two left-handed chasing circuits. The rectangular Mildmay Course is the first and was opened in 1953. It is nearly one and a half miles in length, with sharp turns and steeplechase fences.

The Grand National course isn't as sharp as the Mildmay course but is much more demanding which is why it is known as one of the toughest races in the world, one which all horse trainers aspire to gain entry to. The Grand National course is far longer than the Mildmay, at almost two and a quarter miles, and is completely flat, with fences that have a drop on the landing side lower than the take-off side.

William Lynn is the man responsible for bringing racing to the village of Aintree. Lynn was the landlord of the Waterloo Hotel and started racing on the land which he leased from the Earl of Sefton. He started to build the grand stand in 1829 and after five months the first meeting for flat races was held.

Hurdle racing did not begin until 1836, when the first Liverpool Grand Steeplechase was held at Aintree on February 29th. This race is considered by some as being the first ever Grand National and was won by The Duke, ridden by Captain Martin Becher.

However, the more documented Liverpool Grand Steeplechase of 1839 is more commonly identified as the first Grand National, and was won by Lottery, ridden by Jem Mason. The race of 1839 was a four miler, across country, and the rule was that 'no rider to open a gate or ride through a gateway, or more than 100 yards along any road, footpath or driftway'.

The racecourse was handed over to the War Office in 1915, and after the 1940 National it was again requisitioned by the military. Racing resumed in 1946 and in 1949 the racecourse was bought by Messrs Topham Ltd; who had leased the land for almost a century; from the Earl of Sefton for £ 275,000. Mirabel Topham, an enterprising soul, went on to create the Mildmay course and a motor-racing circuit which held the European Grand Prix and five British Grand Prix.

Bill Davies bought the racecourse in 1973 for £ 3 million and in 1975 Ladbrokes saved the Grand National, which was in danger of dying out, by managing and administering it for seven years at a yearly rent of £ 250,000. In 1983 the racecourse was deemed secure when the Jockey Club bought it.

Aintree has come a long way from the days when it could only be accessed by rail or paddle boat. Now, improved rail and network links means that fans can travel by any means to reach the wonderful racecourse. There is even a six acre enclosure for landing by helicopter on site or the alternative option of John Lennon airport twenty minutes drive away, meaning that those both home and abroad can come share in the magnificent Aintree festivities.

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Developing Aggression in Youth Football Players, the Splatter Tackling Drill

Splatter Tackling Drills

We are huge fans of splatter tackling and splatter tackling drills when you are coaching youth football. These drills are great ways to ease your kids into full contact. We think it is imperative to prefect blocking and tackling technique at the youth level. Too many youth football coaches just don’t spend enough time or demand the perfection of detail that makes kids great blockers and tacklers.

Ruining the Potential of Good Kids

Despite what many youth coaches think, most kids aren’t born to be great blockers and tacklers, they are made. Unfortunately there are a bunch of kids out there that have the potential to be very good football players that are ruined by their youth football coach. These coaches rush kids into contact before they have perfected perfect blocking and tackling technique with their players WITHOUT contact. Too many kids get rushed into full speed blocking and tackling in space well before they are ready for it. That’s a coaching problem, not a kid problem. Coach is too busy trying to quickly see who is studs are, before giving his average and weaker kids a chance to develop the skills and confidence to be able to survive and compete in a full speed tackling or blocking drill in space.

Splatter Drills

In our book «Winning Youth Football a Step-by- Step Plan», we detail exactly how you can do it. One of the key steps is using «Splatter» drills. The Splatter Drill lets a player learn how to accelerate through contact without experiencing the consequence of a reciprocal blow. This drill also allows the player to take another player to the ground without a hard ground impact. This drill can also help you drill the correct landmarks for feet placement, head placement and hip roll.

For the player playing the role of the «patsy», the player providing zero resistance to the block or tackle and is getting slammed into a soft landing matt on every rep, the job doesn’t sound like much fun. But what I’m hearing from coaches all across the country is that their kids love to be the one holding the shield and getting slammed onto the landing pad every play. I thought our kids were weird, they all want to play the pasty, but I guess everyones kids are as odd as mine.

