The Rest of Round 1 Preview

Happy Easter to all,

And for most of us the real opening to the season.  Last week’s entrée though I am sure has whet the appetite for the contests over the next few days.  A fair bit of discussion on the new “interpretations”, whilst Adelaide were unprepared for the contact below the knees rule overall I thought it went well.  Interestingly, I watched a portion of last year’s Easter Monday Hawthorn-Geelong encounter (yes, tragic) and over the 30 minutes I barely saw a player go to ground.  This was between two of the top teams, maybe it will bring the standard up for many clubs where more players will “keep their feet”.  Tough to make selections this week not only as we have no “true” form, but we also only have team selections for one game.  But there are other things to cover before getting to the games at hand.

The National Dilemna

We have watched the flannelled athletes representing the country take a pounding in India and then we saw Oman take on the Socceroos and come away with a point on our home soil.  Not a great week for our national teams, do we just swap the personnel?  The cricketers now go off to earn their paychecks in the IPL and then another meaningless short form tournament before heading to England for the Ashes.  Along with the clear lack of quality in the team, they must contend with the massive leadership vacuum.  Whilst Clarke will lead the team, his on-going trauma with his back presents two issues.  First of all there is no obvious selection as Vice Captain, which then presents the possibly greater issue.  Clarke’s longevity in the game must be considered, with his condition I would doubt that he will play much beyond 35 which is not that far away.  No one really putting their hand up to lead the team after that.

Then there was the Socceroos – lots of things wrong with the performance but none more than the lethargy at the beginning of the game.  However it is time that younger players are introduced into the squad not only to provide energy but also to manage a transition when the warriors from 2006 finally leave the squad hopefully after Brazil.  But of course the other question will be – can Tim Cahill stick around for 2018?  Let’s hope they can get a result against Japan.


Completion of Round 1

Turns out both underdogs presented great value last week at whatever the price.  No good for me but onto the remaining 7 games.

The New Buffalo Girls ($1.94) vs Easter Bunnies ($2.06)

Once again a massive build-up for the opening clash of the season at the G.  The Blues prospects have taken a hit after their insipid showing in the NAB Cup Grand Final.  The Tiges on the other hand may have bowed out of contention in the pre-season comp but overall their performances have looked impressive.  Every year they are the next big thing and pumped for this game only to be rudely awoken by reality – by the same token it can also harms The Blues who often get dragged unceremoniously back to reality in the ensuing weeks.  This year both teams have been selected with virtually identical personnel from last year with one crucial exception for Carlton without Jarrod Waite, he has his detractors but is able to stretch opposition defences.  The Tiges have included Chaplin from Port Adelaide.  It does not look like the best team the Blues could have selected on paper, but I reckon the last Malthouse team that played as selected would have been back when he was tormenting Brad Hardie at the Dogs.  I approach the game with the same trepidation as I do every year – is the Tiger hype real?  Cause if it is they could win as the odds suggest, but in such a tight one the Blues are my selection.


Oh Boyd Oh Boy ($3.75) vs Banking Champs ($1.34)

We had Super Saturday a couple of weeks ago at Flemington – this game kicks off the AFL’s Not So Super Saturday.  The Dogs will be missing their best ball winner and have publicly indicated the challenge they expect for the season, whereas the Lions are on with a terrific pre-season campaign.  Whilst this game will be played in the Doghouse, Brisbane showed a couple of weeks ago it does not affect them and I expect they will be too strong even though I think their price is a bit too short.  Nevertheless I can’t see myself being prepared to invest on the Dogs too often in 2013.


2nd Year Blues ($13) vs The Culture ($1.07)

Marketed as the Battle of the Bridge – should last about 10 minutes.  Swans will win, be interesting to see how the Giants shape up)


Cavill Avenue ($3.85) vs Seaford ($1.34)

The Suns did not win many last year but were often very competitive at home, until being overrun at the end of games.  I expect them to last longer in games this year which will give them some chance against the Saints.  However not enough of a chance to be my selection and in reality to give them any investment consideration they would need to be at $4+.


Neeld Down ($1.93) vs Oh My Koch ($2.06)

The team of the summer seems to be Port Adelaide with some fantastic repositioning of the club in the marketplace, but Sunday they meet the marketplace that matters.  They do have new coach and personnel which should bring improvement and the positive vibe has them well supported.  But the stakes for Melbourne are no smaller and they need to produce a good performance in front of their patient throng.  Clearly a game that is close to call, but I reckon the Dees can prevail.


Spirit Got Lost ($2.80) vs Parking Fines ($1.54)

North get their dream opener – home game against the Pies.  They will get their big crowd, can they get the four points.  They have had their fair share of spruiking, but all the training watchers (who can do that) have been most impressed with the Pies.  The Roos have one of the healthiest lists in the competition, but are missing Harvey.  It is their time to make a statement and they are not without a chance, however Collingwood has more of a chance and are my selection.  If the Roos got out close to $3, they would be worth consideration.


Empty Lake ($1.71) vs Pivotonians ($2.38)

A long way out for this one, but injuries look to be having an effect on chances.  The Hawks will be missing their Tomahawk solution in Lake along with skipper Hodge and a few others, whilst every ruckman in Geelong is on the injured list along with the mercurial Steve Johnson.  At this stage I am predicting the continuation of the curse, mostly around exposed form and the concerns about the Hawthorn backline.  By the same token I am astounded by the odds and believe this is a flip of the coin game so $2.38 is a luxury on the Cats.


Group 1 Racing

Two Group ones set for decision at Rosehill on Saturday.  First up are the 3yo in the Rosehill Guineas (G1,2000m,3yo) – another cracking race among what is a cracking set of colts.  It’s a Dundeel was back to his in Sydney a couple of weeks ago and will be storming home, while Fiveandahalfstar will be rolling along in front.  This could come down to track bias, but I am leaning to the New Zealand colt.  Tatra ran a bold race in the Randwick Guineas and Hvasstan is in outstanding form.

Selections Race 6 – 2-1-3-4


The Galaxy (G1,1100m,HCP) sees the sprinters battle it out over the 1100m scamper.  Snitzerland took out the previous major sprint and is still only 1.5kg above the limit, very difficult for me to select against her.  Howmuchdoyouloveme has been hampered by big weights in his last few starts and meets Snitzerland 4.5kg to the good for the 3 length defeat.  He represents good value.  Then in the emergencies, Unpretentious (will get a run) has a huge finish and won over the Flemington carnival and Isabella Snowflake has been exceptional but yet to win beyond 1000m

Selections Race 7 – 5-8-15-16


Very hard to put a quaddie together this far out, but let’s have a go.  Very open so go wide if you can afford it.

1st Leg – 1-2-3-4-7

2nd Leg – 1-5-8-15-16

3rd Leg – 1-7-10-11

4th Leg – 3-6-13

300 Combinations will return 10% of the dividend for a $30 investment.


Good Luck and Go Blues,

Cheers, Sal

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