Monthly Archives: October 2018

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Jason Attard draws on Sons Of John experience as he steps up Reiby The Red

Jason Attard with his star miler Sons Of John. Photo: Brendan EspositoWizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing

Hawkesbury trainer Jason Attard isn’t that worried about the huge step up in class Reiby The Red takes in Saturday’s ATC Cup at Rosehill.

The son of Dane Shadow sits a whopping 32 points  behind topweight Mighty Lucky on the benchmark. Mighty Lucky will carry 60kg compared to the limit weight of 54kg for Reiby The Red on Saturday.

In reality Reiby The Red should have 46kg for his first open class experience, but Attard takes confidence from his experiences with Sons Of John into the listed race, which could serve as a lead-up to the Villiiers Stakes for the five-year-old.

“If he can run well I would like to drop him back to the mile in the Villiers, I think he is good enough to be at this level and he gets his chance without the weight he has been carrying,” Attard said. “I learned with Sons Of John they can take big steps if they are good enough, especially down in the weights.”

When Attard did the same with Sons Of John, he ran into a handy type named Winx in the Theo Marks Quality, the beginning of her winning run. Reiby The Red won’t have that star power against him, just a bunch of good, hardened stayers.

The plan all along for Attard has been to target the summer carnival with Reiby The Red, which had had a campaign of near misses until he won easily over a mile at Warwick Farm on November 16.

The three runs before that had all finished in photo finish defeats for a galloper which likes to dictate terms from the front. Resuming he found Meiner Freccia too strong, then New Tipperary got him on the line as it began to emerge as a quality stayer. Then Reiby The Red was a close third to Circular at Hawkesbury on Oaks day; the Godolphin mare would  win the Goulburn Cup at her next start.

“The form has just stood up around him. He has been getting beaten by short margins and the horses have been going out and winning again,” Attard said. “You start to think his turn isn’t going to come.

“He was very strong under 60 kilos last time and I think getting down to 54 is going to help him.”

Reiby The Red’s pattern of racing on speed means he will control his own fate and Attard was delighted to draw gate one.

“It means he can just be there without doing too much work and over 2000m he should be able to relax  and get the chance to run his race,” Attard said.

“There are a couple of others that will push forward, so it will be a good test for him, but it is a risk worth taking with a horse like him.”

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Glenn Maxwell says Matthew Wade’s decision to bat above him for Victoria ‘painful’

‘I think because he’s captain and he chooses the batting order’: Glenn Maxwell would like to bat higher in the order for Victoria. Photo: Eranga JayawardenaGlenn Maxwell says it has been “painful” to be batting further down the order than wicketkeeper and captain Matthew Wade at state level, believing the decision may have hurt his chances of a Test recall this summer despite an impressive recent first-class record.

The electrifying all-rounder is back in an Australian uniform this week for Sunday’s first one-dayer against New Zealand at the SCG but was overlooked for a first ever Test appearance on home soil when selectors changed more than half the squad for the pink-ball Test against South Africa in Adelaide.

Not helping his cause this season has been where Wade, the Bushrangers captain and recalled Test gloveman, has had him batting for the defending Sheffield Shield champions.

In the crucial match against NSW at the SCG last month that featured most of the Test squad and led into the selection of the new-look line-up for Adelaide, Maxwell batted at No.6, behind all-rounder Marcus Stoinis at No.3, Peter Handscomb at No.4 and Wade himself at No.5. In the other match Wade and Maxwell have played alongside each other in the Shield this season the captain has also batted himself above the all-rounder.

It’s a scenario that does not sit well with the 28-year-old, who is teammates with Wade at national level for the three-match ODI series against the Black Caps. He made it clear he thought the ‘keeper should be batting at seven.

“That’s probably a little bit painful at times,” Maxwell said when asked about his place in the Victorian batting order on Thursday.

“I think probably batting below the wicketkeeper is also a bit painful as well. I think the wicketkeeper should be batting at seven unless you’re trying to squeeze an extra bowler into your line-up.

