PM’s XI assistant coach Ryan Harris doesn’t think many of his former n teammates will play against the Kiwis. Photo: Scott BarbourRyan Harris thinks the Prime Minister’s XI is an important game that should be a “big, special occasion” on the cricket calendar, but the recently retired n quick doubts many of his former teammates will be picked to play New Zealand at Manuka Oval next Friday.
But the big-hearted fast bowler does expect a strong Kiwi side – and he expects fellow quick Peter Siddle will look to rough up their batsmen ahead of the upcoming three-Test series if selected.
The PM’s XI is struggling to find its place on the cricketing landscape, having been moved from its usual spot in January after it was engulfed by the Big Bash League and struggled to find players.
Now it clashes with the one-day domestic competition’s elimination final and is just two days before the decider.
It means many of ‘s top players will again be unavailable – although Siddle hasn’t been playing for Victoria so looks an obvious selection.
Harris, who said he’d always wanted to play in a PM’s game but never got the chance, felt it was still an important fixture – although he wasn’t sure where it best fitted into the summer.
“It’s something that needs to be worked out … it’s an important game, it needs to be continued,” Harris said.
“Meeting your prime minister is a very special occasion – I’ve managed to meet up with all five of them in the last few years, in January for the Sydney Test we always go to Kirribilli House.
“Hopefully they can sort out the timing of it and make it a big special occasion on the calendar.”
With ‘s tour of Bangladesh cancelled, Siddle hasn’t had much cricket, especially since Victoria have omitted him from their ODD team.
The PM’s game offers the perfect chance for him to get some match fitness and try out the pink ball, which will be used in the day-night game.
But Harris wasn’t expecting many more of Siddle’s Test teammates to get the call-up.
He said selectors wouldn’t want to give the Kiwis a look at many of the n players ahead of the three-Test series and they would instead use the opening round of the Sheffield Shield – which will all be day-night games using a pink ball – to get ready for the historic first day-night Test at Adelaide Oval on November 27.
But the 36-year-old still hoped the Canberra public would support the game.
“I don’t think they’ll pick too many of the [Aussie] batters, I’ll think they’ll want to keep the two [teams] apart I guess,” Harris said.
“I don’t think they’ll pick too many of the Test team, maybe Siddle and guys who need an extra run.
“The Prime Minister might be able to make a phone call and ask, but I still don’t know if that will make any difference.”
Harris said Siddle, whether instructed to by him or head coach Greg Blewett or not, would look to ruffle the Kiwis’ feathers.
“Pete Siddle’s is a guy who everyone thinks doesn’t bowl fast any more, but I know he still bowls fast,” Harris said.
“If he gets the opportunity I’m sure he’ll try and do that, whether it’s orders from the coach, I’m sure he’ll try and do that.”
Harris said the PM’s team would be selected on “Sunday or Monday”.
He’ll also be the assistant coach for the Cricket XI two-day game against New Zealand at Manuka, which starts Saturday week.
PRIME MINISTER’S XI
October 23: PM’s XI v New Zealand at Manuka Oval, 2.20pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.
VOX POP: Should the rail be ripped by Christmas Sophie Murray of New Lambton; I think they should hurry up and get on with it, but we need some kind of public transport to get around the city because there’s nothing at the moment. Maybe they should have more CBD buses going until the light rail is operating. I think [the rail corridor] should be a mix of green space with small shops – no high rise though.
Scott Gelzinnis of Newcastle; No. Don’t rip the tracks up, we should be reinstating the heavy rail line. We are the only city in the world that is ripping up rail infrastructure. There is going to come a time when the infrastructure we have will not be able to support the amount of people coming into Newcastle.
Luke Scott of Newcastle; We’re going backwards. The heavy rail line was an easy way to travel between Maitland and Newcastle and now the trip is longer and the changes make it difficult. I used to catch the train all the time to travel to Maitland and back, and I loved it. I’ve got elderly friends who used it all the time too. I don’t want the tracks to be ripped up.
Robert Walz of Newcastle; Look at all the people in the Newcastle mall now – look how that has changed in the past 10 years. The same thing will happen once the rail line is gone, more people will come into Newcastle to enjoy the city and they will be able to easily get around. We used to watch the trains go past and there was hardly anybody on them.
