Round 3 Preview – Have you Hird the one about?

Welcome one and all,

The footy gods are not smiling on me with the Blues at zip-two, but a few clubs might have some bigger issues.  But there are none bigger than the Brou-ha-ha at Windy Hill.  Nothing provides me greater schadenfreude than the Bombers in turmoil.  But then again nothing disappoints me more than finding it wall ill-founded schadenfreude, once again that is what I find about the most recent “revelations”.

We found out the Essendon coaches were on substances that might not have been approved for players but no restriction on their use.  That means they are guilty of what?  We also found out that James Hird was not only aware but complicit in Dr Dank’s program, it would be remiss of the coach if they were not aware.  So far nothing has come to light that there were ANY restricted substances used, let’s just wait till it does come to light and then schadenfreude levels will be off the charts.

By the same token it is impossible to ignore some of the procedures and substances involved, happy for St Jimmy to be a human guinea pig.  The question being for Bomber fans, players and families is whether such activity is appropriate and whether that is what they wish to see from the leader of their club.  I guess Ziggy might provide those answers, but he spent years cheering Jimmy from the stands.  Would anyone else still be coaching in this situation? – probably not, J Hird has some credits – but they might be running out.

But enough on the drug saga and now let’s get to this week’s encounters.  Round 2 proved better for most tipsters with this one only failing on St Kilda, Carlton and West Coast.  West Coast was a concern after I heard of the lack of an Eric McKenzie.


Get Stuffed Lyon ($1.54) vs Pig’s Brains ($2.82)

Can’t see many teams being able to escape the clutches of Freo on their own dung hill and I expect them to deal with Essendon.  The Bombers have looked the goods in both games so far, but their opponents in both games struggled to register a tackle.  They certainly ran and shared brilliantly as a team last week, if they can repeat that against Fremantle the upset could be on.  However I don’t reckon that will happen, Freo to reign in the west and would not consider the Bombers till they were out beyond $3.00


South of Melbourne ($2.20) vs North of Melbourne ($1.75)

The Swan’s pre-season is now over as they venture south to Hobart to take on the Kangas.  The Roos have come up short against quality opposition in the first two rounds, they must rate themselves a chance against the premiers who have done the bare minimum to deal with the minnows presented to them thus far.  However it is Sydney’s ability to rate themselves for the opposition at hand that has worked for them for many years.  Sydney to win, but North not without hope as the market suggests.  I’d want $2.40.


Scapegoats ($12.50) vs If the Shuey fits ($1.07)

Cameron Schwab, Jack Watts – lets line up who is at fault for Melbourne’s plight.  I went to the dee-bacle last week and it was apparent to me that this playing group ain’t playing for the coach.  I doubt that Neeld will be able to get that back, at the moment all vibes from the club leadership are negative no matter what the spin.  It all starts in the middle and the midfield is poor, West Coast have plenty of them plus the return of Daniel Kerr.  They have their own demons and dropping the first two games at Subi puts a dent in their expectations – they would have expected to win at least one of them.  They will get one back this week.


Canberra ($4.70) vs The Block ($1.26)

Scott Watters has declared his club is rebuilding.  Another team I saw last week, they challenged the Tigers however it was mostly on the back of the tried and true warriors.  Their young players don’t appear good enough or maybe they lack experience but I’d want to see better.  Up against the Giants who have been good so far without really being a winning chance in either game – they probably see this as an opportunity and are not without hope.  But I think the old firm will get enough done to put the Saints on the board.


7 To Go ($1.56) vs Oh Mick ($2.68)

The Cats have used up two of their lives this year, while Mick is still on zero in his tenure with The Blues.  The Cats have shown their hunger and desire whilst not putting away pesky opponents, the Blues were also pesky against the Pies but could not sustain the effort.  Whilst not a fan of the Malthouse game, I do appreciate the way he handles young players and trusts them so it is great to see Dylan Buckley make his debut and hopefully go on and emulate his dad with the Blues.  Can they keep the Cats out?  I suspect Geelong will have most of the answers and be able to win, however as ever the optimist the Blues are fair value at anything over $2.50.


All That Glitters ($2.88) vs A Bit Rich ($1.51)

I doubt they will go head to head but watching Gary Ablett and Daniel Rich opposed will make interesting viewing.  The Lions played well last week in defeat and Gold Coast are chasing their fourth in succession at home.  I doubt they will do it with Brisbane keen to assert their superiority in Queensland.  But the Suns have talent and I reckon $2.88 is kind and worth a shekel.


