As the summer fades…..

Welcome to Autumn for all,

We have now had the chance to see every team in action and the two sides showing least form were the two Grand Finalists.  Says a lot about the vim and vigour with which the top sides attack the pre-season festivities.  The other winless team from the weekend was the Dees, but with all the fanfare given to the young recruits in Toumpas, Viney and Hogan I had to check the scores again to see who won.  But overall there would not be many unhappy clubs from their initial hit out.

But one news story from the weekend is the push to allow Jesse Hogan to play this year while not being old enough under the draft rules.  Any request from the Dees to allow him to play this should be declined swiftly and without ambiguity.  Yes, the colt looks ready to play and would be great for the Dees.  However they traded and dealt for Hogan with the knowledge and understanding he would not play in 2013 and importantly other clubs chose not to based on his availability.  Melbourne would have had much stiffer competition for the young hulk’s services if clubs knew he was available to play this year.

As for this week’s fare a couple of interesting games to keep an eye on.  We hope the Doggies can put up a bit more against the Hawks who don’t quite have the pedal to the metal.  Bombers and Tigers will be interesting although most of the Richmond midfield are giving it a miss.  Other good hit outs will be Freo/Carlton, Cats/Crows, Saints/Bloods and Eagles/Pies – in fact if it were a regular round we would be salivating and Bruce might throw in a couple of superlatives.  The other games don’t have the same appeal, but the Dees and Port will both be keen to show something.  But not sure how much we can learn to help put our predictions for 2013 in place.


Test Match not so Special

As feared the Australian batting and spin bowling was no match for India – or more specifically MS Dhoni.  Whatever the shortcomings of the Australian team were, they were really only exposed completely by the Indian skipper who took the game away in a manner similar what we used to see regularly from Adam Gilchrist.  MS has made a habit of this on home soil, but struggles elsewhere.  Interestingly England made the mistake of playing only one spinner in its first test against India in November, but came back and won the next three on back of the spin of Swann and Panesar.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the Xavier Doherty will strike fear into the Indian batting line up but it was clear another spinning alternative is required.  The other glaring disappointment had to be the poor showing from the fast bowling attack aside from Pattinson.  Is he that far above the rest?  And one more for the media – stop putting a microphone in front of Shane Watson – now he does wants to bowl again and everybody has to know.  Shane, keep your campaigning to yourself and in the sheds.


The Big Cricket

I erred last week in putting Friar cricket news after the racing, I know a few of you drop off at that point (and some even earlier).  Well they won the Semi-Final on the last ball of the day chasing down 189.  Well I guess it had to be the last ball, but this was the last ball of the 40th over!  The Grand Final will be played this Saturday at Friar Park against Old Xaverians.  OX won the encounter during the season in a reduced over game.  Win, lose or draw the Old Whitefriars Cricketers have had a fantastic inaugural year in the MCC competition.


Not Too Hard

Could only snare the obvious last week with All Too Hard, with Miracles of Life proving too good for the 2yo and producing one of racing great stories for the unheralded trainer and apprentice jockey.  And mayhem at the start of the Oakleigh Plate with the favourite withdrawn and Shamal Wind fractious and requiring vetting at the start.  Not to take anything away from the winner, Mrs Onassis, who was in the first three all the way.

Racing back at Headquarters for the Australian Guineas (G1, 1600m, 3yo).  A huge field has nominated, but most of them are chasing second prize up against the all-conquering All Too Hard.  I erred last week in saying he was undefeated on left handed tracks, but his only defeat was a gallant 2nd in the Cox Plate.  So to find who might chase him home!  With the next line of 3yo in Super Cool and Five and a Half Star dodging this – the race for the place is a very open affair.  Phillipi was very impressive in the Spring with a win at Flemington amongst that, should be primed to go well second up.  Sheer Talent and Force Command ran the quinella here a couple of weeks ago but are drawn out wide, so I am rating Bass Strait who ran 5th in that race and Mick Price’s Ajeeb with G Boss on board to feature more prominently.

Selections – Race 7 – 1-4-10-12


This being the lone Group one event let’s go straight to the Quaddie.  We get a free hit with All Too Hard, I see no reason to include any others in the second leg.


1st Leg – Race 6 – 3,4,8,9

2nd Leg – Race 7 – 1

3rd Leg – Race 8 – 1,4,6,8,10

4th Leg – Race 9 – 3,6


This represents 40 combinations and a $20 investment will return 50% of the dividend.  It could be a favourites day very easily so with the other $10 I usually put up, a second quaddie with Callanish one out in the 1st leg might be the way to go.  3/1/1,4,6,8,10/3,6 – 10 combinations for $10 and 100% of the divvy to go with the 50% you already have from the first investment.


Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal

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