Sylvia Walz of Newcastle; I’m very happy they are finally getting rid of it. Newcastle is a great city and we should be able to easily go from one side of the CBD to the other. I walk the dog over there now you can get across. The rail line used to cut the CBD in half. I hope they turn the land into green space, that is what is needed.
Cherie Sliney of Belmont; I want it ripped out as soon as possible. It will bring people into our town, and it connects the CBD. I hope they use the land for green space and keep it open, I don’t want to see any high rise there.
Leonie Turner of New Lambton; It’s wonderful. This is going to bring more people into our beautiful city. Before the rail was cut I would never go over there for lunch, but now I do and it feels like the weekend for half an hour. I’d like to see a beautifully designed space there with children’s water facilities and other things everyone could use.
Jordan Rafferty of Adamstown; I’m very happy about it. They should rip it up by Christmas. They need to get started on the light rail or other forms of public transport in the CBD though, because it’s not fantastic. I don’t want to see development on the land, I think it’d be better to have it as green space.
TweetFacebookShould the rail line be ripped up by Christmas?
Scott Gelzinnis of Newcastle
No. Don’t rip the tracks up, we should be reinstating the heavy rail line. We are the only city in the world that is ripping up rail infrastructure. There is going to come a time when the infrastructure we have will not be able to support the amount of people coming into Newcastle.
Luke Scott of Newcastle
We’re going backwards. The heavy rail line was an easy way to travel between Maitland and Newcastle and now the trip is longer and the changes make it difficult. I used to catch the train all the time to travel to Maitland and back, and I loved it. I’ve got elderly friends who used it all the time too. I don’t want the tracks to be ripped up.
Robert Walz of Newcastle
Look at all the people in the Newcastle mall now – look how that has changed in the past 10 years. The same thing will happen once the rail line is gone, more people will come into Newcastle to enjoy the city and they will be able to easily get around. We used to watch the trains go past and there was hardly anybody on them.
Sylvia Walz of Newcastle
I’m very happy they are finally getting rid of it. Newcastle is a great city and we should be able to easily go from one side of the CBD to the other. I walk the dog over there now you can get across. The rail line used to cut the CBD in half. I hope they turn the land into green space, that is what is needed.
Cherie Sliney of Belmont
I want it ripped out as soon as possible. It will bring people into our town, and it connects the CBD. I hope they use the land for green space and keep it open, I don’t want to see any high rise there.
Leonie Turner of New Lambton
It’s wonderful. This is going to bring more people into our beautiful city. Before the rail was cut I would never go over there for lunch, but now I do and it feels like the weekend for half an hour. I’d like to see a beautifully designed space there with children’s water facilities and other things everyone could use.
Jordan Rafferty of Adamstown
I’m very happy about it. They should rip it up by Christmas. They need to get started on the light rail or other forms of public transport in the CBD though, because it’s not fantastic. I don’t want to see development on the land, I think it’d be better to have it as green space.
Sophie Murray of New Lambton
I think they should hurry up and get on with it, but we need some kind of public transport to get around the city because there’s nothing at the moment. Maybe they should have more CBD buses going until the light rail is operating. I think [the rail corridor] should be a mix of green space with small shops – no high rise though.
A ‘‘REVERED’’ Anglican priest, the Reverend Michael Cooper, enticed children with alcohol and drugs and sexually abused them, stunned parishioners at three Hunter parishes were told on Thursday as part of Newcastle Anglican diocese’s ‘‘journey of facing the past’’.
Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson named the late Mr Cooper as a predator of children and warned that he would not be the last to be named.
‘‘This will be the start of a number of statements about clergy, mostly deceased, where we have received and verified information,’’ the Bishop said.
Parishioners at Rutherford, East Maitland and Cessnock were told on Thursday that Mr Cooper, described by Bishop Thompson as a ‘‘revered’’ Anglican priest, had a ‘‘double life involving serious crimes against children’’.
‘‘People will find it hard to believe and to understand, that someone they have known as a caring person could also be a predator.
‘‘People can be very angry but this is part of the process, beginning to see the world through the eyes of the survivors of abuse.’’
Allegations of abuse by Mr Cooper were raised with the diocese after Bishop Thompson’s extraordinary apology to the community in June, in which he said up to 30 perpetrators over four decades molested children – including the children of priests.
