CNN – Sports

Glass, silence and no offices -- What the super rich want on a superyacht

Glass, silence and no offices -- What the super rich want on a superyacht

(CNN) - Shhhhh ... When millionaires go on vacations on their superyachts, there's one thing some crave more than anything: uninterrupted silence."For some people the greatest luxury you can ha ... Continue Reading
Michael Jordan donates $2 million for Florence relief and recovery aid

Michael Jordan donates $2 million for Florence relief and recovery aid

(CNN) - Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, close to where Florence came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane, has donated $2 million to relief and recovery agencies."It's truly ... Continue Reading
Come sail the world -- with 35 other yachts

Come sail the world -- with 35 other yachts

(CNN) - Have you always wanted to sail the world but felt a bit daunted by the prospect of circumnavigating the globe all by yourself?The World ARC might be the solution.It's a 15-month long ... Continue Reading
NHL: How the sport plans to grow in China ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics

NHL: How the sport plans to grow in China ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics

(CNN) - As the National Hockey League continues to spread its wings the NHL is keen to grow the sport in China ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. In 2017, the Vancouver Canucks an ... Continue Reading
Meet the British woman carving a new path for surfing

Meet the British woman carving a new path for surfing

(CNN) - Surfing is on a "special journey," she says. Not to some far-flung beach with white sand, swaying palms and perfect waves, but into the mainstream.It's also at a "tipping point," with crea ... Continue Reading
Roaring Lion claims victory at Irish Champion Stakes

Roaring Lion claims victory at Irish Champion Stakes

(CNN) - One of racing's greatest rivalries met for the last time at the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday, ending in a thrilling head-to-head showdown as Roaring Lion edged out Saxon Warrior and clai ... Continue Reading
Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks Juventus duck ... then promptly scores again

Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks Juventus duck ... then promptly scores again

(CNN) - Even the greatest players in the world can still get nervous.After Cristiano Ronaldo finally broke his duck for Juventus, scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Sassuolo, the Portuguese su ... Continue Reading
How Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record

How Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record

(CNN) - Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set an astonishing new marathon world record on Sunday, running two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Berlin. In doing so the 33-year-old obliterated the previous r ... Continue Reading
Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge sets new marathon world record in Berlin

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge sets new marathon world record in Berlin

(CNN) - Kenyan Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record Sunday, winning the Berlin race in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds.Kipchoge finished with "a new world record that w ... Continue Reading
Canelo Alvarez defeats Gennady

Canelo Alvarez defeats Gennady "GGG" Golovkin to win middleweight title

(CNN) - In a rematch one year after a controversial draw, Canelo Alvarez defeated Gennady "GGG" Golovkin on points to win a majority split decision in a middleweight boxing title fight Saturday night ... Continue Reading
Mayweather says he will fight Pacquiao again

Mayweather says he will fight Pacquiao again

(CNN) - Boxer Floyd Mayweather said Saturday a rematch of his famed 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao will take place this year.

Mayweather posted a message on Instagram on Saturday saying, "I'm coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another 9 figure pay day on the way."

He also posted a picture of himself with Pacquiao at an event in Japan.

The pair first fought in a much-hyped match three years ago, when the unbeaten Mayweather came out on top. The Philippines' Pacquiao has been chasing a new fight ever since.

One of the wealthiest sportsmen ever, Mayweather, 41, retired from the ring after his victory over Conor McGregor a year ago.

In the Instagram video, Mayweather said: "I'm coming back in December."