“I’ve been just trying to bat whereever I can and trying to make as many runs as I can. I got a hundred from No.8 from Victoria so there is always opportunities to get runs wherever you are in the order but the way the Vics have been going you’re generally coming in trying to set a total up or trying to win the game with not many runs to get.”

Asked why Wade was batting above him, Maxwell replied: “I think because he’s captain and he chooses the batting order. That’s my view on it.”

Victoria has a quality batting line-up, to the extent that there wasn’t even a place in the XI for Maxwell in the first game of the season, leaving him to play club cricket instead. But Maxwell is a wasted talent for Australia if he is stuck in the middle order, and after unsuccessfully attempting to relocate to NSW in the off-season he would surely have to consider a move interstate again after this season if the situation does not change.

Maxwell had thought he was a chance of a Test call-up after South Africa’s thumping of Australia in Hobart but selectors preferred debutant Nic Maddinson at No.6, saying the powerful left-hander had the ability to take the game away from an opponent.

If Maxwell was miffed by that snubbing, he would be well within his rights. He averaged 56 in the last Shield season in the six games when he wasn’t absent due to Australian duty and his first-class average has just dropped below 40 to 39.92. Maddinson, whose career first-class average is 37.27, averaged 30.5 in 2015/16.

“To not get picked was a little bit disappointing,” Maxwell said. “But as I said there are plenty of Tests on the radar. They’ve made it quite clear the direction they’re going to try and go.

“In saying that they picked an absolute gem in Pete Handscomb and he played absolutely beautifully. Unfortunately for Maddo he came out at probably the toughest time to bat which was against (Kagiso) Rabada bowling 145kmh and above under lights and swinging the ball. I felt a bit stiff for Maddo at that stage, and to only get one hit in your first Test match, hopefully he gets another chance.

“I’m looking more to the India series (in February) now having missed the boat for this Australian home summer. Whether that comes from white-ball cricket or any sort of cricket I’m playing, whether (the selectors) come down and watch me at Fitzroy-Doncaster and see how I’m going in club cricket it doesn’t matter.”

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With all eyes on Shiraz, Kim Waugh toasts Supreme Effort in Starlight Stakes

Nicely matured: Classy sprinter Shiraz returns at Rosehill on Saturday. Photo: bradleyphotos苏州美甲培训419论坛Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing

The focus might be on Kim Waugh’s latest star acquisition Shiraz at Rosehill on Saturday, but she warns not to underrate in-form Supreme Effort in the Starlight Stakes.

Shiraz is at Waugh’s yard to have the benefit of being trained from a yard and a paddock, which has been the case previously when he has performed at his best.

The Galaxy runner-up resumes in the Starlight Stakes, and Waugh admits she is still learning about him.

“When Tony McEvoy had him at Hawkesbury he was in a yard and was happy and racing well. We are trying to do the same thing with him and he can go back to the farm if we want to put him in a paddock,” Waugh said.

“He is obviously a very good sprinter, a group 1 sprinter, and has trialled well after having a bit of a spell. I want to see what he can do and then we’ll decide what we are going to target with him.

“He could have a couple of runs and be put away for those sprints in the autumn again.”

After going through his grades with McEvoy, Shiraz ran fourth to English in the Challenge Stakes before being beaten in a photo finish by Griante in the group 1 The Galaxy. He struggled with stable life in Melbourne at the beginning of the spring, failing twice.

While it is the unknown with Shiraz, Waugh knows what she has in Supreme Effort, a winner of seven races, which is having the best preparation of his career.

He started this campaign by winning the Hurricane Stakes at Newcastle and Port Macquarie Sprint, before running third to Flippant down the straight at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.

But it was the last run that has Waugh thinking he is ready to break through for a listed win.

“I think people always underestimate him,” she said. “He is very fit and tough and racing in great form.