‘‘They had sex with children as if that was part of the role,’’ he said inan interview after the apology.
The diocese has handed over tens of thousands of documents to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and a public hearing into historical abuse allegations in Newcastle and the Hunter is expected to be held in 2016.
Bishop Thompson said Mr Cooper, who died in 2007, served in East Maitland, Telarah/Rutherford, Mount Vincent/Weston, Cessnock/Wollombi, Hamilton and Waratah.
Mr Cooper was a friend of another Anglican priest, Peter Rushton, who has also been named as a sexual abuser of children.
In his apology in June, Bishop Thompson issued a warning that ‘‘We can’t have mates looking after mates any more’’, after evidence that files were removed in the past, and clergy who were the subject of allegations were also responsible for dealing with allegations against other clergy.
‘‘When we began the journey of facing the past and shaping a healthy future in June, I alerted the diocese and the community to the fact that more allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing may emerge,’’ Bishop Thompson said.
‘‘I am grateful to those who have had the courage to come forward and I continue to encourage people to do so. I hope they will be able to speak to us and find some support,’’ he said.
Bishop Thompson encouraged people with allegations to speak to police, the diocese’s professional standards director or the royal commission.
Anglican professional standards 1800774945
A security guard watches over the soon-to-be-removed railway tracks on the Newcastle Line at the now-defunct Civic Station. Picture: Darren PatemanTHE schedule for Newcastle’s transport overhaul is being revised to ensure the rail is ripped out as soon as possible, following the passage of legislation authorising its removal through NSW Parliament.
Transport for NSW is expected to produce more information shortly about how the truncation work will unfold, while Premier Mike Baird has said the government can now ‘‘push on’’ with building light rail.
He played up the win in Parliament’s question time session on Thursday, before taking to Facebook to post a ‘‘message to all Novocastrians’’.
‘‘I promised in the lead up to the election that we would not forget you and that we would keep our promises. And that is exactly what is happening,’’ he wrote.
The bill to officially close the line passed the state’s upper house late on Wednesday, after the government agreed to five conditions to secure the votes of the Shooters and Fishers Party, including that it would spend another $50million on the city centre project.
The government said the extra money would go to ‘‘urban renewal’’ associated with the light rail component of the project. Its other commitments to the Shooters included starting the planning for an extension of the light rail network to areas including Broadmeadow and Mayfield, and to legislate swiftly for all proceeds from any development in the corridor to be reinvested back into the city’s revitalisation.
The Greens lodged a notice of dissent on the bill.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, who was expelled from question time by the Speaker for interjecting, said it was ‘‘very positive to get more money, absolutely’’ but that he was disappointed the bill had passed.
‘‘The most important thing now is to get together and work hard to get the best possible integrated transport network,’’ he said.
Mr Crakanthorp said he was concerned the government may backflip on its commitment to give Newcastle City Council the ‘‘final say’’ over any development in the corridor, as it had backflipped on its position against any development in the first place.
‘‘I talked to the Premier this morning about that and he said that his word should be enough, but we’ve heard that from the government too many times.’’
Asked how the council would have ‘‘final say’’ over the rail corridor, a spokesman for Planning Minister Rob Stokes confirmed: ‘‘The key difference for any future rezoning is that the council will be responsible for preparing the planning proposal, not the state government via the Planning Department.’’
‘‘This means council will have control over the types of developments that can be approved, including height, floor space ratios and design,’’ the spokesman said.
A message to all Novocastrians:
Last night, in the face of opposition from those who stand against progress, we took a huge step forward in our effort to transform Newcastle. Legislation was passed through the upper house that finally allows us to help Newcastle unlock its potential as one of the best cities in the world.
I love Newcastle. The beaches. The harbour. The people. But for too long, Newcastle has been held back from reaching its potential, with the same old issues being debated for decades. There’s been lots of talk, but no action.
Those days are over.
I promised in the lead up to the election that we would not forget you and that we would keep our promises. And that is exactly what is happening.
Light rail is coming. And we are excited about cracking on and building it.
Revitalisation of the city is coming. Some of the best beaches in the world will soon be connected with one of the best harbours in the world.
Every time I visit Newcastle, I can feel the buzz. I can feel the optimism. The future is very bright and I’m excited to see the transformation of the city over the coming months and years.
