Sal’s sporting roundup and punting advice for Guineas Day

Greetings All,


The majority had a ball on Grand Final day with the popular pick in the Bulldogs saluting.  The game itself was a beauty, I reckon the Swans assessment of what went wrong was pretty close – too much left to too few.  The elephant in the room though was the umpiring, much being made of the 20-8 free kick differential and a few Swans being cut below the knees.  Free kicks don’t have to be even and the most commented on “below the knee” non-decision between Wood and Hannebery was not really a slide Easton Wood just got in lower – coaches would have loved it.  However my observation was that almost every 50-50 call in the opening half went to the team of the mighty west.  By the same token Sydney may not have been in it if it were not for the herculean efforts of Josh Kennedy.


When the game was there to be decided in the second half there was no doubt which was the better team as the Dogs pushed and pushed the Swans were hanging by a thread.  The Footscray ball movement was too slick and too quick for Sydney.  It is to their credit that the game remained in the balance until well into the final quarter.  It was a history making effort.  The first team to ever win from 7th, the first to every win four finals in a row.  Although that requirement has only been around since the introduction of the Final 6 and as has been pointed out to me the Richmond team of 1980 won three finals in succession and all of them in convincing fashion culminating in the demolition of the Pies and the KB show.


Much has been made of the coach and rightly so, he has been a complete coach for the club.  Their previous coach Brendan McCartney though laid a great foundation around winning contested ball – under Beveridge they have taken their game that step further.  His handling of the Boyd – Cordy stoush made a massive contribution to the win.  Like the Cats before them they have been judicious users of the father-son rule with Liberatore, Hunter, McLean and Cordy all sired by Bulldogs plus the injured Wallis and throw in Picken and Dunkley who were rejected by their father’s clubs.  They only had three players from other clubs, Tom Boyd the only big signing – Hamling and Biggs were effectively cast offs from Geelong and Sydney respectively.  The rest all came via the draft – a terrific list management performance.


Now we have silly season with trade week coming up where there will be plenty of wooing and temptation ultimately reaching a frenzied climax for that five minutes before the 2:00pm deadline next Thursday.


It is also a chance for some other sports to get some air with the A-League kicking off this weekend.  It has been a good off season with clubs recruiting plenty of talent from around the globe and the return of some experienced national representatives.  It will be easier to watch than the EPL with the substandard offering from Optus – streaming might be great Game of Thrones, VEEP or Gossip Girl – but it terrible for live sport while Australia’s comms infrastructure is so poor!  The substandard offering is marginally better than what the Hammers are putting out – lucky I can’t watch it!  For all that though we do have the one Timmy Cahill and he will make his local debut next week!


Some may have missed Daniel Riccardo winning the Malaysian Grand Prix but thankfully we had boys in budgie smugglers to make sure his efforts stayed in the news cycle.  Then we have the Australian Cricket Team – the plonkers we have selected to play in South Africa are an embarrassment.  The bowlers are unsurprisingly being hammered, not sure what the big picture is but they are dishing up pies and if this is for experience it will not be one they care to remember.  Apart from filling TV time in India I just can’t see the value in the series.


To the Track!


Enough wallowing – it is Caulfield Guineas Day with Group 1 races sprinkled throughout the program plus the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.  Last week’s selections resulted in a tripod for the Quaddie with French Emotion getting the better of mine.  Extreme Choice got the better of Chatauqua in the Moir – not getting of the champ just yet.  Global Glamour beat out my selection Yankee Rose in the Flight – nailed the first four, not that tough in a field of six!  Hauraki saluted in style in the Epsom to get a winner on the board while the quinella was in the picks for the Metropolitan but Antonio Giuseppe’s run was ended.  Then Sunday we saw Hartnell prove too good for Jameka and get a pretty simple quinella in the Turnbull – they both look pretty good for the classics.


As I was looking to assess the first of the Group 1s, the first three in the field popped up and I waited for the rest of the field to appear – but nothing.  Only three to contest the Caulfield Stakes (G1, 2000m, WFA) such is the fear that Winx (3) has placed on the competition.  The race pays down to 8th and $27K for fourth – looking for a partner in the pantomime horse for an easy collect!  Black Heart Bart (1) has her in his sights and the tactical battle in a small field gives him some hope, while the ever-confused but consistent He or She (2) will make up the numbers.