“He got a bit lost down the straight and still got home well, and then last time he didn’t have a chance the way the race was run. He got back last and ran home in 32.65 [seconds for the last 600 metres], which was the fastest of the day, so the run was better than it looked.

“There is more speed in this race and that will suit him, and I think he can run a very good race.”

Waugh will also have Hetty Heights resuming at Rosehill, and there are a couple of options for her after that.

She won the Wyong Provincial Championship heat earlier in the year and was sixth in the final, and could return to the series again next year.

However, it will depend how she shapes up this preparation.

“She has five wins, so if she wins another one that counts her out of the Provincial Championships,” Waugh said. “That is what I would like to do, but we are aware that Provincial Championships are still an option for her

“I think she is up to black-type races, so something like the Belle Of The Turf at Gosford could be a good race for her.

“She has come back well and goes well first up. We will see where this preparation takes us.”

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Rugby league needs the values of John Quayle

Experience and dignity: John Quayle has the right credentials to become the ARLC chairman. Photo: Marina NeilA covert push for John Quayle to become ARLC chair became overt on Thursday morning when multi-media’s Matty Johns declared on Triple M radio that the “Canon”, after a 20-year absence as boss, should replace John Grant immediately.

When the Herald learnt of the move on Monday to install Quayle for a two-year period, the first three NRL clubs contacted all enthusiastically supported him, but warned of the constitutional roadblock that disqualifies anyone who has held a position in the game in the previous three years from becoming a commissioner.

Quayle is an incumbent director of the Newcastle Knights where he has received lavish praise from both the NRL and the business community for his unpaid labour resurrecting the club in the post-Tinkler era.

However, Quayle’s strongest opponent will be his closest friend.

Quayle and Roosters’ chairman, Nick Politis, are “family”, owning a Hunter Valley vineyard together, yet they have polar opposite views on where rugby league money should be spent.

The “Canon”, whose father was a frugal Anglican clergyman, is a fan of future funds; Nick, a billionaire clever businessman, believes the future is now.

The Roosters’ chairman, along with the Bulldogs’ Ray Dib (who has begun to dress like Nick), and the Storm’s Bart Campbell, are strong supporters of clubs receiving 130 per cent of the salary cap, a not surprising position given its inbuilt inflation.

After all, it means that if the players get more, so must the clubs, the reverse of the historic master-slave rugby league relationship where clubs tried to curb player payments.

At the beginning of the Super League war in 1995, Quayle, as NSWRL chief executive, built a nest egg of close to $25 million.

Twenty years later, NRL chief executive Dave Smith proudly proclaimed a $50m profit.

Who knows what the ARLC’s future fund is now, but if it’s near zero, then a long document – the 2015 NRL Benchmarking, issued to all clubs on March 31 – indicates they are at fault.

Between 2012 and 2015, NRL club revenue from sponsorship, membership, game-day income and merchandising has grown about 2 per cent, equal to inflation.

Over that period, average profitability has declined by $100,000 per club, per year. While revenue has increased marginally, clubs are making less money because they are not growing their businesses.

In fact, the average loss has blown out from $1.5m in 2012 to $3.5m.

Meanwhile the grant per club from headquarters has increased from $3.85m to $8.2m.

In the same period, payments to players, measured by the salary cap, has increased per club from $5.45m to $7.7m.

Admittedly, there are some payments to players outside the cap but the grant from headquarters has more than doubled, while player income has increased only 40 per cent.

So where has it gone? Hiring staff to sell more sponsorships, memberships and merchandising? Attracting more fans through the gate?

No, the money has gone in football department spending.

And it’s a radical uplift – from $1.8m average per club in 2012 to $6.5m now.

No wonder the NRL boffins are looking at a football department spending cap, a mechanism that the AFL has had in place the past few years.

The Bulldogs are squabbling again and it’s over football department spending, with coach Des Hasler installing multiple cameras at Belmore Oval to monitor training and chief executive Raelene Castle accused of not reining him in.