I’d like to offer special thanks to Gladys Berejiklian and Bega (aka Andrew Constance MP) who have fought so hard for Newcastle and were instrumental in last night’s result.
We can now push on with building the light rail, and the future, that Newcastle deserves.
In many ways the story of Newcastle is the story of NSW – promises are being delivered on, challenges are being overcome, potential is being unlocked, and an incredible transformation is underway.
See Mike Baird’s Facebook page here
Head coach TONY POPOVIC spurs on new recruit Scott Alexander Jamieson at Western Sydney Wanderers FC training today, the start of the wanderers pre season training for the A-League 2016 season.Photography Brendan EspositoSMH,Sport,16th July Photo: Brendan EspositoThe embarrassment of getting soundly beaten by Brisbane Roar in the A-League’s season opener will only serve to make Western Sydney Wanderers fix their shortcomings, according to coach Tony Popovic.
Despite cancelling out Brisbane’s opening goal with a quick reply through Mitch Nichols, the Roar ended up running out comfortable 3-1 winners, leaving many to speculate if the Wanderers’ miserable form was to continue into a second season.
However, as the Asian champions prepare for Friday night’s difficult assignment against the hotly-favoured Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium, Popovic insists his side’s round one disappointment won’t be repeated.
“We haven’t hidden away from the fact that it will take time. It’s a work in progress but that’s not an excuse, because we expect results as well. We were disappointed to lose that home game,” he said at the team’s final training session on Thursday. “We know why the goals were scored, they were errors on our behalf, they’re things that can be fixed and we played some good passages throughout the match and created some good opportunities. Now it’s about improving and taking that next step.
“Of course, we want a result every week and I want a result against Adelaide. It is a new group, it will take time to get where we want it to be but we’re good enough to win along this journey as well.”
With two goals conceded from set pieces, following on from a defensive howler from Brendan Hamill that allowed Jamie Maclaren to open the scoring, Popovic made it an intense focus of training this week.
“We’ve had a look at that and set pieces are something, when you have them, that you want to be scoring from. But defensively you want to be rock solid, ” he said. “They’re little details we’ve had a look at this week. It’s something we need to do better and improve our game on the ball, I think we’ll give Adelaide a good game.”
Popovic also wants to see more from an attack that had ample opportunities to score last Thursday.
“We’re getting in the right areas, but we need to score. We have to be better in both boxes,” he said. “If we take something away from the Brisbane match, we weren’t good enough defensively, in our box, and in attack, we need to finish off the good chances we’re creating. If we can improve on both fronts – we know we won’t be perfect – from last week, I think we give ourselves a good chance of coming away with the three points.”
The Reds showed they’ll be one of the teams to beat this season by matching it with Melbourne Victory in their 0-0 clash at Adelaide Oval last Friday. This game shifts back to the more familiar surroundings of Hindmarsh.
“They’re a very good team, there’s a lot of stability in their squad. They play good football, but from what I’ve seen in training, we’ll go there with confidence,” Popovic said. “We saw their game and those games against Melbourne Victory are always fiery, intense affairs. It was a very good game to watch. But this week I think we’ll see our dangerous players cause them some problems as well.”
When asked if marquee attacking midfielder will Dario Vidosic would be fit to start, having come off the bench last week, Popovic was characteristically circumspect: “We haven’t decided if Dario will be playing tomorrow, but he’ll certainly be travelling”.
One boost for the Wanderers is seeing the league’s top goalkeeper, Eugene Galekovic, sidelined with injury again but the visitors won’t be underestimating John Hall, who performed admirably between the posts first-up.
“It’s part of football,” Popovic said. “Eugene is a fantastic goalkeeper and I’m sure he’ll be sorely missed for them but we’ve got numerous players that aren’t in our team at the moment from injury and we still go to Adelaide expecting to get a result.”
Taking a stroll: Drew Mitchell and Kurtley Beale make their way to the pitch during a training session at The Lensbury Hotel in London. Photo: Dan MullanRWC Schedule: When is the Rugby World Cup final?Rugby World Cup interactive: your guide to every teamFull coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup
LONDON: Kurtley Beale has declared “anything is possible” for Michael Cheika’s Wallabies despite lingering doubts over the fitness of key starters Israel Folau and David Pocock.
