September, 2019

Winners chase bigger targets while Damian Lane makes it 10 winners in six days

The holidays are on the horizon, but there will be no downtime for several of Saturday’s Flemington winners who will chase  higher-status races over Christmas and the new year.
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Two who scored at Flemington — the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained  Tashbeeh and the new addition to Henry Dwyer’s Caulfield yard, Precious Gem — are likely to clash at Caulfield in the listed Lord Stakes, over 1800 metres, on Boxing Day.

A third, the Matthew Ellerton/Simon Zahra trained Durendal, is set to return to his home track on New Year’s Day to tackle one of the state’s oldest established sprints, the Standish Handicap.

Precious Gem was partnered by the reinvigorated Chris Symons, who is making up for lost time since his return from a long injury-enforced absence.

He came back with a winner on Ballarat Cup day on November 21 and has continued that good streak, culminating with his win on  the six-year-old mare, who was backed from $10 into $6.50.

The daughter of Econsul was trained by Gwenda Johnstone at Echuca, who won  five races with her,

but the owners wanted the mare to have a crack at city events and sent her to Dwyer.

“I am taking absolutely no credit for this win,” Dwyer said. “Gwenda and Mick  [Johnstone]  sent her down in the best condition you would ever want to see an older horse. She arrived glowing, we just tuned her up, gave her a couple of gallops and here we are today.”

Symons believes the change for the mare was as good as a rest, saying “It can really change things up, for humans as well as horses.”

Tashbeeh was a heavily backed favourite in the AVHPA Vic Trophy with the Hayes-Dabernig camp entrusting the stable’s three kilo-claiming apprentice Dylan Dunn with the ride.

Dunn didn’t disappoint on the $2.60 chance, producing him in the last 400 metres to score by three quarters of a length.

Dabernig said Tashbeeh, who had raced in Dubai earlier this year, could now be aimed at the listed contest at Caulfield.

“There’s the Lord Stakes over 1800 metres on Boxing Day. That could be an option now he is back in wining form,” he said.

“I don’t think we would go back to Dubai. He is a horse who could travel as he has a great constitution, but he didn’t look quite up to them when we took him there last time.”

There is no jockey riding in better form than Damian Lane at the moment, and landed his 10th winner in six days when he got home on the $3 favourite Durendal in the Western Health Foundation Handicap, following his treble   at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Durendal has now won three of his last four starts — his only defeat coming on Melbourne Cup day when he was fifth to  Malaguerra — and he too will be stepped up in class with the Standish Handicap down the Flemington straight his next target.

He is likely to get in with a light weight and now that he has proved himself on the track he could be a lively contender.

“He’s graduated from benchmark class and we will probably have a shot at the Standish with him,” Ellerton said.

“He was stakes placed in Brisbane earlier this year and he had a late start to the spring. He will stay down in the weights. He was just a ratings horse before today. Now he has won a Saturday handicap and will go into a group 3.”

Lane said: “He did it like a true professional. He handled it no problems, let down well when it counted. He’s proved he’s good enough to go down the straight to the Standish now.”

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Daniel McConnell wins national mountain bike series at Stromlo, Rebecca Henderson third

Canberra rider Daniel McConnell on his way to victory in the national mountain bike series at Stromlo on Saturday. Photo: Rohan ThomsonCanberra mountain biker Rebecca Henderson says riding with undiagnosed glandular fever was like “flogging a dead horse”, but she feels like she’s “human again” and building towards next year’s Olympic Games.
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Henderson finished third in the women’s cross country in round two of the national mountain bike series at Stromlo on Saturday, while fellow Canberran Daniel McConnell took out the men’s cross country.

It was Henderson’s first race after two months off following her diagnosis with glandular fever.

The 24-year-old had been racing and training with the undiagnosed illness for four months before blood tests finally found the reason behind the fatigue that prevented her from finishing the world championships.

Her goals for next year are top-10 finishes at the World Cup events, the world champs and the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.

That road back to full fitness and Rio began in her backyard at Stromlo where the women’s race was won by Jenni King, with Australian women’s road race champion Peta Mullens second.

“The mental aspect is very hard to deal with when you’re going out and getting flogged, and it’s just like flogging a dead horse, it’s very physically and emotionally draining,” Henderson said.

“But today it was really nice to be back out, even though I’m not at full fitness, it was good to be back out racing.

“I feel like I’m a human again … before I was sleeping 15 hours at night and now I’m back to the normal routine.”

McConnell was also trying to put a tough year behind him and begin building towards next year’s major events.

He said he struggled in 2015, managing just one World Cup podium – compared to the five podiums he climbed last year.

The 30-year-old said he was building up his fitness for when his season starts in April.

He said his Stromlo win was a good sign, although he had to do it the hard way following a mechanical problem with his chain with just two kilometres to go.

McConnell held a 40-second lead at the time, but was unable to pedal and had to roll and “scoot” to the finish line.

