Round 5 – Sal’s Preview: Hail to the Chief!

Greetings All,

A lot of noise about the impending departure of Gil from headquarters.  There have been many achievements over his journey none more significant than the introduction of the AFLW.  His other great achievement was keeping the competition running through the pandemic.  As covered last week they don’t get everything right and plenty of us would like to see a less compromised fixture, however overall reckon he will leave the joint in a better state than he started.

One area that has not improved under Gil is the Match Review system.  Paddy Ryder got his right whack for the whack on Will Day, however perhaps he might not have taken that action if similar incidents earlier were appropriately dealt with.  Tim English was simply lucky that Nick Blakey was not concussed in a very similar incident – the potential for injury was there, it is the act that requires a penalty not the result.

The Grand Prix has come and gone and it is back to the footy.


KOTJ (1.18) vs Howe About That (4.80)

 The Lions get their big game at home against the Pies and get the services of their prime ruckman to assist.  Jeremy Howe went to the Pies to play forward but has realised his strength is as defender and notches his 200th game this week.  He will be thankful that Jordan Roughead returns to the team to play on the biggest forwards.  They do lose Jamie Elliott with yet another long term injury, he is one of the toughest matchups in the competition and without him the Brisbane defence look to have the Pies covered.  Adams and De Goey are handy for the midfield but overall the Lions should be too strong on their home deck.


Ring Zie-bell (5.00) vs Tiger Prey (1.17)

Little charity was shown to the Roos last Good Friday where the Bulldogs monstered them by 128 points, they improved by 99 in their follow up encounter.  Last week they nearly took down the Swans.  The Dogs could not handle the rabid Tigers last week and have injuries that leave them vulnerable at both ends of the ground.  Expect a strong reaction from the Dogs which should get them through, however suspect the result will be much closer than last Good Friday.


Nic Off (2.25) vs Lanced (1.65)

The second leg of the double-header on Friday sees two clubs without their marquee players.  Nic Nat and Buddy are both out so how do the Eagles and Swans line up?  The Eagles got a few handy ones back last week and got over the Pies, they look well-structured with their key forwards and defenders all up and going.  Sydney though just find a way with McInerney bobbing up last week to play a key role.  Buddy leaves a big hole but think Sydney have the ability to cover and take this one.


Best Lade Plans (1.33) vs Dew Praise (3.35)

 The Saints will be guided by Brendan Lade as Ratts has been RATTED, they take on the Suns who were too motivated for the Blues after their dismal showing against the Giants.  The Saints have a six game streak over the Suns, however the last five of those have been decided by a total of 20 points.  The loss of Ryder could be critical with Jarrod Witts in good form for the Suns.  The Suns have a fair record in the Loungeroom but suspect the Saints will be too good.


Turn Keays (2.20) vs The Lynch Mob (1.67)

 Ben Keays has been terrific for the Crows providing greater depth through the middle, their opponents had their own midfield catalyst return last week in Dion Prestia.  Matched up with Tom Lynch they were too good for the Dogs while the Crows just fell short against the Bombers.  A tough one to select, the Crows are going better now – while which Tigers will turn up?  What we know is the best of Richmond beats the best of Adelaide, that is the factor that has me on their side.


The Benchmark (1.15) vs UnreWarded (5.50)

OK, free kicks don’t need to be equal but either the adjudicators or the Giants need to sort out why there was a difference of 24 against them last week.  They will need all the help they can get against the Demons and not sure that will be enough.


Made his Marc (1.58) vs Corked (2.40)

Marc Pittonet’s absence should not be underestimated in assessing the loss, another week out could cause the Blues plenty of issues.  They host Port who are yet to register a win, on the other hand they have beaten the Blues in their last six encounters.  The Blues will be tested with the loss of Cripps, the much vaunted midfield depth must be able to cover it.  Port have a similar issue with Wines not quite right.  The Blues should have the ammunition to bounce back.


Back Up the Truck (1.95) vs Free Mantle (1.85)

 The Bombers get Rutten back in charge but still plenty out, they get to host Freo who got the most out of the “Roar of Affirmation” last week.  They get Serong and Pearce back.  Reckon the Bombers have enough to maintain the dominance over Freo in the Loungeroom.


Hawthorn (3.00) vs Geelong (1.40)

 These two clubs are poles apart but still get the Easter Monday clash!  The Hawks do rally against Geelong, we get the odd blowout but in general the games are tight and tough – so still deserving of the status – just.  On form we would expect a blow out, but teams are rebounding well from substandard performances this year.  Expect the Hawks will drag Geelong into a scrap on Monday, make it tight and tough but just think Geelong will have the class to scrape home.


Track Time

 The championships come to an end this weekend with another heavy track to contend with.  We only have a couple of top level events.



Race 4 – Champagne Stakes (G1, 1600m, 2YO SW)

 The prospect of a drier surface had me thinking we might be able to get the favourite beat – it’s come up heavy and Fireburn (5) is clearly a superior wet tracker.  She might just be superior, scaring off the opposition leaving a field of only six.  The same threats as last week where Let’srollthedice (1) closed well and will appreciate the extra 200m, She’s Extreme (6) has been the bridesmaid the last two and could do so again.  Williamsburg (2) has been running a level below but has a win over the mile in the bank.

Selections – 5-1-6-2


Race 8 – The All Aged Stakes (G1, 1400m, WFA)

 The sprinters and milers collide over 7 furlongs to close out the Group Ones for the carnival.  Not sure they could put together a tougher field to sort out.  Though not in the numbers I am hoping for some attrition through scratchings to make Mr Mozart (17) top selection.  If there isn’t then going to the top of the class with Mo’unga (1) great record in good races, Forbidden Love (8) is a duck but just did not see out the mile in the Doncaster back 200m will suit.  In the Congo (14) looks up to the class to run well here and not discounting Tofane (9), no wins on heavy but OK on soft.  Could have missed everything.

Selections – 1-8-14-9 (promote 17 if he runs)


Quaddie Time

 After last week’s debacle we are coming back Melbourne with the tradition Easter Meeting at Caulfield.  Some pretty open legs so hope we can some at fair value.

 Leg 1 – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Leg 2 – 2, 4, 7, 12

Leg 3 – 2, 3, 8, 9

Leg 4 – 1, 2, 4, 6

320 Combinations, $30 investment returns 9.375% of the dividend.


Go Blues!

Cheers, Sal


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