Well the big three races of the Melbourne spring have been run and won by international horses. The Japanese took out the Caulfield Cup, the Irish the Cox Plate and now the Germans have the Melbourne Cup. If Adelaide had been owned by Italian interests you may have questioned who won the war! There has been a lot of discussion about the influx of international horses and whether there should be a quota placed on them, particularly for the Melbourne Cup. Bunkum I say. If the locals want to win these races they should adjust their breeding and training regimes and start to focus on middle distance and staying races and not just breeding and training for sprinter/milers. For too long getting a horse to produce early in it’s career has been the focus instead of looking to the future. I think we should keep bringing in the international horses as not only are they better than the locals, they add plenty to the discussions at this time of the year. With Slade Power running in the Darley Classic tomorrow, the pain for the locals may not be over and we may be beaten at our own game.
I remarked last week about the pitches that had been produced in the recent test series against Pakistan and that may have been disrespectful to the Pakistanis’ as each of their second innings were better than our first in each test. The Australian’s were completed outplayed and any pretensions they had for being number one in the world has taken a severe blow. To be number one you have to be able to win in all conditions, not just those that suit your best players. Some of the selections have to be questioned as well. Bringing Glenn Maxwell in and playing him as a number three seemed as strange as the puzzling decisions in dropping Alex Doolan and Steve O’Keefe after one test. I can understand the theory of playing to your strength, but clearly the pitch blunted even the best fast bowlers, let alone the likes of Mitchell Starc. The batsmen need to learn how to play spin and the spinners need to learn how to bowl in those conditions.
What an amazing performance by the West Sydney Wanderers in the Asian Champions League final. For a club that has only been in existence for just over two years, they have played in two grand finals and won the premier club competition in Asia. Admittedly the A-League has only been going for a short time, but for a start up club to have achieved that much in such a short space of time is unprecedented. I think it even out-strips the Melbourne Storm’s win in the 1999 NRL grand final. It must say something about Tony Popovic’s coaching and he must be high on the radar for the national team or something substantial overseas.
Have a great weekend!