Folau (ankle) and Pocock (calf) will be given until the last minute to prove their fitness before ‘s knockout clash with Scotland on Sunday. The uncertainty has the potential to dent a squad’s confidence but Beale, who has run at fullback all week and will start for Folau if the dual international fails to make the grade by Sunday, said the Wallabies were taking the what-ifs in their stride.
He revealed a quiet but powerful belief in the team’s potential was fuelling their bid for a third World Cup. “Anything is possible,” Beale said. “I’ve always thought that we’ve got the right group of players to be able to do anything we strive to do. I think the best thing about this group, and the coaches have been harping on about it, is that we’ve been taking it week by week.
“By concentrating on the game ahead and paying our respects to the opposition, that allows us to be able to focus on the job at hand and not have any distractions.”
Beale knows what that requires in mindset and preparation. Cheika is not the first coach to use the talented footballer as an impact player off the bench, but injury to winger Rob Horne saw him thrust into the action early in the first half against England two weeks ago. His assured and energetic contribution, including the magnificent try-scoring switch up with Bernard Foley, was instrumental in the Wallabies’ resounding victory.
“I wasn’t [expecting to come on in the first half],” Beale said. “It’s really important to understand the detail of the game, trying to not be disconnected from the group whatsoever. There’s a really good balance there and guys are always willing to help out wherever they can. That just shows credit to the group of players we’ve got at the moment. Everyone wants to learn and improve and get better. It’s a pretty good culture to be a part of at the moment and I guess it’s helping our footy along the way.”
Beale has made just two Test starts under Cheika and appears destined to wear the No.23 jersey as long as Folau stays mobile. The 26-year-old did not conceal his ambition for starting honours but the reality is that his injection off the bench has worked superbly for for some time.
He scored the match-winning try in the final minute against Wales in 2012 and has consistently used his emotive presence to help freshen the minds and legs of weary teammates. “Whenever I get the opportunity it’s important to try and add that spark and bring that energy, to try and lift the guys up around me,” he said.
“Naturally that’s just the way I like to play as well – fast-tempo, upbeat and try and get involved as much as I can.”
Randwick fallback: After being balloted out of the Caulfield Cup, Beaten Up will run in the City Tattersall’s Club Cup. Photo: Tertius PickardAstute Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith is his own harshest critic when it comes to the handling of Nivison Stakes hopeful Frill Seeking. “She’s always looked like a nice mare, but I’ve just mucked her up a bit,” Smith said before the group 3 race for mares at Randwick on Saturday. “I’m leaving her alone this preparation and that’s why she’s running well. We’re not trying to ride her pretty and we’re just letting her do her own thing, which is what she likes to do.” Frill Seeking, which will have the services of Mitchell Bell, has scored back-to-back wins at Canterbury and Wyong heading into the Nivison Stakes.
COLLETT HARD TO BEAT
Jason Collett was planning all week to ride Astronomos in the City Tattersall’s Club Cup, but has landed arguably a better ride in last start group 1 runner-up Beaten Up. Balloted out of the Caulfield Cup, Beaten Up heads a strong renewal of the listed staying race even allowing for David Vandyke not accepting with Astronomos. “I’ve actually got a couple of really nice rides on Saturday,” Collett said. “I rode [Beaten Up] last preparation in one of his lead-up runs and that was after he broke down. He was going really well, but they took him to Melbourne for a 10-furlong race and he didn’t quite measure up, but he should be hard to beat here.” Having beaten all bar Magic Hurricane in The Metropolitan, Beaten Up is a commanding $2.60 favourite with Ladbrokes at Randwick.
GEE WHIZ GETS CITY CHANCE
Goulburn trainer Mark Gee might have the honour of saddling up the first favourite in Racing NSW’s inaugural Highway Handicap race with Nagging sharing $5.50 favouritism with Scone-trained Invienna. “It gives trainers an opportunity to compete down there and not be pushed aside,” said Gee of the new $40,000 race restricted to bush-based horses added to each Saturday metropolitan program. Nagging has won two of her four starts and prolific country hoop Richard Bensley will head to town for just the one ride. “I do a lot of breaking in and pre-training for Meringo Stud and she is just one that stayed after Tony [Hartnell] asked me to keep her,” Gee said. “I think she’s in good form and she’s probably got a little bit of quality and upside about her.”
