Sheri Yan with Bob Hawke and Frank Lowy. Photo: supplied Phil Scanlan, John Ashe and Sheri Yan. Photo: supplied
Sheri Yan and her husband Roger Uren, a former analyst at the Office of National Assessments. Photo: supplied
The queen of the -China social scene has been charged in New York with funnelling almost $1 million in bribes to the president of the United Nations General Assembly.
Sheri Yan – who had deep connections in the n foreign policy establishment and shuttled regularly between luxurious apartments in Canberra, Beijing and New York – remains in a US prison ahead of a bail hearing on Friday.
She and her husband Roger Uren, a media executive and former n intelligence analyst who was once tipped to be former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s ambassador to Beijing, have long been a fixture at n embassy events in Beijing. The pair recently moved their family base from Beijing to the Canberra suburb of Kingston, where they keep a valuable collection of Chinese classic and erotic art.
Underlining her deep ties to , Ms Yan was once also paid to act as a lobbyist by the ABC in her native China when the public broadcaster made an ultimately futile effort to secure local broadcasting rights for its overseas television channel Network.
She used her high level connections in and China to act as a go-between. Her office and online business profiles were plastered with photographs such as an encounter with former Labor leader Bob Hawke and billionaire Frank Lowy.
“You can trust her,” reads a glowing endorsement from Greg Rudd, Kevin Rudd’s brother, posted on Ms Yan’s LinkedIn page.
“She’s well connected in all jurisdictions and understands what works and what doesn’t work. Most important she is a woman of high morals and principle … and is the queen of entertaining and hosting. Sheri is always worth talking to.”
But in a dramatic turn of events Ms Yan, also known as Shiwei Yan, was arrested last week and accused by US prosecutors of making hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs to John Ashe, then a diplomat from the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.
The money – allegedly spent by Mr Ashe on expensive Rolex watches, tailored suits and lavish first-class holidays – is said to be part of a conspiracy to curry favour for unnamed Chinese “security” and “media” companies, working across Macau, the Caribbean and Kenya.
Ms Yan is accused of making several large transfers to Mr Ashe, with US investigators citing private emails from Google and Yahoo accounts, obtained under warrant. In one email from 2012, Ms Yan is alleged to have written to Mr Ashe: “Dear John, a quick note to let you know that I will send first $300,000 to the account this week”. Mr Ashe later responded that would “start the conversation”, it is claimed.
Mr Ashe was elected to a one-year term as president of the General Assembly beginning in 2013, about the same time Ms Yan is accused of making monthly payments of $20,000 to him under the guise of a non-governmental organisation she headed, known as the “Global Sustainability Foundation”.
Prominent Melbourne businessman Phil Scanlan, the founder of the elite n-American Leadership Dialogue, initially was listed to sit on an advisory board for Global Sustainability Foundation, along with n insurance lawyer Ian Hutchinson.
Mr Scanlan could not be reached for comment, but Mr Hutchinson said he was “absolutely bewildered” by the criminal allegations against Ms Yan.
“I know Sheri very well and I’d be awfully surprised if they are true. I think she’s a woman of integrity and honesty,” he said.
Fairfax Media does not suggest any wrongdoing by Mr Scanlan or Mr Hutchinson.
Ms Yan, 57, is the daughter of a celebrated Chinese artist who, she said, worked with the People’s Liberation Army’s cultural troupe. She is known for being well-spoken, charming and impeccably dressed.
She met Mr Uren when he was working at the n embassy in Washington in the 1980s after she had left a state radio job in China to pursue her studies overseas.
Ms Yan helped Mr Uren research his well-regarded book about a reviled Chinese intelligence chief, The Claws of the Dragon: Kang Sheng – The Evil Genius Behind Mao, which revealed how the official kept a huge collection of erotic art seized by his Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.
Former Network chief Bruce Dover said he was introduced to Ms Yan in 2005 by her husband and she was later paid around $5000 per month as part of a bid by the ABC to secure broadcasting rights in the tightly controlled Chinese market.
“After about six months I wondered what we were getting,” Mr Dover said. “It was all talk and not a lot of progress, and we parted ways.”