“Hopefully I can get [to Rio] in really good form. I think if I can do that there’s always the chance that I can be up towards the front, so that’s the plan,” McConnell said.

“But I’d just like to get back to riding at my best and hopefully if all goes to plan I can be right up there.”

The event will wrap up with the downhill races on Sunday from noon.

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Arrests as rival groups clash in Cronulla

People regarded as being anti-Islam protesters have been set uponby members ofa large anti-racism crowdnumberingin the hundreds that has gathered to mark the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots.
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The anti-racism protesters – including a vocal minoritycalledAntifa (anti-fascism)dressed in black with black face masks – have been abusing police, using megaphones.

Riot squad police have been forced to corral the anti-racism protesters at the southern end of Cronulla beach.

Certain anti-Islam protesters found themselves in the midst of theAntifamembers who proceeded to push and shove them and call them “f—ing fascists”.

One middle-aged woman draped in an Australian flag caught in the crowd was surrounded by 20 to 30Antifamembers who shouted at her to “take that fascist flag off now”.

Anti-fascist activists from the Antifa group confronted anti-Islam protesters in Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla. Photo: James Brickwood

A man in the crowd yelled “burn that flag and burn that woman”.

There were other chants of “police protect the fascist filth” and “Muslims are welcome, fascists are not.”

Police had made two arrests at the protests by 2pm.

A 58-year-old man from Warilla, south of Wollongong, was arrested for offensive behaviour and a25-year-old man from Seaforth was arrested for breaching the peace.

A police spokeswoman could not confirm whether the two men were part of the anti-Islam or anti-racism groups.

A rally at Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots. Photo: James Brickwood

In a volatile and confusing situation, members of the Antifa crowd were being instructed to “mob up”, running from one side of the park to the otherin an apparent effort to confuse police about their intentions.

An Antifa member told Fairfax Media: “I believe we have more to fear from the bosses and the state and the police than from different cultures.

Asked about their confrontational tactics, hesaid”peaceful confrontation is not going to work with these people. We

have tried that in the past. We will not tolerate any fascism in ourcountry.”

Antifa members carried red, black and white flags with the words Antifaschistische Aktion, the name ofa German anti-fascist organisation that reportedly has its roots in the German communist party in 1932, was dissolved in 1933 by the Nazis and resurfaced in the 1980s in Europe.

A rally at Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla, to commemorate the Riots. Photo: James Brickwood

Antifa Australia’s Facebook page has as its most recent post on November 17: “These deranged far-right scum want to damage society and bring everyone down. If the Authorities won’t stop hate speech, the leftist community will now need to implement their own authority via grassroots action.”

Police have provided the anti-racism crowd with free transport at the train station and asked them to leave Cronulla.

At the other end of the beach, acrowd of 120 anti-Islam protesterswere outnumbered by members of NSW Police, theRiot Squad and weekend joggers.

“I’m here to celebrate a free Australia and freedom of speech andto celebrate Australian culture with a halal-free barbecue of a pig ona spit,” said Nick Folkes, chairman of the anti-Islam Party forFreedom.

Folkes had announced plans to hold a rally at Cronulla but wasblocked by a Federal Court order on Friday. Holding the barbecue was”a compromise”, he said, confirming that he would not be addressingthe crowd but that he could talk to the media.

“Everyone in Australiashould have the right of assembly,” said Folkes, who claimed that thetyres on his car had been slashed overnight, “no doubt by the usefulidiots on the left”.

Pic: James Brickwood

The meeting was attended by Danny Nalliahand Rosalie Crestaniof the Rise Up Australia Party, Kim Vugaof the Love Australia orLeave It Party, and independentSergio Redegalli, who become knownfor his “Say No To The Burqa” murals in Newtown.

“I have studied Islam for the five years and I can tell youthat it is impossible to reform,” said Redegalli, who arrived early ina ute on the back of which was a large pig on a spit.

Nalliah addressed the crowd before an Australian flag,leading them in a chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”. He then denouncedmulticulturalism, the media, the United Nations (“United Nonsense”) andthe politically correct left.

He also described a trip to Saudi Arabiawhere he witnessed three beheadings.

He said he wanted to tell all Muslims that “If you are dyingin jihad you are not going to get your 72 virgins in heaven but 72 devilswho will torture you in hell.”

Some in the crowd voiced regret for the violence of 10 yearsago.

Others saw it differently. “What we are here for is tocommemorate those riots which came out of Islamic thuggery,” said a 17-year-old Toby, who had travelled from West Ryde. “If today doesend like that though, they’re going to need bullets to stop us.”

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Bjorn Baker finally gets hold of Lady Sniper and makes it count in Inglis Sprint

On target: Jason Collett and Lady Sniper (nearest to camera) storm home to take out the Inglis Sprint. Photo: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛It took him a couple of years longer than he would have hoped, but Bjorn Baker finally managed to get his hands on Lady Sniper. And didn’t he make it count.
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The underbidder on the filly when Queensland-based Craig Rounsefell from Boomer Bloodstock picked up the $20,000 unfashionably bred yearling, Baker was forced to wait until a stable change earlier this year was sought for Lady Sniper before she arrived at his Warwick Farm base.