Problems With Splatter Drills

One of the things that always bothered me about this drill was the fact you need to have 4 long dummys to use as landing pads. Well at about $100 each, that is $400, out of the reach of many youth programs. Lugging these dummies around is a big hassle as well. Then once on the field, you have just one landing pad for 25 kids. As most of you know I’m not a fan of having kids standing in long lines, so that means whenever we do splatter drills. It is only part of a circuit, it is never a drill we want to do on it’s own, even if we need it.

The Solution, Tony Holland to the Rescue

My good friend Tony Holland from Maryland solved this one. He went to Walmart and bought several camping air mattresses for $65 each. Each mattress is big enough to be a landing pad all by itself. These things roll up into a small box too, so you don’t need a pickup to lug them around. Tony bought a small electric air compressor for $20 that not only inflates each mattress in less than 2 minutes, it also sucks the air out as well when you are finished. Tony has several of these mattresses so his kids can all do Splatter Drills at the same time and in much smaller groups. He didn’t have to repair a single leak and he said all of his are good to go for next season.

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Spanish Primera Division News and Notes

There has been a great deal of action and excitement over the past couple of weeks in the Spanish Primera Division, and the news and results have been coming in fast and furious since the season ended just two weeks ago. Let’s take a look at everything that has transpired over the course of the past few days to get an early look at what the Primera Division will look like next year.

Barcelona Retains Crown

Barcelona was able to win the Primera Division again this year by beating Valladolid 4-0 in the final game of the season. Barcelona was also able to set a Primera Division record this season by accruing 99 total points over the course of 38 games played. Lionel Messi led all scorers this season on Barcelona with 34 goals in league play and 47 goals in all competitions, which tied the club record set by Ronaldo in the 1996-1997 season. Real Madrid, despite having one of the highest payrolls in Primera Division history, was only able to garner second place. Finishing three points behind Barcelona, Real Madrid finished runner-up for the second straight season despite having one of the greatest collections of players ever assembled on one team.

Team Movements

Next season, the UEFA Champions League will be the homes of Valencia and Sevilla, as both teams qualified through their finishes of third and fourth, respectively, within the Spanish Primera Division. 5th-place Mallorca and 6th-place Getafe have secured spots in next season’s UEFA Europa League while Valladolid, Tenerife, and Xenex have all been placed in the second division.

Summer Transfers

Ricardo Costa has been transferred to Valencia on four-year free deal. Costa had been playing for Lille, but Valencia’s inclusion into the UEFA Champions League forced them to have to make this deal. Costa joins Mehmet Topal, a midfielder from Turkey, who also was signed just a few weeks ago to strengthen the Vallencia team going into next season’s play.

Barcelona continues to get stronger, as they worked out a deal with rival Vallencia to transfer David Villa to the Barcelona squad. Villa has passed his physical examination and is now a member of the powerful Barcelona championship team. In his last five seasons, Villa has averaged 22 goals scored per season, which ranks him near the top of that category in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid, who were able to clinch the inaugural UEFA Europa League title, has gained a transfer in the likes of Arsenal’s Fran Merida. Merida comes to Atletico Madrid on a free transfer for a four-year deal. Merida hasn’t seen a great amount of big-game action since joining the Arsenal squad in 2005.

Sevilla has gotten Mouhamadou Dabo from AS Saint-Etienne on a free transfer. Dabo’s agreement with Sevilla extends the length of four seasons. Part of Dabo’s contract will include a 25 million euro buyout clause. Dabo, a fullback is able to play on either side of the field, with most of his time from this past season spent on the left side of the field.

Coaching Change

Real Madrid parted ways with coach Manuel Pelligrini to bring Jose Mourinho as their new coach for next season’s play. Pellegrini departs at the midpoint of the new two-year deal that he signed before the beginning of this past season. Mourinho, who is currently under contract with Inter Milan until 2012, will need to work out a plan with that squad before he can make settle in to his new home with Real Madrid.

Contract Extension

A one-year contract extension has been given to Atletico Madrid’s coach Quique Sanchez Flores. After winning the inaugural UEFA Europa League title, Flores led Atletico Madrid to a 9th-place finish in the Spanish Primera Division this past season.

