Finals Week 2 – Sal’s Preview: The Maynard Attraction

Greetings All,


Week one down but all the conversation around an incident that took place in the first ten minutes of game one.  Most will have an opinion on whether Maynard should have been suspended or not, with Collingwood and Melbourne supporters at either end of the spectrum.  However there are so many poor aspects in this process that should be drawn attention to.  The glaring one is the “conflict of interest” of the MRO, Michael Christian may perform his role perfectly well but as a former Collingwood player the perception cannot be ignored.  A bit like politicians and their Chairman’s Club memberships – how hard will they really go at Qantas.  The AFL stepping in to send it to the tribunal was the right thing to do but an MRO panel where any such perceptions can be removed would be much cleaner.  Putting a former umpire on the panel would also help and provide a broader perspective than ‘it’s a football act’.


Then there was the time it took to get there.  The incident occurred on Thursday but not deliberated till Tuesday, sure there were other games to play but surely it could have run on Monday night with the same applying for Jack Martin’s appeal.  Wanting to keep in the news cycle is fine but it was well and truly done by Tuesday night.


Then there is the hearing itself with the AFL playing prosecutor but tying one hand behind its back in the process.  Within minutes of the collision the echo around the ground was “here come the bio mechanists!”.  Sure enough the Pies had built their case pretty much to that script.  If the league is fair dinkum in prosecuting, then surely they look for an equivalent or better argument from a scientific expert.  Reckon Steve Smith only has 400 milliseconds to move and take a slips catch.


Finally, what was the reason for not appealing?  No idea whether it would get up or not but suspect if the result went the other way there would no hesitation from Collingwood to fire in an objection.  OK now it’s done to death!


Since the introduction of the post season bye we have seen five elimination final winners progress through the semi-final stage out of the fourteen that have played.  Only ever one per year however three of them made it through to the Grand Final with Doggies the only one to reign supreme.  While the Blues and Giants are well placed the numbers certainly give the advantage to their opponents.



Are they Gawn? (68%) vs Will it be Saad? (32%)


Both teams have been hit hard by injury and suspension with the loss of McKay and van Rooyen hurting the structure of each forward line.  For the Demons they need to find a completely different way to go forward anyway after being so wasteful last week.  Plenty of critics of Harry last week but you can always kick to a 200+ cm target and they don’t get out marked often.  His presence will also be missed.  Both defences are strong I the air but suspect both coaches will be trying to keep the ball low and out of the hands of the interceptors.


This though will come down to the midfield battle, their last encounter was decided by a fingernail but there some differences in personnel.  Harry wasn’t there but neither was Sam Walsh and Adam Cerra – Melbourne wasn’t missing any of their key midfielders, unfortunately Brayshaw is missing this week.  Can Max control the rucks from the word go this week?  The Blues pair of Pittonet and De Koning are contrasting styles but reckon Gawn will have learnt plenty from the last encounter.  Overall, it looks evenly matched and would love to call the Blues.  The Demons have so much more at stake and were not that far from beating the top team last week, the Blues have plenty to play for but only just got over the eighth team last week.  It’ll be tight but reckon the Demons break my heart by 8 points.



ROTK (66%) vs The Kelly Gang (34%)


The King of Port is back with the question being how will Charlie go after so many weeks out?  Usually goes well fresh but this high stakes.  For the Giants they only get healthier with Coniglio back in the lineup.  The Port defence was shredded last week, there is not much change in personnel.  The Giants forward line works extremely well as a unit with just one superstar, Toby was pretty well held last week but they still found a way.  At the other end the Giant defence has been miserly but the mere presence of Dixon makes Port more dangerous.


So it is to the midfield we go.  Both are dazzling the Giants will need to win their fair share of the ball and make the likes of Butters, Rozee and Horne-Francis defend.  They are all highly gifted but not the greatest two-way runners, making them work will be critical.  The Giants midfield do go both ways but if that trio get the footy they are hard to catch and make great decisions with the footy in their hands.  How critical is the last encounter – Port coasted home by 51 points.  Reckon Kingsley would have learnt plenty have plans in store, by the same token Kenny will still have a couple of rabbits.  On form I can’t see how Port wins, but this is on their turf making them a significantly better side and will travelling here holds no fear for the Giants just think the home side gets it done by 21 points.



Track Time


We get back to HQ this week for a critical meeting in the leadup to the major races.  The key race being the Makybe Diva Stakes at the top level, however the support program equally important for some of the juvenile classics coming up.  One hopes this 10 race program experiment disappears soon!  The staying test in the second is a beauty, some these aimed at the Melbourne Cup others with lesser targets.  Like Interpretation (R2, #2) was third in the Bart last year and should primed third up.  At a longer price Paddy and the Began have Alhambra Lad (R2, #5) up in class but will get the journey.


Queenslanders coming south on a warm day makes Antino (R3, #2) hard to resist, despite the record it just the price too short and prefer Detonator Jack (R3, #3) or even longer Umgawa (R3, #6).  Will get splinters sitting on the fence but two very good races.  A couple of well-fancied types head the market in the Poseidon, they are both drawn inside.  If the outside has an advantage down the straight then happy to be with Maharba (R4, #5) who has a win over this course.  We didn’t get Legacies (R5, #15) home last time but nobody missed her run and has come up very short, hopefully we can get better on the day.  The Cap d’Antibes is a great contest 20 fillies down the straight, only four have been down the straight one is an emergency and only Princess Duhallow (R6, #6) has won here but yet to place beyond 1000m.  Raffle!


Race 7 – Makybe Diva Stakes (G1, 1600m, WFA)


Plenty of nominations early in the week but only seven acceptors in the end.  Have they all surrendered to Mr Brightside (1)?  Alligator Blood (2) will certainly be there for the fight and gets a softer draw than last time, has the better record at Flemington winning 3 from 4.  Perhaps though the main challenge will come from the American mare Princess Grace (7), second last start and could get the firm track she does best on with the current warm weather.  Osipenko (6) is getting out to an optimal trip.


Selections – 7-1-2-6


We get to see Amelia’s Jewel (R8, #1) for the first time on the east coast in the Let’s Elope for the Mares.  The quote is short but she is pretty good, the wide draw meaning we will need some insurance in the quaddie.  The Bobbie Lewis is a beauty with Benedetta (R9, #8) a deserved favourite, Star Patrol (R9, #5) loves the straight and has a bit of X-factor.  If we are still standing by the last then an each-way bet onAberfeldie Boy (R10, #12) might be the way to go, suitable distance for him with a good first up record.




Looking for value in getting the shorties beaten but not going to wide in case they don’t.


Leg 1 – 1, 2, 7


Leg 2 – 1, 6, 11


Leg 3 – 4, 5, 8, 10


Leg 4 – 4, 10, 12, 16


Represents 144 combinations, a $30 investment return 20.83% of the dividend.



Go Blues,


Cheers, Sal



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