Geldings hot selections for Caulfield Cup day

MarkThe Gelding is off grazing in sunny Hong Kong at the moment and all we are left with at the Sportzfan Radio desk are his scribblings on the back of a used tote ticket with respect to his selections for the Caulfield Cup.

Punters may well query how the Gelding could possibly be out of the country at such an interesting time in horse racing!

Take as each way bets, a quinella and trifecta!

Caulfield

Race 9

Horse 14 - Lidari – Gelding says Simon O’Donnell wouldn’t be in it if he didn’t think it could win this one! (for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Horse 15 – Lucia Valentina – The current race favourite and has run over this distance before but beaten home third after getting too far back in the field. Drawn nicely in barrier 12.

Horse 1 – Admire Rakti – The top weight and one of the Japanese raiders will be in it at the finish!

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Friday musing – AFL trade period, Ryan Griffen, Caulfield Cup….

Chris Barwin HillsThe AFL trade period is over and all the trades that had to be done were done including the Dane Beams & Paddy Ryder deals. As a Bomber supporter I think Collingwood did better than Essendon with their respective “forced” trades, but it helped that they were dealing with Brisbane who had more to offer. It was always going to be hard to prise a decent player out of Port Adelaide at the moment to come to Essendon

I have gathered a bit of information regarding the Ryan Griffen & Allan Christensen trades.

With Griffen, it appears there was a bust up between some of the players and Griffen and his leadership group wanted the coach to sort it out and the coach, quite rightly told them it was a leadership group issue and they should sort it out. They didn’t like it and it caused a lot of division within the club. The Bulldogs now have the key forward they have been after, but it may take a while for Tom Boyd to produce on a regular basis. At least it will take the pressure of Stuart Crameri, who was never more than the third tall in the forward line anyway.

With Christensen it is alleged that he had an affair with a team mate’s partner and she became pregnant. If this rumour is true, then it explains why Geelong traded him without much of a fight. For Geelong to then use the pick they got for him on Rhys Stanley is somewhat of a surprise. Stanley has shown some promise, but a second round draft pick, I don’t think so.

For me the overall winner in the trade period was Hawthorn. They have won the last two premierships, played in the last three Grand Finals and they picked up an All Australian defender in James Frawley. To that throw in a very promising youngster in Jono O’Rourke and the fact that they lost no required players.

Moving on to the races it occurred to me that Lloyd Williams spends a lot of money on importing horses from overseas, but somewhat ironically his best horse at the moment and indeed his best horse for some time in Fawkner in not only locally bred, but bred from a stallion, Reset, that Lloyd used to own. Perhaps he should concentrate on the local market instead of spending so much on overseas horses!

Well Rich Enuff came unstuck last week, but on that run I don’t think he will lose too many admirers. He beat everything else in the race quite easily and he rallied once the other horse went past him and pushed him right to the line. Perhaps the 1600 metres was a bit too far, but not by much. The colts ran about a second faster than the fillies in the corresponding race and they were just shaded by the time recorded by Trust in a Gust in the Toorak Handicap. There is a Group 1 race out there for Rich Enuff and he is now being set for a sprint at the Flemington carnival.

My place tip for this weeks main race the Caulfield Cup is Big Memory. In the Herbert Power last week over the same track & distance of the cup he recorded a time of 2.26.68 which is good enough to win just about any Caulfield Cup and he drops a kilo on that run. Not only that, he also did a lot wrong in that race and held the race despite a protest.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s hotties for Caulfield on 11 October 2014

42The Gelding’s attention returns to his home track at Caulfield tomorrow for the running of the Caulfield Guineas. After a ripper start last week with a winner and two seconds, there were a few s-hit rides by jockeys who should have known better. Gelding described their rides as follows….’…lost this way…’ ‘….lost his compass….’ etc, etc.

Hopefully this week all the riders know which way to go.

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

Caulfield

Race 4 Horse 4 – Overreach
Race 6 Horse 10 – Dissident (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 7 Horse 4 – Trust In A Gust
Race 9 Horse 3 – Rich Enuff (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 10 Horse 1 – Girl Guide

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Friday musing – AFL trade period, NRL, Caulfield Guineas…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell what a week in AFL trading! We already knew about Paddy Ryder and Dayne Beams, but this week Allen Christensen and Ryan Griffen emerge wanting to be traded. Who will pop up next? These trades will be difficult, but if a player has publicly flagged that he wants to go, he has to be traded in my opinion. There are exceptions, like Ryan O’Keefe who flagged a few years ago that he wanted to go to Hawthorn, the Swans kept him and he went on to win the Norm Smith medal in their 2012 premiership side. Supporters from the four clubs involved will all be very disappointed as the players are popular players at their clubs, but for different reasons they want to go and the clubs have to try and get the best deal available.