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Ed Hardy Flats – Super Stylish Ballet Flats For Women

In the fashion world, 2009 could easily be called, «The year of Ed Hardy»!  Ed Hardy Flats are no exception to this – they now are available in several different styles.  As long as you love the bold fashionable looks offered with this brand, there is likely one of these that you will love:

Chelsea – These flats have a quilted patent faux leather upper, each color having a distinctly different selection from the Ed Hardy prints.  Not only are the prints bold and gorgeous, there is a shimmery toe cap on the front of the shoe as well as a shimmering strip on the heel to truly set off the colors on the remaining part of the shoe.   Lovely!

Twisty – These have a similar general look to the Chelsea, however the toe cap is made from a solid color suede rather than a shimmering fabric.  The «Ed Hardy» logo is across the right side of the toe cap.  These flats have a more feminine appearance being closer to a pastel general shade and a fun bow tie on the outside-front of the shoe.  Even though these are a bit more feminine than the style above, there is absolutely no lack of bold patterns and style.

Sin City – Rather than having prints to set this style apart, these shoes feature bold silver studs on the left and right sides.  Colors are solid – there are some gorgeous bright shades to choose from as well as solid black.  The famous signature logo is printed on the sides of the shoe in the front.

Eye Candy – These truly live up to their name in terms of appearance!  They are absolutely gorgeous and are available in several colors and prints.  Suede toe cap with signature on the side – very colorful with bold and striking patterns.  However – from the reviews I have seen with these shoes there is a problem with the back of the shoe rubbing and being less than comfortable and more difficult to wear than the other shoes listed above.

There may be other Ed Hardy Flats in the months to come, but these four styles are perfect for ladies who love a style that could be said to be «out of the fringe»!

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5 Christmas Gifts For A Football Fan

Gift Number 1 – Football Shirt

One of the best gifts you can get a football supporter is the latest strip of the club that they support so for example if the support Arsenal then you would want to either buy the an Arsenal shirt or go all the way and buy them the full Arsenal kit. This is probably the number one gift you could get them and the fact is there are many good deals online for official football strips.

Gift Number 2 – Football Match Ticket or Season Tickets

Depending on your budget you could either get someone a football match ticket for the team that they support or you could also look at getting them a season ticket for the team they support. This would be very expensive so you would have to have quite a high gift budget to be able to get them a season ticket. So if they support Arsenal then you would buy them an Arsenal match ticket or an Arsenal season ticket.

Gift Number 3 – Football Merchandise

There are great little gifts that you can buy which are ideal for stocking fillers such as branded cups, mugs, scarf's, hats and stationary which again you would want to buy them for the football team they support.

Gift Number 4 – Car Accessories

For many people in the UK the two biggest passions they might have are cars and football and so combining them together is always a good Christmas gift idea. There are many car accessories for football fans such as car mats, window covers, seat covers and many more. A lot of fans like to deck their cars out in their football teams colors on the day of an important match to show their support.

Gift Number 5 – Football Documentaries and DVD's

This is a nice gift for a stocking filler as DVD's and documentaries are normally very well priced especially if you can find some good deals online. There are many good DVD's released each year on many of the big teams such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United etc so these are always a good buy if they support them. Alternatively you can get them a more generic gift such as the best goals DVD for 2009 or any football related DVD.

As you can see there are many good options to buy football fans gifts related to football. The one thing you need to make sure is that you buy them the gift for the right football team as they will not be happy if you get them a football shirt for the wrong team.

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Space Applications in the England’s East Midlands

The continued development of GNSS is enabling a huge downstream market in services and equipment – 250 billion Euros plus by 2020. Today’s main markets in terms of volume are in GNSS-enabled mobile phones and Portable Navigation Devices. Earth Observation and GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is a cornerstone of the EU’s Space Policy framework programme, with a development budget of 1.4 billion Euros (2007-13) to support the development and commercialisation of opportunities across public and private sector in support of mapping, resource and emergency management.

The University of Leicester enjoys worldwide recognition for its international research in space science, planetary exploration and earth observation science: the National Space Centre in Leciester is a £60M science visitor centre attracting over 200,000 visitors annually, with over 10,000 students and their science teachers participating in its Space Academy and other space education programmes. Meanwhile, the University of Nottingham is a world leader in space-based applications of GNSS.