Her arrest promises to shed light on the hidden connections between the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Liberation Army, and n politicians, diplomats and business people seeking access to China.
Ms Yan had or claimed to have close links with several powerful revolutionary families in China, particularly in the military and propaganda systems.
For example, she said she could arrange interviews with the favourite daughter of Chairman Mao, Li Na, because they shared the same masseuse.
Those connections, real and imagined, were parlayed into diplomatic and commercial opportunities for a range of politicians, officials and business people.
Many of those connections were made at the n embassy, including at colourful parties hosted by former ambassador Geoff Raby, and Ms Yan has played an important role in facilitating relations before and since.
As well as building bridges, she was also known for breaking them, particularly with ambitious but naive ns who had no way of verifying the connections she claimed to have lined up behind her.
A doctor at Sydney Children’s Hospital has been reprimanded for his care of two babies with heart problems. Photo: Gabriele CharotteA doctor at the Sydney Children’s Hospital ordered unnecessary open-heart surgery on a three-day-old baby and put another at risk of permanent heart damage, the health regulator has found.
Paediatric cardiologist Christoph Camphausen previously headed the Randwick cardiology unit, but has since been suspended from clinical duties and will now not work without supervision because of serious concerns about public safety.
The case has also raised questions about the organisation of paediatric cardiac services in NSW, with allegations of dysfunction and tension in one of Sydney’s top children’s hospitals.
Dr Camphausen was prosecuted by the Health Care Complaints Commission after concerns were raised by colleagues about his treatment of seven patients.
In the two cases heard by a Medical Professional Standards Committee he was found to have made “extremely serious” departures from the expected clinical standards for treating babies with heart problems and to have inadequately consulted with expert colleagues.
In the first case, expert witness and Melbourne paediatric cardiologist James Wilkinson said Dr Camphausen had made an “astonishing error” when he misdiagnosed a three-day-old baby in 2012. His belief that the baby boy had a congenital malformation of a heart valve led him to order the baby undergo unnecessary exploratory heart surgery.
In the second case, Dr Camphausen mistakenly delayed for two years surgery that should have been done within six months on a baby girl born with Down syndrome and a heart murmur in December 2010.
Professor Wilkinson told the Committee there was “…was no benefit in postponing surgery in this child and the delay will undoubtedly have resulted in some damage to her [blood vessels in her lungs], with an adverse effect on her long-term prospects of getting a good result.”
In the hearings, Dr Camphausen said he did not consult with his colleagues because an “extremely stressful environment” had developed as the units at Randwick and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead prepared to merge.
He said there was a “lack of mutual support and trust within the department” and his relationship with his colleagues had deteriorated.
“To consistently practice paediatric cardiology at a high level, an individual needs to function as a member of a team,” he told the committee. “Over the course of 2011 and 2012 I had to work in an increasingly unsupportive environment.”
He admitted he had made errors, but said his two years suspended from clinical practice had given him “more than enough time to learn from my mistakes”.
Other clinicians also defended his attitude and work, calling him “honest [and] hardworking”, “highly regarded” and “collaborative and collegial”.
But despite Dr Camphausen trying to learn from his mistakes and continuing his medical education while suspended, the committee said his conduct still “raises serious concerns in relation to clinical standards and the protection of the public”.
“It is somewhat problematic that Dr Camphausen as an experienced, highly trained, hard-working, specialist paediatric cardiologist has been found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct in the circumstances outlined,” it wrote.
The committee gave Dr Camphausen an official reprimand, and ordered he must inform them if he restarts or changes clinical practice, and that any practice must be supervised by an approved supervisor.
The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, where Dr Camphausen remains employed in a non-clinical position, apologised to the affected families and said it regretted that their children did not get the best care.
“We will work with the families involved to ensure they are aware of the findings and indicate that better care should have been provided,” a spokeswoman said. She noted the investigation had been initiated by the network and staff acted in the best interests of children.
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Paralympian Kahi Puru’s leg was amputated after a fork-lift truck accident. Photo: Peter StoopKahi Puru’s leg had to be amputated at the hip after he was injured in a fork-lift truck accident at work.