CHASING MORE MILESTONES
Jenny Graham notched a small milestone when Miss Amajardan was the first two-year-old winner of the season in NSW. And now she wants to double up the Armidale success into Randwick’s opener. “Race experience helps,” the Port Macquarie trainer said. “She travelled over the mountain to Armidale and we’re hoping she will cope well with the trip to Sydney. That’s a little bit of a concern, but I think having that run under her belt will be an advantage.” The Hinchinbrook filly’s owner Dale Miller only needed to fork out $6500 to buy the horse, who has more than doubled that in prizemoney earned from just one start. Clarry Conners’ Bliss Point is the only other acceptor that won’t be making its debut in the race.
HAVANA GOOD TIME
DJ Havana Brown will be performing live trackside on City Tattersall’s Club Cup day as the n Turf Club seeks to build on a couple of outstanding crowds at group 1 meetings during the spring carnival.
September heat record smashedEl Nino’s impact hits PNG, Pacific
Much of south-eastern has recorded its hottest start to October, as the unusual warmth combines with dry conditions to elevate the fire risks from South to NSW.
Melbourne and Sydney are likely to post their hottest first halves of October on record, with Melbourne already tracking about 1 degree warmer than the previous high set in 1940, Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.
Sydney is topping the high point for heat posted in 1970, while Hobart, Canberra and Perth are also recording their hottest first halves of October, he said. Adelaide is running just shy of the mark.
A relative absence of cold fronts has been driving the warmth and above-average temperatures are expected for much of the rest of October, making it possible that full-month records will be set in many places.
Melbourne reached its forecast top of 34 degrees on Thursday, its fourth day of 30-plus weather so far this month. Inland towns such as Ararat have already had six such days, double the previous record of three for October, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Sydney’s maximum temperatures are running about 4 degrees above the long-run average for all of October. Friday is expected to warm to a top of 28 degrees in the city and 34 degrees at Penrith, with slightly milder conditions on Saturday ahead of a cool change on Sunday.
“Any cool change is only going to be brief,” Mr Dutschke said.
Shift to summer-like weather
For much of southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, the shift to a hotter spring happened relatively sharply. For those areas, winter came roughly a month late, running from July to September, Mr Dutschke said.
Even in Sydney, which had a relatively mild winter compared with Melbourne or Adelaide, the average maximum jumped by 9.4 degrees to 28.3 degrees in the first week of October compared with the last week of September.
“This is the most rapid spring warming Sydney has experienced since 1970 when it warmed by a record 12.6 degrees in a week,” he said.
A dry September for the country as a whole – with rainfall of about one-third of normal – has extended into October, raising concerns by fire authorities.
Rainfall so far this month is running at about one-fifth of the October average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology:
Towns north of Melbourne faced threats this month from an out-of-control prescribed burn, while NSW has already recorded “a few thousand fires” this season, Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, told Fairfax Media.
The spell of as many as four days of 30 degrees or warmer weather over parts of the state “had a pretty profound effect of starting to dry out NSW”, Mr Fitzsimmons said.
“The landscape can turn from moist and green to brown and dry very quickly,” he said.
The powerful El Nino building in the Pacific is one influence leading to the forecasts of hotter and drier than average conditions over coming months. The Indian Ocean has also recently begun to reinforce that influence, the bureau said this month.
In El Nino years, the typically easterly trade winds of the equatorial Pacific stall or even go into reverse, resulting in reduced rainfall over eastern and areas such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Global temperatures also get a kick higher as oceans absorb less heat. Japan’s Meteorological Agency said preliminary data showed September was easily the hottest for sea and land-surface temperatures in data going back to 1891.
Each of the past four records has set a new high, with this year’s El Nino-linked leap adding to the background warming from climate change, climate experts say.
Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website
High hopes: Trainer Kurt Goldman believes horses such as Hellbent thrive at his Golburn training complex. Photo: Andy Zakeli Kurt Goldman quickly realised a young Hellbent was going to be the best horse he had ever trained and his first response was to ask owner Alan Cardy if he wanted to transfer it to a high-profile Sydney trainer.
“I knew the horse had ability and if he was a filly or gelding I would never have had the thought,” Goldman said.