Space applications industry

Industry specialists

Thanks to our world-class facilities and strong skills base, a number of key businesses involved in space applications have chosen England’s East Midlands as their base.

Handling almost half of the European Space Agency’s total Earth Observation data collection, Infoterra is an EADS Astrium company based in Leicester. It acquires and processes airborne and satellite data, provides operational information for monitoring and managing security and the environment, and operates one of Europe’s largest commercial geospatial hosting and archiving facilities.

With proven expertise in providing reliable, robust GNSS technologies, Nottingham Scientific Ltd (NSL) is a spin-out company from The University of Nottingham. At the cutting edge of positioning technologies, they have vast experience in satellite navigation, algorithm and software development, system prototyping, performance prediction and monitoring, and project management.

International aerospace companies rely on Lincoln’s Lockheed Martin Stasys Ltd, to provide impartial systems, technology and management consultancy to public and private sector clients worldwide.

Specialising in airborne surveys, BlueSky International Limited is based in Leicestershire. With more than 30 years’ industry experience, they are experts in data capture and analysis.

The National Space Centre in Leicester was founded through a partnership between the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council, with support from the British National Space Centre and EADS Astrium. It hosts the only Challenger Learning Centre outside North America, and is also part of a regional collaboration which has set up UK’s first Space Academy.

NEREUS (Network of European Regions Utilising Space Technology) is a network of European regions with an interest in the application of space technologies, and aims to influence European and national policy on the exploitation of space technologies and applications. England’s East Midlands is the only UK founding member.

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7 Undisclosed Tips to Never Lose Your Bet

Yes, you’re reading it right, you can always become a Winner no matter how bad your winning rate is, what sports you bet on, or what bookmakers you join.

Are you saying, «It’s IMPOSSIBLE!!» ??

Ok, here is the reality…

You may end up with some really bad losing strike one day. Every tipster, even the professional ones have their own terrible day when every single bets they placed are going to the wrong side. However, surprisingly, they still manage to collect some profits at the end of the day.

Here are the 7 secrets that will open your horizon in sports betting:

1. Knowledge is power! Read the form statistics, past records, head to head, injury lists, team fixtures, psychological situation of the players or even tradition each team has. Analyse every single aspects of a team carefully before placing your bets and keep yourself updated with the latest news. That’s the key to successful betting.

2. Keep your winning… Once you hit your winning goal, cash them in! Do not be greedy! Withdraw your winnings before placing anymore bets is always a good idea. Enjoy your hard earned winnings! Don’t keep spending your winning money on subsequent bets just because it’s your luckiest day in your life. That will prevent you from losing some of them (if not ALL) back to the bookmakers.

3. Budgeting… A good money management is important. Set your daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly budget, which is maximum amount of money you are prepared to lose. Take control of your finances and that will make your loses will not become a big problem because you have budgeted them in advance.

4. Avoid Difficult Bet… Try to avoid such bets like «Man of the Match», «First Goal Scorer», «To Win Premier League», «Exact Scores», and some sort of things. You may say that the odds look really tempting, but, it’s almost impossible to grab a long-term winning with this kind of play.

5. Follow the game Closely… Most of bookmakers offer what we call «In Running» or «Live» bets. That means, you can place bets whilst a match is in progress. Use this feature to make your bet a «risk free» bet.

See this example: You placed a $100 bet at -1/4 for a Chelsea to win over Liverpool. During the game, the odds change drastically and now the odds become -1/4 for Liverpool. This means, something is happening on the pitch which gives Liverpool a greater chance to win. With In-running bets, you can place an opposite bet to back up Liverpool.

With this simple example, you can NOT lose (even though you will also not win big), but the important point is you manage to save your $100 for a better match with higher winning chance.

