Through The Lens: The best sporting images of the weekend

A review of the weekend's best sporting moments from the best images
A review of the weekend's best sporting moments from the best images

Relive the sporting weekend through the lens of the photographer, including top-class racing, Premier League football and the start of the Six Nations.

How d'ya like them apples?

Apple's Jade looks to have booked her ticket to the Champion Hurdle after a stunning success in the Irish equivalent.

Apple's Jade
Apple's Jade was a stunning winner at Leopardstown

Previously expected to head for the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, a clash with Buveur D'Air is now on the cards on the back of a fabulous return to the minimum trip.

Gordon Elliott certainly made clear his view when speaking to Nick Luck on Sunday and, finally, it looks as though he has the backing of her owners.

Where were the Contenders, then?

As for Buveur D'Air, he was also seen winning on Saturday - although once again it was barely a race as he obliged at odds of 1/5 in the Contenders Hurdle.

Buveur D'Air has the measure of Vision Des Flos
Buveur D'Air has the measure of Vision Des Flos

Perhaps the highlight at Sandown was the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase, in which Vinndication lost his unbeaten record as Defi Du Seuil gained revenge on Cheltenham conqueror Lostintranslation.

Defi Du Seuil stalks Lostintranslation at Sandown
Defi Du Seuil stalks Lostintranslation at Sandown before pouncing in the straight

Sunday supplement

Onto Sunday and there was another Grade One success for La Bague Au Roi, trained by Sporting Life columnist Warren Greatrex.

Sent to the front early on by Richard Johnson, she again jumped beautifully and responded to pressure and while others are already switching focus to Cheltenham, her team were savouring this latest success.

La Bague Au Roi clears the last
La Bague Au Roi clears the last

Finally, only four ran in the Irish Gold Cup but two of them served up a thriller, Bellshill just doing enough to deny Road To Respect.

Bellshill (right) jumps his way to victory
Bellshill (right) jumps his way to victory

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Hat-trick hero

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City laid down the gauntlet ahead of Liverpool's Monday night trip to West Ham with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

Celebrations for Manchester City's Sergio Aguero after his early goal against Arsenal
Celebrations for Manchester City's Sergio Aguero after his early goal against Arsenal

Aguero headed the home side in front inside the first minute and while the Gunners did equalise, once Aguero finished off a fine team move shortly before half-time, the game looked over.

Sergio Aguero doubles Manchester City's tally against Arsenal
Aguero doubles Manchester City's tally

There was an element of controversy to the third but no doubt about the worthy winners as Aguero not only kept City on the tail of Liverpool, but breathed life into the Golden Boot betting.

Son's shot finds the net
Son's shot finds the net

On Saturday, Son Heung-min scored to earn Spurs a 1-0 victory over Newcastle, while Wolves impressed to win at Everton.

Ruben Neves scores from the spot against Everton
Ruben Neves scores from the spot against Everton

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Dutch dominance again

Michael van Gerwen started the new PDC Darts season as he means to go on by winning the Masters title for the fifth year in a row.

The Dutchman, who won his third world championship on New Year's Day, has now claimed 34 major crowns among his 118 career titles and couldn't be in much more confident mood heading into the Premier League.

Michael van Gerwen won the Masters for the fifth year in a row
Michael van Gerwen won the Masters for the fifth year in a row

England stun Ireland

The Guinness Six Nations started with a bang, then another bang, and then another bang and we'll focus on the last of three as England beat Ireland 32-20.

ccelebrate
Celebrations for England

Eddie Jones' side were nine-point underdogs in Dublin but produced an almighty display first to open up a narrow lead, and then to take control of the game in the second half.

Earlier, Blair Kinghorn's hat-trick earned Scotland a 33-20 victory over Italy, who finished the game with a flourish to keep the scoreline respectable.

Blair Kinghorn
Blair Kinghorn

And on Friday, Wales fought back from a horror first-half to beat France 24-19 and help set things up perfectly for the weeks ahead.

Celebrations for Wales as Liam Williams crosses the line against France in the Six Nations
Celebrations for Wales as Liam Williams crosses the line

Switching codes

Thursday marked the return of the Betfred Super League as St Helens beat Wigan, while on Sunday, London Broncos made headlines with a 42-24 victory over Wakefield.

The Broncos last won a Super League game in 2014 but quickly ended the drought, thanks to doubles from Rhys Williams and Eddie Battye.

London Broncos players celebrate
London Broncos players celebrate

Fowler finally does it

Rickie Fowler defied bad weather, bad luck and occasional bad golf to finally win the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

In this event back in 2010, Fowler squandered a chance to win for the first time on the PGA Tour while 2016 saw him lose a play-off in unfortunate circumstances. However this time, despite surrendered a four-shot Sunday lead, the America came through to win by 2 shots from Branden Grace on -17.

Fowler said: "It was a bit of a rollercoaster. To play the way I did over the last four or five holes was nice.

"I know it can go the right way and it can go the wrong way. Winning and getting some good trophies for the house is amazing, but there's a lot bigger things in life."

Rickie Fowler finished two clear of Branden Grace
Rickie Fowler finished two clear of Branden Grace

It ended with a whimper

England received another jolting reality check as they surrendered the second Test, and with the it the series, to a rampant West Indies side in Antigua.

Trounced by 381 runs in Barbados last week, they were swept aside in three days at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, meekly subsiding to a 10-wicket defeat.

A dejected England leave the field
A dejected England leave the field

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