He overcame the injury to compete in the Paralympics as a powerlifter and on a handcycle in the New York Marathon.
The latest available figures from SafeWork NSW show 1360 workers were injured in fork-lift truck incidents in two years from July 2012 to July 2014.
Figures for fatalities, including the past 12 months, show there have been eight deaths in the past three years, prompting the state government to issue a work safety warning.
The Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, said workplace safety needed to be the “number one priority for every business”.
SafeWork NSW has produced a new safety video and traffic management advice. It is also offering businesses rebates of up to $500 to implement safety improvements.
Traffic management plans include separating pedestrians from fork-lifts, using barriers and pedestrian walkways.
“Workplace incidents involving fork-lifts often result in serious injuries and operators need to be conscious of pedestrians at all times,” Mr Dominello said. “We want all workers to return home safely to their families at the end of each day.”
Mr Puru, of Newcastle, represented at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. In 2004, he completed the New York Marathon on a handcycle.
He was placed seventh at the Paralympics after lifting 207.5 kilograms.
The powerlifting began after he watched a competition while he was swimming as part of his rehabilitation therapy.
He was working as an industrial cleaner in 1993 when he was struck by a fork-lift after he stepped out of his truck.
“I was coming towards the end of a 13½-hour shift and I was on an industrial site where I couldn’t see the fork-lift and he couldn’t see me,” Mr Puru said.
He was rushed to hospital and his left leg was amputated at the hip.
“I think fork-lift drivers need to be more aware of their surroundings. I don’t think a lot of them realise they have a job that can cause injuries,” he said.
Mr Puru works as a motivational speaker and ambassador for SafeWork NSW.
Hume City chasing David Trezeguet, Ronaldinho and Arda Turan for FFA Cup match against Melbourne Victory
One of the biggest names in world football will be playing for a suburban Melbourne football club in an FFA Cup semi-final pending the approval of documents from the Department of Immigration to free-up a visa-player spot. National Premier League Victoria club Hume City, who will host A-League champions Melbourne Victory in a cup semi-final on October 28, are deep in negotiations to sign one of Ronaldinho, Arda Turan, David Trezeguet or Giorgios Karagounis as a guest player.
The ambitious state league club is made up of little more than 300 registered participants but could boast one of the most high-profile stars to have played in . However, standing in the way of Hume City signing one of the four drawcards hinges on the residency application of goalkeeper Chris Oldfield, who is scheduled to receive his paperwork just weeks after the FFA Cup semi-final.
An FFA spokesman confirmed the governing body would not break competition rules to allow Hume City adding a third visa-player to their squad even if it was to sign a notable guest player that would potentially attract a sell-out crowd AAMI Park in Melbourne. Oldfield’s citizenship application is understood to have been approved but the club requested to fast-track the delivery of documents to register the shot-stopper as an n player before the match, paving the way for one of the most unlikely signings in n football to occur. Hume also have British player Nick Haggarty on their books.
Fairfax Media understands former World Cup winner David Trezeguet is the most likely to become the remarkable guest player for Hume City having agreed to a deal to play one game with the club. The former Juventus and France striker quit playing in January but has agreed in principle to a $50,000 deal to come out of retirement for one match in . The 37-year-old last played professionally in December last year but is said to be fit having played in many friendlies since.
Hume have also been in discussions with former World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho for the lucrative guest spot though the former Barcelona and AC milan playmaker would be a more expensive option. The 35-year-old Brazilian agreed to play for up to 60 minutes to help propel Hume to the FFA Cup final.
Founded by Turkish migrants in 1979, Hume used an extensive network of connections in Turkey to try and lure current Barcelona and Turkey star Arda Turan. Hume directors spoke directly with the winger who was happy to come play one match in while awaiting his transfer clearance in Spain. Due to Barcelona’s transfer embargo, Turan can not play until January 2016 after completing his switch from Atletico Madrid in the European summer. Barcelona would likely command a fee to loan the player to Hume for one game despite yet to register him in La Liga. Any loan deal for Turan would include the support of a sponsor and Hume also hoped a deal with Etihad Stadium would help sign one of the world’s best attacking players. A war of words broke-out between the FFA and the Melbourne club over the venue for their semi-final against Victory after Hume made a late request to host the match at Etihad Stadium. After initially submitting their venues for broadcast games as Lakeside Stadium and AAMI Park, Hume were offered minimum $150,000 to host the game at Docklands with the venue covering all operational risks and costs.
