Thursday musing – AFL, Arsenal, FA Cup, Premier League…..

Chris Barwin HillsDue to coming public holidays this is the first in a series of two Thursday musings!

With Good Friday tomorrow, the attention turns to the AFL and the “will they/won’t they” sanction a game for next year. I must say that I used to be against it on the basis that the day was always sport free. However, now that other sports are cashing in on the day, I would be happy to be able to sit down on Good Friday night and watch a game of football. Having said that, I would prefer that my team was not playing.

Sticking to football, this one is slightly out of left field. Since Dale “Daisy” Thomas cut off his hair he has hardly played a good game having previously been one of the better players in the AFL. My solution is that he grows his hair back. ou take away someone’s trademark and they are not the player they used to be. I also cite the historical reference to Stephen “strawbs” O’Dwyer who used to play for Melbourne, he had very prominent ears, but as soon as he had his ears pinned back he hardly played a good game. I am sure there other ones as well, like Keith Greig’s ankle bandages, although I doubt he ever removed them.

Better news for the Arsenal fans over the last couple of days. They scraped into the FA Cup final and then in the Premier League they beat West Ham and Everton lose to Crystal Palace to allow the Gunners to reclaim the all important 4th position. They now have their destiny in their own hands and it would be a great finish to the year to take out the first bit of silver wear for 9 years and qualify again for the Champions League. It also looks like Liverpool are favourite to now take out the League title with Man City only getting a draw against Sunderland. What an amazing turnaround from last year when I think they finished 7th.

Have a great Easter!

Gelding’s red hot tips for 12 April 2014

sean & geldingThe Gelding’s attention remains in Sydney this week as, with more Group 1 racing, that is where the good horses will congregate.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Randwick

Race 2 horse 1 – Gypsy Diamond
Race 5 horse 8 – Peggy Jean
Race 6 horse 1 – Criterion
Race 7 horse 3 – Lankan Rupee (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 horse 17 – Messene (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Friday musing – US Masters, Adam Scott, Arsenal, Patrick Vieira…..

Chris Barwin HillsWith the US Masters now started, I thought it was worth remarking about those two fantastic shots from Matt Jones to qualify him for the Masters. First he drained a 45ft putt to make the play off and then he wins it by chipping in from off the green. Two miracle shots. My original selection for the Masters was Jason Day as I have selected him to win a major this year, however, his first round would indicate that he may not have recovered from his thumb injury so I will have to revert to the reigning champion, Adam Scott.

On a different note, I was thinking about the way Bomber Thompson is coaching at the moment and it brought to mind the change in the Australian Cricket team performance once Darren Lehman took over. Both men take a relaxed approach to their coaching which appears to bring about the best in their teams. One thing I have noticed about the Essendon team this year is that their disposal efficiency has improved immeasurably from previous years. Maintaining that efficiency throughout the season will be the big test as, like my EPL team, Arsenal, they have fallen away at the end of the season recently.

While on the football it is worth commenting on “the bump”. I think everyone who has seen the Nathan Fyffe bump and the Daniel Merrett forearm cannot believe they have been graded the same. Fyffe’s bump was an accidental clash of heads which resulted in a charge under the new AFL rules, whereas Merrett’s was an old fashioned whack which should have gotten four weeks. I think if there are many more incidents akin to the Fyffe suspension, the AFL will need to amend the rules, because in a contact game you cannot or at least should not be suspended for something which was accidental. Australian Rules football is a contact sport and accidents will still happen.

A very disappointing result for Arsenal in the EPL last week losing 3-0 to Everton and now jeopardising their Champions League position. Should they lose the fourth position to Everton and not win the FA Cup, there is every chance that Arsene Wenger will not be asked to continue with the team which would be a shame in my opinion. The owners are finally loosening the purse strings and he may miss out on building the team up again. I also read an interesting article in The Age during the week about Patrick Vieira the last Arsenal captain to raise a trophy. He is working with the Manchester City Under 21 team and enjoying the role. I am not suggesting he is a manager in waiting as it would seem he is a long way off that, but worth keeping an eye on his progress.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s ‘red hotties’ for 5 April 2014

Feb 6 2011 003The Gelding’s attention is in Sydney today with the running of the Golden Slipper being the featured event at Rosehill. After a poor day on the punt last week the Gelding is looking to atone today.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Rosehill

Race 2 horse 1 – Moriarty
Race 4 horse 1 – Catkins
Race 5 horse 2 – Atlante
Race 6 horse 1 – Fiorente (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 horse 9 – Earthquake (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Friday musing – Alex McKinnon, NRL, Nathan Berry, T-20……

Chris Barwin HillsI guess there has been a bit of bad news in the world of sport this week with the confirmation that Alex McKinnon may be a partial quadriplegic and the death of jockey, Nathan Berry.

I don’t profess to be an expert on rugby league and I have no view on the tackle being illegal or not, but it does seem that similar instances occur every week and this looks to be a tragic accident. The NRL had to be seen to be doing something and while the Melbourne Storm may be aggrieved with the penalty, in deference to the injured player I think they should simply accept the penalty. I did think it was interesting that the Newcastle Knights came out and suggested that all three tacklers should have been cited, but if that was the case it may have been more difficult to sustain a charge. Either way it is a true sporting tragedy.

The death of Nathan Berry was also a tragedy, but it does not seem it was in any way linked to his sport, just a diabolical condition that struck him down in his prime. He was due to ride Unencumbered in the Golden Slipper this Saturday and I might just have a small wager on it for sentimental reasons.