6. Search for the Hottie! This may lead a controversy for some of you, since looking for this ‘Hottie’ will make your betting life even more difficult. However, if you carefully follow your favourite sports or betting forum, you must be having an idea someone who currently has a fortune goddess walking around him. Send me email for the updated list of the hottest tipsters who consistently perform above average…

7. Finally… Engage A WINNING SYSTEM. The last one is my most important secret to make money at sports betting, you need a good system. Without a proven betting system, all of above points will become less usable and that means you can not maximise your winning. This is whereBookie Buster is specializing in. Bookie Buster’s system tells you exactly how to ALWAYS WIN in sports betting. Even with disappointing 33% winning rate (which means only 3 wins in 10 bets or in more extreme calculation, 30 wins in 100 bets!!), you will end up with a huge profits in your bankroll! Something that you WILL NOT find in traditional betting system. Imagine how much you can win if you have a better soccer tipsters who can give you free tips to follow with, or you follow your favourite sports closely enough to consistently pick over 50% winners. To learn how to use Bookie Buster’s services, just drop me email.

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Why Players Prefer Football in Italy and Spain – Not in England

The exodus of so many great players from the English Premier League does force one to believe that perhaps it is not as appealing to world football stars as the football leagues of Spain and Italy. Despite the fact that it offers so much financial benefits and world-wide viewing as compared to other leagues, we have observed that more foreign stars have been found leaving the Premier League than joining. And whats more interesting is the fact that most of these players either opt for the football leagues in Italy, or Spain.

Here I look at some of the reasons why Premier League has been hit by the exodus of players like Ronaldo, Henry, van Nistelrooy and many others to the football clubs of Spain and Italy!

First of all, the style of football played in these two countries differs from that of the English. They provide players with much more time on the ball and matches and therefore feature more skillful moments.

Another reason for the preference given to Italy and Spain would be the fact that the foreign players are more comfortable in a Mediterranean climate than an English one.

Perhaps the players who are recognized worldwide do not like the media attention they get from playing in English League. Most of the foreign players, especially the ones from Argentina and Brazil, are from humble backgrounds and the media attention really bothers them. Such media attention is not a problem in other leagues as they don’t have much viewership but provide even a tougher atmosphere to hone your skills.

If you make a mistake in English Premier League, you will have to bear the media bombardment for at least a whole week. And that can really get to your nerves. People will always be babbling about the style of your game, or the lack of it.

The only thing perhaps that may bring in more foreign stars to the English Premier League is money. And believe me there is no dearth of it In the English Premier League. However, not everyone plays for money. And there are things even money cannot buy!

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City Failed to Reach the 4th

Manchester City failed to rise to number four while the Premier League standings, on Sunday (25 / 4). The Citizens only played a goalless draw against a strong team, Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Seizing the fourth English Premier League this season is no less exciting with the seizure of the first position. Chelsea and Manchester United took turns filling the top positions in the last three weeks this season. Fourth place or last place to get into next season’s Champions League zone contested by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

Manchester United’s game this week to temporarily pushed into the top position after beating Spurs 3-1. The result is an opportunity for Roberto Mancini’s squad to be able to shift from the safe zone Hotspur Champions League with a requirement to pick full points from Arsenal at the Emirates today

However, it seems luck has not sided with the city. The Gunners are still too strong to be conquered, let alone play at own game. Can hold 0-0 draw with Arsene Wengar team has been a fair enough result for the club, who recently was suddenly rich. Facing the team that stuck in third place this time, Man. City can not do more in the game today. Because, in the first round Carlos Teves et al. never bother goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. This situation caused most of the City players busy doing defense and difficulties to build a dangerous counter attack.

In the second half after Emmanuel Adebayor enter The Citizen occasionally can be done to pressure Arsenal. However, the host did not loosen the attack, especially when substitute Nicklas Bendtner Theo Walcott signed. Strikes, strikes Gunners far more dangerous in front of goal City. Swift pressure to City defense. City, forcing Shay Given had to fall up to secure post.

As a result, minute-76 goalkeeper was no longer able to continue the match due to injury in his shoulder after a hard kick to block the release Abou Diaby. Gunnar Neilsen Given that replaces the task may look good with an opportunity to confront all Arsenal until the game ended.

The draw makes Manchester City remains stuck in fifth position achieve standings with one point in three games left this season. While more difficult to shake Arsenal in third place despite the Premier League title chances have been closed.

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