Both Hume and FFA remained tight-lipped on the matter when contacted by Fairfax Media on Thursday but are at loggerheads over the events that led to the match being played at the smaller capacity of AAMI Park. Hume have the opportunity to earn a significant pay cheque from AAMI Park but will face a financial risk having to cover up to $90,000 in hiring costs.
Greece’s most capped player of all-time, Giorgos Karagounis was also approached by Hume but is considered an outside chance to play.
Trainer Peter Moody is facing cobalt charges. Photo: Pat ScalaThe chance of one of the horses at the centre of a cobalt scandal returning the recorded elevated level of the substance – without intervention – was one in 27 million, a leading expert says.
Thoroughbred trainers Shannon and Lee Hope appeared before the Racing Appeals Board on Thursday, fighting to continue working in the industry in the face of positive urine tests returned by three of their horses last year. The horses had recorded cobalt readings above the permissible threshold of 200 micrograms per litre in urine.
The Hopes are the first two of five leading n trainers — including Peter Moody, Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh — charged with both presentation and administration in relation to cobalt positives..
Their Sydney-based lawyer Robert Stitt QC said his clients accepted that the substance could be performance enhancing but, in a surprise move, entered a not guilty plea to all charges, including one of presenting horses with cobalt in their systems on race day.
Stitt argued that the scientists who would present evidence on behalf of the racing stewards had failed to take into account the “bio-accumulation” of cobalt in the horses.
He said once tissue reached a saturation point with a substance, it would then start accumulating, and that meant the Hopes’ horses could have a returned the high readings as a result.
Veterinarian Martin Wainscott had conducted a trial on five horses over three weeks, feeding and administrating the same medicines the Hopes said they had given their horses.
In cross-examination of Wainscott, Stitt argued he had not accurately modelled the Hopes’ regime, because the trial period was too short and did not take into account that cobalt could have built up in the Hopes’ horses’ systems.
When questioned by stewards’ counsel Jeff Gleeson CQ, Wainscott rejected the claim, saying he was not aware of any trials that had shown accumulation could result in very high readings of cobalt.
Stitt sought to suggest that the trial of five horses could not be considered statistically significant, but Wainscott said it had been approved by the Department of Primary Industries in NSW.
In his opening remarks, Gleeson flagged that a chemistry professor had submitted a report stating that the chances of the Hopes’ horse, Best Suggestion, returning a cobalt reading of 510mg/L naturally was about one in 27 million.
The chances of Windi City Bear returning a cobalt reading of 270mg/L naturally was one in 1 million and of Choose returning 450mg/L was one in 12 million, Gleeson said.
Stitt said Lee Hope had been licensed under the racing act for 49 years and been a trainer since 1976 without ever being charged or found guilty of breaking any rules. His son Shannon had been licensed for two decades and had a similarly spotless record, he said.
Stitt indicated that he intended to contest all charges, in part on the basis that Racing Victoria’s rules had been interpreted incorrectly by the stewards.
Fellow accused Flemington trainers O’Brien and Kavanagh will have their cases heard on November 28, while Moody’s case will be heard on December 14.
Canberra Capitals forward Abby Bishop will continue to play on a minutes restriction in her return from injury. Photo: Jay CronanCanberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf says she will refuse the temptation to rush star forward Abby Bishop back into the starting line-up before she is ready.
Bishop will come off the bench for the third straight game with the Capitals aiming to prevent an 0-3 start to the season against the Townsville Fire on Sunday.
The Capitals will head to Townsville to face the defending WNBL champions eager to bounce back from Wednesday night’s 85-67 loss to the Sydney-Uni Flames.
