Preliminary Finals – Sal’s Preview (And the Ultimate Prize for the Friars!)


Here’s Sal’s preview of the two preliminary finals.


And while we’re at it congratulations to Sal and the Whitefriars Football Club who capped their season off by winning the premiership for both the seniors and reserves teams. A mighty effort from the Friars which you can read about at the end of his prelim final previews.



Greetings all,


It’s the incorrectly monikered Preliminary Final weekend where club supporters make up the majority of the crowd.


Dusty ($1.39) vs Danger ($3.50)


All the favours for the Tigers with Tom Hawkins’ transgression.  Geelong will just need to find someone to compete up forward like Tom did last week to counter the Richmond defense.  They were impressive against the Eagles who could not penetrate the defence, while being thrown a tough disruption on the Willie Rioli issue.  The coaches are trading meaningless barbs about how the Tigers are going relative to last year – what matters is how they are going respectively at this time.  On consistency there is no dispute the Tigers are well in front, as they were before the corresponding match last year.  A key difference though is the condition of their best player.  Dusty was clearly hampered in last year’s preliminary final notwithstanding the work of Levi Greenwood in shutting him out.  Guthrie is the go to tagger for the Cats can he do the job on an unencumbered Dusty?


On the other side the Tigers will need to look after Dangerfield who lifted at the critical time last week.  He is a proud competitor and desperate for success.  The woes of the Geelong rucks continue and Richmond should have an edge at the contest although Stanley’s mobility did cause trouble for the Eagles.  The Cats defense handled the Eagles pretty well the Tigers from a structure perspective are very similar, from an energy perspective the Tigers are at another level.  From a superstar perspective just think that Martin’s elite disposal has it over Dangerfield so if they both got off the chain it is advantage Richmond, if one of them is subdued then the opponent will be in a great position.


Overall though it is the patterns that swing the vote here.  Since round 14 Geelong has alternated between wins and losses, they won last week!  The Tiger pattern is 10 Ws in a row.  In racing parlance picket fence form is good form so it’s Richmond by 15 points.


Grundy ($1.35) vs Mummy ($3.80)


What ladder did the Maserati Driver walk under?  Already with a massive challenge one of his key players an Lachy Whitfield gets appendicitis, Toby Greene gets a week up against one of the numerically strongest midfields in the competition!  They should have been beaten Brisbane more comfortably rather than running it to the wire in a brutal contest that would have delighted the Pies no matter what the result.  The reason it was run to the wire is the key reason they cannot beat Collingwood – even with Coniglio, Greene and Whitfield.  Stefan Martin dominated Mummy and kept the Lions in the game – Mummy has been a great servant for the Giants but we can put a fork in him – he is cooked.  Brodie Grundy is a level above Stefan and should dominate this game.  As an aside not sure why the Giants want Sam Jacobs who is also well-done bordering on burnt.  The wet conditions might keep it close for a bit before the Pies romp away by 32 points.


Off to the Races


Group 1 events at Caulfield and Randwick this week.  Sydney has copped a deluge and looking at a heavy track let’s hope it does not have the same leader bias of recent meetings.




Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (G1, 1400m, HCP)


Will Begood Toya Mother (14) be good for the punters?  Was not up to them at WFA in the Memsie but drops back to the 52 limit in this handicap, if he is going to be beaten it will be by a similarly well weighted commodity.  Iconoclasm (13) fits the bill as most likely – matched motors all the way up the straight againstAge of Chivalry (15) last start and gets at 3.5kg pull in the weights.  Trusting Linda Meech to negotiate the outside draw and has group one form.  Age of Chivalry (15) is in excellent form and should be competitive.  Best of Days (1) is best in the race but has an outside draw and top weight and if they can run on then Widgee Turf (8) is up to this.


Selections – 13-14-15-11


Royal Randwick


George Main Stakes (G1, 1600m, WFA)


Can Samadoubt (4) remove the doubters and win again?  Has won the last two rolling along out in front with nothing able to catch him.  A beneficiary of leader bias which has been the pattern in Sydney over the last few weeks.  If the track presents in the same manner and is not too heavy, he can win again.  I am banking on a fairer surface and that Avilius (2) and Happy Clapper (1) will get past him this time.  With continuing rain forecast sticking with Avilius (2).  The X-Factor is Verry Elleegant (11), a duck and undefeated second up at her best is right in this.


Selections – 2-11-1-4


Quaddie Time


A tough opener at Caulfield and going wide throwing in a couple that might add some value and hope to be alive.  Happy to stick with the bottom weights in the Group 1.  The fillies run in a really tough 3rd leg got it to four but go wisder if you can afford.  Going skinny in the last but could add 1 and 4 with more dollars.


Leg 1 – 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14

Leg 2 – 13, 14, 15

Leg 3 – 1, 3, 8, 11

Leg 4 – 5, 9


168 Combinations, $30 investment returns 18% of the dividend.


Friar Time!


The finale of an incredible season with the Seniors and Reserves winning the prize.  The Reserves played a low scoring, tough encounter against the Unicorns.  A 2 goal to zip third quarter providing the winning break for a hard fought 7 point win.  The VAFA and footy history in general is littered with undefeated teams who fall over at the final hurdle.  Brunswick were quite public that they had nothing to lose after their 143 point defeat two weeks earlier.  They brought a plan to challenge the Friars and did so as no other team had for the season, going in at intermission with a 4 point lead.  The third quarter again was decisive for the Friars with four to zip and opening a 22 point lead.  The coach asked for a huge effort in the last quarter and got it with the ball resident in the Friar forward despite being against the breeze.  A couple of goals each saw the Friars complete the perfect season after mighty challenge from Brunswick who we will meet again in 2020 in Division 1.


Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE




  1. G’day Sal, over here in Clonmel the local betting shop PADDY POWER, is not providing the field, odds, let alone the opening hours to bet on races back in Australia. I’ll follow your tips in preparation for the return to OZ.

    Happy Punting,


Leave a Comment