It’s not as if football department spending correlates with premierships. When the Rabbitohs won in 2013, they were in the bottom four of NRL clubs for expenditure. The 2015 premiers, the Cowboys, were middle of the spending ladder, while the triumphant Sharks had the second-lowest spending.

Nor is it fair to accuse RL Central of wilful spending. Administration costs will increase 6 per cent annually from 2013 to 2017, while revenue will grow from $181m annually to $350m.

Some of the necessary programs would be ignored by clubs. RL Central’s budget for education and welfare is $7m and the NRL now has more players with university degrees than the AFL.

Rugby league’s pioneer administrator, James Joynton Smith, a very successful businessman, once said.”There is no task in business which a man conducts that should be beneath him.”

Quayle left rugby league headquarters in 1996 as a peace offering during the Super League war. He then became in charge of amenities at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and later advised Middle Eastern, African and South American countries on how to run major events. Yet he has also cleaned out abandoned wells and planted olive trees at his Hunter home. He has maintained a dignified silence as speculation builds on Grant’s future.

Joynton Smith also said: “Dignity resides in the way you do your work – what you bring to it. “Dignity is not confined to the top jobs.”

Quayle has had top and bottom jobs and dignity is what the game needs now.

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Tevita Kuridrani slam still on the cards but it won’t be an Australian record

Chasing five: Tevita Kuridrani of Australia celebrates scoring against Ireland and hopes to do the same against England. Photo: Dan MullanLondon: Although the Wallabies’ grand slam dream is over, Stephen Larkham is hopeful outside-centre Tevita Kuridrani can create history by becoming the first Australian player to score five tries in five games on a spring tour.

Wallaby legend Mark Ella’s efforts in 1984 have gone down in rugby folklore. The five-eighth scored a try in each of Australia’s four Tests on a tour in which they clinched a famous grand slam.

If Kuridrani can cross the line for a five-pointer on Saturday at Twickenham against England, it would be his fifth in as many matches.

Even if he does, Kuridrani would still be one game behind the Australian record held by wingers John Ryan and David Campese.

Ryan featured in only six Tests for his country but still shares the record with Campese for the most consecutive matches having scored a try.

He managed a hat-trick in his debut against Japan in 1975, before scoring a least one in his next five outings, while Campese achieved the same feat during a hot streak from 1985 to 1986.

The world record of eight consecutive matches is held by John Kirwan (New Zealand), Christian Cullen (New Zealand), Daisuke Ohata (Japan) and Nemani Nadolo (Fiji).

What makes Kuridrani’s feats even more remarkable is the fact he would not have started if Samu Kerevi came on the tour.

Kerevi has been one of Australia’s standouts this year but an injury just before the team departed for Europe created an opportunity for Kuridrani.

Before his try in the Wales game at Cardiff, Kuridrani was on an eight-match drought – he did, however, come off the bench in five of those fixtures – going back to Brisbane in June.

Up until the spring tour, Kuridrani had managed four tries in his last 18 appearances but has taken a real liking to the northern hemisphere.

Wallabies attack coach Larkham, who is also Kuridrani’s mentor at the ACT Brumbies, praised his impressive run.

“We’ve had a big focus on scoring tries and we’ve shown a few clips of Tevita on this tour,” Larkham said. “The one against France was certainly a highlight [with his] desperation to score that try. It was pleasing to see him get another one on the weekend. It’s quite a unique feat. I assume Mark Ella was the last guy to do it but they won all their games over here.”

Larkham said he didn’t think Kuridrani had fallen off the radar during earlier Tests this year but was rather not being afforded the opportunities to show what he could do.

“It [his talent] has been there the whole time,” Larkham said. “He really hasn’t had the opportunities so that happens with players in the backline particularly the outside backs, sometimes the ball doesn’t come their way.

“With Samu Kerevi coming into the team and doing such a good job, Tevita missed his chance to get his hands on the ball and to make some tackles but since he’s been back in the team he’s played the rugby I’ve always seen him play.”

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