Bishop provided an important contribution, top-scoring with 17 points on 5-9 shooting in just 23 minutes as she continues her comeback from a hamstring injury.
Last season’s WNBL MVP was supposed to play in Hungary this season before she was released after sustaining the injury playing for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA.
Graf said Bishop would continue to be on a minutes restriction until her injury was fully healed and her conditioning improved.
“Not for a while mate, she’s got a hamstring injury which meant she couldn’t play in Europe,” Graf said.
“It’s going to be a gradual process during the season and evaluating week by week how that progress is going.
“And her fitness right now, regardless of the injury, right now, Abby would struggle to play much more than 25-30 minutes at the moment.
“We’ve just got to get through this first chunk of the season and not put ourselves too far behind.”
Bishop said her fitness was a work in progress, but had noticed an improvement through the first two games.
“I’m struggling with my fitness, but from game one to game two, I definitely feel better,” Bishop said.
“I’ll do whatever I can to do to help the team.
“Hopefully by Christmas I’ll be back in that starting line-up.”
In promising news, Graf said the Capitals were expecting to have star centre Lauren Jackson return for next Thursday night’s home game against the SEQ Stars at the AIS Arena.
“We’re hopeful she will play some minutes in our home game next week, we’ve just got to see how she progresses when we build her load up on court,” Graf said.
“That’s the loose plan at this stage, we’ll know more about that as she progresses through the next couple days and early next week.”
With Jackson unavailable and Bishop starting the game on the bench, the Capitals fell behind in the first quarter against the Flames.
They trailed 23-14 at the opening break before reducing the margin to eight points at halftime.
The Capitals closed to six points at three-quarter time, but scored just 11 points in the final term against a Flames team which won the rebounding battle 32-24.
“We knew at the start of the season it was going to be tough,” Graf said.
“We’re minus three starters and another starter is coming off the bench.
“Our schedule is brutal, so for us it’s about, can we find a way to grind out some wins against quality opposition.”
Tough initiation: The Cricket XI has struggled in the Matador Cup. Photo: Brett HemmingsFormer NSW captain Dom Thornely said Cricket would have been better off entering the n team that postponed the tour of Bangladesh to play in the Matador Cup than the CA XI.
Thornely, who was captain of the “Baby Blues” in 2008, a team that suffered some tough times as the likes of Steve Smith, Phillip Hughes, Peter Forrest and Usman Khawaja were blooded, said he supported the players in the CA XI, who Western thumped by 246 runs on Thursday.
The CA XI consists of fringe state squad players – and the average age of each player in the group is 21. While the CA XI enjoyed a shock victory over Tasmania, Thornely said he would have entered the national team forced to stay home after the federal government expressed fears n “interests” were at risk from extremists in Bangladesh.
“I would have picked the n team to play in the Matador Cup to see how the states went against them,” he said. “It would’ve been hard, but in hindsight I wonder if this is going to do more damage [to the CA XI players] than it will enhance their careers. You go to North Sydney and Shaun Marsh belts you over the ground for 186, yes, you know where you are, but the damage?
“On the flip side, Marsh hits 186 and pushes his case for Test selection but, with all respect, is that [bowling attack’s] quality the level you’d get from a Test side?”
Cricket national talent manager Greg Chappell said on Monday he could not understand the “negativity” directed at the CA XI, adding that the players would learn from the experience.
NSW spin bowler Stephen O’Keefe was worried how the experience could affect some players. “Even after we beat them with the double bonus point I said on radio they’d win a game and they’ve done that,” he said.
“My biggest fear for them is they do build up scar tissue. Getting thumped generally isn’t good for your cricket, regardless of what level you’re playing. I’m pretty certain a lot of those guys will go on and have good first-class cricket careers but I’d probably just like to see in that team guys more on the fringe of their state squads playing.
“The idea of getting another 11 guys out there is fantastic but I also think there are guys at NSW cricket who missed in this squad who would develop, who are still young and would benefit from playing in that team.”