Here is how Hurricane Florence is impacting sports

Here is how Hurricane Florence is impacting sports

(CNN) - As Hurricane Florence's effect extends to sports, there have been several schedule changes -- with potentially more in the days to come -- as well as acts of goodwill.It was announced Frid ... Continue Reading
NHL: David Pastrnak on his incredible rise and nurturing future stars in China

NHL: David Pastrnak on his incredible rise and nurturing future stars in China

(CNN) - Aged three, David Pastrnak took his first steps on the ice. Fast forward 19 years and the winger is playing under the bright lights of the National Hockey League (NHL).But progression to A ... Continue Reading
America's Cup: US challenger aims to 'reinvigorate' US sailing

America's Cup: US challenger aims to 'reinvigorate' US sailing

(CNN) - Their goal is to revive US sailing, but America's Cup challenger American Magic is entrusting the job to a New Zealander. The US syndicate will have renowned Kiwi Dean Barker as helmsman f ... Continue Reading
Dominant Ben Maher roars to overall LGCT title in Rome

Dominant Ben Maher roars to overall LGCT title in Rome

(CNN) - Ben Maher sealed the 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour title by racing to his third victory of the season in Rome.The Briton and his young Dutch horse Explosion W were the last to go in ... Continue Reading
Keeneland Yearling Sale: Buyers seek next Justify at 'Superbowl' of auctions

Keeneland Yearling Sale: Buyers seek next Justify at 'Superbowl' of auctions

(CNN) - It's known as the "Superbowl" of horse sales, but instead of helmeted hardmen it is royals and millionaires who lock horns at Keeneland to snap up the next Triple Crown winner.

The Keeneland Yearling Sale in Lexington, Kentucky is the world's largest thoroughbred auction for young horses, and it attracts the cream of the racing world looking to add to their equine armory.

Its reputation continues to grow after Justify, which sold for $500,000 in 2016, clinched the 2018 Triple Crown -- an impressive buy, given the colt's value skyrocketed to more than $60 million after his win at Belmont Park earlier this year.

Keeneland still holds the record for the most expensive yearling ever sold at auction -- in 1985 Seattle Dancer, sired by the 1971 British Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, went for $13.1 million.

"This is the Superbowl or the Premier League in horse racing in terms of auctions," Bob Elliston, Keeneland's vice president of racing and sales, tells CNN Sport.

He says with graduates like Justify, people "like to go back where they know proven results occur."

During September's 13-day sales, Keeneland's Yearling auction will showcase more than 4,500 horses.

"There are hundreds of people on our grounds going barn to barn and inspecting these horses," Elliston says.

"They're looking at how they walk, they look at their coat and how shiny it is, they look at their muscular confirmation.

"There really is something for everyone here with so many well-bred athletically built horses."

Pressure is on for horses to behave

Elliston expects to see more than $300 million turned over during the sales.

"Buyers are selective and they're looking for perfection," he says. "If you have that horse that is perfection, they're willing to pay significant amounts of money, but if there's something off -- if the walk isn't just right, or there's a physical confirmation issue or a gap in the pedigree, it's tough to bring the top dollars."

This year, a yearling colt out of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has already sold for $2.2 million to Godolphin, one of racing's most powerful operations which is owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who reportedly made an appearance at the sale Monday. On Tuesday, a colt by War Front sold to Goldophin's European rival Coolmore for $2.4M -- the most expensive thoroughbred yearling to sell anywhere in the world so far in 2018, according to Keeneland.

When it comes to purchasing a horse, Elliston reveals that some buyers wait until the very last moment -- the horse's final test is whether it can stay calm amidst the bidding excitement.

"It's indicative of how a horse may behave on a big race day," he says.

"So often in racing you have these wonderful athletes who are very fast or can run long distances at a high-rated speed but they fall apart mentally in the anxiety of a big race day.

"When you walk into the sale pavilion you have this crowd, this enthusiastic excited crowd with the auction going on and the loud noises ... if that horse doesn't turn a hair, if that horse behaves him or herself perfectly and is as calm as he can be that's a great sign because that's likely to be how the horse behaves on a big race day."

If buyers don't have any luck at this auction, Europe's leading bloodstock auction house Tattersalls holds its yearling sale early October in Newmarket, England.

Predictions the 'speed gene' can make

But other than studying a horse's pedigree and looking at its physical and mental condition on the day, how can you truly know whether it's destined to be a superstar? Groundbreaking research 10 years ago by Emmeline Hill, associate professor of equine science at University College Dublin, revealed thoroughbreds have a single gene which has a major influence on speed.