On a related topic, I was not surprised the AFL knocked back the proposed de-listing of Paddy Ryder to give Essendon an additional draft pick. It would have been a good result for the club, but tantamount to draft manipulation.

Now that it is inevitable that Paddy is going, my son will have to remove the badge from his jumper and send it over to Port Adelaide. The situation at Essendon seems to be lurching from bad to worse. What player would want to come to that club the way things are at the moment? Even Jason Winderlich, who grew up an Essendon supporter and was not involved in the supplements saga wants to go! I cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel at the moment and this is a club that played finals this year!

I watched the NRL Grand Final last week and it was a lot more competitive than the AFL equivalent. Although South Sydney did eventually blow Canterbury out of the water, the game was in the balance until about half way through the second half. The game apparently rated higher than the AFL Grand Final and there has been a renewed push for the AFL to play its Grand Final at night. As much as the ratings would be better, I hope the AFL retain the afternoon time slot, but money does dictate the terms in sport these days and it is probably inevitable that the AFL Grand Final will be played at night or the early evening before too long. The first AFL night final was in 1993 so we are probably lucky that it has lasted in the afternoon for so long.

The Spring Racing Carnival is really starting to pick up with Caulfield Guineas Day this Saturday. This is one of the best days on the racing calendar and should Rich Enuff emerge as the winner of the Guineas this weekend, we may have found the star of the carnival. To date no horse has stamped their authority on the Spring and racing really does need stars to bring people to the races. Weight For Age racing looks a bit thin this year and if Rich Enuff can get through he would be highly fancied in the Cox Plate. He looks the logical winner with Looks Like the Cat the one that could knock him off without being a big upset.

Have a great weekend!

10 years on, Michael Phelps has learned nothing

phelpsIn 2004, the same year as the Athens Olympic Games, Michael Phelps was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and he was placed on probation without a conviction being recorded. Wind forward ten years and once again Phelps is in hot water having been charged with a second DUI (he allegedly blew 0.14, well over the 0.08 limit in Maryland).

As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was also charged with excessive speed (allegedly recorded at 84mph in a 45mph zone) and crossing double lane lines meaning he was a big danger to other road users at the time.

Like most high profile athletes, Phelps has followed the usual route after tangling with the law. He is taking time out from his chosen field of sports endeavour to attend a course (or two). In Phelps case, so he can (reportedly) ‘better understand himself’.

There’s only one thing Phelps needs to understand here and that is drinking and driving is illegal. End of discussion.

In swimming, if you change lanes during a race, you are disqualified. It is disturbing that USA swimming don’t see this set of circumstances as disqualifiable as they are allegedly taking no action, notwithstanding this is Phelps’ second offence.

What message is that sending to the rest of society?

Friday musing – AFL, Robert Flower, Essendon FC & more…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell my first comment has to be about the shock regarding the passing of Robert Flower. He is one of my most admired players from other clubs and I always felt he was stiff to miss out on a Brownlow. He had all the attributes to win the codes greatest individual honour, however, playing for a side that was nearly always in the bottom half of the ladder probably worked against him. I think he came third twice which was probably a significant achievement in itself. The Melbourne Football Club has suffered more than its fair share of tragedies have the last couple of years and for another icon of the club to pass away too early is just not fair. Vale Robert Flower.

Secondly the Essendon situation has taken a further turn this week. I did not hold out high hopes for the Federal Court application on the basis that the club had self reported and had submitted to the process, but was encouraged in the running by some reported poor performances by witnesses for ASADA and the AFL. Justice Middleton was not so persuaded and I can understand the club now wanting to move to the next stage and not appeal. Why James Hird now wants to take this on does really not make much sense to me and if he persists I would not blame the club for terminating his contract. I have really swung around to the need for Bomber Thompson to stay at the club with or without Hird. James is the clubs greatest living player and carries a lot of sentiment for everyone associated with the club, but you do not put the individual before the club. Despite it not being right, I am getting to the stage where I think the players should take the ASADA deal just to bring it to a conclusion.

Thirdly, how boring was the Grand Final! When you are a non-aligned supporter you want to see a good game and I kept watching thinking that the momentum would swing to the Swans at some stage and it never did. I thought Jordan Lewis would have been a worthy Norm Smith Medalist, but you could have raffled it between him, Mitchell and Hodge. It was interesting that Sydney’s best two players were Franklin and Kennedy and they used to play for Hawthorn! The Box Hill Hawks also played off in the VFL Grand Final, so it says something about their depth and now they look like getting James Frawley. I know they lost Franklin which freed up a lot of their salary gap, but how can they keep getting good players from other clubs and paying them accordingly?

Hopefully the NRL Grand Final between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs is a better spectacle this weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s hot tips for 4 October 2014 at Flemington

Mar 6 2011 010The Gelding’s attention turns to Flemington this Saturday in what he describes as ‘a very hard day to tip a winner’. That being said he is confident that the selections will provide value for punters.

