Tag Archives: cox-plate

Weekend musing – Cox Plate, Damian Oliver, Nathan Broad, Dad’s Army…..

I watched the Cox Plate last weekend and saw the overhead footage of Damien Oliver’s ride on Happy Clapper and was not surprised he was handed a twenty meeting suspension from the stewards. He effectively cost Royal Symphony any chance in the race and in turn put that horse out of yesterday’s Victoria Derby where he would have been close to favourite. The trainer of Royal Symphony, Tony McEvoy was rightly upset after the race and you wonder if he and/or his owners could take civil action against Oliver in the circumstances. One wonders what Oliver was thinking. It is one thing to have a win at all costs attitude but not when the safety of other horses and riders is concerned.

Nathan Broad was revealed as the post Grand Final photographer during the week and he received a three game suspension from the Richmond Football Club. There has been some debate about the penalty and whether it was appropriate. I must say that given the profile of the case, Broad’s behaviour and the potential for police charges it seemed light. I heard a female caller to a radio station after the penalty was announced suggesting he should have also been asked to do some volunteer work in something like a women’s refuge or undergo some sort of training course as well. I thought it was a great idea on top of the three game suspension.

At a time when list managers are intent on injecting youth into AFL sides, Port Adelaide is heading in the opposite direction in their recruiting of Demon pair Jack Watts and Jack Trengove, Steven Motlop, Tom Rockliff and Trent McKenzie. Watts (26), Trengove (26), Rockliff (27), Motlop (26) and McKenzie (25) are in the veteran class and if rumors are correct and they are to be joined by recently de-listed Kangaroo, Lindsay Thomas (29), the Power have clearly thrown any youth policy out the window and adopted a ‘win now’ attitude. That’s all good and well providing it comes off. If not, it places a great percentage of the list in the Dad’s Army category!

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Cox Plate, Winx, Kingston Town…….

We are now right in the middle of the Spring Carnival and Winx is lining up this weekend to equal Kingston Town’s Cox Plate record of three in a row. It is remarkable that the best sprinter (Black Caviar), middle distance runner (Winx) and stayer (Makybe Diva) of the current generation are all mares.

Perhaps this indicates that the weight for age scale is out of date and with current feeding and training techniques, there is little difference between male and female racehorses. One thing that is clear is the fields that Kingston Town competed against were superior to this year’s Cox Plate which would appear to be a Winx benefit.

The last horse to try and emulate Kingston Town was Sunline and she came up against a pretty good horse in Northerly. So You Think also won two in a row, but was taken off Bart Cummings and given to Aidan O’Brien, so he never got a chance to equal or break the record.

There is nothing close to Northerly, Sunline, So You Think or Kingston Town in today’s race.

For the record, Winx in a canter.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Winx, the Derby day selection, the Bye revisited, Good Friday AFL game…..

Sfan OB6The WS Cox Plate run of Winx last Saturday was amazing. She was the only one that seemed to handle the track and put a space in the field very quickly. If she manages to stay fit and sound it is hard to unknown-2see anything beating her next year unless something from the latest crop of three year olds prove to be exceptional. I thought the run of Hartnell was good from a Melbourne Cup point of view. He looked to be gone on the turn put plugged on an held second comfortably in the end.

The connections of Winx have confirmed that she will not run in the re-vamped Mackinnon Stakes on the last day of the VRC Spring Carnival. While this is disappointing on one level as the best horse in the land will not contest the race, it does mean that we won’t have a repeat of the Caulfield Stakes where she only competed against two other horses. The problem is the dearth of decent middle distance weight for age horses in Australia at the moment and what was designed to be a showcase event on the last day has the potential to be a bit of a farce.

There has been some discussion this week about the bye before the haw v northAFL finals. As I mentioned in a previous post, I like it. It allows the AFL flexibility with scheduling in the last round and to an extent with the first week of the finals. Perhaps it does detract from finishing in the top four and winning the first week, but if we witness something like the Bulldogs this year then count me in.

Sticking with the AFL, the first Good Friday game will be held next season with the game kicking off at 4.20pm. I would have to question the timing of the game given that Good Friday church tarrantservices are at 3.00pm. If the churchgoing Christian supporters from North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs want to attend the game they will need to find a church proximate to Etihad stadium. Probably not a big deal, but a night game like the other sporting codes who play on Good Friday should have been considered.

By the way, my tip for the Derby is Morvada each way.

Have a great weekend!

