Vlad the Prince

Greetings All,

Some footy on the field but so much rubbish off it.  The Melbourne “agreement” stinks of Machiavellian pragmatism with a couple of sacrificial lambs thrown to the wolves in Dean Bailey and Chris Conolly and a $500,000 fine that will undoubtedly be covered by AFL special dividends.  This was always a case that despite the great intentions of the AFL Integrity Department and its fearless leader Inspector Brett Clouseau could never come up with guilty a verdict for tanking because as has been stated often by Vlad “it doesn’t exist”.

Primarily, if Melbourne were declared guilty, then a string of clubs including Carlton, Collingwood, West Coast and more would all have questions raised on some their performances over recent years.  The most disappointing aspect though is that the incentive to under-perform still remains and until the AFL alters the allocation of draft selections the Number 1 draft pick prize will be too tempting.  Copying the US lottery system does not completely resolve the problem as the bottom team still has most of the marbles.  I have written before that a system based on setting the order as teams drop off the pace, removes any benefit from “list management and experimentation” which is now perfectly appropriate with the ruling made.

The next issue was the non-appearance of Vlad on what has been a high profile issue for many months and pleading the “Schultz”.  What a bunch of bollocks, there has been nothing let out of AFL House without his imprimatur since his reign began.  I know he is making way for his successor but to say he knows nothing about the case – really!  Caro, knew everything well before the announcement you would think whoever leaked it to her might have told the boss what was happening.

On to the footy.

Well sort of, my interest in the NAB Cup is cursory at best.  But suffice to say from last week, the most critical thing I saw was the apparent lack of skill from the Doggies.  For their sake it is hoped that it is pure early season lack of touch.  All the other teams would be pleased with their showings apart from Geelong and StevieJ.  The injury to Aaron Sandilands could also be critical for Freo and their chances.

This week for Dees fans they will get to see a plethora of new talent.  Those Demon fans can probably be justified in saying “well played Number 7”!  Who by the way is “young Viney, hmmm, what?”.  Of course I will be seeing how the Blues front up particularly against the champs.  We can also get a picture of the improvement in the Giants and Suns.


Test Match Special

Unfortunately all this has overshadowed the test series in India which begins later today.  We can now put aside the criticisms of selection and “informed player management” and see what the results are.  Notwithstanding that on evidence so far the batting and spin bowling departments are not up to the level required at top test level.  We have bemoaned the rapid “naturalisation” of South Africans to the English side – how quickly can Fawad Ahmed become an Aussie after his 7 wickets in the recently completed Shield match for Victoria?  Another player not born in Australia makes his debut for the team in Moses Enriques who becomes the 2nd Portuguese born test cricketer.  This juror had marked Moses’ cards with his ordinary display in the limited over fixtures.  However some detailed analysis from The Sage shows that his performances in Shield cricket have been more than worthy, it remains the best grounding for test cricketers but it just gets so interrupted by the BBL.   Interesting that the Indians have brought back Harbajan Singh after only one test in 18 months, the “Turbanator” torments the Australians like Haydn Ballantyne does the Geelong Football Club (and a few others).  Australia’s selection of the four seamers, will ensure the pitch is as dry as an AA Meeting.


Diamonds on the soles of her shoes.

Well they might be Blue too after Guelph takes out this Victoria’s premier 2YO race, The Blue Diamond Stakes (R7, G1, 1200m) at Caulfield.  The spruik horse has been the Adelaide filly, Miracles of Life, and the ease in which she has won makes her a deserved favourite.  But I was most taken by the win of Guelph last start when coming off the speed, which Miracles of Life will set but she has to keep going for 200m further than she has ever done before.  The other Snowden hope Metastasio will also be on speed and if the leaders are dominating he might present better value than the favourite, meanwhile if the swoopers are on then the magnificently monickered Crack a Roadie could get them all.

Selections R7 8-11-9-1


The Futurity Stakes (G1, 1400m, WFA) sees many of the Australian Cup candidates step out, including the reigning Melbourne Cup winner.  All Too Hard won the Orr Stakes last start over this course but lesser opposition, but he is yet to be defeated on left-handed tracks.  Until he is I am sticking with him, hoping a bit of spruiking for his opponents might get him out of the “tomato sauce”.  Unlikely so need to fill the holes.  B Prebble is in from Hong Kong to ride Green Moon and he does have a good fresh record, although has not won at less than 1600m.  Shanghai Warrior is another up and comer with a handy 2nd up record and I know the owners are hoping for big things from this conveyance – just don’t if it’s this race.  Then PG Moody’s always run well and are forward so I expect a good show from Lights of Heaven.

Selections R6 10-1-7-8


The other big race is the scamper over 1100m for the Oakleigh Plate (G1, 1100m, HCP).  Shamal Wind blew them away at the Flemington Carnival and I reckon can do the same in this race, clearly loaded with talent and speed.  G Boss and only 51kg helps too.  But there is high quality competition, Barakey from the West is 11 from 11, slight question on the opposition quality but has beaten everything so far including a couple of Eastern Staters in the Winterbottom.  There is also the return of the much travelled Ortensia, first up record good and a proven winner.  If the swoopers are on then last year’s winner Woorim might repeat the dose.

Selections R8 14-1-3-2



What a great quaddie to select this week with 3 G1 races in it.  Going skinny on All Too Hard is an option, but I will stick with a bit more breadth to the selections.

First Leg – R6 – 1,2,7,8,10

Second Leg – R7 – 1,8,9,10,15

Third Leg – R8 – 1,3,14

Fourth Leg – R9 – 3,5,7,9


This represents 300 combinations so a$30 investment returns 10% of the dividend.  Going one out with All Too Hard would be 60 comb, $30 for a 50% divvy.


Major Cricket!

The Friars Old Collegians have made the finals in their first year competing in the MCC Club XI competition.  This week they take on Haileybury in the semi-final on the hallowed turf of the Main Oval at Friar Park on Saturday.  So if you need a break from the gardening head on down and cheer the chaps on!

Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal


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