By reading the DNA code of the "speed gene" (scientifically known as the Myostatin gene), predictions can be made about how a horse is likely to perform on a racecourse.

She says while testing is highly accurate, the results aren't a judgment on whether a horse is good or bad, but about what type of race it'll do best in. The test can predict if the horse is better suited to sprint, middle-distance or endurance racing due to its muscle development and muscle fiber type.

"It's about using the information to maximize the potential of that individual horse and place it in races where it's best suited and where it has the opportunity to perform to its best ability," she told CNN Sport.

The other thing the test can predict, Hill says, is whether they're best suited to racing on dirt or turf.

"This is useful targeting the most suitable races for horses but also useful for owners to select trainers that might have a preference to dirt or turf training," she says.

"It's important to recognize that it's not black and white -- genetics contributes to a portion of the differences between individual horses ... management, the training, the diet, early life experiences will all impact how the genetics manifest."

Hill is also chief strategy officer of Plusvital, which can provide trainers, owners and breeders with genetic tests for their horses.

To date, the company has tested more than 20,000 horses and have clients in over 30 countries.

She says sellers will test their horses in advance of sales to help them benchmark and compare horses among their draft, while buyers tend to test immediately after purchase to help them decide on what route the horse is best suited for.

'Go beyond the pedigree'

While there has been large support for the new technological advancements, she says there has been some reluctance from the traditional industry.

"It may be a lack of understanding of the real benefits that genomes can bring to the entire population," she says. "I think this will have to be led by education efforts by the industry bodies.

"There are challenges that come with bringing new technology into an industry that's generally quite traditional. It's been around for 300 years and people have been breeding horses in quite similar ways for 300 years."

She adds: "What our genetics can do is go beyond the pedigree and really look inside the horse and what that individual has inherited from the parents.

"What we're trying to do is introduce scientific basis into decision making to help people better inform those decisions using science rather than opinion and anecdote."

Economic climate is good for buying horses

Elliston says the climate for buying horses is good -- thanks to a buoyant US economy and the success of horses from their previous sales.

"Keeneland really is the benchmark or the sale that sets the bar for the economic climate and the horse industry and that's, I think, because of the caliber of the horses that are part of the sales.

"We always say nobody has to have a horse but they want a horse, and it helps when financially you're feeling good about yourself and your condition to go and make that purchase."

The excitement around Justify winning the Triple Crown earlier this year has also piqued the interest of some people who wouldn't normally look to buy a horse.

"I think what Justify has done is it's gotten to another circle of folk who don't spend each and every day thinking of buying a horse. It has created some enthusiasm," adds Elliston.

"When you have disposable income, when you feel about your financial condition you might extend your reach and risk a little bit to balance your portfolio into the horse business and I think that's what Justify has done. It's created another element of reach into folks as a possible investment."

Tommi Mäkinen: the Finnish hero of rallying

Tommi Mäkinen: the Finnish hero of rallying

(CNN) - Tommi Mäkinen has come a long way since becoming Finland's national ploughing champion at the age of 18. He transferred his tractor skills -- learned on his father's farm in Puuppola -- t ... Continue Reading
The unsung heroes of rally driving

The unsung heroes of rally driving

(CNN) - The glory in motorsport usually rests with the person behind the wheel. They are the ones who become household names and are pictured spraying champagne on podiums. But in rally racing, it ... Continue Reading
Why Finland loves rally

Why Finland loves rally

(CNN) - On a rainy day in the autumn of 1987, seven-year-old Teemu Lampinen stood with his father on the sidelines of Finland's 1000 Lakes Rally (now called the Neste Rally Finland). He watched wi ... Continue Reading
How well do you know your co-driver?

How well do you know your co-driver?

(CNN) - Rally driver Jari-Matti Latvala and his co-driver Miikka Anttila say they spend about 200 days a year together, and have done so for the last 15 years.So, it's no wonder that they've got t ... Continue Reading