Gelding’s red hot tips for Derby day at Flemington on 29 October 2016

gelding & dalliganWith the Spring Carnival in full flight, the Gelding’s attention turns to Derby day at VRC headquarters at Flemington today. He has been in great form with the feature races having the winners of the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate already in the bag.

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

Flemington

Race 4 Horse 2 – Real Love
Race 5 Horse 3 – Astern
Race 6 Horse 7 – Don’t Doubt Mama
Race 7 Horse 1 – Sacred Elixir (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 8 Horse 2 – The United States (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Gelding’s red hotties for the Cox Plate meeting at Moonee Valley on 22 October 2016

img_3802The Gelding’s attention is on today’s Cox Plate meeting at Moonee Valley and he is in fine form after tipping the winner of last week’s Caulfield Cup. He cautions to be careful with selections given today’s wet conditions.

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

Moonee Valley

Race 3 Horse 3 – Sweet Cherry
Race 5 Horse 1 – Lady Le Fay
Race 7 Horse 1 – The United States
Race 8 Horse 1 – Gallante (for the ladies at the Tennis club)
Race 9 Horse 8 – Winx (also for the ladies at the Tennis club)

Good luck and good punting!

The Gelding

Weekend musing – AFL trade period, Phil Hughes’ enquiry, controversy at the end of the Bathurst 1000…….

Sfan OB6Well it has taken quite some time, but Hawthorn has finally shown to have issues with the salary cap. It has always astounded me how the Hawks could keep adding good players from other clubs and not
unknown let anyone go (save for Lance Franklin of course, who left for the money). Wanting to recruit both Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell, someone needed to go so they approached the two players that were first and second in their best & fairest, Sam Mitchell & Jordan Lewis. It now looks like Lewis will stay and Mitchell will go, but the cracks are finally showing. It was obviously a mistake for them to re-sign Hodge, Burgoyne & Gibson late last year having already re-signed Sam Mitchell earlier in the year.

I must say I have been a bit surprised with the line of questioning in the Phil Hughes enquiry. It is almost like some Coroner’s enquiries unknown-1where interested parties are trying to establish negligence so they can sue. I cannot see the point of questioning the NSW tactics and what may have been said or not said on the day. It was a tragic outcome that no one saw coming and what went beforehand is irrelevant in my view. Fast bowlers use intimidating tactics against batsmen and that has always been the case. It was the basis of the bodyline tactics employed by the English to curb Bradman. Phil Hughes had many good friends in the NSW team and no one wanted to see him get hurt.

I had nothing much to do last Sunday afternoon so I watched some of the Bathurst race. I am no expert and do not know the finer points of the sport, but I thought that Jamie Whincup was entitled to try unknown-3and pass when he did and Scott McLaughlin took the corner wide and then moved back into Whincup. Either way from what I understand, McLaughlin had to do at least one more pit stop and all Whincup had to do was wait for him to move out of his way so there was no imperative to pass anyway. It is a bit strange when the winner of a race has not led at any stage of the race. The outcome of the appeal should be quite interesting.

I watched the Winx race last week with interest and I would not unknown-2have been disappointed if I was the connections of Black Heart Bart. BHB took up the running and while they may have dawdled in the early stages of the race, he increased the tempo and in the end it was run at a pretty good clip. Winx won comfortably, but it may have been interesting if Winx was forced to establish the tempo of the race. Bring on the Cox Plate!

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Musing – droughts broken in AFL and NRL, Winx steps out…..

Sfan OB6Well what a great AFL Grand Final and a result that is good for football. With the Doggies breaking their 62 year premiership drought, it brings to 4 the number of significant droughts broken in the last 15 years. First you had Brisbane/Fitzroy breaking a 47 year drought in 2001, then Sydney/Sth Melbourne breaking a 72 year drought in 2005 and Geelong breaking a 44 year drought in 2007. This now leaves Melbourne (1964) & St Kilda (1966) as the two established clubs with the longest droughts and with both sides having encouraging years this year, who knows we may see another drought broken shortly.

I must say that Luke Beveridge handing over his medal to Bob Murphy was a wonderful gesture, but equally Murphy giving it back was the right thing to do. Without trying to kill Bambi, I am getting a bit tired of the love for Bob Murphy. Yes he is the captain and spiritual leader of the Doggies, but he is not the only player that has missed out on a premiership due to injury or suspension. I have always felt sorry for the recently deceased Neville Crowe who was captain of Richmond in 1967 when John Nicholls feigned being struck and Crowe missed the 1967 premiership as a result. That was also a drought breaking premiership win for the Tigers (24 years).