Talking about the Golden Slipper, Earthquake looks hard to beat, but it does have a difficult barrier. Perhaps it will have to go into a quinella with Unencumbered.

I note that the T20 World Cup is coming to a conclusion. I don’t know about you, but since the football season started there has been no interest in the cricket or this tournament in particular. This may be linked to the poor performance of Australia and the fact that it is on pay TV, but it is also not getting much coverage in the newspapers either. Does this bode well for the World One Cup in Australia/New Zealand next year? I would have to answer in the negative, but I have already purchased my ticket for the final.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Premier League, AFL, MLB……..

Chris Barwin HillsNot much has grabbed me this week on the sporting front although I must say that the Gunners have left me feeling a little flat after a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea and a draw at home with Swansea. With a game coming up against Manchester City I will just have to focus all my attention on the FA Cup.

One thing that has piqued my interest is how the AFL pundits are prepared to make prognostications about various teams seasons on the back of one performance. Some people had North Melbourne finishing in the top four and now they are gone, Carlton’s recruiting is all wrong and they are destined for mediocrity, the Bombers were in for a poor season, but they could finish in the top four. I think the reality is that you cannot make a judgement based on one performance. Essendon had a good win last week, but they get the reality check this week against Hawthorn. The Kangaroos played badly last week, but should bounce back this week against the Bulldogs. Carlton also played well last week and if they had kicked straight should have won the game with a number of their first picked players not available. One game does not define a season and you need to wait until at least half way before you can write someone off.

I didn’t get to watch any of the Major League baseball from Sydney last week, however, the ground looked amazing and as I understand it, the game was a success so it will be interesting to see if more Major League games come to Australia.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Tania Hird, Andrew Demetriou…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell it is not very often I am angry on a Friday morning, after all it is the end of the week, however this week is different.

On the day before the Bombers first game of the year Tania Hird decides to give an interview to the ABC about some of the events of last year with regard to Andrew Demetriou and the so called “tip off”.  Why bother?  I can understand her wanting to support her husband, but save it for a book once he has retired.  It does not help the club one iota and certainly doesn’t help her husband who is already suspended, it just rekindles a story that all Essendon supporters and I am sure most football supporters are heartily sick of.

While I am back onto the Supplement Scandal I must say that Demetriou’s comment that he or anyone at the AFL didn’t inject anyone is quite childish.  He has said it on a number of occasions and it is not funny, it is not clever and it is not the point.

I am also puzzled about the ASADA findings.  A couple of weeks ago we were advised that the final report had been referred to a retired judge to consider if there was enough evidence to issue notices against any players.  Subsequent to that we now hear that ASADA are to interview Stephen Dank.  Should that not have happened before they finalised their report and sent it to the judge?

Let us not forget that the games have started and what an interesting first weekend of football.  The GWS must be one of the longest price winners in AFL history and they didn’t just win, they romped it in.  I think they were paying $11.00-$13.00 for the win and the Swans were $1.04- $1.05.  I don’t know what it says about either side for the coming season because you would not write off the Swans to still finish in the top four and equally the GWS finishing in the bottom four.  Maybe it is a portent for the future of both clubs beyond this year.

The Gold Coast beating Richmond was not a great surprise, although I am sure the Tiger supporters were very buoyant before the game.  Freo winning was expected, but the way they disposed of Collingwood after quarter time was very clinical and Ross Lyon could afford to rest Nathan Fyffe before 3/4 time.  It never ceases to amaze me how often Scott Pendlebury, Dane Swan and Dayne Beams get around 90 possessions between them, win lose or draw.  Port beating Carlton was also not a great surprise, Port play Etihad well and Carlton don’t.  The Cats have also saluted at home, which was also not a great surprise given that it is over ten years since Adelaide have won at Kardinia Park.

Roll on the rest of round 1 and may the discussion be around the games and not all of the outside rubbish.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s tips for 22 March 2014

Feb 6 2011 003The Gelding’s attention remains across the border in New South Wales today and has his sights set firmly on Rosehill.

The hope is that he will have a better day today.

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Flemington

Race 4 horse 1 – Earthquake (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 5 horse 4 – Prince Cheri
Race 6 horse 5 – Messene
Race 7 horse 1 – Catkins
Race 8 horse 1 – Fiorente (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Gelding’s tips for 15 March 2014

Mar 13 2011 026The Gelding’s attention is out of State at Randwick today with his hunt for winners leaving no stone unturned. Last week’s selections were a mixed bag with some success with Solicit and Fiorente. He is looking for a better day today!

As always the bets are on an each way and all up basis.

Randwick

Race 3 Horse 7 – Junoob
Race 5 Horse 7 – Snitzerland
Race 7 Horse 2 – El Roca (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 9 – Zoustar (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 9 Horse 12 – Cosmic Endeavour

The Gelding’s tips will be discussed by the Professor on Sportzfan Radio tomorrow at about 5.30pm.

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Sportzfan Radio back on air this Sunday

MarkThe Professor will be back behind the microphone this Sunday from 5.00pm on 88.3 Southern FM with John O’Callaghan, Mordiboy (aka Fatman), Paul Dalligan and DC Coutta in the line up talking AFL, NRL, Paralympics, sports betting, the NRL Almanac and a whole lot more.

We’re back and better than ever!