“I received a ready-made filly this preparation and thankfully it’s worked out well,” Baker said after Lady Sniper mowed down $1.90 favourite Hellbent to win the $250,000 Inglis Sprint at Randwick on Saturday.

“She’s a lovely big horse and I guess it’s a credit to ‘Boomer’ [Rounsefell]. He bought her for $20,000 and you look at her now and I thought she was a standout in the ring today. I was pretty confident with the owners and I thought she would be right there.”

Kurt Goldman’s Hellbent ranged up to win under Blake Shinn, but Lady Sniper reacted to the urgings of an in-form Jason Collett to score by a neck. Stoker was a half-head back in third.

“I thought she would go well,” Baker said. “Normally the boys like these pin-up runs when they’re running on from back in the field. She missed the start by four lengths [last start] and she just peaked on her run. There was heaps of merit in her last run going into this.”

Lady Sniper’s win was a perfect exhibition of Collett’s flourishing summer, as he chalked up three winners for the day.

“She was unlucky last start, but I was quietly confident today she would match it,” Collett said. “I think she’s a nice filly going forward. She’s improved each start and I think she’s got the scope there to string a few more together.

“I take Hellbent as a benchmark. I think he’s a very good horse and she’s run them down. It’s going well and I’m enjoying it.”

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Australia v West Indies first cricket Test: Darren Lehmann says Shaun Marsh will be hard to drop

Enjoying the summer: Shaun Marsh is in a rich vein of form. Photo: Getty Images Australia v West Indies first cricket Test report
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Australian coach Darren Lehmann admits Shaun Marsh will be hard to drop as the hosts, having dispatched the West Indies inside three days, face the biggest dilemma of the series inside their own camp.

The opening night of the Big Bash League was dealt a blow on Saturday with the withdrawal of Australian captain Steve Smith with knee and hip soreness, robbing this week’s Sydney derby of a major drawcard.

After Australia’s battering of the West Indies well inside three days at Hobart, attention will now turn to the Twenty20 tournament, which features its own high-profile players from the Caribbean and begins on Thursday night when the Thunder host the Sixers at Spotless Stadium.

Australia, who announced the return of Usman Khawaja to the squad from the Boxing Day Test and the addition of Stephen O’Keefe for the third Test in Sydney, have released six players for the opening stages of the BBL but Smith is not among them.

The Test captain said he was in “no doubt” for the second match of the series against the West Indies starting on Boxing Day with aggravation of right knee pain and a minor strain in his right hip flexor. His absence, however, serves as a commercial and competitive setback for his franchise, the Sixers, who he was to have played the first two games of the season for prior to linking up with the national squad again in Melbourne.

“I think it’s just precautionary. I don’t think I’ll be able to go at 100 per cent, which is what you need to do in T20 cricket. I don’t want to do any further damage,” Smith said.

Elsewhere, Joe Burns (Brisbane Heat), Peter Nevill (Melbourne Renegades), Nathan Lyon (Sixers), Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile (Perth Scorchers) have been made available for the BBL opening rounds while the Test bowlers are as expected rested.

As for the make-up of the Australian side for Boxing Day, Lehmann said Khawaja, returning from a hamstring injury, would slot straight back into the XI if deemed fit after a pair of hundreds against New Zealand last month.

Who will accommodate him is the question. Shaun Marsh would be unlucky to drop out after making 182 but selectors may want to stick with Burns in an opening partnership with David Warner, particularly given the Queenslander himself made a century this summer against far stronger opposition in New Zealand. What appears certain is that Marsh won’t be heading back to the top of the order.

“I’ve said that for a while now I think [Marsh] is best suited at five,” Smith said. “He’s played some very good cricket at five. He did last summer as well. I was really impressed with the way he batted last week, he did well in tough conditions and tough circumstances, and again backing it up again this week with a big hundred. He’s batting really well.”

Lehmann said selectors had a series of options to sort through if Khawaja was fit, but in terms of personnel it will be a straight decision between Burns and Marsh.

“It’s hard to drop someone who makes 182,” Lehmann said on ABC radio. “You’re asking guys to come in and make runs and he actually came in as a replacement for Usman. The challenge for us for selectors is to try out and work out what the best six is They can all bat from one to six which is a pleasing thing for us.

“It’s going to be hard to change but if Usman is fit and he comes back in then we have to change. We’ll have to work out whether he opens, whether he bats three and Smith goes to four, whether Shaun Marsh stays in. It’s going to be a tight call.”

Australia squad for Melbourne Test: Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith (c), Voges, S Marsh, M Marsh, Nevill, Siddle, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Lyon, Coulter-Nile. Australia squad for Sydney Test: Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith (c), Voges, S Marsh, M Marsh, Nevill, Siddle, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Lyon, Coulter-Nile, O’Keefe.

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