“He’s the first that I’ve come across that can do the things he does and being a colt he’s got that value. I knew this horse was good from day one.
“People like the Snowdens deal with million-dollar colts every day of the week and it’s a common thing for them to have them in their barns.”
Thankfully for Goldman, the former Wallaby Cardy didn’t give it too much thought.
He was only too happy for the young Goldman – who only earlier this year trained his first stakes winners when Faust claimed the Canberra Cup-Doomben Premier’s Cup double – to put the polish on one of NSW’s most exciting sprinters at his picturesque private Goulburn training complex.
“He also may not be the same horse if he was locked up in a box in Sydney all the time,” Goldman said. “I really do believe this property is the making of a lot of horses.
“[Cardy] obviously trusts me and that confidence I gained from taking over a horse [Faust] that was only running average around Goulburn and working with him to reach listed, group 3 level in one preparation … it gave me quite a bit of confidence to back myself.”
It might have been a stretch a couple of months ago, but Hellbent just might be another one clamouring for inclusion in the stallion-making Coolmore Stud Stakes on Victoria Derby day in a couple of weeks.
Unbeaten in his only two starts, Hellbent will go on trial for a start in the $500,000 group 1 down the famous Flemington straight six when he starts a short-priced favourite in the listed Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
“I definitely would want the horse to win to warrant going down,” Goldman said. “And in saying that I would want to see him win with some ease and a little bit of authority.
“I wanted to be hitting the Coolmore third-up and that was always my plan. He won the other day [at Rosehill] when he definitely wasn’t primed. I’ve always been quite confident in myself and when I have targeted horses at a particular race we usually go and run very well.”
Last year’s Coolmore Stud Stakes winner, the now-retired multiple group 1 winner Brazen Beau, is also by Hellbent’s sire I Am Invincible and plucked out of the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.
Tye Angland will take over on Hellbent in the Brian Crowley Stakes from Blake Shinn, who Goldman credited with being an excellent sounding board for his handling of the colt, with Ladbrokes listed him a firming $2.25 favourite.
“He’s a push button horse and he doesn’t want to fight the jockeys. His biggest asset is … yes, he’s got the class and ability. But he does the one percenters right.
“He’s very well mannered for a colt, he’s adaptable to different jockeys and he just responds to whatever they ask.”
The 18-year-old Wentworthville brother arrested during raids last Wednesday.. Photo: NSW Police The 18-year-old Wentworthville brother arrested during raids last Wednesday. Photo: Police Media
A man is arrested in a counter-terrorism operation in Merrylands last Wednesday. Photo: NSW Police
Two men are expected to be charged on Thursday afternoon in relation to the murder of police employee Curtis Cheng.
An 18-year-old from Wentworthville, who cannot be named, is expected to be charged with Commonwealth terrorism offences that carry a maximum life sentence.
The charge relates to the murder by schoolboy Farhad Jabar of police accountant Curtis Cheng outside Parramatta headquarters two weeks ago.
The 18-year-old has been in custody since counter-terrorism raids on five homes last Wednesday.
Talal Alameddine, 22, is expected to be charged on Thursday afternoon with supplying a firearm, breaching a firearms prohibited order and hindering police.
He was arrested when his home in Merrylands was one of those raided last Wednesday but he was later released.
He was arrested again on Thursday morning by the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad and the Joint Counter-Terrorism Team.
Fairfax Media understands that the 18-year-old allegedly sourced a firearm from a Middle Eastern crime gang and gave it to Jabar, 15, who then used it to shoot Mr Cheng.
Jabar is believed to have been given the gun at Parramatta Mosque just hours before the shooting.
Last Thursday, the n Federal Police successfully applied to a magistrate in Burwood Local Court to detain the 18-year-old for 100 hours more without charge.
With that time frame due to expire on Monday night, police successfully applied on Monday evening to have it extended for another 68 hours.
The police had until Thursday to charge or release the man.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione described the arrests as a “significant development”.
“These matters are particularly important to the NSW Police Force, having lost one of our own,” he said.
He said counter-terrorism investigators had been working “tirelessly on this brief and they’ve got a lot more to do”.
He did not rule out more arrests and said the investigation was ongoing.
Both men will be refused bail on Thursday and are due to appear before local courts on Friday.