Round 5 – Sal’s Preview: Don’t burn the Pies

Greetings All


Commentators and media might not like the removal of a couple of Thursdays Night from the fixture.  As someone producing this content and also running a local club where Thursday nights are our most important apart from matchdays, I am ecstatic!  Now let’s get to this week’s games in a hurry!


Holler for a Marshall ($2.82) vs Caddy Shacked ($1.54)


So much of this game will be dependent on whether Rowan Marshall can play effectively or not, his effort to come back on last week was enormous.  His Saints dominated the equivalent game last year.  The Tigers had 1½ wins from 4 games after St Kilda beat them, so in fact they are in a better spot this year.  But they are not at the top of their game and Josh Caddy is one who has paid the price.  The reality is that they played OK last week against a very good opponent on their home deck.  No doubt if St Kilda can bring that manic pressure it could beat the Tigers, just reckon Richmond can raise their own manic stakes and will do so to win this.


Nic Nat ($1.35) vs Grundy ($3.75)


The Pies have copped the blowtorch on the East Coast, the Eagles probably deserve similar after their capitulation.  Not sure if the Perth blowtorch is quite as hot.  The ruck contest in this game will be crucial to both teams and how Grundy fares will be critical to the psyche of both himself and his team.  That aside West Coast should have the edge up forward and a home deck to get the win.  Reckon they will even though the Pies have a fantastic record on the road and can produce under the blowtorch.


Speaking English ($1.15) vs Dew some Luck ($6.80)


Some great work up forward from Tim English, the interchange limit and more mano-e-mano might just be making the resting ruckman very valuable.  His Dogs host the Suns who are playing with plenty of spirit but are just terribly undermanned – probably deserve a couple of mid-season picks!  Dogs to win.


Off Rampe ($1.48) vs Greene Shoots ($3.05)


Much was made of the injection of youth into the Giants last week, forced upon them by injury.  The three other factors though were the three players that have been the heart beat of the club for many a year.  Callan Ward, Shane Mumford and Toby Greene were at their best and the kids followed.  They face the undefeated Swans who will be without Dane Rampe succumbing to injury.  This one comes down to a matter of trust – Sydney at home and undefeated against a team that pulled one out over Collingwood whose form is questionable at best.  I trust Sydney more.


Exploded Jack ($2.16) vs A Knife to Butters ($1.84)


Explosive Jack did that at Randwick to win the Derby, while Blues Jack exploded his shoulder again laying what was the match defining tackle against the Suns.  Jack Silvagni will be missed with surgery required, he sets the standard for defensive pressure and there are not many others willing to take the lead at Carlton.  They take on Port whose victory over the Tigers was all the more meritorious with the injury toll through the game.  At this stage only Duursma and Butters will miss, but they will both have extended breaks with surgery required.  What a pair of rippers they are!  Sort of give the Blues a chance, but the reality is they have beaten who they should have, Port are a completely different test and Charlie is due.


The Homecoming ($1.30) vs Another Big Cox ($4.00)


The Bombers hand has been forced with injection of youth giving fans great hope, not dismissing the contribution of Stringer to their finding of form.  Having a 200cm wingman in Nik Cox will be a challenge for opposition coaches for many a year.  They travel to Brisbane up against Joe for the first time.  It will be a nervous time for the former Bomber.  The Lions will enjoy being back home, after having to play in regional Victoria for 2 of the 3 weeks away.  They are not going too well and the form of Neale is a worry, but the Gabba is home and reckon they will enjoy being back there and get over the Dons.


Lach and Keays ($1.82) vs Homesick ($2.16)


Lachie Sholl and Ben Keays continue to improve for the Crows and will be important to their continued success with Rory out for a few more weeks.  They host Freo who got the job done at home, really need to find a way to win on the road.  Reckon this could be it.  They have a solid midfield, reasonable defence and handy forwards.  Sean Darcy as a resting ruckman does have some tricks.  Importantly they didn’t have Fyfe last time they travelled.


The Pragmatist ($4.10) vs The Optimist ($1.30)


The beauty of have a threepeat in recent history is that it makes it easier to be honest about how good your team is.  Hawthorn has that luxury and can set realistic expectations with their supporters and then develop players at the right rate.  The Demons on the other hand don’t have that luxury and have had to sell hope for many a year.  Not sure they need to sell this year, most of the pieces fit in the puzzle.  4-0 and still no games for either of their key forwards.  Clarkson will have a plan and will pull off an upset at some stage this year, however don’t reckon it will be this week.


