Round 3 Preview – The real stuff begins VAFA Round 1!

Greetings All,

An abridged version this week – not because of the parlous state of the Blues but a massive start to the real footy season with a Quadruple Header and Luncheon at Friar Park!  But of course at least one comment.  Vlad’s legacy might not be that great after this week in footy – pricing and scheduling have the fans up in arms.  Want to make sure his replacement is a footy fan and not a corporate polo playing type!

Injuries are starting to take hold of the season!


The Champs ($1.70) vs The Challengers ($2.40)

For most it was a pretty lame Grand Final, but I don’t think there is much doubt that the Hawks and Dockers are at the top of the tree in 2014.  Both teams have suffered from injury and suspension which is a shame as it takes some of the lustre off the game and also gives a lame excuse for the loser.  As much as the loss of Hodge hurts Hawthorn, I suspect that missing Fyfe and Barlow will impact Freo more.  Selecting the Hawks to win, but if Herman can dominate then a Freo win would not surprise which makes $2.40 good value.


Kennel Dwellers ($3.20) vs North Korea ($1.44)

Unashamedly taking a line from the great Dick Baker who described Richmond in review as “North Korea of the AFL…unpredictable, erratic, powerful at times but no one takes them seriously” GOLD.  They are up against a Bulldog outfit that have not started the season as they finished the last and will be keen to atone for their loss last week.  The Tigers went into panic mode last week when Carlton squeezed them rather than playing zones, will they have learnt?  I can understand that Richmond should be favourites, but the Dogs represent great value.  Would select them except that I still cannot see how they will kick enough goals.


Chardy Sippers ($2.00) vs Bloods Stained ($1.98)

The Chardy would not have tasted too buttery in Adelaide last week after losing to Port, they have a chance to redeem themselves against the winless Swans on their new dung hill.  The Swans surely will come to put their stamp on the season, if they don’t then alarm bells will be more than ringing.  With that they are my selection with Adelaide another team struggling to find an avenue to goal.


The Mansions ($1.71) vs Sunscreen ($2.18)

Apart from the their first encounter Brisbane have been able to block out the Suns since then.  Whilst the boys from Metricon shine brightly the Lions represent better value and are my selection.


Plead Guilty ($2.44) vs Pivotonians ($1.68)

The Pies can plead out as their defence is in tatters.  They are fantastic at dealing with adversity – but they are up against the might of the Cats.  They are going well enough , but this will be real test.  Selecting Geelong, but as usual Collingwood always put themselves in the contest.


The Corporation ($1.07) vs The Basic Wage ($13.50)

The Eagle machine will be too strong for the Saints who been able get their payments down to a minimum.  The first two rounds though would indicate a pay rise might be in the offing.


They might be ($1.35) vs Melways Please ($3.60)

They might be Giants one day – but not quite yet.  Nevertheless at home I think they will be too much for Melbourne who are devoid of confidence and desperately need directions into the forward half.


Over-Spruiked ($1.96) vs Under-Spruiked ($1.84)

Everyone was all over the Kangas before the season began, but plenty of questions now.  Plenty (including me) had a feeling the Port bubble might burst.  Two weeks is not enough evidence, but it is clear beating Port will be a challenge.  Whilst they dealt with the Blues in the Loungeroom, their overall record there is still poor especially against this opposition.  Going against the trend and tipping the Roos.


Not Ryding ($1.63) vs Not Kreuzing ($2.56)

A valiant effort from both teams last week, but no doubt the Bombers more redeeming against the premiers.  Carlton were just horrible against Richmond early and profligate at goal late.  Carlton’s goalkicking malaise has been there for a long time and it astounds me that they continue with the same basic technical error in set shots year after year.  Virtually to a man they all get far too close to the man on the mark and kick the ball too high and out of control.  Yes, there is pressure and they all have the yips but crikey – surely the coaches can get their technique right!  All the assistants get paid handsomely – time to deliver something.  Oh and this game – always hard for me to tip against the Blues and as luck would have it Essendon losing their key ruckman means I can justify their selection again.  But patience is telling.


Sydney Raffle

What a tragedy to lose Nathan Berry, a terrific young rider who was putting his own stamp on the game cut down in his prime.  It puts perspective on what should be a great meeting for the Golden Slipper.  Unfortunately it will once again be reduced to a raffle with the elements to play a major factor.

The Tancred Stakes (G1, 2400m, WFA) now known as the BMW should be one of the prime races of the Australian calendar WFA over the classic mile and half journey.  Instead it is being used as a stepping stone to other races later in the carnival.  Hoping the track allows winners from everywhere and that It’s a Dundeel (8) can make up more ground than a fortnight ago.  Fiorente (1) can be forgiven for one poor run, Silent Achiever (9) still has to be run down and loves the mud and Let’s Make Deal (11) is going well toward the Sydney Cup.

Selections Race 6 – 8-1-9-11

The fillies contest the Vinery Stud Stakes (G1, 2000m, Set Weights) and a very tough race!  Solicit (1) is my choice, but plenty of other hopes.  With little confidence my next best are Rising Romance (4), Marianne (3) and Zanbagh (2).

Selections Race 7 – 1-4-3-2


The most over spruiked race in the world the Golden Slipper (G1, 1200m, 2yo SW) finishes the main races.  However it cannot be ignored as it does shape the whole season for the babies and even beyond when you consider Sebring never raced again after winning but is a leading sire.  No need for spruiking here, Earthquake (9) should win.  A bit of health scare during the week might get us some better odds, Peter Snowden does not take unnecessary risks with the Sheikh’s stock.  The wide draw was no issue in the Blue Diamond and might even help in the slush.  The slush could be a factor as this will be the 8th race on the card.  Moss Fun (10) has been touted as the main danger, but I am tipping a Darley quinella with Ghibellines (3)Oakleigh Girl (11) has had an unusual preparation, but is quick and they have to catch her.

Selections Race 8 – 9-3-10-11



Quaddie – A complete mess last week and could easily be the same again.  I expect we will see at least one surprise, so I have selected that it will be in the Vinery and gone very wide.  Can’t do that in too many legs or we dilute the value, but what value is there in a losing Quaddie?  Also taking the punt that Earthquake just wins.  The last leg is a raffle too but having option to lay off, means it can be kept skinny.

Leg 1 – 1-8-9

Leg 2 – 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-17

Leg 3 – 9

Leg 4 – 2-3-16

This covers 126 possibilities so a successful $30 investment will return 23% of the declared dividend.


Friar Time


The preliminaries are over and after a long pre-season Round One awaits.  The Seniors and Ressies take on the Unicorns from Melbourne High and our Under 19s in Section 2 take on Mazenod on the top oval with our team in the North section playing Latrobe Uni on the Bottom Oval.  A quadruple header at Friars, plus Olympic Silver Medallist Dave Morris being interrogated by the great Dick Baker at lunch.  What more can I say!

Turned out to be not so abridged!


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal




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