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

Flemington

Race 3 Horse 3 – Who Shot the Barman
Race 5 Horse 11 – Bounding
Race 6 Horse 9 – Maastricht
Race 7 Horse 6 – Silent Achiever (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 4 – Politeness (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

MLB playoff moneyball selections

baseball16With the MLB playoffs having commenced, I thought it might be interesting to re-visit team payrolls and look at the teams still vying for a World Series spot.

The division pennant winners (with 2014 payroll in brackets) were:

American League

East – Baltimore Orioles ($107.5 million)
Central – Detroit Tigers ($162.3 million)
West – LA Angels ($155.7 million) * best record in the AL for wins/losses
Wild card entry – Kansas City Royals ($92.1 million) and Oakland A’s ($83.5 million)

National League

East – Washington Nationals ($134.7 million) * best record in the NL for wins/losses
Central – St Louis Cardinals ($111.1 million)
West – LA Dodgers ($235.3 million)
Wild card entry – San Francisco Giants ($154.2 million) and Pittsburgh Pirates ($78.2 million)

The American League has already played its Wild Card game with the Royals coming out on top over Billy Beane’s A’s. The National League plays today with the Giants and Pirates playing in a winner take all game to advance in the playoffs.

The ALDS sees the Orioles play the Tigers while the Angels take on the Royals.

In the NLDS, the Cardinals play the Dodgers while the Nationals play the winner of the Pirates/Giants game.

Going on strength of payroll alone, it should be a Dodgers v Tigers World Series, however, given many teams with high payroll haven’t even made the playoffs that clearly isn’t the sole determining factor.

I likebaseball17 the Royals to continue their fairy tale run to play the Nationals in the decider.

One thing for certain, Billy Beane knows that even $83.5 million per year wasn’t enough to get the A’s over the line in 2014!

AFL theory of equalisation a myth after free agency!

footballAfter writing yesterday’s piece on AFL broadcast rights, I gave some thought to free agency, the trade period and whether the current AFL system is equitable to all clubs. Most stories that have been in the media recently talk of lower ranked clubs like Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and GWS losing players to the top dogs of the competition in Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Sydney or Geelong.

It seems most players want to go to a club that can challenge for a flag immediately or in the not too distant future. Take for example Mitch Clarke – he wants out of the Demons to go to Geelong (a usual top four finisher) and James Frawley appears certain to also leave the Demons to go to…..well you take your pick of the top clubs. His name has been mentioned in the same sentence as Hawthorn (this year’s premiers in case you missed it), Geelong and Fremantle. Haven’t heard any rumors that he was considering St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, GWS or staying at Melbourne.

What this means is that the stronger clubs get stronger as they pick off the good talent from the weaker clubs….and we know what that means. The weaker clubs get weaker and so the cycle continues. How is this different to the pre-draft days of the 1970’s and 1980’s when the size of the cheque book dictated the strength of the team and where you finished on the ladder. Seems to me we have replaced one bad system with another and it will only get worse as the years go by.crowd

Speaking of broadcast rights…..if the AFL becomes too much of a lop sided competition, I don’t know that it will foster interest in the game, get bums on seats and people watching on TV, all of which affects the amount of money the broadcasters are willing to pay for the content.

I’d suggest this should be a priority issue for the AFL to address.

AFL, broadcast rights, innovation!

mcgEven though the current AFL $1.25 billion broadcast rights deal does not expire until 2016, what better time to pump up the rights discussion than after an AFL Grand Final? With two years left on the deal, the subject appears in the media today with ‘talks on a new deal to open within weeks’.

That may be the case, but with the hammering the AFL got from diminishing crowds this season, I for one would be wary of how much money I’d invest in a product that is on the nose with a lot of fans. Add to that a schedule that throws up less than interesting contests ie. GWS v Gold Coast, GWS v Melbourne, Melbourne v anyone, 7.00pm matches on a Sunday, 7.00pm matches on Monday and I’d suggest that the dollars may not be there for a deal as big as the AFL expects (at least $3 billion over 10 years).

The AFL says that they have listened to the fans complaints about scheduling and the cost to families of attending games. I’ll am keen to see just what changes are actually made.

If the AFL want an increase then they should consider ‘innovation’ to help things along. As a suggestion, why not introduce conference style play similar to the NFL. Not only would this spice things up but would also solve some of the inequities of the current fixture. This could be accomplished by placing one team from each of SA, WA, NSW and Qld in separate conferences and then splitting the ten from Victoria between the two so that each conference has nine teams. A team would play each team in its own conference twice (16 matches) and each team in the other conference once making a season total of 25 matches.

The top four teams in each conference would progress to the final series with 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 playing in each conference, the winners of those games each playing in a preliminary final and then the winning team from each conference plays in the grand final.

The extra ‘productivity’ by the players (3 extra matches in a season) would justify the ever increasing salaries the players are receiving.