Say Goodbye ($1.06) vs The Pec ing Order ($16.50)


Can the Cats say goodbye to 2021?  A bit premature – but they will farewell Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor who did not get a chance to through 2020.  They take on North who do not need an injury like the torn pectoral for Luke McDonald to keep him out for a couple of months.  Dangerfield back, Geelong at home.


Friar Time


Opening day kicked off well with the Thirds and Girls recording strong wins.  It stopped there with Kew coming out on top in two hotly contested games for the Seniors and Reserves, certainly a lesson in what to expect in D1.  This week the Friars are at home up against St Marys Salesian in what should be a spirited contest after the 2019 premiership flags are raised.  The Girls kick off the dew against Latrobe Uni and the Thirds travel to North Balwyn to face Old Camberwell.


Track Time


Caulfield getting the brunt of Melbourne meetings and reckon the Queen of Melbourne racing Jamie Kah could be in for another big day after winning the Doncaster in Sydney last week.  Got three of hers for this weeks picks.  Shandy (R4, #8)  in the deep end but undefeated with the queen aboard.  La Mexicana (R5, #2) has weight to carry but is very consistent and Arcaded (R6, #10) for GSOB like the fact he has won over the 1200m while the favourite has not been beyond 1000m.  If you really love the queen and need to get out Lunakorn (R9, #10) but its wide open.


Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick some light rain about which should have the track giving everyone a chance.


Race 5 – The Australian Oaks (G1, 2400m, 3yo Fillies SW)


Not sure Hungry Heart (3) gets the 2400m but she is in fine form and putting my faith in CJ Waller to get her right.  The big unknown is the NZ filly Amarelinha (2) with the challenges of international travel Opie Bossom still crossed the ditch to ride her.  Montefilia (1) was a creditable 4th in the Derby so can measure up here and Harmony Rose (4) is very consistent.


Selections – 3-2-1-4


Race 7 – The Sydney Cup (G1, 3200m, HCP)


The Sydney Cup as wide open as Sydney Heads!  Going with Miami Bound (7) has been running well in the lead up to this her main target and trust D O’Brien to have her right.  Biggest danger being the international raider Favourite Moon (10) gets a great staying pilot in KMac – might need ground to be at least soft.  Realm of Flowers (13) chased him home last start and gets a little weight swing in her favour.  At a longer price the Adelaide Cup winner Good Idea (15) might be just that – this is a step up but proven at the trip.  Plenty of other hopes.


Selections – 7-10-13-15


Race 8 – The Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1, 2000m, WFA)


Only seven fronting up for the Lizzie but a pretty handy seven.  The market has it as a match race between Addeybb (1) and Verry Elleegant (7) but we have three others with big WFA wins recently in Sir Dragonet (2), Mugatoo (3) and Think It Over (4).  While Mo’unga (8)  has a recent G1 victory and ran nicely in the Doncaster as did Dalasan (6).  The bookies have the pecking order right, however any of the others would not shock I’d be wanting a fair price.  Putting the mighty Mare on top of the pommie gelding.  No doubt the best of the Cox Plate and Tancred winner can win and reckon the colt will in it for a long way.


Selections – 7-1-2-8


Race 9 – Queen of the Turf Stakes (G1, 1600m, Fillies and Mares WFA)


Should have good speed set by Greysful Glamour (3) who could do well if the leaders have an advantage, thinking that they will come over the top.  Odeum (11) only just missed the VRC equivalent in November, reckon she is ready 3rd up and can win.  Probabeel (1) the main threat despite the failure in the All Star Mile – was backed heavily the previous two and duly saluted. Collette (2) has the scalp of Verry Elleegant but suspect she will want it wet.  Nimalee (4) won the lead up and has a great strike rate.


Selections – 11-1-4-2




Not much easier this week, will trim it down and hope to stay alive!


Leg 1 – 2, 7, 10, 13, 15

Leg 2 – 1, 2, 7, 8

Leg 3 – 1, 2, 4, 6, 11

Leg 4 – 1, 3, 11


360 Combinations, $30 – 8.3%


Go Blues

And, finally, GO FRIARS,


Cheers, Sal



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