Selections Caulfield Race 6 – 3-1-2


The Thousand Guineas (G1, 1600m, 3yo Fillies SW) for the fillies is a beauty this year with a number of colliding form lines.  The ones that look best appear to be from Sydney Foxplay (4) has beaten home her rival Global Glamour (3) in all their encounters so far, but Global Glamour (3) was impressive in the Flight Stakes last week.  They dominate the market, but if you doubt the Sydney form then there is value to be found.  Harlow Gold (12) appeals after giving the boys a beating over this journey last start as does La Luna Rossa (6) who finished strongly but not quite getting to Legless Veuve (8)Sword of Light (9) and Whispering Brook (1) were also pretty good.  The pattern for the day will be important with 1, 3 and 8 favoured if it is a leaders track, they will ensure a good tempo.  Foxplay (4) might just be too good, I am going with the value that Harlow Gold (12) presents – but there are a host of chances.


Selections Caulfield Race 7 – 12-4-6-1


James McDonald has chosen to be in Melbourne to ride Impending (2) is a pretty good sign in the stallion making Caulfield Guineas (G1, 1600m, 3yo SW)Sacred Elixir (1) took out the Prelude with a couple of handy runs in behind him and Hey Doc (5) was impressive in the Stutt.  In the prelude Evacuation (10) was drawn wide and had a tough run, he has drawn the one marble, will get a much better run and might just be the one!  Divine Prophet (4) wasn’t far off Impending last start and has the Caulfield specialist D Dunn on board.  Again how the track races will be critical.  If the Victorian form is good then some of those chasers from the prelude and the Stutt are fair value including 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11.


Selections Caulfield Race 8 – 1-2-10-4


The time-honoured Toorak Handicap (G1, 1600m, HCP) closes out the big ones for the day with 12 starters to line up.  Winning form is good form and Bon Aurum (3), He’s our Rokki (4) and Royal Rapture (6) are stringing them together.  Counterattack (7) had a tough run last start, some JMac magic might help here and looking for my low weight special in the big handicaps has Tivaci (13) in my sights.  Think He’s our Rokki (4) is flying but pretty short and that Counterattack (7) might present better value in a another tough one to call.


Selections Caulfield Race 9 – 7-4-3-13


A shame that the Spring Champion Stakes (G1, 2000m, 3yo SW) at Randwick now clashes with the Guineas but such is the calendar.  It is pretty much a recontesting of the Gloaming with the addition of the filly Yankee Rose (11) to add some spice and confusion.  They couldn’t quite catch Veladero (2) in the Gloaming, I suspect the extra 200m will be enough for Honeywine (5), Prized Icon (1) and Retaliation (6) to claim him.  Going with Prized Icon (1) to be in front at the end and put another Cummings right up there for the Derby in a couple of weeks.


Selections Randwick Race 8 – 1-5-11-6


Quaddie Time


The openness of both Guineas makes it a tough one, but being that open does well for the prize.  The early quaddie has a gimme for last leg in Winx if you can find the first three legs.  We will look to go wide in the last of the main quaddie to keep it nice, might take a second one with a few extras in the Guineas to find some value.


Leg 1 – 1,3,4,6,8,9,12

Leg 2 – 1,2,4,5,10 (extras 6,7,8,9,11)

Leg 3 – 3,4,6,7,13

Leg 4 – 7,12


350 combinations so that $30 investment will return about 8.6% of what might be a hefty dividend.


Have a great weekend,


Go a Counterattack,


Cheers, Sal


  1. Sal Ciardulli says:

    A keen Adelaide supporter has offered a correction. The Crows in 1997 did win four finals to take the flag, however they were not all elimination finals for them.

    Then the next year they won from 5th after losing their first final

    No wonder the league changed the system!

  2. Spot on about the umpiring in the GF. Nothing outrageous, but every “maybe” in the first half went for the Bulldogs and against the Swans. Helped keep them in it to half time when Sydney had threatened to break clear. Sydney needed a dominant Buddy, and his ankle injury was probably the difference in the game.
    Good to meet you (and your son) at the Lunch – mum must be a looker.

  3. Bill Martino says:

    Would either of you care to provide details of all those “50-50 calls” or “maybe”s in the first half that went the Bulldogs’ way? Oh, and while you’re at it, feel free to ignore Franklin’s un-penalised “maybe” push-in-the-back on Hamling in the first quarter, Kennedy’s un-penalised “50-50” holding-the-ball early in the second quarter, Franklin’s un-penalised “maybe” head-high hit on Hamling in the second quarter and the “50-50” mark awarded to McGlynn in the second quarter from a 10-metre Dahlhaus kick.

    (crickets chirping)

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