In the NRL we also saw the Cronulla Sharks win their first premiership since they entered the competition 50 years ago. I obviously wanted the Storm to win, but again it is hard to begrudge a club a drought breaking premiership.

The attention of the sporting public now turns to horse racing and the Spring Carnival. The Melbourne public see Winx for the first time since the Cox Plate last year. She is in a three horse field and sometimes these races can provide an upset because they can become a “sit and sprint”. If that is the case it may favour Black Heart Bart who is clearly the best sprinter of the three acceptors.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Melbourne Cup selection, Terry Bailey, Jake Carlisle and the Wallabies

Chris Barwin HillsI must say I was very impressed with the win of Winx in the Cox Plate last weekend. I discounted her chances as she had not been around the Valley before, but she went around that home turn like a winxgreyhound lure while Criterion went around it like a Mack truck. Clearly Criterion will be better suited by the open spaces of Flemington and is worth some serious thought for the Melbourne Cup. I also like Preferment and Amralah for the Cup.

While we are on the races, the attack on Terry Bailey was very baileydisturbing. From all reports Bailey would not be concerned, but in cases like this it is always the family that is vulnerable. When officials who are trying to uphold the integrity of their sport or the law are attacked in this way and to have this type of threatening behaviour makes you wonder about the fabric of our society.

I remained silent on the Jake Carlisle trade last week, but was bemused by the scrutiny his manager has come under this week given he knew of the video before the trade went through. As Carlisle’s manager he is charged with getting the best deal for his client, it is carlisle
really up to the suitor to do their due diligence. The video was supposedly doing the rounds of various media outlets for a week before it came to light and the jungle drums suggest there was other material out there which may have betrayed his proclivities. The suggestion is that the Western Bulldogs & North Melbourne had done their due diligence and dropped out of the chase early as a result.

Good luck to the Wallabies this weekend in the fight for the Webb wallabiesEllis trophy. Against the Kiwis they will have their work cut out, but they have shown that they can beat the All Blacks if everything clicks, so fingers crossed.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Melbourne Cup, Cricket, West Sydney Wanderers…

Chris Barwin HillsWell 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!

Friday musing – Melbourne Cup, cricket, AFL…

I was disappointed to hear how Australia had fared in the cricket in Abu Dhabi overnight and it rekindled a gripe I have about Test cricket, particularly games against India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. A test wicket should offer assistance to the quicks in the first session at least and provide a good contest between bat and ball. Australia has the most dangerous fast bowler in the world at the moment in MitchChris Barwin Hillsell Johnson and he gets his first and only wicket in the second session with the only wicket in the first session going to Lyon the spinner. If the ICC wants to promote Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game they have to have the fortitude to demand pitches which provide a proper contest. Having said that Younis Khan has to be congratulated for his three successive centuries which is a formidable feat no matter how good the wickets have been for batsmen. Speaking of batsmen, Australia’s performance in the 1st test was quite lamentable with only Warner & Johnson able to hold their heads up.

It was an amazing performance by Adelaide in the Cox plate last week, languishing at the back of the filed he made one of the longest sustained runs I have ever seen in the time honoured race. He was helped by the banked turns at the Valley and at the turn into the straight looked like he was going to win running away, but the length of his run told in the final stages and Fawkner and the others on his inside pushed him all the way to the line. It was an even more memorable performance when you consider that he is only a 3yo and because of the difference in breeding schedules in Europe he had to carry the weight of a 4yo in the Plate. However, I do wonder why they gave a colt a female name, what next a filly named Sydney?

Moving on to the AFL fixture I note that Essendon are again playing the Demons in a home game at the MCG. The Bombers have hosted Melbourne in at least the last 4 games at the MCG and have lost 3 of them in circumstances where they have started warm favourites each time. Everyone knows Melbourne perform poorly at Etihad, but we keep playing them at the G. Why? I was also perplexed to note that the Bombers only play 2 Friday night games, both against North Melbourne. While the Bombers didn’t win too many of their Friday night fixtures this year, they put on some pretty good games against Hawthorn, Geelong & Sydney. Speaking from the perspective of my own team, not a great draw in my opinion.

In passing I think Paul Gallen is obviously pretty stupid for his Tweet insulting the NRL chiefs, but a $50,000 fine!! That is hefty and I question if it really fits the crime. $5-10,000 would have sent the same message.

Have a great weekend.