Sal’s Tips: Go the Early Crow!

Humble Greetings to all this week!


In only a week the Blues have gone from champs to chumps!  Now also with a couple of key injuries.  We are also hearing of the impending demise of the Cats or even the Pies – one prominent journalist has even gone so far as to say the end of the Super Club.  We are four rounds in – there is not the evidence at all yet to be making such predictions, I think we might be able to get close to the top 6 but I am sure that will also be hotly debated.  The “Super Clubs” that are dying though is mostly through the ruminations of Vlad’s Fixers.  Whilst there have been question marks about many of the top 5 teams from last year, most of those questions have in fact been raised as they play among themselves.


In review of the games played to Round 4 – the Cats have lost 2 games to teams outside of the “Top 5” club – plenty will lose to Freo at home, no excuses though for North.  The Pies are now 3-2 but the two were to Carlton and Hawthorn both “club” members.  Similarly the Hawks have dropped two to the Eagles and Cats.  West Coast have taken all before them, including that win over Hawthorn but the other vanquished read like the “whose not who” of the competition.  Finally Carlton have also dropped a game to a team outside “The Club”, but the Bombers and Blues often play games against their form and maybe Essendon have improved significantly.  Mind you five games does not make that definitive.


It would appear though that the “Elite of the Peloton” have been playing a lot amongst themselves, let’s have a look in August and see if the Super Club is dead.  Methinks there could be some horrendous rounds of mismatched football through the middle of the season before the Fixers schedule a few blockbusters prior to the finals.  As for the Premiers and deserved favourites – August is a better time to judge.


A review last week’s prognostications look a little bit ugly!  Freo have stuffed up my pattern and my start by winning on the road, as suggested Essendon’s odds were ridiculously long just a shame they proved it.  The rest all went as predicted excepted for the Dees who are really struggling.  I was intrigued by the Melbourne player who was positive about their four quarter effort – I was there and saw the second quarter and if that was “effort” then I really understand why they are struggling.  Love the work of Jack Trengrove but he is being asked a lot as skipper, not sure about the work of the other Jack.  Looks nice, but has to stay on his feet to be worthy.  Pretty happy with the G1 effort on the GGs, Streama “obvious”, the track wasn’t heavy More Joyous and Shoot Out quinella and of course the Mighty Temple.  Just watched too much footy to concentrate on them and win!


Before the rest of Round 5 preview a quick word on the Anzac Day clash.  Will freely admit to not watching the entire game closely, but from what I did see it looked like the centre square had been roped off for the cricketers apart from the centre bounces.  But the combatants played a game worthy of the occasion.  On another note which genius at Bomberland did not think Swan was worthy of an opponent – and how are they related to the Blue genius who thought the same about Stanton?


All Left to Lily ($2.42) vs Where’s Your Daddy ($1.70)


With Herman out with a bad knee it will really be up to Pav to lead the Dockers against what should be a bitter Blue outfit.  Again I am astounded by the money for the Blues.  They have lost key players, a coach almost in labour, playing Freo away – those factors to me should make this a 50-50 game at best for Carlton.  The stats show Carlton winning 4 of the 6 ventures westward – but have lost 2 of the last three when the western foes have become a force.  But Freo do have their challenges, with the loss of Sandilands and the doubt on Fyffe.  I reckon the Sandilands loss will favour Kruezer and Hampson and give the Blues the edge, but would think those Blue detractors out there would be seriously contemplating $2.40 on the Purple scourge.


Blacktown ($14.50) vs Sunshine ($1.07)


Is this first real Western Derby for the AFL?  Then they go and play it in Canberra – maybe so Julia can line up at Full Forward for the Doggies!  And they would still win.


Lottery Winners ($1.05) vs Hard to Swallow ($18.00)


Enough has been said about the Kangas and their “Fortunes of Draw”, now for one of their gimme games Gazza is out.  Should make is a tough day for David Swallow to be the pea for Gold Coast – won’t be pretty Roos to win.