Mary, The Making Of A Princess will air on Ten in November and star Ryan O’Kane (as Prince Frederik) and Emma Hamilton (as Princess Mary). Photo: Ten Overshare…The Langham Hotel slipped a little peek of filming back in August. Photo: Instagram
It’s rare that actual royalty star in miniseries of their own lives but in Ten’s upcoming Mary: The Making of a Princess production, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will make a cameo appearance.
“When Emma [Hamilton, who plays Princess Mary] was filming some scenes in Copenhagen, there was a scene, that if you look really closely, you’ll see Prince Frederik. He drove past in his car while they had the cameras rolling,” the prince’s on screen alter ego Ryan O’Kane said.
O’Kane, who previously played cricketer Jeff Thomson in Howzat!, missed out on visiting the royal couple’s homeland and filming in Denmark but was equally impressed with the locations in Sydney.
“We were the first film crew allowed to shoot in Government House. We used the water fountains and halls for a few scenes. It was amazing, the paint work in there is awe inspiring,” the New Zealand native said.
Mary: The Making of a Princess was also shot on Sydney Harbour and inside the newly refurbished Langham Hotel.
Emotions ran high on set with many reduced to tears during certain takes.
“I’d look up after we’d break from some scenes and if the director was crying I’d knew we’d nailed it,” he said. “It was quite hard not to get too emotional in some circumstances.”
To prepare for the role as the unassuming future King of Denmark O’Kane worked with a dialect coach on set and “watched his wedding speech on YouTube like a hundred times. Not just trying to get the accent right but to mimic how he interacted with Mary and his family.”
The first look of the upcoming miniseries was released on Thursday and promises viewers “the story you don’t know” about the couple who met during the Sydney Olympics, married in May 2014 and now have four young children.
“It celebrates these two, celebrates their relationship. Trend spotters will no doubt have a field day saying ‘Oh you used the wrong tiara there’ but it’s a really positive story,” O’Kane said.
He confirmed the creators didn’t have a direct line to the palace or the couple’s friends, like Mary’s best n friend and maid of honour Amber Petty.
“The only connection to reality is the fact it was a real situation that unfolded, there was a lot of creative licence taken with the story.”
O’Kane is now preparing to start work on the upcoming Peter Brock miniseries.
“We just had our first read through. Growing up in New Zealand I have no real idea of who he was, so it is going to be a lot of fun learning more on set.”
Not resting on his laurels: Dean Yendall is happy to clock up the miles and mounts Photo: Pat ScalaJust after Dean Yendall started the seven-hour round trip for just one ride lasting barely two minutes at Caulfield on Wednesday – a winner, no less – you’re best chance of finding him would have been hunting an imported sports drink in a Melbourne Asian grocery.
The usual order is a “couple of slabs”.
“They used to sell it at home [in Horsham] at Safeway, but I must have been the only poor bastard buying it,” Yendall jokes of the Singaporean 100Plus. “They don’t stock it any more.”
Crack one open to celebrate on the way home, just another few hours on the road in Yendall’s 90,000 kilometres-a-year lot as Victoria’s country king.
There is a fair bit of thinking time in that Mazda 6 wagon – “I just say [to the mechanic], ‘I’ll see you back in three weeks'” – which points in every direction depending where the races are on any given day.
The atypical rough-around-the-edges jockey working his guts out to pay a “mortgage, bills and all that shit” is actually anything but. Scratch the surface and the lightweight specialist almost has no peer with a knife and fork – and in fast food highway stops, which have become a cursed convenience around the state.
“I have been eating too much chocolate,” Yendall confesses. “We [wife and former jockey Christine Puls] sit there after dinner when [daughter] Mia goes to bed and we would eat a whole block of 200-gram chocolate. Family sized. We can polish off the whole thing.”
And still ride the Caulfield Cup battler Magnapal at 50 kilograms – comfortably – in the $3 million classic on Saturday.
Yendall knew the ride would be in the offing with Magnapal’s regular partner Luke Currie struggling to make the impost and was straight on the phone to the horse’s co-trainer Terry O’Sullivan, who he rode a home-town Stawell Cup winner for as an apprentice.
“There were a few ‘F’ words – that’s the way he talks – and he said, ‘Luke would have no hope of making that weight and you’ll probably ride it’,” Yendall recalls of the conversation after Magnapal’s Naturalism Stakes win.