The Horde ($1.32) vs Puppies ($4.00)

The Yellow and Black Hordes are congregating as the Tigers go 2-0 for the first time in many a year, on the other hand the Dogs put up a good fight against Freo but without ever really having a chance to win.  I suspect we will see a similar result here, but whilst Richmond should win Footscray are not without hope and represent some value at $4.


The 6th Gear ($2.48) vs Haughty Again ($1.65)

Great performance and statement from the Hawks last week.  The Pies did to Carlton what they did to North the week prior – at the crucial time they found the gear that could not be matched by the opposition.  When Collingwood turned it up in the 4th quarter the Blues could not respond.  But for this week’s game these odds are askew.  The loss of Jolly and the Skipper will hurt the Pies, but Sewell for Hawthorn is also a big loss. Recent games between these two clubs have not been about personnel, the Hawks won all three encounters in 2012.  I reckon they will do it again in this game, but they are way too short at $1.65.  Which makes Collingwood great value for anyone without my conscientious objection to ever supporting Collingwood.  Still smarting over last week!


Shack-dwellers ($2.96) vs Chardy-Sippers ($1.50)

The second last showdown at Football Park!  Often these games are won by the underdog, however based on results Port being the underdog doesn’t seem right.  However it is – they have defeated lowly ranked teams and have not had to withstand AFL level pressure.  For that reason – provided they bring that pressure I reckon Adelaide are deserved favourites and will win.  However if they turn up as they did for Round 1 an upset could occur.


Back to Randwick

A few winners picked out last week – but pretty short for the most part.  The action is at Royal Randwick this Saturday for the Derby and a couple of other Group 1.  All the favourites are pretty short.


Sires Produce Stakes (G1, 1400m, 2yo)

The babies are backing up from the Slipper for the second leg of the Triple Crown.  Such a dominant win by Overreach last week, it is hard to see who could challenge her.  The only threat from the beaten brigade from my perspective is Guelph who run well to finish 4th after being 11th at the turn.  Champollion won the other 2yo race last week with a big finish also.  Another Waterhouse runner Shahad is still a maiden but I suspect has been waiting for the longer trip.  But still not sure how any of them will get to Overreach.

Selections – 1-8-2-11


Race 7 – ATC Australian Derby (G1, 2400m, 3yo)

Should be one of the pinnacles of Australian racing, however unfortunately it missing two of the brightest 3yo in the country in Super Cool and Fiveandahalfstar ran the quinella in the VRC Derby.  The favourite in that race was It’s a Dundeel, and it is the same again in this race.  Extremely short price, but I think Murray Baker has this campaign spot on.  The VRC Derby was his 7th start in a long campaign, this will be his 4th in this one.  Who could beat him?  I don’t think anyone, but for the holes I suggest Philippi and HippopusHigh Shot has been specked in virtually every race it is in and C Williams is the pilot might feature at odds.  The Hayes’ pair Gerontius and Bass Strait have also run well recently.

Selections – 1-3-5-9


Race 9 – TJ Smith Stakes (G1, 1200m, WFA)

Another procession for Black Caviar – most interesting it is scheduled for the last of the day.  Great also to hear Joe Pride spruiking his horses to take her on, should make for a better race than we usually see with the great mare.  It is a fantastic field with 7 of the 11 runners have at least a 50% strike rate and one of the exceptions is 8 from 17.  So could any of these could the story?  I doubt it but the race for the minors is wide open.  Hay List is the obvious choice if is ready, Bel Sprinter is in great form and Sea Siren runs well 2nd up.  Interesting runner is the 3yo Epaulette, Snowden places them well but he has only won up to Group 3.

Selections – 9-10-2-1



We had the shorties last week, but More Joyous found none and is still trying to get out of the pocket!  This week we have two real shorties in It’s a Dundeel and Black Caviar – so we will attack it in a similar manner.  But leaving BC one out in all combinations.


Quaddie 1 – Go the Dundeel

1st Leg – 4-5-9-12-13

2nd Leg – 1

3rd Leg – 5-6-7-8-14-16

4th Leg – 9

30 Combinations for $15 will pay 50% of the dividend.


Quaddie 2 – in case he goes under.

1st Leg – 4-5-9-12-13

2nd Leg – 1-3-5-9

3rd Leg – 5-6-7-16

4th Leg – 9

80 Combinations for $15 will pay 18.75% of the dividend.


The Ammos are Back

The Friars take on a rejuvenated Bulleen-Templestowe bouncing back into D1 in one year at Ted Ajani Reserve in Templestowe.  But I’ll be at Friar Park for the Under 19 clash with the Jakkas where the heir will play his one game for the season before heading to the UK.


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal

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