D-Grade ($7.80) vs Weight Relief ($1.14)


An extra Gram in the Saints team will help, but they won’t need it up against the Demons.  I agree with Woody that Clarke could very good for them, but he is out so they have even less to kick to.  The Grimey Jack and Sylvia will stiffen them but not enough.


Simon Says ($3.90) vs I Get no Answers ($1.32)


For the Cats – the question still remains.  But for me this game is about one man – the sublime Simon Black plays game number 300 – he is an absolute champion of the game.  Courageous, skillful, humble plus many more positive adjectives describe him, his effort in the 2003 Grand Final as one the great individual games I have seen.  I still think the Cats will win – I doubt they will answer any critics – and I’d love to hear Vlad saying for this game on the Monday before the Grand Final 3 Votes – Brisbane – S Black.


Boag’s Country ($1.39) vs Where’s your Mummy? ($3.45)


The Hawks get to have another southern sojourn against the all-conquering Bloods, who have faced stiff opposition in 3 games of the four.  But this is the first real test up against the elite – I have heard the prognosticators talking “Top 4”.  Not having Big Mummy for another 4 weeks won’t help either.  Meanwhile the Hawks have Hodge back to further strengthen the midfield lineup.  The Bloods won’t make it easy and $3.50 might be tasty, but Hawthorn don’t lose many in Launie!


A Bit Richo ($3.40) vs Duck, Duck, Goose ($1.40)


Heard the 3rd Greatest Tiger of all (or at least one them) say that Jake King would have made the difference last week.  Hmmmm, Richo I’ll swap you a Jake King – for a Matty Scarlett.  You have on the ground what you have on the ground and if you can’t beat the opposition presented too bad.  Take nothing away it was far from the feared drubbing some were predicting.  This one might be though, West Coast are build a pretty good record in the dry conditions of the Loungeroom, it seems to suit their basketball type players and a basketball sized arena.  West Coast to win – I would suggest the Tiges should be about $4.50.


Riciutto ($1.57) vs Carr ($2.68)


We might be getting back to the days of the Ramsgate carpark with Port Adelaide certainly being much more competitive than last year.  No matter where they lie these clubs pride themselves on these showdown games with many results going against the form.  Adelaide deserve favouritism and are my selection, however Port are worth a ticket at $2.50 or better.


Group 1 Racing


What a feast of Group 1 events this week – the party at Randwick climaxes with four G1s and then Adelaide gets a couple including some trackwork for the mighty Black Caviar.  At Randwick we begin with the Champagne Stakes – it would be a foolhardy selection to go against Pierro – so I won’t be but a bit too red for me.  Thankfully Kav chose the run Atlantic Jewel in the All Aged Stakes instead of just against the girls – scared a few off but she is well worth watching, too much tomato sauce there also.


The lead up for the Sydney Cup has been dominated by Permit and I see no reason to steer away even though Corey Brown is suspended – would recommend to add the top 4 to any tricks and the Quaddie – Efficient, Drunken Sailor, Niwot and Precedence.  Then it all finishes with one of the most anticipated races we have seen for many a year in the Queen Elizabeth – Gai’s super mare More Joyous backing up against the likes of Americain, Manighar and Jimmy Choux.  Once again I am going to stick with Americain.  Manighar is yet to be passed this campaign, but the Frenchman has been dispensed with for Craig Williams who has no peer in being able to put his mounts into a race at the right time.  (Did you see Ortensia?)


To Morphettville for the Australasian Oaks where Empress Rock will be favoured to give Bart another Oaks winner.  Certainly impressed me at Flemington, but was beaten in Adelaide by Crucial which may present better punting value.  Then onto the Robert Sangster Stakes where Adelaide gets to see a Black Caviar track gallop, she will win but of course I will be all over All Friared Up to fill a placing.


The Friars take on the CYs from Williamstown at Friar on Saturday after a solid victory last week.  Beat them soundly in the corresponding game last year, but had the tables turned in the return bout.  Hoping for another solid performance.


Go Blues, Go Friars, Go Hammers, Go Americain – but don’t go the early crow!


Cheers, Sal

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