Bingo. All that travel and punching around slow ones during the middle of winter was worth something.
Eighteen months ago Yendall rode two-year-old Boomwaa at 46kg in the Lightning Stakes on a diet of bacon and eggs for breakfast, “something to help him get through the day”. It is fulfilling and infuriating in equal measure.
Fulfilling in the fact he can step into the rarefied air of the celebrated Purtons, Olivers and McDonalds for once, but equally infuriating for rivals who couldn’t sniff a rasher of said bacon and hope to ride under 53kg.
Just riding in his first Cox Plate last year on Gai Waterhouse’s Wandjina was a major milestone for Yendall. A second Caulfield Cup has rolled around 12 months on.
“It will put a cup winner on my CV, but I don’t think it’s going to help my career,” Yendall shrugs when asked about what a boilover for Magnapal, a $51 chance, will mean to him. “It will just say I rode a Caulfield Cup winner. I’ll still be known as the country rider that rode a group 1 winner in town. I’d rather do it more for the O’Sullivans.”
Twenty-one-month-old daughter Mia might have changed Yendall. After years of marriage without kids, the former one-time hothead has softened. Just slightly. Time at home with family – and leisure on the golf course – is even more precious as the regular stream of winners on race day hope to keep Yendall noticed at this time of year.
“People used to say I was an angry ant,” Yendall says. “That’s just the way I am. It’s my personality, I think. I say it how it is and I don’t hold back. I prefer to stay home most of the time now.”
Which is probably where Yendall will be a few hours after the Caulfield Cup, even if he engineers the unthinkable on Magnapal. Munching on that family-sized block of chocolate thinking about the races at Warrnambool on Sunday with the slabs of 100Plus handy.
He’d done it: Nick Kyrgios had handled the trolling of Adelaide Crows captain Taylor Walker with aplomb and was sitting pretty on top of the moral high ground.
But it proved to be a slippery slope and in one fell tweet he stumbled.
After Twitter tempers flared on Wednesday, Kyrgios and Walker were back for the rematch on Thursday – the Mohawk up against the reformed Mullet.
It looks like the Mohawk is still ahead on points, but it’s hard to tell which way the judges will finally sway.
But before the Thriller from Twitter kicked off again, it appeared everything had ended so peacefully until a cheeky Walker posted a video of himself taking a spectacular mark against the Gold Coast Suns.
“@NickKyrgios here is for future reference buddy – just remember this next time you spit the dummy #galoot,” Walker tweeted. @NickKyrgios here is for future reference buddy – just remember this next time you spit the dummy #galoothttp://t上海龙凤论坛/s08AnXNq5D— Tex Walker (@texwalker13) October 15, 2015
It didn’t take Kyrgios long to return serve, which was when he lost the high ground – if only he’d heeded Lord Humungus’s wise words from Mad Max 2, “Just walk away”.
“@texwalker13 the fact that you just posted a highlight of yourself makes me think you’re a bigger idiot than I thought,” Kyrgios replied. @texwalker13 the fact that you just posted a highlight of yourself makes me think you’re a bigger idiot than I thought.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) October 15, 2015
It had all appeared to end amicably on Wednesday night, when Kyrgios had wished both Walker and former Crows teammate Patrick Dangerfield all the best for their careers. @dangerfield32 I wish the best for you both in your careers. Never said a bad word about him.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) October 14, 2015
The storm in a Twitter cup had kicked off on Wednesday morning with Walker initially having a crack at Kyrgios.
“When is this absolute Galoot going to learn. What a dead set flog!! Just suspend the peanut!!” Walker tweeted. When is this absolute Galoot going to learn. What a dead set flog!! Just suspend the peanut!! http://t上海龙凤论坛/rULDU8SPPz— Tex Walker (@texwalker13) October 13, 2015
Kyrgios fired a jab back, tweeting he didn’t know who Walker was, which was when Dangerfield got involved to the young Canberran some background. I don’t even know who Tex walker is lol— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) October 14, 2015
Stay tuned for round three.